Sunday, May 22, 2022

#EndSARS: Nigeria’s council for Sharia condemns attack on Muslim businesses, places of worship

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The Supreme Council for Shari’ah in Nigeria, SCSN, has condemned the attack on Muslims, their businesses and places of worship during the #EndSARS protests across the country.

Recall that the #EndSARS protests have been on, even after disbanding the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force.

The protest had sparked pockets of violence resulting in the loss of lives and the destruction of property across the FCT, Kano, Ekiti, Osun and other states in the country.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, the SCSN Secretary-General, Nafi’u Baba-Ahmad, frowned at the “unguarded utterances” of some Christian clergies who, according to him, aggravated the protesters to see the protest as a religious and regional conflict.

He said: “it is unfortunate and disheartening that some individuals, including notable Christian clerics, rather than cautioning their followers and help contain the escalating violence, they instead aggravated it through their unguarded utterances.

“We strongly believe that those utterances, sometimes from the pulpit, helped in turning what was presented as a patriotic undertaking Into a religious and regional conflict as we are witnessing now.”

According to him, the aforementioned scenario is clearly seen in places such as Apo and Dutsen Alhaji in Abuja, Port Harcourt in Rivers State, Sabon Gari in Kano State, Abia in Abia State, and various locations in Lagos State.

He said: “There were attacks on Muslim businesses in Jos, the Plateau State capital, including a branch of Jaiz Bank Plc, an lslamic bank. In Kano, many shops were looted and razed, including a newly opened Galaxy Mall on Igbo Road.

“In Lagos, prominent Muslims were attacked and their businesses torched. The Oba of Lagos had to be rescued out of his palace and the building looted and razed down. it is not difficult to see the motives of the mob.”

The organisation stressed that it would no longer fold its arms and “watch others taking monopoly of violence by attacking innocent citizens around the country”.

“We invite Nigerians and the international community to observe the deliberate and provocative attacks on security personnel and national assets.

“This is an act of economic sabotage and a clear invitation to anarchy by the so-called protesters and their sponsors, and the massive attack on Lagos businesses and infrastructure is a clear testimony to this,” the secretary-general added.

The organisation, however, commiserated with families of victims who lost their lives during the protest.

“We condole with the families of the deceased police officers and all other victims who lost their lives in the hands of the callous protesters.

“We condemn in strong terms the barbaric way in which some of these security personnel were killed for no offence other than serving their country,” the secretary-general added.

He, therefore, advised governments at all levels to take decisive steps to ensure a cessation of the ongoing atrocities and bring to justice all those who have hands in the attacks on innocent citizens.

“Government must live up to its responsibility of safeguarding the lives and property of all citizens, wherever they may be.

“All those who were affected should be adequately compensated, and killers of those who died must be brought to justice in an open and transparent manner.

“The reforms for the Nigerian Police Force as announced by the government must be holistic, taking into cognizance the genuine concerns raised by Nigerians to ensure we have a police that meets citizens’ aspirations,” he said.

The SCSN further called on the international community to be impartial and committed to truth and fairness in taking positions on issues affecting Nigeria.

“We are deeply concerned about the one-sided positions often taken by Nigerian allies, such as the UK, US, Canada etc, without recourse to verifiable evidence,” the organisation added.

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