The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Plateau State Chapter, has called for a thorough review of the list of beneficiaries of the First Lady’s N500 million donation to ensure that Muslim victims of the long-standing crisis in the state are included.
Dr. Salim Musa Umar, the State Secretary of JNI, voiced this concern during a press conference held in Jos, the capital of Plateau State. The religious organization issued a warning, stating that it might reconsider its engagement with the Mutfwang administration if they continue to experience alleged discrimination.
Umar revealed that the state government had remained silent since receiving their letter of complaint and protest on September 13, 2023. The letter addressed the perceived bias in the compilation of a list of 500 families designated as victims of the crisis in various local government areas, including Riyom, Barkin-Ladi, Bokkos, Mangu, Jos South, and Bassa.
“We have observed the state government’s actions, which seem to disregard the presence of Muslims in the state. Muslims reside in all 17 local government areas of Plateau State, and it would be unjust and unfair to govern without considering us,” JNI stated.
The organization expressed disappointment that Governor Mutfwang had not appointed a single Muslim as a Special Adviser, contrary to the established tradition of having a minimum of three Muslims in such positions, given their significant presence in more than five local government areas.
JNI also accused the governor of neglecting Muslims in the selection of the Deputy Chief of Staff and Deputy Speaker positions, roles that had previously been reserved for Muslims in the state.
“The government has deprived us of the minimal post of Deputy Chief of Staff, which typically gives Muslims in the state a sense of belonging. The position of Deputy Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, previously allocated to Muslims, has also been taken away from us, despite the presence of Muslim members in the Assembly,” JNI lamented.
Umar stressed that JNI felt a moral obligation to advocate on behalf of the Muslim community when necessary. He emphasized that if these discriminatory practices persisted, the organization would consider reviewing its engagement with the current government.
“We are citizens entitled to all the rights and privileges provided in the constitution. No society can thrive and prosper when it practices injustice and treats some of its citizens as second-class. We call for swift corrective measures and will not relent until justice is proportionately served to the Muslim population in the state,” Umar firmly asserted.