In a front page lead story (without a by-line) published in Sunday Tribune of December 28, 2014 and entitled ‘Division Within Core North
Widens’, the Ibadan-based newspaper claimed that “the elite and opinion leaders among the Hausa Fulani stock are split down the line about who to support between the two major contenders (President Goodluck Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari). The newspaper went further to state that “the elites who lined up behind General Buhari included the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar who is leading some northern Emirs; 11 Arewa turks, led by former minister Mallam Nasir El-Rufai; four core northern Governors led by Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State and a loose coalition of clerics said to be linked to various street groups across the northern region...”
Under the same news headline, Tribune came up with a sub-heading entitled ‘South-West Muslim Council Backs GEJ’, and quoted one Mallam Hakeem Adelani who it called the Secretary-General of the ‘Muslim Council’ as saying that since ‘Yoruba Muslims were not goats and rams’ they would rather vote for Jonathan than Buhari’. The quoted fake secretary was also reported to have said that a Mosque to Mosque campaign would soon commence in the region to sensitize the Muslim Ummah towards the clandestine political agenda of some evil politicians who want to use the name of Islam for their evil machinations.
The concern of the Muslim Ummah of Southwest Nigeria (MUSWEN) here is not about Nigeria’s political murky water in which some dirty elements in the society are swimming, but about the smearing tendency of some dirty minds in the region who think they can drag Islam and some highly placed Nigerian Muslims into their murky water.
In view of the above, therefore, the following clarifications are necessary:
1. MUSWEN is the main umbrella of all the Muslim organizations in the Southwest region and it does not have the so-called ‘Muslim Council’ (of no particular State) on its membership list.
2. MUSWEN is the only Muslim body authorized to speak for the entire Muslims in the Southwest through its Executive Secretary, Professor D.O.S. Noibi or its Media Consultant, Alhaji Femi Abbas.
3. Any other person or persons claiming to be speaking on behalf of the Southwest Muslims can only be a fraudster using a Muslim name to tarnish the image of Islam in the region.
4. The fictitious name called Hakeem Adelani said to be Secretary-General of the Council is not known to MUSWEN or recognized by any of its member organizations in the region.
5. MUWEN is neither a political body affiliated to any political figure or party in the country nor is it involved directly or indirectly in Nigerian partisan politics.
6. As a credible religious body which fervently believes in freedom of expression and association, MUSWEN has never and will not be involved in partisan politics let alone influence the electorate’s voting rights along religious line.
7. The frivolous statement published by Tribune in the name of the Southwest Muslims is therefore a mere fabrication by enemies of Islam aimed at subjecting the name of the highly revered religious body to ridicule.
8. Consequently, MUSWEN calls particularly on all Muslims in the Southwest region and the country in general to ignore the insensitive and irresponsible statement reported in the cited Sunday Tribune and credited to a fictitious Mallam Hakeem Adelani who may be non-existent in reality.
9. Meanwhile, MUSWEN hereby calls on the federal government once again to urgently address all forms of insecurity in the land with particular attention to the socio-economic sources of unrest by taking bold and practical steps towards stamping out corruption and indiscipline through the leadership’s personal examples and thereby strengthen God’s consciousness in all Nigerians.
10. Finally, MUSWEN admonishes all Nigerian politicians to refrain from heating up the polity through incendiary utterances and public actions in their campaigns towards the elections that will begin in February 2015 and remember that there can be a Nigeria to be called their country only if there is peace. God save Nigeria!
Femi Abbas Media
MUSWEN Media Consultant