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TMC faults US for placing Nigeria on special watch list


TMC, National Legal Affairs Officer, Munirudeen Ali (left); National Cultural Affairs Officer, Alhaji Sherifdeen Ibrahim; Secretary General, TMC, Alhaji AbdulWasiu Bangbala; Executive Director, HCFI, Prof. Ibrahim Oreagba; and Alhaji Hassan Adeshina during the quarterly state of the nation address of The Muslim Congress (TMC) Committee on Social Mobility, Economy and Politics in Lagos.

The Muslim Congress (TMC) has condemned the move by the United States (US) in placing Nigeria on ‘Special Watch list’ of countries engaging in severe religious persecution.

The group described the United States’ placement of Nigeria on its Special Watch List as ‘unfair and unrepresentative of the realities on ground’, adding that the US had probably listened more to some aggrieved Nigerians canvassing such ideas who do not represent the broad spectrum of the populace.

The National Amir, and Chairman, TMC Committee on Social Mobility, Economy and Politics, Dr. Lukman AbdurRaheem, stated this during the quarterly state of the nation address where issues on the front burner of the nation were discussed and the stand of the Muslim body was stated.

AbdurRaheem, who was represented by the General Secretary, Alhaji Abdul Waasi Bamgbala, observed that the inclusion of Nigeria on the list may not be unconnected to the continuous detention of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and the subsequent clashes between the Nigeria Police Force and IMN members.He noted that Nigeria does not deserve to be on the list because it has been promoting peaceful co-existence among people of different religions and playing host to different religious preachers and programmes across the world.

As for the Boko Haram terror in Nigeria, the Amir said: “The terrorist group does not differentiate between Muslims and Christians when it goes on a killing spree. It is the intention of Boko Haram to divide the populace along religious lines even though the majority of the populace and the government are wary of their antics. These should therefore not be used as reasons to place Nigeria on any watch list. Nigeria does not belong there”.

The group however, commended the Federal Government for the release of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and Convener of RevolutionNow group, Omoyele Sowore from detention, noting that the step has reduced the brewing tension in the country and enhanced the image of the President Buhari led-government.

It further pleaded with the Federal Government to extend the same gesture to the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, while his trial continues in the court of competent jurisdiction.While reacting to the ‘Amotekun’ security outfit initiated by South-Western Governors that was flagged off with the approval of the Inspector General of Police, Abubakar Adamu.

The Muslim Congress applauded the collaborative efforts of the six state governors of South-West of Nigeria, saying that community-policing strategy would enhance confidence building for the people in the region.The Amir noted that the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) established to improve the security situation of the six states of the region should be adequately supervised by the Nigerian police in order to avoid any form of abuse to the citizens, adding that the security outfit needs adequate funding for good performance and effectiveness.

“The outfit should also be technology-driven in its operations such that drones and other modern devices can be deployed. Their responsibilities must also be well spelt out so that there is no rivalry among member-states and so that it does not go on a collision course with the Nigerian Police Force. The other regions of the Federation may like to emulate this initiative in order to arrest the worsening security situation in the land,” he said.

The Committee also rejoiced with the Chief Executive Officer of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Ishaq Oloyede for emerging the Leadership Newspapers Person of the Year 2019 and lauded the nomination of Barrister Zikrullahi Kunle Hassan as the chairman-designate of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).

The Muslim Congress described Oloyede, who was also honoured with a fellowship award by the Non-Academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions (NASU), as a beacon of hope for a viable, responsive and responsible public service. It added that he has demonstrated transparency, humility and deep commitments in the positive transformation of JAMB.

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