*MURIC SLAMS CLARK OVER MOSQUE FURORE IN DELTA*
in Kiagbodo community, the hometown of elder statesmen, Senator Edwin
Clark, in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, have partly
destroyed a mosque being built by an indigene, Mallam Abubakar Korokeme.
The mosque was attacked overnight last Sunday.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has slammed Chief Edwin Clark for
speareheading an anti-Muslim campaign in the community. The Islamic
human rights organization put the lion’s share of the blame on the elder
statesman. This was contained in a press statement released by the
Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Monday, 9th September,
“The buck stops at Chief Edwin Clark’s table. He is
respected in the area and in the whole state and his opinion holds sway.
Edwin Clark is well educated and widely exposed. He is a former
senator. He is supposed to know better. How can he argue that a mosque
could not be allowed in his community because it is a predominantly
Christian environment? Is that what the Nigerian Constitution say? Is
Clark telling us that even as an ex-senator, he does not know that there
is freedom of religion?
“Senator Edwin Clark has disappointed
us. There is no continent in the world that Clark has not visited. He
saw mosques in Texas. He saw mosques in Toronto. He has been to Britain
and the latter has different types of mosques. Yet these are Christian
countries. You can see the dilemma facing Nigeria. It is the literati
who are misleading ordinary folks.
“Come to think of it. Abubakar
Korokeme is an indigene of the community. Yet his people will not allow
him to build a mosque. The mosque is not just on the street but right
inside Abubakar’s private compound. Yet elders in the community led by
Chief Edwin Clark goaded Christian youths to anger against an innocent
man just because he is a Muslim. We know how this game is played. The
elders should stop blaming the youth. Chief Edwin Clark should take a
look at the mirror. What he sees is a Muslim-hater.
“MURIC is not
unaware that more than 80% of the churches in the North are built by
nonindigenes. Yet Christians in Delta State will not allow a mosque
being constructed by an indigene to stand. They pulled down a section of
the mosque hiding under the excuse that it might be used by herdsmen as
a base in the community. That excuse is most laughable, most
mischievous and highly untenable.
“We call on the whole world to
see how Muslims are being treated in their own country and on their own
land in Delta State. Even in Rivers State, Islamophobia is the norm. We
charge all world organisations to note who is manifesting religious
“Just last week, a whole governor supervised the
demolition of Trans-Amadi Central Mosque in Port Harcourt. Then he took
journalists there by himself to stage a hocus pocus of a press briefing
in which he claimed no mosque ever existed at the spot. Well, Asari
Dokubo’s video clip has exposed all that as sheer executive abracadabra.
does not forget because today was born from the wombs of yesterday. We
are placing it on record that Nigerian Christians were the first to
start demolishing mosques, first in Port Harcourt in Rivers State and
then in Kiagbodo, Delta State.
“We have appealed to Muslims
particularly in Northern Nigeria to resist the temptation to retaliate
and they have listened to us. We repeat our appeal today. Leave the
churches alone. Touch no Christian. Those who demolished our mosques are
not true believers in the Almighty God. They are haters of their fellow
“We urge Governor Ifeanyi Okonwa of Delta State to give
adequate protection to Muslims in the state as it is already clear that
they are living in the midst of foes. The world is watching.
assure the minority Muslim families in Delta, Rivers and other places
that we are with them in these trying moments. They should to continue
to uphold the integrity of Islam, to remain strong in faith, persevering
and patriotic. We ask them to ponder over the words of Allah, ‘So do
not lose heart. Do not fall into despair because you will triumph if
indeed you are Muminuun (faithful)’.
“By the same token, we
charge the Commissioner of Police to do the needful. Muslims in the
state have become endangered species. They need protection and the
police must rise to the occasion. They are tax-payers too and they have
Allah-given fundamental human rights which are now being trampled upon
with impunity. We demand police action. Those who destroyed part of the
mosque must be arrested and charged to court for trespass, wilful damage
and acts capable of causing breach of the peace.
“We have a
message for the American Congress. You have invited Christian leaders
and clerics from Nigeria to address Congress after making false
allegations about Christians being killed in our country. When will you
give Muslim leaders and Imams the same opportunity to state their own
side of the story. Or is that not the way, fairness and equity go? Is
democracy about partiality and exclusivity? Or is the American Congress
allergic to the presence of Muslim clerics?
“As we rise from
this session, we appeal to Muslims nationwide to exercise utmost
patience. They should remain calm and law-abiding. We must not allow any
form of violence to erupt because Nigeria needs peace to develop. The
programmes of the present administration cannot succeed in a turbulent
atmosphere. Those who are engineering hatred for Muslims and fanning the
embers of religious war wish to see Nigeria go up in flames. They are
waiting to see Muslims retaliate so they can launch another bloodletting
crusade. We must disappoint them.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)