South Eastern Muslims Organisation of Nigeria (SEMON), a socio-cultural Igbo group, says it will meet with President Muhammadu Buhari to express its grievances over the alleged marginalisation of Igbo Muslims.
The group, in a communiqué issued at the end of its national summit in Enugu, agreed to speak in one voice and to align themselves with the agenda of Ndigbo.
The group urged its members to participate actively in the 2019 elections, while asking them to promote unity and peace in Nigeria.
The group described their marginalisation as a political strategy that is “counterproductive for the development of Igboland and the nation towards the Southeast project of Nigerian Presidency in 2023.”
They also spoke on their plan to meet with governors of the south-east states, Ohaneze Ndigbo, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Jama’atul Nasiril-Islam (JNI), the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Muslim Ummah of Southwest Nigeria (MUSWEN).
“We reaffirmed our position to participate fully in the 2019 general election and vote for candidates of individual choices, especially those who will carry Igbo Muslims along with appointments into political offices of trust,” they said.
“It was agreed that Ndigbo Muslims contesting for positions in the forthcoming elections be massively supported for success. On this, Ndigbo Muslims should continue to strive for excellence in their private life pursuits and support governments of their respective States and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“For the progress of the Igbo Muslim Ummah, SEMON should continue to advocate for equity and fairness for Igbo Muslims. The organization should cooperate with governmental and non-governmental organizations that mean well for Igboland, for Nigeria and Igbo Muslims.”
The group also spoke on how it wants to be identified and its plans to institute annual lecture.
“They want to be known and addressed, henceforth, as Ndigbo Muslims and in full identification and promotion of Igbo culture, including Igbo dress and language,” they said.
“In connection to this, they plan the institution of leaderships of Ndigbo Muslims in each of the five states of Southeast and of Igboland. This is to have organized leaderships like the Emirs in the North and Obas in the West.
“SEMON plans to institute an Annual Lecture to commemorate the life and achievements of late Sheikh Ibrahim Okpani Nwagui who brought Islam to limelight in Igboland.
“SEMON also encourages intermarriages amongst themselves through adoption of the Sunnah, the practical life of Prophet Muhammad in all aspects of their lives.”