MSSN sues for peace, religious tolerance in Southern Nigeria

THE Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), B-Zone, has expressed concern about the state of affairs in the south-east and south-south areas of the country.

It described the level of enmity, hatred and disaffection in the country as worrisome and therefore called on security agencies to ensure the safety of all Nigerians wherever they have chosen to reside.

In a statement by its zonal amir, Qaasim Odedeji; secretary, Abdul Jalil Abdur Razaq and public relations officer, Bashir Momoh, the MSSN B-Zone said: “Man’s inhumanity to man has suddenly become highly pronounced and unhidden. Arson, assault, unwarranted killings, destruction of lives and properties and other heinous acts are committed in broad daylight with complete disregard for established social values.

“Human life, which hitherto was held sacred, is now being treated with absolute disdain. It has thus become important for urgent actions geared towards nipping the menace in the bud to be taken.

“What started as a peaceful show of grievance against police brutality was exploited by a faceless group of miscreants to unleash mayhem on Muslim faithful in Rivers State and then Imo State. A brief moment of misunderstanding in Nsukka, Enugu State, metamorphosed into serial killings and destruction of properties of Muslims and mosques by hoodlums and criminal minded elements.

“One begins to wonder if these acts are spontaneous reactions or premeditated and pre-planned. Why the Muslim population, which constitutes the minority in these areas, is the subject of these heinous acts is our worry.

“We are concerned about the helplessness of our brothers and sisters that are regularly exposed to incessant attacks in their fatherland for committing no crime whatsoever. We hereby state quite unequivocally that we cannot continue to endure these acts of intimidation because of the faith we profess.

“We use this medium to commiserate with our brethren who have suffered one loss or the other to take solace in Allah’s mercy. The teachings inherent in the persecution of Prophet Muhammad at the hands of the Kuffaar and its attendant glory come handy at a time like this. We take solace in the fact that Allah has promised us full recompense for our endurance and faithfulness (Q85:10-11) and the proximity of His help (Q2.214).

“We implore you all to remain calm and unshaken. We pray that Allah continues to strengthen you. We also pray to Allah to accept the return of our departed souls and grant those receiving treatment a quick recovery.

“We appreciate the efforts of state governments that have intervened in these crises. We are aware of the different delegations sent by the different state government to commiserate with us at this moment of grief.

“While appreciating their commitments to the rebuilding of destroyed facilities and compensation to those who have suffered losses, we hereby request that all those involved in these inhuman acts should be brought to justice. They must be made to pay for their crimes. Sweeping these under the carpet will only embolden those with such evil intentions further.

“We hereby call on all governors of South East and South-South states to protect Muslims and their businesses within their domains, while also calling on religious leaders to desist from giving inciting sermons that could ignite ethno-religious conflicts.

“We must not forget the families that have been displaced and disconnected as a result of these crises. We are aware that some families are still living in camps to avoid being attacked or killed.

“Government at all levels must ensure the reunion of all families that have been adversely affected. Right to good life is a divine inalienable right that must be jealously protected using all legal means.

“They must be resettled in their homes peacefully without any form of fear or intimidation. Where such houses are no more in existence, the Government is under obligation to provide alternatives for such families. It is their God-given right and not a mere privilege.

“We are confident that the security agencies have what it takes to combat these criminal acts and adequately protect the lives and properties of every Nigerian as their statutory responsibility. We therefore call on all security agencies within the Nigerian state to ensure the safety of all Nigerians irrespective of where they choose to reside.

“We appeal to all Nigerians to cohabit peacefully. Let’s eschew all forms of comments and reactions that can further aggravate the already tensed situation. We appeal to all well meaning Nigerians to desist from any form of reprisals. We implore fake news peddlers to prioritize safety of lives and properties over the benefit of pulling traffic on social media, what will be for one will never pass him or her. We pray to Almighty Allah to heal our land and bless the country.”

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