Igbo Muslims In The South-East And South-South Cry Out Against Being Murdered By Their Own People, Demand Justice
Two Nigerian Islamic human rights organisations, the South East Muslim Organisation of Nigeria (SEMON) and the Igbo Muslim Forum have accused Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the governors of the south-eastern of sitting on their hands and being silent regarding the alleged killing of Igbo Muslims in the region.
So too has the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) who has berated the alleged killing of 11 Muslims of Igbo extraction in the South East and South South during the #EndSARS protests.
The groups also condemned the burning of Orlu Central Mosque (below) as well as attacks on other mosques in the two sub-regions
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In addition to the killings stores at Oil Mill Market, Rumukushi, Oyigbo, Eleme, among others, were also attacked allegedly by memebrs of IPOB between Tuesday and Wednesday, October 20-21. Oyigbo remains on lock down till now.
The condemnations were contained in a press statements on Monday one of them by the Director and Founder of MURIC, Prof. Ishaq Akintola.
“We are shocked by news of mob attacks on Muslims of Igbo origin in the South East and South South during the #EndSARS demonstrations. At least 11 Muslims were killed: One in the South East and 10 in the South South.
"They were killed for no other reason than for being Muslims. Members of IPOB killed 10 Muslims in Port Harcourt. One of the victims was the son of the Seriki Hausawa of Eleme, Alhaji Attahiru Shittu who was burned beyond recognition. (below)
"One Muslim was also killed in Imo State while four others were injured. Orlu Central Mosque was completely destroyed by arsonists while Hausa markets worth millions of naira were also destroyed.
“MURIC is in possession of two video clips that have gone viral. One was shot by renowned militant leader, Alhaji Mujahid Asari Dokubo in which he berrates berated the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its leadership for allowing IPOB to become a group that hates Muslims and one that hunts them to the point of death.
“MURIC strongly condemns the killing of Muslims in Igboland. We believe that it is the climax of an undercurrent of persecution, intimidation and humiliation of Igbo Muslims by their fellow Igbo. Families of Igbo Christians who revert to Islam are boycotted and disowned. They are denied all rights and privileges, including the right to inherit. State governments in the East and South South deprive Muslims of their Allah-given fundamental human rights. We have the details and these will be revealed in due course.
“In the same vein, we hold the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, responsible for the attack on Muslims in the South South. His ban on IPOB is mere lip-service. He personally hates Muslims and detests the sight of mosques. He was responsible for the destruction of the Trans Amadi Central Mosque in August 2019. Wike was severally quoted to have declared Rivers State a Christian State not too long ago. We have set the machinery in motion to report him to the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague for incitement and for crimes against humanity.
“We therefore hang the killing of Muslims in Port Harcourt on his neck. If the witch cried yesterday and the child dies today, do we need to start searching for the killer of that child? IPOB reasoned that there is no raison d’etre for Muslims to live in Rivers State since the state had been declared a Christian State by the governor. Wike gave IPOB the licence to kill Muslims.
“To our Muslim brothers in the South East and South South, we send fraternal sympathy. Our solidarity with you is forever. Our love for you cannot be dissolved by geographical boundaries. We feel your tribulation. Your pains hit our bones to the very marrows. We share your grief. Fear not, for you are not alone. Apart from Almighty Allah who is always with you, we, your brothers and sisters North and South West of Nigeria stand up to demand justice for you. Remain steadfast in your faith, Islam. Your lamentations shall not be in vain and we will not stop until justice is not only delivered but is seen to have been delivered.
“In order to calm frayed nerves, MURIC hereby demands the following:
1. The setting up of a judicial commission of inquiry into the killing of Muslims in the South-South as well as the burning of Orlu Central Mosque;
2. The Rivers State Government must pay compensation to the families of the victims within a period not exceeding three months;
3. Imo State Government must rebuild and re-equip Orlu Central Mosque within the same period;
4. The hospital bills of all Muslims injured during the attacks must be paid by the state governments and
5. All Muslims who lost properties due to attacks during the period must be compensated.
“We are in constant contact with the victims and the reparations will be closely monitored. Meanwhile we appeal to Muslims throughout Nigeria to refrain from seeking vengeance. There must be no reprisals of any kind. We urge Muslims to remain calm and watchful. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.”
SEMON agrees with MURIC and said Muslims and mosques were deliberately targeted by the Independent People Of Biafra (IPOB) during the #EndSARS protests.
The group said this in a statement signed by Elder Suleman Afikpo, and Muhammad Amachi, the publicity director, for the Igbo Muslim Forum.
Its statement in turn read:
“The ENDSARS protest may have subsided but the aftermath carnage is still being counted by south-eastern Muslim communities. From the lynching and massacre meted on the Muslims of Oyigbo in Port Harcourt, Onitsha, Aba and Orlu in Imo state, to the wanton destruction of Mosques and properties by purported IPOB hoodlums,
“And most interestingly is the religious motivated destruction of 2 Mosques in Nssuka (below) weeks after the ENDSARS agitations.
“It is difficult living as a Muslim in the eastern Nigeria. The number of violent attacks targeted at Muslims in the region on daily basis is on the increase. Muslims of Igbo extraction are being killed and their properties destroyed for no other reason than they choose to be Muslims, guaranteed by the freedom of religion enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.
“Islam has existed in Igboland since the early 19th century it first appeared in the region. It has peacefully been propagated and boasts of occupying the second largest and widely accepted religion in the present Ala igbo. From inception till date, Islam and Muslims of Ala-Igbo have maintained peaceful co-existence and its presence have not endangered the well being of Ndi-Igbo.
“The political elites that profit from unrests are tacitly fanning the embers of this violence. They are quiet and sometimes pay lip services to the little news that escapes to the media. We expected statesmen like Femi Fani Kayode to lend us his voice, being a supporter of IPOB. Today we hear Governors X, Y, Z promising to rebuild the mosques. When asked after six months, the story turns to “we are on it. How would they be on issue they are part of the planners? Aren’t they the ones covertly giving the orders?”
They further accused the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) of being complicit by its silence in not calling to order religious leaders who through their sermons, were subtly instigating attacks on Igbo Muslims.
They demanded the proscription of IPOB by other eastern state governors just like Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, did and manhunt for Nnamdi Kalu, leader of IPOB.
More details as they unfold.
Photos > NAN, Naija forum and AP