The Apex Igbo Socio-Cultural Organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has tackled the South East Muslim Organization of Nigeria (SEMON) and the Igbo Muslim Forum over the alleged killing of Igbo Muslims in the South East.
Ohanaeze in a statement signed by Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mr. Emeka Attamah said that Ohanaeze Ndigbo finds ceaseless insinuations that the Igbo are against Muslims or the North very worrisome because of their grave socio-cultural and religious implications for the nation.
The statement recalled that the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) in their unguarded and reckless comment alleged that Igbo is responsible for the killing of Northerners in the south.
The leadership of Ohanaeze said the unfortunate allegation has since been debunked by a majority of Northern Leaders as an unbecoming and untrue statement.
“The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to yet another misinformation issued by the South East Muslim Organization of Nigeria (SEMON) and the Igbo Muslim Forum alleging the killing of Igbo Muslims in Igbo land.
“This time, SEMON is saying that Muslims and mosques were deliberately targeted by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), especially during the #ENDSARS protest.
“The statement jointly signed by one Suleiman Afikpo and Muhammad Amachi alleged that there was a deliberate attempt to hound Muslims from the southeast into silence while Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the southeast Governors look the other way.
The truth is that there has never been any report of even harassment let alone killing of any Muslim made to any group or government. No such report has ever been received”.
The Igbo he said are law-abiding and recognize and respect the freedom of religion enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.
“It is interesting that in the very words of the claimants; “Islam has existed in Igbo land since the early 19th century it just appeared in the region. It has peacefully been propagated and boasts of occupying the second largest and widely accepted religion in the present Ala- Igbo.
From inception till date, Islam and Muslims of Ala-Igbo have maintained peaceful co-existence and its presence has not endangered the well being of Ndigbo”.
He then asked when the situation change and when Ndigbo become intolerant of Muslims in their midst?
Ohanaeze said that the allegation of two mosques being destroyed at Nsukka is another bundle of lies, arguing that there was an altercation, not religious intolerance or aggression which has since been resolved.
“The rapidity at which these baseless and unfounded allegations about the Igbo hating the North is becoming redoubtable and alarming and is suggestive of a clandestine gang up to discredit the Igbo and make them unacceptable to the North in the build-up to the 2023 presidential election. This situation is unfortunate considering the sacrifices Ndigbo have made and are still making for the development and unity of the country,” he said.
He concluded that Ndigbo cannot antagonize anybody from any part of the country knowing full well that they are more itinerants and settle in all parts of the country than any other ethnic group.
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