By Yusuf Adua
Muslims in the South Eastern and South Southern part of Nigeria have cried out to the constituted authorities of the country for urgent intervention after Assabiquna Central Mosque, Nsuka, Enugu State was burnt down by unscrupulous religious bigots.
The mosque which also housed Assabiquna Islamic Academy, Nsuka, Enugu State was set ablaze yesterday afternoon following a seemingly inconsequential altercation that ensued between a tricycle driver and a Muslim passenger.
Our team of reporters who monitored the tragic development gathered that a Muslim lady boarded a Tricycle, Keke, of which the Keke driver charged her 250 naira but she pleaded she had only 150 naira and then got in. On getting to her destination which was Barracks Junction, Nsukka, the lady handed 150 Naira to the driver who insisted that the fare was 250 naira. Her refusal to pay the Keke driver made him seize her bag and when the interaction was growing intense, one of the lady’s brothers came out to rescue her.
More pathetically, the tension led to a brawl between the brother and the Keke driver with the driver allegedly getting injured, rushed to the hospital and was recuperating at Bishop Shanahan Hospital, Nsukka as at the time we were filing this report but fake news mongers escalated the news that the Keke driver had died.
However, hoodlums took the advantage of the scenario and started attacking the Muslims around the town. They went to the Mosque at old Barracks Junction and destroyed it and then to the Central Mosque Eden Road, Nsukka, and set it ablaze.
In a telephone interview with Shaykh Isa Okonkwo, a director at the School of Arabic and Islamic Centre, Afikpo, Ebonyi State who hails from Enugu city, the Igbo Muslim cleric clarified that such an attack was not the first on the Muslims in the East.
He said a replica of this misdemeanor was carried out in port Harcourt some weeks back, another was also perpetrated in Orlu, Imo state, not forgetting the failed attempt of some hoodlums to bomb the prestigious Assabiquna Islamic Academy at Nsuka in 2013.
He said despite the relentless effort of Muslim elites, youths, and women in the East, these Anti-Islam progenitors like IPOB were bent on putting Muslims and Islam into extinction violently.
Other people who spoke with our correspondents expressed their displeasure of not receiving enough reception of their plights as Christians in other parts of Nigeria do.
“Christians in the North make a lot of noise and they are heard but not we Muslims that abide with the eastern part of Nigeria. Why not making it a balance of force! “; they clamoured.
Mr. Okonkwo speaking on behalf of all Muslims in the East added that “the melancholia this injustice of the system have been putting them to are far worse, drenching and greater than those publicized and projected to the outside world by the southern Kaduna Christians or any other minority.”
“We have professors, doctors, and responsible people among us but they are all been marginalised. The system does not allow us to rise. No government here is ready to absorb us. We are pained and we need a swift response as soon as possible ”, he concluded.
News Live Nigeria understands that there have been some casualties as several Muslims have fled from their houses and seeking refuge in various places within the town.
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