THE Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has accused Ayodele Fayose, governor of Ekiti state, of plotting to set the country ablaze.
In a statement by Ishaq Akintola, director of the group, MURIC said its members had sighted “the governor’s bulldozers” around some mosques in the state.
The group had earlier raised the alarm that Fayose was plotting to demolish some mosque. Back then, it threatened to make the state ungovernable if such happened.
The governor later met with the group and the public believed that the matter had been resolved.
But Akintola has accused Fayose of breaching the truce reached three weeks ago. He alleged that Fayose was bent on removing all Islamic landmarks in the state.
“For reasons best known to him, Fayose wants to set Nigeria on fire. He knows that his action is capable of causing breach of peace yet he appears determined to go ahead,” Akintola said in a statement.
“This move is not only irrational but also highly provocative. Governor Fayose is deliberately provoking Muslims in Ekiti state and by inference, in Yorubaland and the country as a whole.
“Fayose has a phobia for Muslims and an allergy for seeing any Islamic monument in their neighbourhood. Fayose is determined to uproot every single Islamic landmark on Ekiti soil before his tenure expires in 2018.”
The group threatened violence if the governor were to go ahead with the demolition, saying, “nobody should blame Muslims for any breakdown of law and order if those mosques are demolished.”
“We are bewildered that the chief security officer of a state can be hell-bent on stoking religious riot in a country heavily beleaguered with religious conflicts,” the statement continued.
“Fayose’s belligerence and open display of hostility towards his Muslim citizens belies the perceived atmosphere of peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims in south-western Nigeria.
“Many people, including foreigners in the country, are under the impression that religious intolerance exists only in the northern part of the country.
“Nay, the truth of the matter is that Muslims in the region have been patiently bearing a long-drawn repression and denial of their Allah-given fundamental human rights.
“The reality on ground is that while a handful of Christians may be amenable to the idea of religious tolerance, many others like Fayose have a phobia for Muslims and an allergy for seeing any Islamic monument in their neighbourhood.”
It then called on traditional and religious leaders as well as well meaning Nigerians to intervene in the matter before “it gets out of hand.”
“MURIC calls the attention of leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to Fayose’s aggression against Muslims. We appeal to Western diplomats in the country to spare a little time to study the religious landscape in Yorubaland,” Akintola said.
“We charge leaders of the national assembly, lawmakers from Ekiti state and all men of goodwill to make Fayose see reason. We invite notable traditional rulers in Yorubaland, particularly the much revered Ooni of Ife and the Alaafin of Oyo to intervene in the matter before it gets out of hand.
“Finally, we warn that the fragile peace and one-sided religious ‘tolerance’ being enjoyed in the south-west may come under severe threat if Fayose carries out his threat to destroy those mosques.”
However, state government had justified its decision to demolish the mosques, saying that the mosques were not in right locations, and that worshippers could contract cancer as a result of radioactive emission from the petrol stations in which they are.
Lere Olayinka, spokesman of the governor, denied the allegation of his principal being against Muslims.
He said that the government was only acting in the interest of the people, to prevent loss of lives.