Home News Enugu mosque fire: The Truth Behind The Outrage – IPOB, concerned residents

Enugu mosque fire: The Truth Behind The Outrage – IPOB, concerned residents


Reactions have continued to trail reported burning of a mosque at Ogrute, in Igbo-Eze North council area of Enugu State last weekend.

This time, some residents, who expressed outraged over claims that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the area were responsible for the incident, dismissed the allegation, saying that the Biafran group had no footing in the area.

Also, the IPOB has totally distanced itself from the incident, stating that it was merely an attempt to associate it with violence and justify military clampdown on its members.

This is also as the Enugu State Police Command has dismissed the claims, maintaining that investigation showed the inferno was caused by power surge.

‎Accordingly, residents of the area, who reacted to the report were categorical that only the Muslim worshippers, who own the place of worship and some of their adherents who usually slept in the mosque could tell what happened to the facility.

They contended that those who caused the harm did so to create the erroneous impression that the IPOB crisis also hit the area.

Most of the respondents said either certain elements within the members of Islamic region caused the havoc to get the Enugu State government to build a new mosque for them or that a possible power surge owing to the coincidental restoration of public electric power that day could have caused the fire.

In his own reaction, George Onyeke, a resident of the area stated that “I would not believe that if this incident is a case of arson, it could have been caused by anybody outside the users of the mosque. In the past week that IPOB clash with the military occurred, the crisis did not affect anywhere in Enugu State.

“Those who are Muslims here are our brothers. They are indigenes who have been using that mosque for decades and they have never had any problem with adherents of other religions. And I have not seen any IPOB activity that has been noticeable in our local government.

“In fact, those investigating this incident should ask the owners of the mosque what actually happened. They are always around the mosque. So, they should have known when it was on fire”, he contended.

In their separate reactions, Peter Ezocha and Simeon Enwe who reside at Ogrute, Enugu-Ezike, headquarters of the local government area, stated that those who set the mosque ablaze may have wanted to extort money from the Enugu State governor and to get the government to build a new one for them.

They wondered why none of the “muslims who live around the mosque and even those who usually sleep in the mosque on the eve of Eke Market day which is the day it occurred did nothing to contain the fire”.

They stated that “it is also highly suspicious that none of the owners of the mosque could give account of how the fire started.

“Rather, every one of them told the governor when he visited that they woke up on Saturday morning to see the building razed.”

On its part, IPOB through its spokesman, Emma Powerful dissociated the group from the incident “and any other concocted news of an attack or vandalism, especially on Muslims and their places of worship.”

“IPOB is not unaware of the desperation of the Nigerian army of occupation to cause mayhem and blame it on IPOB as a way of instigating counter violence against Southerners in the North.

“The aim of this army of occupation led by exclusively Hausa Fulani officers is to distract our focus and firm resolve to force a peaceful referendum within the law. No amount of violence visited on our family members will dissuade us from this historic and legitimate course.

“We wish to further state unequivocally that Muslims and other non-Biafrans living in South-East and South South have nothing to fear from IPOB, as our members are committed to a nonviolent, unarmed struggle for self determination, which is guaranteed in charters of the United Nations, international laws and other extant laws on fundamental human rights.

“IPOB does not need to remind Nigerians that it is the culture in Biafraland to protect our visitors and any of these alleged heinous acts are viewed by the great family of IPOB as abomination which our leadership and members condemn in their entirety.

“IPOB members should be vigilant and stay away from the provocative government- sponsored death squads whose main objective is to draw we Biafrans to another unplanned civil war but God forbid”, he stated.

SOURCE : Daily Post

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