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Muslim leaders urge caution over pro-Biafra violence


Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar III,

Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III,

• MASSOB insists on peaceful struggle
Anyim distances self from agitators

NIGERIAN Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) under the leadership of the President-General, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, yesterday cautioned Muslim faithful across Nigeria against reprisal attacks following Wednesday’s burning of Central Mosque in Onitsha state and trucks believed to be owned by a Nigerian business giant.

This is coming on the heels of reports that some people from the northern part of the country are fleeing into Asaba , the Delta State capital to seek refuge following protests in Onitsha yesterday.
A trader, who simply gave his name as Suleiman, lamented that he had left all his belongings behind in Onitsha, as he was afraid that the pro-Biafra activists might attack him.

Another trader, Adamu from Bauchi State, confessed that he was not
comfortable staying in Onitsha, as the protesters had threatened to harm him or throw him into the River Niger if he did not go home.

In a related development, Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) however, dissociated itself from the violence.

The zonal leader of MASSOB in Delta North, Mr. Chinedu Amaifeobu, said that MASSOB was not a violent group and condemned alleged acts of violence being perpetrated by unidentified people.
He said: “MASSOB is not in support of the killings and destruction of property. We are not against any group in Igbo land,
not to the extent of killing ‎innocent people and destroying property.”  He insisted that there was no faction in MASSOB as allegedly being speculated. Mr. Raphael Uwazulike remains the founder and leader of the group worldwide,” he said.

Meanwhile, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Anyim Pius Anyim has distanced himself from allegations that he is one of the sponsors of the pro-Biafra agitation going on in the South-east and some parts of the South-south.

A statement issued by the media aide to Anyim, Sam Nwaobasi on Wednesday said the report is false and amounts to “taking rascality and mischief too far”.

Anyim said there has been persistent “bare-faced lies, fabrication of baseless stories and peddling of rumours on phantom issues that make no meaning or sense” published in the media, since leaving office as the SGF in May this year, all with the aim of embarrassing or ridiculing and inciting the public against him.

He warned “those behind the dastardly and mischievous acts to stop forthwith”.
In the same vein, President of Aka Ikenga, Goddy Uwazurike, cautioned those he described as ‘peaceful protesters’ to be wary of infiltrators who are thirsty for blood. He said although it is right asking for Kanu’s release, some people on both sides of the divide could be itching to settle scores.
“They should be careful because there are people who are trying to hijack this peaceful protest; they are people from both sides, those in favour of Biafra and those fighting on behalf of the Nigerian government. There are people who are looking for opportunity to cause violence,” he said.
According to the NSCIA, the arsonists are neither representing a particular religious group nor carrying any ethnic identity, but should be treated as criminally minded persons who want to plunge the nation into turmoil.

Abubakar who was represented by the Secretary General of the NSCIA Professor Ishiaq Oloyede at a press briefing in Ilorin, said any attempt to repel evil with evil was unIslamic and therefore should be shunned by all Moslem faithful across the nation.

Quoting copiously from Quoran, he said Islam forbade the burning of any designated worship centers especially churches, monasteries and mosques just as he urged Nigerian security agents to henceforth provide adequate protection for all faithful worshipers irrespective of their areas of domicile.

He said, “the NSCIA notes with distress the unfortunate and unprovoked attacks on Muslims and the Central Mosque of Onitsha, Anambra State, yesterday, Wednesday, December 2, 2015.

The perpetrators of the dastardly acts, which culminated in the loss of lives and burning of trucks owned by a prominent Muslim businessman only sought to provoke inter-religious crises and thereby get Nigeria further embroiled in needless bloodletting.

Muslims, must as a matter of principle, resist the temptation of being drawn to retaliation. They should consider the perpetrators as criminals and not representative of any ethnic or religious group.
“The NSCIA calls on all Chief Imams to utilise the Minbar tomorrow to preach, peace, justice and restraints. Two wrongs do not make a right. Innocent persons should not be made to suffer as a result of the act of few misguided individuals.”

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  • austino77

    The Igbos have started again. They should pack their things from other parts of Nigeria and go back to their South East and declare their Biafra from there. Do they even buy all the fake Aba goods that they make or the substandard goods they import from China? What even make them feel they are more important than other tribes in this country? For those illiterates Igbos that think they are everything well the rest of Nigeria serves as Market to your fake and substandard goods and so it is a symbiotic relationship, your going back to your own corner of the earth will free spaces for other traders to take over and do the same business you guys think nobody can do. Otherwise why the incessant noise about biafra? enh?

    • Justice Change

      You are sharing the truth with a violent psychological nerve.

    • Darlington

      You’re a coward! You can’t compete with Biafrans in a level playing that is why you’re waiting for them to leave, to take over their businesses in your wild dreams. Stop hallucinating.

      • austino77

        If you want Biafra leave other people Lands, you can’t be in my land and say you want Biafra. Go back to your East or stop dreaming of Biafra as that is the only way you can have your Biafra. Once you leave you will leave with all your belongings including your businesses and are you then saying Nigerians should do trading because it is the exclusive right of the Igbos? No! Nigeria without Biafra must continue and we must do the businesses that you think it is reserved for the Igbos, that is buying and selling what else do you think? The way some of you Igbos reason is as if you give other parts of Nigeria goods for free. No! Without my buying your goods there will not be your shop . so it is a case of left hand washing the right hand and vice versa. So if you have a head think you big FOOL.

  • Sa’ad Abubakar, is this the only advice you need to give. Why not advice Buhari to release the young man for the interest of peace. If he has committed any offence take him to court of law. He should not be incarcerated. When has freedom of speech become terrorism in democratic dispensation? Sanu Alhaji.

  • Nwaizu Ikechukwu Bruno

    Every National, Regional or Ethnic political awareness agitation, especially when it is birthright and Legacy inclined will definitely have sporadic sentimental upheaval either by extremists, greedy miscreants or a Prince approach by affected governance in resolving the issue. That said, it will be to the disadvantage of the Igbos, no matter how genuine the truth of Marginalisation in Nigeria is, if the infancy of their method of presentation is not reviewed, protected and re-directed towards National justice for not only Igbos but Nigeria as whole.

    Now I ask what MASSOB, is Mr. Uwazulike actualizing. Even Abraham Lincoln who established the greatest Capitalist Country in our time, did not ooze absolute capitalism as the Biafran past and so called present leaders?. The Igbo leaders should learn from the slain Northern leaders ( Ahmadu Bello, Tafewa Balewa, etc).

    The mistake and greed of Ojukwu should not be repeated again.

    • Darlington

      You’re a chronic ignoramus! Have you asked your blind self why S/E is the only zone with five states, why others have six each with North-West having seven states? Kano has 44 LGAs while Bayelsa–oil producing state has only 8 LGAs. And the resources gotten from these states are shared base on the number of LGAs. Can you see your pathological ignorance? What Ojukwu risked to fight for Biafrans, a coward like you cannot even comprehend it let alone coming out open to fight injustice. Ojukwu remains a hero not only to Igbos but the entire Biafrans. Biafra or death!

      • Nwaizu Ikechukwu Bruno

        Quite unfortunate infant, who still does not want to learn. Your hero ha? Who as a coward sold his so called Biafran (Igbo leadership) to Col Ekong. I thought he believed in Biafran to the extent of sacrificing his life as Jonas Savimbi and others who had kept their Princehood or Dukeship alive, I thought he would have been stirred by the massive death of babies, young, elders (Kwashiorkor) and ragtag ill equipped crop of UNN in the making Igbo elites of Ubolu-Afor massacre, who died for his greed and personal glorification, and face Gowon and Nigeria as a true believer, just as others who have a genuine spiritual calling does.
        Darlingthon, thank G-d you are now not myopic, but seeing issues more than the Igbo enclave. Was Oga Jonathan not there for 7 years and it still remained 8LGAs. Well like Solomon said if thou seeth injustice and evil, freth not thyself for he that is higher than thee seeth it. he saw it for 7years and did nothing, is it you an unintelligent man that will work the exploit.
        I leave you with this saying “if you want to define or devine the future, you must first understand the past” – Confucius.
        Stop acting old and return to your Babyish mind. Remain Blessed.

  • AA

    Why dont u also advise Buhari’s govt thugs from killing peaceful protesters?

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