Group petitions police over attacks, murder of Muslims

Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has petitioned the Oyo state Police Command over the murder of Pa Taiwo Biliaminu, a septuagenarian and several other unprovoked attacks on Muslims Fiditi, Afijio Local Government of Oyo State.

In a statement on Tuesday, the group accused one Ojo Akinlabi, a traditionalist, of allegedly attacking the deceased with an axe and dealt him several blows from the weapon on 23rd October, 2019 which led to his death.

According to MURIC’s director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, the suspect is a Muslim hater, a social nuisance and a threat to his community.

“He attacks Muslims at will. The list of his Muslim victims include Miss Simiat of Abese family, whom he allegedly raped to death in 2008; Alhaji Hamza Adebiyi whom he attacked and whose house he vandalized in 2017 and Rafiu Olaojo whom he attacked with a cutlass in October 2019.

“Furthermore, the suspect attacked Taofeek Oyekola, the Imam of Agbongbon Omodeni Mosque, vandalized his house, hacked down wooden windows and pursued the residents. He also destroyed foodstuff in the shop outside the house (raw rice, beans, gari and oil). However, his attempt to burn down the house failed

“Ojo Akinlabi has threatened to kill all Muslims in Fiditi. All his victims so far are Muslims. He also insists that he does not want to see any mosque in the town. Muslims in the area live in palpable fear and the mosque has been deserted. The suspect is a notorious cultist who initiates people by force at his shrine which is situated behind the Yehoyeho House.

“As a peace-loving, law-abiding and dialogue-inclined group, we are using this medium to appeal to the Oyo State Police Command to rise to the occasion. The police at Fiditi Police Station had forwarded the report of the murder of Pa Taiwo Biliaminu to Iyaganku Police Headquarters, Ibadan since 1st November, 2019. It appears Fiditi police find it difficult to apprehend the suspect. The responsibility must fall squarely on the state police command.

“For the umpteenth time, MURIC is reporting another case of reckless killing, physical assault, vandalisation of property and harassment of Muslims by traditionalists in South West Nigeria. Yet we are the same Muslims who have been wrongly portrayed in certain quarters as terrorists, fundamentalists, extremists and violent people. There has been no single incident of Muslims hitting back at their traducers in the sub-region. It now appears we are being pushed to the wall.

“In conclusion, we charge the Oyo State Commissioner of Police to send officers and men who are capable of restoring law and order by bringing Ojo Akinlabi to justice. In addition, we appeal to the IG to investigate the cause of police unwillingness to bring our attackers to book and thereafter, to take such measures that will ensure prompt and proportionate action against anyone who attacks people of other faiths or destroys their properties in future.”