OYO, Nigeria – Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has expressed anger over the alleged killing and attacks on Muslims in Oyo State.
The group called for the arrest of one Ojo Akinlabi for allegedly killing Pa Taiwo Biliaminu, a septuagenarian.
The suspect allegedly attacked the deceased with an axe and dealt him several blows from the weapon on 23rd October, 2019.
The victim was rushed to the hospital but he gave up the ghost on 29th October, 2019. The incident occurred at Fiditi, Afijio Local Government of Oyo State.
The call for arrest was made on Tuesday, in a press statement issued by MURIC’s director Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The group accused Ojo Akinlabi of thuggery, hooliganism, brigandage and premeditated murder.
He added, “Ojo Akinlabi is a Muslim hater and a social nuisance. He is a threat to his community. He attacks Muslims at will. The list of his Muslim victims include Miss Simiat of Abese family, whom he allegedly raped to death in 2008; Alhaji Hamza Adebiyi whom he attacked and whose house he vandalized in 2017 and Rafiu Olaojo whom he attacked with a cutlass in October 2019.
“Furthermore, the suspect attacked Taofeek Oyekola, the Imam of Agbongbon Omodeni Mosque, vandalized his house, hacked down wooden windows and pursued the residents. He also destroyed foodstuff in the shop outside the house (raw rice, beans, gari and oil). However, his attempt to burn down the house failed
“Ojo Akinlabi has threatened to kill all Muslims in Fiditi. All his victims so far are Muslims. He also insists that he does not want to see any mosque in the town. Muslims in the area live in palpable fear and the mosque has been deserted. The suspect is a notorious cultist who initiates people by force at his shrine which is situated behind the Yehoyeho House.
“As a peace-loving, law-abiding and dialogue-inclined group, we are using this medium to appeal to the Oyo State Police Command to rise to the occasion. The police at Fiditi Police Station had forwarded the report of the murder of Pa Taiwo Biliaminu to Iyaganku Police Headquarters, Ibadan since 1st November, 2019. It appears Fiditi police find it difficult to apprehend the suspect. The responsibility must fall squarely on the state police command.
“For the umpteenth time, MURIC is reporting another case of reckless killing, physical assault, vandalisation of property and harassment of Muslims by traditionalists in South West Nigeria. Yet we are the same Muslims who have been wrongly portrayed in certain quarters as terrorists, fundamentalists, extremists and violent people. There has been no single incident of Muslims hitting back at their traducers in the sub-region. It now appears we are being pushed to the wall.
“We are therefore constrained to request the immediate intervention of the Inspector General of Police (IG), particularly because attacks on Muslims and their properties has spread across all the states in the South West. Muslims have become endangered species. We need protection for ourselves, our mosques and our properties. It is our belief that this and other press statements will be used as evidence in future to show how patient Muslims have been in spite of repeated attacks on us. It will also be used against those who fail to take action.
“Yet contrary to Fidel Castro’s postulate that it is illegal to be law abiding in a lawless society and Nelson Mandela’s submission that when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty, we remain faithful to MURIC’s avowed motto : ‘Dialogue, No Violence’ in the hope that the IG will change the narrative.
“We remind the Nigeria Police of the words of Albert Einstein that the world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything. Martin Luther had argued that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
“In conclusion, we charge the Oyo State Commissioner of Police to send officers and men who are capable of restoring law and order by bringing Ojo Akinlabi to justice. In addition, we appeal to the IG to investigate the cause of police unwillingness to bring our attackers to book and thereafter, to take such measures that will ensure prompt and proportionate action against anyone who attacks people of other faiths or destroys their properties in future.”