The Muslim community in Ebonyi state has alleged that successive governments in the state have marginalized them and demanded for N2.5 billion compensation from the incumbent Governor, Engr. Dave Umahi.
The compensation, according to them, is for all the ill-treatments and denials meted against them over the years just as they sought security for the muslim communities across the state.
The group in a statement issued yesterday and signed by the Coordinator General of Igbo Muslim Forum, Alhaji Suleiman Agha Afikpo and Public Relations Officer, Mallam Abdulqadir Nnachi, also alleged that the Islamic Centre Afikpo was heavily attacked and damaged during the then Governor Sam Egwu’s regime and nothing was done despite all promises by the governor.
It alleged that about 2500 pastors called Dave Umahi’s 2019 mandate pastors are on the payroll of the state, in addition to building a multibillion naira ecumenical centre in the state as well as giving the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) a N500 million cash donation to share from the Ebonyi state treasury.
The group also identified other numerous gifts aimed at establishing pastors and bishops of other communities outside Ebonyi state such as about 1000 bags of rice and yams of equivalent number in addition to N10 million to Father Mbaka.
“The Ebonyi state chapters of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Jama’tu Nasril Islam (JNI), the Ebonyi Muslim Council, the Ebonyi chapter of FOMWAN, amongst other, have never benefitted anything from the governor.
“The discriminatory conducts of the governor against Muslims of Ebonyi are becoming points of discussion amongst the Muslims. They have resolved to officially write and demand for a state sponsored Grand Mosque for the Muslims, to be given N500 million as given to the CAN, Imams in the state to be listed in the Dave Umahi 2019 mandate, and to be given commissioner slots and other appointments after election come 2019. Members also agreed to use their votes as a block to determine the next governor for the state. However, community sensitisation is underway”.
“The governor must understand that Ebonyi state is under the Nigeria federation, which stipulates freedom of religion in her constitution. Nigeria recognizes three prevalent religions namely; Islam, Christianity and African Traditional Religion (ATR). Under the federal law, states cannot adopt any official religion.
“Contrary to foregoing is what is in the offing presently in Ebonyi state where the Governor incessantly denies the Muslim minority rights through intimidation and consequently restricts them from political participations and economic empowerment’’, the group alleged.