This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
MURIC CONDEMNS MASQUERADE ATTACK ON PRIEST
MURIC CONDEMNS MASQUERADE ATTACK ON
A Catholic seminarian,
Lawrence Ezeugwu, was attacked by masquerades in Nsukka on Wednesday, 29th
March, 2017. The Catholic priest was beaten to coma by a group of masquerades popularly
called Oriokpa who blocked the road at Ugwuoyia, Nsukka.
Rights Concern (MURIC) condemns this wanton exhibition of religious extremism
by traditionalists. It is crude, barbaric and symptomatic of thuggery and
We call the attention of the Federal Government of Nigeria
(FG) to the excesses of traditionalists particularly in Southern Nigeria. Even
in the South West, the Oro cult worshippers behave as if they are above the
law. Traditionalists impose illegal curfew without being challenged by the authorities.
A good example is the curfew imposed by Oro cultists in
Ikorodu, Lagos State, during the last Ramadan season which nearly caused a
violent clash between Muslims and traditionalists. It is well known that
Muslims shuttle between the mosques and their homes day and night during
Ramadan. The imposition of a curfew during such a period was not only illegal
but also provocative.
Although the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria Section 38 (i) & (ii) guarantees freedom of religion thereby empowering
traditionalists to freely practice their faith, it does not allow one group to
laud it over another. The right of traditionalists to religious freedom stops
where it begins to encroach on others’ rights and vice versa.
For genuine and enduring peace, Nigerians must learn to
respect one anothers’ rights. This country has witnessed too many human and
material losses as a result of religious crisis and the only way to guard
against recurrence is for the authorities to strictly apply sanctions against
those who violate the sanctity of religious freedom.
therefore appeals to the Inspector General of Police (IG) to ensure that the
masquerades who attacked the Catholic priest are duly punished. State and local
governments must also ban illegal proclamation of curfews by cultists.
Anything short of these will be an invitation to chaos as citizens
who are conscious of their right to freedom of movement as stipulated in
Section 41 (i) of the 1999 Constitution may be tempted to challenge any illegal
imposition of curfew and defend themselves.
Finally, we remind the security agencies that they have a
big role to play in this issue because it is becoming glaring that cultists are
getting more daring due to the nonchalant attitude of security agents. The
police and other security agents need to be more proactive. They should stop
any illegally imposed curfew in the interest of law and order instead of
folding their hands watching how different religious groups slog it out.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)