The ‘leader’ of the Amotekun security outfit has allegedly asked all Hausa/Fulani citizens resident in the South West to quit within seven days. An online media house (https://www.naijagist.com.ng/all-hausa-fulani-should-leave-lagos-state-within-7days/?fbclid=IwAR2KI2IrJj726E_Jqqhs3oTu2wUqdLlM41pLOCn-tQuw1sFhdf-mnTM_LxE) quoted the Amotekun leader as saying that the pipeline explosion which occurred last week at Abule Ado in Lagos State was an act of terror perpetrated by the Hausa/Fulani.
But an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has rejected the report. MURIC described it as fake news and asked Nigerians to ignore the story. This was contained in a press statement issued by Dr. Sidiq Okanlawon Uthman media aide to the director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
“It is fake news. We call on Nigerians to ignore the report. There is no such thing. How can anybody attribute an obvious accident along the pipelines to innocent citizens? It doesn’t add up. It is laughable, ludicrous and comical. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) gave a graphic picture of what happened exactly. According to the NNPC, a truck hit gas cylinders which exploded and oil pipelines later caught fire. How does that resemble terrorism?
“NNPC has all the tools for the investigation and we stand by NNPC’s story. It is credible. The allegation of an act of terrorism by the Hausa/Fulani resident in Lagos is false, baseless and unacceptable. Where is their proof? We also have strong doubts about the authenticity of the statement credited to the Amotekun leader.
“Why was the leader’s name not mentioned? Who actually made the allegation? We urge Nigerians, especially Lagosians to go about their legitimate businesses without any fear. Amotekun leaders know the consequences of such a quit notice. Apart from being illegal, it will definitely elicit backlashes in the form of retaliation against Yoruba citizens in the North. At worst, it is sheer grandstanding. Note that a similar quit notice was given to the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, last week as he was asked to leave Lagos.
“We have no scintilla of doubt that Yoruba Muslims have no hand in such acts of hostility against Hausa/Fulani, Igbo or any other tribe who reside in the South West. Islam recognizes the unity of all mankind. We, therefore, urge the various ethnic groups living in the South West to eschew bitterness towards one another.
“In particular, we urge the various Islamic organizations in the South West to speak up on the threats being issued against the Hausa/Fulani by Amotekun handlers. This is important in view of the fact that Muslims form a majority of the population in the sub-region. Silence over the threats and intimidation is tantamount to endorsement. It is time for Islamic organizations in Yorubaland to speak out.
“By the way, is this part of the hidden agenda in the Amotekun scheme? We said so earlier. There is more to the Amotekun project than meet the eye. Unfortunately, governors in the region have not given enough thought to the idea before plunging headlong into it. There must be a rethink now that Amotekun ideologues have started revealing their real color.
“MURIC appeals to the press to maintain the ethics of the profession. This particular story has all the paraphernalia of fake news. A volatile statement is attributed to a faceless Amotekun leader. His name is not mentioned. That is sensationalization. It is designed to create panic.
“We charge the security agencies to be more proactive. We urge more vigilance around all non-indigenes because every Nigerian citizen has the right to live or do business anywhere in the country.”
Dr. Sidiq Okanlawon Uthman
Media Aide to the Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)