On Saturday, the 18th day of May, 2019, a former head of State and former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo 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.
Speaking on the topic: “Mobilizing Nigeria’s human and natural resources for national development and stability”, Chief Obasanjo claimed that “FULANIZATION and ISLAMIZATION of West Africa” is now the main reason for ‘boko haram’ insurgency, kidnapping and banditry. In his words, the former president said: “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”.
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, it is 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 dissapointing 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 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.
Qaasim B. Odedeji
Alh Abdul Jalil Abdul Rasaq
Engr. Bashir Momoh
Public Relations Officer