Igbo Muslims, under the auspices of South Eastern Muslims Organisation of Nigeria (SEMON) have accused the Federal Government and Southeast states of marginalisation.
They said they had been excluded from the political scheme in Nigeria and had benefitted nothing from the Federal Government since 1914.
According to them, it was a calculated plan “to make them irrelevant as second-class citizens in Nigeria.”
They made the claims in a communiqué issued at the end of a Conference of Igbo Muslims held on Sunday.
“The governments of states of Southeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria do not even recognize the existence of Muslims of Igbo extraction, thus no single plan for them, politically and socio-economically,” the communiqué read.
The group lamented the “non-participation of Ndigbo Muslims in Nigerian politics,” blaming it on an “unfavourable political climate in their hometowns and lack of support from their politically influential brethren outside Igboland.”
It urged Igbo Muslims to join politics and aspire and contest for every possible position during the general elections, “including the position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Governorship, National and State Assembly positions, as well as Local Government and Councillorship
“A situation where no appointment is allocated to Igbo Muslims by the federal and state governments after every general election is unacceptable and condemnable.”
The group thanked President Muhammadu Buhari “for his efforts in developing Nigeria”, but urged him “to remain focused in the fight against corruption and to be detribalised in his appointments even while putting merit above other considerations.”
The communiqué added: “We pray for him and we promise to always support good leadership for Nigeria.
“On the same note, we call on the Southeast governors and local government chairmen to protect us and our worship places and to carry us along in the socio-political and economic arrangements for citizens without discrimination against us.
“We pray for the peace and unity of Nigeria and plead with politicians to play by the rules as the 2019 general elections approach. And despite the unfavourable political climate for us in our hometowns and states, we wish Igbo Muslim politicians the best in future general elections.”