A socio-cultural Igbo group, South East Muslims Organisation of Nigeria (SEMON) has expressed its pains over the recent coordinated and gruesome murder of Muslims in the region, saying it is unfortunate that the #EndSARS protests led to the avoidable and unnecessary loss of lives and destruction of properties.
SEMON, in a press release jointly signed by its National Secretary, AbdurRahman Nwabueze Urama and Public Relations Officer, Yahya Faruq Abugu, decried the attacks and needless provocation when an option of dialogue and negotiation could have been considered.
According to the Ndigbo Muslim group, “The #EndSARS movement, which we were initially made to believe was aimed at redeeming Nigeria from the ills of the SARS unit of the Nigerian Police and bad governance generally, has for selfish reasons led to unconscionable maiming of Nigerians as well as looting and wanton destruction of both private and public institutions. This is to say the least, inhumane and horrible.
“Unfortunately, for some of our brothers in the South East, they have taken advantage of this to inflict pains and miseries on Muslims in parts of the region and destruction of their places of worship. A mosque in Orlu, Imo State was razed down by irate youths with deaths recorded, and this is not the first attack on this same mosque. More mosques would have been razed down in other parts of Igbo land, if not for the swift intervention of security agents. Recall that another mosque was razed down in Ogrute, Enugu Ezike 3 years ago for no reason. This must stop”.
The Igbo Muslim body called on all youths to embrace peace and imbibe the spirit of religious tolerance, noting it is a panacea for a peaceful society.
“We call on the youths of the region who harbor hatred for Islam and Muslims, to have a rethink and desist from attacking Muslims at every slightest opportunity. This is not a religious crisis!. Enough is enough!
“Parents, community heads as well as religious heads should rein in on their children/subjects to imbibe the spirit of religious tolerance as that is the panacea for peace and progress in our society.”
It further reiterated its commitment to peace and call on the authorities to put efforts in bringing the perpetrators to book.
“As a peace-loving people who have no record of ever starting any conflict in this region, we implore our Muslim brothers to remain calm as usual amidst provocation and not take laws into their hands. We must remain at alert and report all suspicious activities to security agents as soon as possible.
“The authorities must also do whatever it takes to ensure all culprits of these dastardly acts against Muslims are brought to book to forestall future occurrence.
“Even though the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs has made a press release to this effect, it is pertinent that they and other religious bodies continue to lend their voices to ensure the safety of lives and properties of Muslims in Igboland. We equally call on well-meaning individuals and groups to condemn these acts of terror in strongest terms,” it noted.
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