Igbo Muslims demand better representation in politics, public space
Igbo Muslims under the aegis of South Eastern Muslims of Nigeria (SEMON) have expressed dissatisfaction over unfavourable political climate that has denied them playing active roles in politics and socio-economic issues.
The group, in a communiqué co-signed by Chairman, Muhammad Obiahu Ajah Jr; and the Secretary, Abdur-Rahman Nwazueze Urama, said that the greatest challenge facing Igbo Muslims is their total exclusion from the political scheme in Nigeria. They observed that since the creation of Nigeria in 1914, (more than 100 years ago), Igbo Muslims have not benefitted anything from the Federal Government.
The communiqué issued after a one-day conference organized to examine the past, present and future of Igbo Muslims in Nigeria, the group said, “the governments of states of Southeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria do not even recognize the existence of Muslims of Igbo extraction, thus no single plan for them, politically and socio-economically”.
They alleged a calculated plan by the governments to make them irrelevant as second-class citizens in Nigeria.SEMON therefore stressed the need for unity among Igbo Muslims thereby sustaining the fear of God and patriotism, and well as their trust in the Federal Government of Nigeria.
It stated: “Igbo Muslims should join politics and aspire and contest for every possible positions in the forthcoming general elections, including the position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Governorship, National and State Assembly positions, as well as Local Government and Councillorship”.
Noting that Igbo Muslims have been law-abiding citizens, despite their denial and frustration from the governments, the communiqué stated that they have never constituted nuisance in the societies they live and seek legitimate livelihoods.
“The economic condition of the Igbo Muslims is extremely deplorable, thus their inability to bargain for anything in the wider societies they live,” it stated.
Participants at the he conference commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts in developing Nigeria. They enjoined him to remain focused in the fight against corruption and to be detribalized in his appointments even while putting merit above other considerations.
The group urged the Southeast governors and local government chairmen to protect members of the Muslim minority and their worship places in addition to embracing inclusiveness in the distribution of dividends.