An Islamic human rights group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has claimed that the rejection of a Muslim engineer who went for a job at the site of the collapsed 21-storey building on Gerrard Street, Ikoyi, Lagos but was rejected by the developer on account of his faith is a strong evidence of the alienation of Muslims in Yorubaland.
MURIC’s claim was contained in a public statement circulated to the media by the group’s director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Friday, 5th November, 2021.
The statement reads:
“A video clip on You Tube has featured a certain Sikiru Adebowale who claimed to have gone for a job interview with the developer of the 21-storey building on Gerrard Street, Ikoyi, Lagos which collapsed on Wednesday, 2nd November, 2021. Mr. Sikiru Adebowale, a Muslim, told viewers that the developer refused to employ him because he is a Muslim.
“Expectedly, the video has gone viral. But despite the fact that millions of Nigerians have viewed the video clip, we in MURIC suspect that few people will comprehend the implications therein. Of course we as an Islamic human rights organisation must not lose sight of one salient point which is inherent in the revelation.
“That video clip is an undeniable evidence of the alienation, marginalisation, impoverisation and persecution of Yoruba Muslims by no other than their fellow Yoruba who happen to be Christians.
“We urge those who do not believe us to review the video clip and listen to Mr. Sikiru Adebowale as he was being interviewed by a television station. According to him, the man who interviewed him at the site was the developer who was a fellow Yoruba man and a Christian.
“The man who went to apply for a job at the site is also a Yoruba man but he is a Muslim. But even after the professional aspect of the interview had been held the developer still complained that the applicant could not be employed because he is a Muslim.
“He asked the applicant the name of the church he attended and the warmth melted like ice cream in the burning sun when the latter told him that he is a Muslim. As a result of this rejection, the applicant left the site in frustration. But the 21-storey building which was under construction collapsed one hour after he had left the site.
“While we congratulate Mr. Adebowale for escaping almost certain death or severy injuries, MURIC sympathises with the bereaved families, the injured victims and the Lagos State Government over this avoidable tragedy.
“But the truth which must be told is that the sad incident has exposed the sufferings of Yoruba Muslims under their overbearing and selfish Christian overlords who want all political offices, all civil service vacancies, all teaching jobs, all construction works, etc for Christians and Christians alone.
“The wind has blown and we have seen the ruff of the hen. MURIC has been complaining for years that jobs were being hoarded by our Christian neighbours. We said Muslims are being ostracised. Muslims who attend interviews are asked if they are ready to convert. They are told to bring refree’s letters from pastors and those who fail to do so remain jobless. Muslims are turned into dregs of the society. Christianity became the avowed priority, not ‘Oduduwa nation’.
“We said it time without number that all the noise about ‘Oduduwa nation’ is a façade, a mere deception designed to trick Yoruba Muslims into an irredentist trap that will further push Yoruba Muslims into the abyss of political marginalisation, social segregation and economic impoverisation.
“The story of Mr. Sikiru Adebowale as narrated in the video clip should have attracted condemnation of the developer’s attitude from the Nigerian civil society but the latter have elected to keep mum because a Muslim is the victim. This is a case of religious apartheid publicly exposed.
“It is interesting to note that the victim is a Yoruba man, ditto for the oppressor. Those Muslim girls persecuted over hijab in Yorubaland are also Yoruba. Ironically, their oppressors are also Yoruba. It dismisses the myth of a tolerant, loving and sharing Yoruba race. It belies the propaganda that there is no religious intolerance in Yorubaland. You can all see with your own eyes what happened between this Yoruba developer and his Yoruba Muslim applicant.
“We are constrained to reiterate our explanation of what is happening in Yorubaland. It is not religious tolerance. Rather it is religious enslavement and socio-economic alienation. The fact that Christians and Muslims live together in the same house is being misunderstood as religious tolerance. But the truth is that all that is at an informal level.
“Nobody should try to pull the wool over our eyes. We know what is happening out there. The Christians and Muslims who live in the same houses and work in the same offices do not tolerate one another’s religion. They tolerate one another because they see themselves every so often, not as Christians and Muslims but as neighbours or co-workers.
“But the moment they leave that house or office and a religious issue crops up, they become bitter enemies. The same Christian teacher who interacts peacefully with some Muslims in his house or office becomes an aggressive teacher. He will snatch the hijab from the head of a Muslim girl. He becomes an intolerant manager who will reject a Muslim applicant on account of his faith.
“The same Christian who lives in the same house or works in the same office with Muslims is the same who vehemently rejects the idea of permitting Shariah in Yorubaland. Yoruba Christians and Muslims may share meat during Salah and fried rice at Christmas. They have learnt to interact peacefully with individual neighbours and co-workers but failed to integrate religious institutions.
This is the true anatomy of the relationship between Christians and Muslims in Yorubaland. They tolerate each other at the informal level but they are sworn enemies at the formal level.
“MURIC hereby demands the reaction of Afenifere and other Yoruba socio-cultural groups to this viral audio clip. A Yoruba man has deprived another Yoruba man of a chance of employment. The reason advanced is that the applicant is a Muslim.
“What has Afenifere got to say about this. The site of that monumental interview is a microcosm in a macro. It perfectly depicts what is happening in the whole Yorubaland. Will Yoruba Muslims get jobs in an ‘Oduduwa nation’? Will Yoruba Muslims enjoy equal rights and justice in an ‘Oduduwa Republic’? It should be noted that similar posers raised by MURIC more than six months ago remain unanswered by Afenifere.
“However, we know fully well that our interventions serve as enlightenment for the public even if Afenifere refuses to respond. We will not give up until the entire Yoruba race and the Nigerian nation as a whole are liberated from the shackles of disinformation, misinformation and malinformation. Aluta continus, Victoria acerta.” #Muslimjobsmatter
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
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