ISLAMIC body the Muslim Rights Concern (Muric) has expressed its opposition to the creation of a breakaway Oduduwa Republic in southwest Nigeria pointing out that if this happens the Muslim minority will face persecution.
In response to the ongoing violence perpetuated by Fulani cattle herdsmen from northern Nigeria, calls for the balkanisation of the country have grown. In southwest Nigeria there have been calls for the creation of Oduduwa Republic, while in southeast Nigeria, agitations for the recreation of the defunct Republic of Biafra are ongoing.
Expressing its objections to calls, Muric said Yoruba Muslims may face persecution if Oduduwa Republic is actualised. Muric director Professor Ishaq Akintola, alleged that Muslims in the southern part of Nigeria were already suffering marginalisation.
Reacting to a Muslim parent who withdrew his daughter from the Obafemi Awolowo University, following harassment by a female lecturer for wearing a hijab, Professor Akintola called on the authorities to investigate the circumstances that led to the incident. He added that the harassment was an indication of what Muslim students go through with Christian civil servants and lecturers in the southern part of the country.
Professor Akintola added: “One of the Obafemi Awolowo International School teachers, Mrs Adeyemo, has allegedly harassed a female Muslim student of the school. This intimidation has made the girl’s parents to withdraw her from the school.
“The girl who was in the habit of using her hijab from home and removing it at the school’s gate was harassed by Mrs Adeyemo. This is another example of the persecution of Muslim children in the hands of overzealous and intolerant Christian civil servants and teachers in the southwest.
“It is interesting that Mrs Adeyemo bears a Yoruba name, the female Muslim student is also a Yoruba girl. Will Yoruba Muslims not face worse persecution in the hands of Christians if the Yorubas eventually succeed in their plan to secede?
“Will the Muslims of Yorubaland enjoy any religious freedom if the proposed Oduduwa Republic becomes a reality? The interesting thing is that Muslims only suffer like this in the southern part of Nigeria.”