The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has asked Nigeria’s security agencies to produce Ustadh AbdulmGaniy Jumah and his wife, Shakirah, who were reportedly whisked away at gun point in Ogun State in the early hours of Saturday.
A press statement by Professor Ishaq Akintola, the Director of MURIC, said the two were seized from from their family home at Fagbemi Street, Off Ntabo Bus Stop, Ijoko, near Sango in Ado Odo Ota Local Government, at about 3 am.
“Although the abductors were said to be soldiers who came in three vehicles including a jeep, a bus and a van, none of them wore the army uniform,” the statement said. “None of the neighbours could pick the vehicles’ plate numbers due to shock and confusion. Ustadh Abdul Ganiyy owns an Arabic school (modrasat) and teaches both working class and school children in Arabic and Islamic Studies in the area. Their whereabouts have since remained unknown.”
Charging the security agents to produce the Islamic scholar and his wife whose abduction it said has started creating tension among Muslims throughout the South West, MURIC warned that nothing warrants such a night invasion, given that there is no state of emergency in the region.
“We demand the immediate release of the Muslim couple or their arraignment in court within 48 hours of arrest according to the provisions of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the statement said.
“We suspect that this may be the beginning of a crackdown on scholars of Islam in Yorubaland in particular and the whole Southern Nigeria in general as part of the silent war on Islam in Western-dominated parts of the world.”
It explained that this suspicion is informed by the allegation that another Lagos-based Islamic scholar, Razaq Gawat, a very popular Lagos-based Islamic socialite and televangelist, also disappeared his disappearance is yet to be explained since about 14 months ago.
MURIC recalled that millions of Muslims were killed in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, and Muslims in Myanmar also burned in public and their homes destroyed in 2013.
“Anti-Balaka Christian militants also recently hunted down, slaughtered or roasted hundreds of Muslims in the Central African Republic. In July this year, China banned fasting among Muslims. A blind, intolerant and anti-Muslim climate pervades the globe.
“Yet while everybody is talking about peace, nobody is talking about justice. MURIC reminds Nigerian authorities that justice is the soul of peace. The same natural law of justice which stipulates that nobody can eat his cake and have it provides that nobody can deny one (justice) and still enjoy the other (peace).”
The group further stated that the “ongoing massacre of Muslims” by Nigeria’s Boko Haram may be an orchestrated campaign being waged by unscrupulous elements in disguise with the aim of drastically reducing the population of Muslims in the country.
Cautioning Nigerian security agencies to desist from actions capable of generating tension, it called for the immediate and unconditional release of the cleric and his wife, adding that they should be charged to a competent court of law if they are suspected of committing any crime.
MURIC said it was not foreclosing the possibility of the abductors of the Muslim couple being operatives of a criminal group, but that the onus is on the security agents to find them.
“We alert the Ogun State Government to this dangerous development,” it said. “We appeal to Ogun State House of Assembly and the National Assembly to wade into the matter. The people’s representatives must show concern when innocent citizens start disappearing.”