No One Is Persecuting Muslims In Tafawa Balewa Sheik Ayuba Reply Professor Ishaq Oloyede
From Yahaya Audu, Bauchi
A renowned Islamic Cleric in Bauchi State, Sheikh Ayuba Yahaya has disclosed that no occurrence of religion crisis in Tafawa Balewa for the past seven years
Sheik Ayuba also faulted the Secretary General, Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Prof. Is-Haq Oloyede, over a recent statement credited to him that Muslims in Tafawa Balewa Local Government area of Bauchi State were being persecuted.
He made his position known at a Press Conference he addressed on Wednesday at the NUJ Secretariat, Bauchi.
Yahaya who was a company by prominent Muslims scholars from Tafawa Balewa distributed photocopy of a report published on Friday, June 8th, 2018 in a National Newspaper where the NSCIA Secretary General was quoted to have made the statement said he was worried because it was false.
Prof. Ishaq who is also the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), was quoted to have said that at an Annual Ramadan Lecture organized by the Point Newspaper on Monday, June 4th, 2018, at Combo Hall, LTV 8, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos.
Delivering his Lecture paper entitled: Achieving Peace, Stability and Good Governance in a Multi-Ethnic and Multi-Religious Society: Islamic Perspective, he was said to have noted with dismay the non-chalant attitude of successive Governments to the plight of displaced Muslims”following the mindless massacre that forced them to abandon their ancestral home.”
In Oloyede’s words at the Lecture, according to the report: “In Tafawa Balewa today, the same community that produced the first Prime Minister of Nigeria, there is no mosque not to talk of calling of prayers.
“Apart from killing Muslims, all the Muslims were exiled. Muslims of the community still remain in disarray as internally displaced people. All entreaties to former President Good luck Jonathan and lately to President Buhari on the matter have not yielded any positive result.”
He was said to have called on the Federal Government to “immediately intervene in the continued persecution of the Muslim community in Tafawa Balewa town of Bauchi State.”
But addressing newsmen at the press conference on Wednesday, the renowned Islamic Cleric, Sheikh Ayuba Yahaya, said that what the Prof. Oloyede said was not true.
He said he was worried with the statement because, as an indigene of Tafawa Balewa, Muslims were not being persecuted as claimed by Oloyede adding that such statements were capable of fueling crisis.
He said that when their attention was drawn to the report, they became worried and thought it wise to tell the press so they can tell the world that there is no crisis in Tafawa Balewa.
“This Professor may not have been to Tafawa Balewa at all and even if he knows the place, given his position, it is only proper for him to have made a thorough investigation on the true situation on ground before making such statements to the public, but he didn’t do that.
“We do not agree with what he said, it is false, it not on point and he ought not to have made such utterances.
“So we felt if we left such statements without saying anything, people will believe all he (Oloyede) said is the truth and it is capable of fueling another crisis. Many people in Tafawa Balewa are unhappy with the statements he made.
“If it were to be in the past, when someone makes a statement and later discovers that that is not true, he makes another statement retracting his previous statement.”
According to him, since the last crisis in the area between 2011 and 2012, no crisis has occurred again.
The Islamic Cleric said he went to Tafawa Balewa last Monday and met with the DPO and he enquired from him if there was any crisis since the last one about 7 years ago, but “the DPO told me that nothing like that has happened” since then.
He also informed newsmen that recently, he was in the town for an event and he met with the leadership of the Za’ar Development Association where he asked them why no Muslim has been allowed to return to the area.
He said they told him that nobody has stopped them (Muslims) from returning to the area since the last crisis.
“They told me that since they were displaced by the last crisis, they have refused to return but nobody has prevented them,” he said.
On the allegation reportedly raised by Oloyede that the Muslims were denied rebuilding there Mosques, Sheikh Yahaya informed the press that “the Za’ar leaders told me that they were free to rebuild their Mosques if they wanted to and that nobody has stopped them also.”