Igbo Muslims Speak Up Against Political Exclusion

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Igbo Muslims under the auspices of the South Eastern Muslims Organization of Nigeria (SEMON) has condemned their marginalization and exclusion from the political scene calling on the Federal Government and the South Eastern governments to rise up to the challenge.

The group made this known in Abuja after a one-day conference for Igbo Muslims of Nigeria, in a bid to examine the past, present and future of Igbo Muslims in Nigeria especially in relation to the socio-political, ethnocentric, economical and religious challenges they face.

Present at the Conference which held at the National Mosque Complex, Abuja were renowned Igbo Muslim technocrats, scholars and professionals who observed that the greatest challenge which is faced by the Igbo Muslims is their total exclusion from the political scheme in Nigeria.

They observed that since the creation of Nigeria in 1914, more than 100 years ago, Igbo Muslims have not benefitted anything from the Federal Government of Nigeria.

According to them, the Governments of States of South East geopolitical zone of Nigeria do not even recognize the existence of Muslims of Igbo extraction, thus “no single plan for them”, politically and socio-economically.

They observed with consternation, what they term the calculated plan by the Governments to make them irrelevant as second-class citizens in Nigeria.

The Conference observed with dissatisfaction the non-participation of Ndigbo Muslims in Nigerian politics.

However, the non-participation was linked to the unfavourable political climate for them in their hometowns and lack of support from their politically influential brethren outside Igboland.

While calling for the unification of Igbo Muslims and the need to speak in one voice in order to demand, like other minority existences, for their legitimate rights as citizens in Nigeria, they resolved that the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Governments of their South-eastern States of Nigeria should be adequately informed on the political exclusion of Igbo Muslims in Nigeria.
Igbo Muslims were also encouraged to join politics, aspire and contest for every possible position during the general elections, including the position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Governorship, National and State Assembly positions, as well as Local Government and Councillorship.

“A situation where no appointment is allocated to Igbo Muslims by the Federal and State governments after every general election is unacceptable and condemnable,” the group said.

The Conference commended the leadership of the SEMON and the efforts for Islam and Muslims in Igboland by the elder Igbo Muslims, President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts in developing Nigeria.

They want him to remain focused in the fight against corruption and to be detribalized in his appointments even while putting merit above other considerations.

They further urged the Southeast governors and local government chairmen to protect members of the Muslim minority and their worship places and carry them along in the socio-political and economic arrangements for their citizens without discrimination against Muslims.

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