The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has cried out to the Lagos State government (LASG) in particular and other South West states to avert looming religious crisis in the sub-region.
According to a statement issued last night by the Director of MURIC, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, traditional worshippers are set to observe today (Monday) as Isheshe Day thereby declaring a general curfew to restrict movements of the people.
The organisation warned that the curfew may cause serious friction as Muslims throughout the country will be celebrating Eid-el- Kabir on Tuesday and millions of Muslims are already moving from one part of the country to the other.
Akintola, described the curfew imposed by Oro worshippers as illegal, unlawful, illegitimate and unconstitutional. It is calculated to cause a breach of the peace. Oro worshippers are deliberately looking for trouble.
“Chapter 4 Section 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) says, ‘Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry or exit there from.’
“Besides, only the state government on the advice of the state commissioner of police can impose curfew on a town. Even then, such imposition must be based on adverse security report,” he said.
Speaking further, the MURIC director lamented that traditionalists are taking the law into their hands, adding that they have become another government on their own.
“It is not only cowardly but hypocritical to look the other way when one lawless group takes actions that are indubitably ultra vires while the same governments threaten hell and brimstone when other groups attempt to claim their Allah-given fundamental rights. Are we to assume that the only language which our state governments understand is force?
“For the avoidance of doubts, MURIC is not averse to the declaration of a day for traditionalists. We made this clear in our statement issued on 10th May, 2018. We believe in equal rights. What we oppose is a situation whereby one religious group lords it over another. Traditionalists must respect the law.”
The group therefore called on the governors of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun and Ekiti states to call traditional worshippers to order, adding that traditionalists must be held responsible should any Muslim be attacked by those who want to illegally restrict his or her movement.