The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) on Tuesday described a statement credited to former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, that Fulanization and Islamisation of West Africa is the main reason for Boko Haram insurgency, kidnapping and banditry.
Obasanjo had on Saturday, claimed that “Fulanization and Islamization of West Africa” is the reason for Boko Haram insurgency, kidnapping and banditry. The former President was a guest speaker at the second session of the Synod of Anglican Dioceses held at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Oleh in Isoko Local Government of Delta State.
Obasanjo, while speaking on the topic “Mobilizing Nigeria’s human and natural resources for national development and stability”, said:
“They are now combined and internationalized with ISIS in control. It is no longer an issue of lack of education and lack of employment for our youths in Nigeria which it began as, it is now West African fulanization, African Islamization and global organized crimes of human trafficking, money laundering, drug trafficking, gun trafficking, illegal mining and regime change.
“Yet, we could have dealt with both earlier, and nip them in the bud, but Boko Haram boys were seen as rascals not requiring serious attention in administering holistic measures of stick and carrot. And when we woke up to the reality, it was turned to industry for all and sundry to supply materials and equipment that were already outdated and that were not fit for active military purpose.
But the Muslim students, while reacting, said that the statement relating the crimes to Islam, most especially coming from a former head of State and former President, “is not only reckless, it is unpatriotic and uncalled for”.
The students, in a statement signed by Qaasim Odedeji (Amir/Zonal Coordinator), Abdul Jalil Abdul Rasaq (Zonal Secretary) and Bashir Momoh (Public Relations Officer) of the MSSN B Zone, on Tuesday, insisted that insurgency, kidnapping, banditry, drug trafficking being perpetrated across all states in Nigeria and by people of different religions and tribes, have no basis in Islam and have nothing to do with Islam and Muslims.
“MSSN B- Zone believes that the statement relating the crimes to Islam, and most especially coming from a former head of State and former President, is not only reckless, but it is also unpatriotic and uncalled for.
“If despite the incomparable loss of lives by Muslims in the Boko Haram insurgency and other criminal activities, people like Obasanjo still find it difficult to believe that the crimes have no way in Islam and can go ahead to associate them to Islam, it is most unfortunate and highly disappointing, to say the least.
“If we must remind Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, perhaps he has forgotten, his regime as President of Nigeria gave rise to regional insurgency such as Niger/Delta militancy and Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) with the militants being mainly southern Christians, yet, nobody ascribed the militancy to ‘CHRISTIANIZATION’
“Also considering where Obasanjo chose to make the reckless statement, the congregation being purely southern Christians, it shows Obasanjo deliberately made the wrong assertion to instigate tribal and religious crisis. This is worrisome and unbecoming of somebody of Obasanjo’s status as former head of State.
“In the circumstance, MSSN B-Zone condemns in the strongest term the statement made by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo claiming what he called ISLAMIZATION as the reason for boko haram insurgency and other criminal activities.
“We want to state it for the umpteenth time that insurgency, kidnapping, banditry, drug trafficking been perpetrated across all states in Nigeria and by people of different religions and tribes, have no basis in Islam and have nothing to do with Islam and Muslims.
“We call on Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to be careful in his statements and stop making statements defamatory and indicting of Islam and Muslims in Nigeria in order not to put Nigeria in an avoidable tribal and religious crisis.
“We finally call on well-meaning Nigeria and the international community to call Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to order in his reckless statement capable of throwing Nigeria into conflict. As an old man and a former President of the country, he should be more patriotic and concentrate on actions that can bind Nigeria together rather than those that can break it,” MSSN said.