Muslim students sue for peaceful co-existence in Southern Nigeria


The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), B Zone, has called for peaceful co-existence among citizens in Southern Nigeria.The group expressed concerns about the state of affairs within the South East and South South, noting that the level of enmity, hatred and disaffection ravaging the country currently is both worrisome and pathetic.

The Amir, (MSSN) B-Zone, Qaasim Odedeji in a statement 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”.

Odedeji noted that the protest, which 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 Imo State.

He said: “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 constitute the minority in these areas are the subjects of these heinous acts is our worry”.

The group condemned the incessant attack on Muslim brothers and sisters in the part of the country. “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 unequivocally that we cannot continue to endure these acts of intimidation because of the faith we profess. It is a fact that no group has a ‘monopoly of violence’”.

He commiserated with Muslim 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 in the hands of the Kuffaar and its attendant glory comes 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 the more. We also pray to Allah to accept the return of our departed souls and grant those receiving treatment a quick recovery,” he stated. Odedeji expressed apreciation to the state government that have intervened in these crises and demanded justice.

“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 request that all those involved in these inhuman acts 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 and we cannot allow further degeneration as human elasticity of endurance has its limits”.

The group urged governors of South-East and South-South states to protect Muslims and their businesses within the domain they superintend over, 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,” he stated.

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 therefore call on all security agencies within the Nigerian state to ensure the safety of all Nigerians irrespective of where they choose to reside,” he stated. 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 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 urged 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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