Yoruba Muslims split over proposed meeting with Jonathan

Vice President Namadi Sambo

A meeting planned between President Goodluck Jonathan and the Muslim Community in the South West geo-political zone has split the Community as a section vowed on Tuesday not to attend the parley.

Mr. Jonathan, who is the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, reportedly scheduled the meeting with the Islamic leaders for Akure, the Ondo State capital, to canvass their support in the March 28 presidential election.

The Vice President, Namadi Sambo, was billed to represent the president at the meting which was scheduled for Tuesday but shifted to Wednesday due to inadequate mobilisation of the Islamic leaders.

The meeting is reportedly being coordinated by the Secretary-General of the League of the League of Imams and Alfas, Ahmad Aladesawe, who is also the Chief Imam of Owo,

Apparently weary of the bribery scandal that trailed the president alleged deal with the Christian Association of Nigeria, the Muslim Community of Oyo State has vowed not to attend the proposed Akure meeting.

It however said its decision was in tandem with that of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria.

“The two apex Islamic bodies were totally averred to any meeting with the President until after the elections,” the statement signed by its Chairman, Ishaq Sanni.

“It would be a disservice to the unity of the Muslim Ummah in general for any Muslim group in Nigeria to disobey the order of these umbrella organizations.

“The Muslim Community of Oyo State is not oblivious of millions of dollars changing hands to buy people’s conscience. This we are aware has created divisions in some religious organisations.

“Anybody who goes to Akure to meet the President from Oyo State is not representing the Muslim community of Oyo State.

The group urged the people of Oyo State and Muslims in the South West to vote according to their conscience and not be deceived by political demagogues masquerading as friends of the people just for the sake of canvassing for their support only to dump them after achieving their aims.

“What these politicians are practising is nairatocracy and not democracy,” it stated further.

Reports say some Islamic groups in the region, including the Muslim Student Society of Nigeria, have expressed reservation over the proposed meeting.

A similar parley convened by the President with the Yoruba Muslim Community flopped recently.

Mr. Jonathan’s campaign is currently embroiled in an alleged bribe offer to Christian clerics to support him in the election.

The Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, who is also the Director General of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation, had alleged that N6 billion was offered to the Christian community.

However, a few days later, a Borno-based pastor, Kallamu Dikwa, claimed it was N7 billion the Christian Association of Nigeria got from Mr. Jonathan and not N6 billion as stated by Mr. Amaechi.

Mr. Dikwa, who spoke in Kaduna, said N3 million each was dispatched to the 36 states branches of the association.

“I sent text messages to the CAN leadership, asking them to repent otherwise I will expose them. Nobody replied me. That is why I decided to open up. Some people say than I am working for Buhari, it is not true. I am not working for anybody,” he said.

The CAN has since denied the allegation.

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