Mafindi Danburam, chairman of north-east zone of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria…
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has expressed disappointment in Chief Edwin Clark for allegedly spearheading an anti-Muslim campaign in his community which led to the destruction of a mosque being built by an indigene, Mallam Abubakar Korokeme by Christian group last Sunday.
In a press statement released by the group Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Monday, MURIC said it put the lion’s share of the blame on the elder statesman.
It added, “The buck stops at Chief Edwin Clark’s table. He is respected in the area and in the whole state and his opinion holds sway. Edwin Clark is well educated and widely exposed. He is a former senator. He is supposed to know better. How can he argue that a mosque could not be allowed in his community because it is a predominantly Christian environment? Is that what the Nigerian Constitution say? Is Clark telling us that even as an ex-senator, he does not know that there is freedom of religion?
“Senator Edwin Clark has disappointed us. There is no continent in the world that Clark has not visited. He saw mosques in Texas. He saw mosques in Toronto. He has been to Britain and the latter has different types of mosques. Yet these are Christian countries. You can see the dilemma facing Nigeria. It is the literati who are misleading ordinary folks.
“Come to think of it. Abubakar Korokeme is an indigene of the community. Yet his people will not allow him to build a mosque. The mosque is not just on the street but right inside Abubakar’s private compound. Yet elders in the community led by Chief Edwin Clark goaded Christian youths to anger against an innocent man just because he is a Muslim. We know how this game is played. The elders should stop blaming the youth. Chief Edwin Clark should take a look at the mirror. What he sees is a Muslim-hater.
“We call on the whole world to see how Muslims are being treated in their own country and on their own land in Delta State. Even in Rivers State, Islamophobia is the norm. We charge all world organisations to note who is manifesting religious fanaticism.
“History does not forget because today was born from the wombs of yesterday. We are placing it on record that Nigerian Christians were the first to start demolishing mosques, first in Port Harcourt in Rivers State and then in Kiagbodo, Delta State.
“We urge Governor Ifeanyi Okonwa of Delta State to give adequate protection to Muslims in the state as it is already clear that they are living in the midst of foes. The world is watching.
“We assure the minority Muslim families in Delta, Rivers and other places that we are with them in these trying moments. They should to continue to uphold the integrity of Islam, to remain strong in faith, persevering and patriotic. We ask them to ponder over the words of Allah, ‘So do not lose heart. Do not fall into despair because you will triumph if indeed you are Muminuun (faithful)’.
“By the same token, we charge the Commissioner of Police to do the needful. Muslims in the state have become endangered species. They need protection and the police must rise to the occasion. They are tax-payers too and they have Allah-given fundamental human rights which are now being trampled upon with impunity. We demand police action. Those who destroyed part of the mosque must be arrested and charged to court for trespass, wilful damage and acts capable of causing breach of the peace.
“As we rise from this session, we appeal to Muslims nationwide to exercise utmost patience. They should remain calm and law-abiding. We must not allow any form of violence to erupt because Nigeria needs peace to develop. The programmes of the present administration cannot succeed in a turbulent atmosphere. Those who are engineering hatred for Muslims and fanning the embers of religious war wish to see Nigeria go up in flames. They are waiting to see Muslims retaliate so they can launch another bloodletting crusade. We must disappoint them.”