The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Dr. Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar has condemned the #EndSARS protests which he said had now turned into attacking on Muslims and their worshipping centres in some parts of the country, thereby threatening a religious war.
A statement today, October 23 by the Chairman of the Media Committee of the NSCIA, Femi Abbas, said: “the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs is well informed that the Muslims in those regions are now living in fear of uncertainty, having been marked for possible annihilation or massacre, for practicing a religion other than Christianity.
“The danger in this development is that a precedent is being aggressively set for a religious war, the consequences of which no one can predict with precision. The incidents that led to the current nationwide protests are well known and well defined.
“The attention of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), has been drawn to a dangerous trend recklessly emerging in certain parts of the South-East and South-South of Nigeria with unbridled impunity.
“From reliable information reaching the apex body of Nigerian Muslim Ummah, the current mass protests embarked upon by Nigerian youths across the country, seems to have assumed a dangerous religious posture as Mosques and Muslim worshippers are now the targets of protesters’ violence in those parts of the country.
“For instance, The Central Mosque of Orlu, in Imo State, was viciously attacked and burnt down last Wednesday (October 21, 2020) with one Muslim worshipper callously killed, while about four others were terribly injured by the so-called ‘peaceful protesters’. Those injured are now in hospital receiving treatment with little hope for survival.
“Before mayhem was fully unleashed on that Mosque, the personal belongings of the worshippers met therein were carted away in a gangsteric style of predators.
“Those incidents, which mainly concern Police brutality, have nothing to do with religion and Nigerian constitution guarantees freedom of worship in all parts of the country.
“Judging by many inciting utterances coming out of some houses of worship, in the name of sermon, in certain parts of the country, before the outbreak of the ongoing protests, the NSCIA had suspected that a hidden agenda was being built, in certain quarters, to engender a dubious insurrection that could serve as a precursor for a religious war in the land.”
NSCIA said as a country, Nigeria has enough political and economic problems to grapple with, already: “Therefore, adding any religious dimension to those problems may spell doom for this giant of Africa.”
It called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) on the dangerous development: “the escalation of which may precipitate a deleterious situation for Nigeria.
“In matters of provocation and aggression, the NSCIA has been patient enough, but it cannot be forced to go beyond its elasticity limit as an apex religious body with millions of worshippers as it’s members.”