Muslims of Igbo extraction in Nigeria have cried unto federal and state governments including the leadership of the Southeast geopolitical zones to offer appoinments to Igbo Muslims, decrying their marginalisation as “coordinated neglect at all levels of goverments.”
They maintained that the federal government was collaborating with vatious governments of their states to deny them their constitutional rights as citizens of the country.
These were parts of resolutions reached at the end of a meeting of the group which had in attendance prominent and intellectually vibrant Igbo Muslims from across the nation held last Saturday in Abuja.
The group under the umbrella of South East Muslims of Nigeria, (SEMON) resolved to follow all legitimate means in pushing for their recognition and rights at both the federal and state levels.
Nationalistic leadership style
A communiqué issued by the group and signed by representatives of states of the Southeast living in Nigeria and in Diaspora reads: “We commend President Muhammadu Buhari for his dynamic and nationalistic leadership style and urge him to appoint qualified Igbo Muslims in position of trust as Ministers, Ambassadors, Directors-General of federal government agencies and parastatals as well as board members in the federal organs.”
“A situation where Igbo Muslims have been made to bear the identity of third-class citizens by the federal and state leaderships is very worrisome.
This has been part of the causes for agitations by different groups in Nigeria. We have been peace-loving, responsible and dexterous patriots of Nigeria in our respective states. Many of us have ventured into politics and we participated with all other Nigerians to elect the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other elected representations for our areas.”
“We are not asking for favour because we have all the qualifications to compete with other Nigerian compatriots. But we are denied and neglected. We are not carried along by our leaderships. The Igbo people look at us as Hausa-Fulani people because we are Muslims and this is unacceptable to us. The Igbo are predominantly Christians. But they have members of Judaism, of Baha’ism, the free-thinkers and the traditionalists in government. All these beliefs are carried along by the state and federal governments in Nigeria. Igbo Muslims must become a subject of integration in Nigerian politics.”
“We must assert that any attempt to coax or oppress us into abandoning our creed will not work. All attempts to treat us as third-class citizens of Nigeria will be resisted by all legitimate means. We have overborne this tag.
Even if the federal and state governments continue to collaborate to frustrate us, we hope in God Almighty and pray that one day, our patience will not be taken for cowardice and infidelity. We believe that God’s time is the best.”
“We, therefore, call on the security apparatus in Nigeria to grant quick responses to complaints of threats to life received by some members of Ndigbo Muslims.
“We specifically call on the Minister of Interior, Abdurrahman Dambazau, the Nigerian army, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris and the State Security Services (SSS) to ensure that Muslims of Igbo extraction are guaranteed security of their lives and properties as any other citizen of Nigeria. Urgent measures must be taken before it is late.”