By Bashir Adefaka
A network of Islamic organizations led by Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has urged the Federal Government to look beyond declaration of state of emergency in tackling the security challenges facing the country. It said holistic measure at resolving some other grey areas regarding the socio-economic segments of Nigerian public life was more imperative.
The network, whose text read by Director of MURIC and university don, Prof. Is-haq Lakin Akintola in Lagos Thursday, also questioned the rationale behind the Lagos State government banning the use of hijab in public schools in the centre of excellence.
It chided the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, over a comment credited to her speech communicating the government’s decision where she remarked that Muslim parents desiring the use of hijab in schools should take their daughters to Muslim private schools, adding that by so doing, the commissioner had declared war on Muslims in Lagos State.
On the state of the nation, Akintola, condemning the spate of terrorism and violence in parts of the country, insisted that military force alone could not solve the Nigerian security problem.
His words: “While the Network of Islamic organizations condemn terrorism and violence, we insist that military force alone cannot solve Nigeria’s security problem. What Nigeria needs for enduring peace is good governance and transparency. We are of the opinion that the remaining 33 states of the federation have been under emergency for long.
“With hunger and starvation, with homelessness and joblessness among our army of graduates, what further declaration of a state of emergency do we need? Where is electricity? Where is water? Where are the roads? Corruption remains Nigeria’s middle name and it has worsened under the present administration,” he said.
On the ban of hijab, Akintola lashed at the government of Lagos State querying why the Nigerian Constitution would guarantee people freedom of religious practice but, under a SAN-led administration, such constitutional and natural rights were being denied the people.
He said, “Instead of allowing free dialogue, the Lagos State Government is pushing Muslims in the state to the wall. We reject the claim made by the Commissioner for Education that the issue was discussed at length and that “We reached certain agreements”. Concerned and well-informed Muslims and Islamic organizations were either deliberately ignored or edged out of purported discussions while handpicked surrogates of the commissioner/the state government and uninformed few were picked.”
Vanguard’s investigation revealed that Governor Babatunde Fashola had taken what many Muslims considered anti-Islamic decisions in the last few months. He was said to have destroyed places of worship within the Lagos Secretariat, destroyed mosques in Lekki and recently that he activated a plan to cause division within the state Muslim community by giving the Muslim Council in Lagos State an assignment to open centres across the state as the Fashola administration had chosen the “less Islamically informed” council to be related with in matter affecting Muslims.
This action of the governor was viewed by the network of Islamic organizations as “evil a Muslim can do to Islam” as they said it was wrong for the government to choose a people who were not well-informed about Islam to represent the entire Muslims in Lagos State. This was said because, the group was sure that there was no Muslim anywhere in the world that would compromise the fundamental basis of Islam like the government had programmed the Muslim Council to do.