Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has petitioned Inspector General of Police and Director of Department of Security Service, DSS over the recent arson and murder of Muslims in the South-East and South-South allegedly triggered by Rev Fr Godfrey Igwebuike Onah’s hateful sermon recently.

The Muslim apex body in a petition filed by the Deputy Secretary-General, Prof. Salisu Shehu said there were reported cases of violent assaults being unleashed on the Muslims in some parts of the zones.

He added that some Muslims were killed and their property worth billions of Naira were looted, vandalized or set on fire, adding that Mosques including very ancient ones built by indigenous Igbo Muslims were burnt.

According to NSCIA, “The Director-General may recall our letter dated 6 Rabiul-Awwal, 1441 AH (23 October 2020) wherein we implored the State Security Service to specially protect the lives, property and places of worship of Muslims living in the South-East and South-South.

In the said letter we informed you about the violent assaults being unleashed on the Muslims in some parts of the zones. Some were killed and their property worth billions of Naira were looted, vandalized or set on fire. Mosques including very ancient ones built by Indigenous Igbo Muslims were burnt. Rather than abating, the persecution and violence against Muslims in the said two zones have persisted with greater intensity.

“On Saturday, 31 October, 2020, as a result of a hateful and inciteful sermon, full of lies and fallacies, delivered by one Bishop, Reverend Father Godfrey Igwebuike Onah, some Christian bigots unleashed violent and virulent attack on Muslims in Nsukka and burnt their Mosques. We are yet to confirm the number of casualties. In the sermon attached, it was clear that the Bishop instigated the worshippers against Mosques and Muslims.

“It would therefore require any disagreement, no matter how minute, to execute the premeditated havoc wreaked on the Muslims in the two zones.

“The recurrence of these kinds of incessant arson and massacre of Muslims in the South-East and South-South if left unchecked could surely ignite reprisals in other parts of the country, especially the North. It has therefore become imperatively urgent to proactively bring an end to these criminalities.

“In view of the above, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), on behalf of the entire Nigerian Muslim Ummah hereby reiterates our call on you Sir, to rise up to this challenge and protect the lives and property of Muslims in the South-East and South-South as bonafide citizens of Nigeria who should live peacefully in any part of the Country.

“Specifically, we also implore you to as a matter of urgency interrogate Reverend Father Godfrey Igwebuike Onah on his hate speech, inciteful sermon of lies fabricated to provoke hatred for the Muslims. May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” NSCIA said.