By Amidu Arije
Worried by the growing spate of insecurity, tension, and economic downturn in the country, the Muslim students’ society of Nigeria, Lagos state area unit has said ethnicity biases should be shunned by all.
The students’ body spoke on the background of the growing tension in South-West states over ultimatum given to herders by Ondo state Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and an activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital to quit the Yoruba
lands or face eviction.
In a press release by the Amir (president) of the Muslim Students’ of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit, Miftahudeen Thanni, the students urged President Muhammadu Buhari to be more proactive and re-strategise his approach in tackling insecurity in the country.
Thanni explained that it is saddening that people were fanning the embers of disunity, ethnic and religious crisis in the country.
He lamented that students and their parents were being subjected to undue hardship and unpleasant psychological trauma.
According to him, the unity of Nigeria is more important than ethnic bias.
The student leader said, “No responsible government should allow lawlessness to reign. The activities of non-state actors in recent times are worrisome and must be fastly nipped in the bud by the federal and state governments.
“For no reason should the government allow anybody to see him or herself as being beyond the law – especially those fanning the embers of disunity through words or action.
“It all started this year with Bishop Kukah’s arrogant New Year message capable of inciting the people of the state against the government and preaching religious hatred, a thing that should have attracted a harsh sanction from the Federal Government.
“And down to the South, Sunday Igboho unilaterally issued a quit notice to some Fulani over alleged banditry and kidnapping despite not being a state actor. In their reactions to this development, prominent groups and famous personalities threatened war.
“This resulted in tension and panic in the region. Though a majority of us did not witness the civil war, the memories of Modakeke crisis and the violence that followed the EndSARS crisis can’t be forgotten. We want peace. Peace is sacrosanct. The full weight of the law should take its course on people who attempt to disrupt peace in the nation.
“Without doubt, an ethnic crisis is brewing in the country and an urgent intervention needs to be made. According to psychologists, people are more sympathetic and emotionally attached to their tribes and could do anything to defend them.”
Miftahudeen, who commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts to stem insecurity in the country and encourage farmers, urged him to protect the country against disunity.
He appealed to Nigerians not to take laws into their hands and avoid being instigated to commit crimes.
“We are aware of the grievances of many in the South-West against the activities of criminals and bandits. We appeal that a particular tribe should not be tagged and attacked. Instead, we should join hands with the government to fight crime collectively.
“Islam encourages peace and we want peace. All Nigerians should see ourselves as one regardless of tribe or profession. The unity of this country is paramount than ethnic bias. Both Fulani and Yoruba are Nigerians and we must see ourselves as one.
“We strongly appeal to the state governments concerned and our dear president to quickly swing into action and do the needful by arresting the situation headlong, thereby ensuring peaceful coexistence and forestall further breakdown of law and order. Apart from the fact that some people are profiting from this insecurity, the media should avoid sensational headlines capable of misleading the general populace into crisis.
“We sincerely appeal to all aggrieved parties to sue for peace so that the wrath of the law won’t be melted on them for any erring; as well as not to lose all we have laboured for and the labour of our heroes past should not be in vain.”