The Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, yesterday refuted the report making the rounds that it compared Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to Mr. Sunday Adeyemo, a.k.a. Igboho. Thereafter, Nigeria’s Muslim human rights group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), appealed for calm.
MURIC’s appeal was issued on Tuesday, 28th July, 2021 by the director of the organisation, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The statement reads:
“The Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has refuted the report that it compared Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to Mr. Sunday Adeyemo, a.k.a. Igboho (https://emporiumreporters.com.ng/we-never-liken-igboho-to-prophet-muhammad-afenifere/). Although the report generated a lot of tension as it angered millions of Muslim faithfuls in the country, we are appealing to Muslims nationwide, particularly Muslim youths to consider the refutal as a retraction and to accept it in good faith.
“In a new statement released yesterday, Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi, was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt, that no such insinuation was intended. Some phrases and sentences in the statement also confirm that Afenifere did not intend to insult Prophet Muhammad.
“For example, Afenifere said, ‘Giving the recognition members of Afenifere have for all religious faiths and the high regards we have for Prophets of God, there is no way we would liken an individual to these prophets, least of all, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w)’. Even the headline of the story read, ‘We Never Liken Igboho to Prophet Muhammad’ while the phrase ‘highly referred (sic) Prophets’ was used in reference to Prophets Muhammad and Moses. We also noted that the traditional salutation (SAW, i.e. may Allah bless him) was added by Afenifere after the Prophet’s name.
“In the same vein, we urge Nigerian Muslims to extend the same spirit of forgiveness to Sahara Reporters (SR), the media house which amplified the story. We call for the discontinuation and withdrawal of an online petition against SR which has already been signed by hundreds of Muslims. We equally implore all those who have since unfollowed the media house to rescind their decision and make SR popular just like before this ugly incident. The fact that SR pulled down the story from its portal and even went another extra mile to publish an apology shows that it never intended to subject our Prophet to any public opprobrium.
“In view of the above, MURIC appeals to Muslims nationwide to overlook the incident based on the principle of Inamaa al-a‘maal bilniyyaat (actions are judged according to intentions). The Glorious Qur’an also implores Muslims to forgive even their adversaries and to repay evil with goodness (Qur’an 41:34).
“As we rise from this intervention, we urge the leadership of Afenifere to draw the leadership of the Yoruba Muslim community closer and enter into dialogue with them, particularly on burning issues like hijab in schools and civil shariah in Yorubaland. We affirm clearly and categorically that Yoruba Muslims are bona fide Yoruba indigenes. Therefore, Afenifere should manifest concern for the plight of Yoruba Muslims who have been undergoing religious persecution in Yorubaland the same way it exhibits solidarity with the civil liberty of the Yoruba people. #MuslimYorubasmatter
“We are of the humble opinion that a single hour of rapport with recognized Muslim leaders will be more effective in resolving grey areas than spending days, weeks and months with individual Muslims. For the avoidance of doubts, the only recognized Muslim leadership in Yorubaland is the Muslim Ummah of South Western Nigeria (MUSWEN) whose current president is Alhaji Rasaki Oladejo.” #MuslimYorubasmatter
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)