The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) and Miyetty-Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) have condemned the attacks on Muslim communities in Nsukka, Enugu on Saturday.
Trouble started when a Muslim woman, identified as Aisha selling tomato, took a commercial tricycle, popularly known as Keke Napep, from a village market to her shop in the town and argument ensued between her and the driver over her transport fare.
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It was reported that Aisha refused to pay the rider the agreed transport fare of N750, saying the charge was much. This disagreement sparked exchange of words and subsequently attracted a crowd.
It was gathered that while people were trying to find a common ground, Aisha placed a call to her brothers, who in turn came in their numbers.
It reported that one of Aisha’s brothers, whom she called for help, stabbed the tricycle rider on the chest.
Youths of the area reportedly mobilised and launched a reprisal attack on Muslim communities and destroyed two mosques and other valuables belonging to the Muslims in the area.
Speaking to BBC Hausa on Monday, one of the leaders of northerners in the area, Muhammad Adam Yusuf said, “Most of us northerners are now in hiding in police custody, while many have already travelled to their states.
“Most shops belonging to our people including mine have been burgled and our wares carted away. Many have been wounded though none is reported dead so far.
“In fact, more than 90% of Hausas have emigrated, the few of us are now hiding in police custody,” Yusuf said.
The leader of Nsukka Muslim community, Alhaji Sani Ugwuanyi also told BBC Hausa that, “The two mosques, one for daily congregational prayers and the other one which is the central mosque here have both been destroyed.
“The entire structure of the first mosque has been completely destructed while the central mosque has been burnt down.
“There is also another Islamiyyah and Primary School that was also destructed,” he lamented.
When contacted, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Daniel Ndukwe said the force was not aware of the attacks but promised to investigate it.
MURIC, in a statement on Monday by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, called for a halt to the burning of mosques in the South East and South-South.
It also alleged that the only Islamic school in the whole of Eastern Nigeria located in Afikpo, Ebonyi State, is under palpable and severe threat of attack.
“The school management has received about three threat messages in the past one week alone. Attack on the school is imminent and the state government has not uttered a word.
“It will be recalled that 11 Muslims were killed during the #EndSARS protests in Port Harcourt and Orlu while the Orlu Central Mosque was completely destroyed barely two weeks ago.
“Markets belonging to Muslims in the region were also attacked and properties worth millions of naira were destroyed, including whole trailers with the goods.
The organization appealed to the governors of Eastern and South-South states and the Inspector General of Police to protect Muslims as well as their corporate and individual properties in the region.
MACBAN leader in the South-East Zone, Alhaji Gidado Sadikki, also condemned the attack. He, however, said cattle breeders have no problems with the Igbo people, especially those living in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State.
In an interview with Daily Trust on Monday, Sadikki said: “We have no problem with Igbo, especially the Igbo in the host community of Nsukka. After all, some Igbo in Nsukka are Muslims. Even the mosque that was razed was built by the Igbo Muslims in Nsukka. We have no problem with Enugu people.”