The Muslims of the Southwest of Nigeria (MUSWEN) and the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria in Lagos State have bemoaned the idea of ‘Oduduwa Republic’ or any other act that may amount to secession from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
MUSWEN, in a statement, said if there are any national issues that require resolution in Nigeria, at this time, the only path to tread is that of dialogue and not secession.
The statement reads in part: “MUSWEN thinks that there are better options of righting any perceived wrong than to throw a troubled pebble into a pacific brook as a way of compounding the restive situation in which Nigeria finds herself today.
“From all indications, the timing, method and modality of the alleged proposal of ‘Oduduwa Republic’ (if it is true), is tendentiously suspicious especially when virtually all the proponents of that idea are from a particular religion.
“Such a move only has the tendency to give an impression that a hidden agenda to establish a theocratic republic, in Yoruba land, with the aim of engendering an unwarranted sectarian war against adherents of a perceived discordant faith, is in the front burner, awaiting execution at an unpredictable cost.
“Much as MUSWEN does not want this suspicion to germinate and grow sprouting foliages of fright among the millions of Muslims in the Southwest of Nigeria, the peculiarity of its design, as well as the seeming impunity with which its proponents are going about it may open door for distrust and spark off unpredictable sectarian hostilities within the same tribe.
“If this kind of proposal had been embarked upon, exclusively, by Muslims in the region, the usual noise of ‘islamization’ would have uncontrollably throbbed the media waves by now.
“It is easy to initiate the beginning of war and trumpet its sadistic lyrics. But what may eventually be the end of such a war is quite beyond the predictability of any individual or group.
“As the apex of body of millions of Muslims who love and adhere tenaciously to the chord of peace, MUSWEN would rather admonish against any clandestine action that can snowball into disharmony as now being planned by some groups, who are desperately propelling their own docket to the detriment of others,” it stated.
Meanwhile, the students, under the aegis of Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria in Lagos State, have faulted the call for secession and the Oduduwa Republic.
In a statement by the Amir (president) of MSSN Lagos State Area Unit, Miftahudeen Thanni, the students described the call for secession as a “nation killer”.
While speaking on behalf of the students, Thanni warned those nursing the idea to “immediately bury it”, noting that it may result in many people losing their lives.
“We are not ready to lose our members and there is no joy embarking on a killer mission. The agitators should please stop it and find another means to enrich themselves,” he cautioned.
The students’ leader further explained that South-West needed collaboration among its governors to develop without seceding from the entire nation.
He said, “We are not ready for another civil war or series of bloody clashes in the South-West. We are all living witnesses to what is happening in the South-East region. Our focus should be on how to collaborate and build on our diversity.
“There has been reasonable growth and development in South-West compared to other parts of the country. It betrays reasonable thinking to hear that we want to create a problem that never existed.
“We vehemently reject this secessional move and selfish desire of a few persons who want to damage the peace enjoyed in the South-West. Those nursing the ambition are our enemies trying to cause commotion, riot, and crisis, and destabilise the entire country.”
While emphasising the importance of unity, Thanni explained that people around the world cherished South-West region in Nigeria because of its ability to manage diversity.He also explained that division is against the teachings of Islam, adding that Nigeria needed South-West’s co-operation now than ever.
“Many people around the world cherish South-West because of our ability to manage diversity and maintain peaceful co-existence. In fact, many people leave the North and other southern regions to the South-West because of our coordination and unity, Why do some minorities think they can reverse this overnight?
“As Muslims, we have been taught that humans are created in tribes and nations and we must not despise each other. We say no to secession or the Oduduwa Republic. South-West no be South-East!”