An Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has urged the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, and Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, to sheath their sword and put out fire of their alleged feud in the interest of peace and development of the state.
Towards achieving peace, the human rights group also gave the duo seven days ultimatum within which they must settle their misunderstanding if indeed they are true Muslims who can settle any score for the sake of Allah.
As stated, the two gladiators must rise above partisan interest and work together toward building a virile block of Muslim politicians dedicated to the development of their respective states and the country at large, adding that through the duo, Nigerians must be able to appreciate the beauty of Islam.
The MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, said that the ultimatum had been given to ensure all supporters within file and ranks of both Osun born politicians come together and take path of peace in the interest of residents of the state who had entrusted them with leadership.
Akintola who gave the ultimatum through a statement on Monday, also educated Aregbesola, who is the immediate past governor of Osun and his successor, Oyetola, that the brickbat, if not tamed, could affect the chances of All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Bola Tinubu, of becoming the country’s next president come 2023.
He noted that it was high time the rift between the duo which has been in the public arena for more than two years to come to an end despite all efforts made by stakeholders, including Muslim leaders, to settle the feud which had proved abortive.
According to him, we have decided to wade into the squabble because Muslims in the South West will be the worst hit if the rift is allowed to continue ad infinitum. Already, it has become a major embarrassment to Muslim leaders in the sub-region.
He added, “Muslim youths are also entertaining fears over the ugly development. Apart from this, MURIC’s office has been inundated with calls for our intervention. MURIC’s staunch belief in dialogue and its commitment to it over the years is also another cassu belli of our intervention.
“To cap the edifice, the Muslim Rights Concern is deeply concerned because Allah gave specific instruction to Muslims regarding this type of development. This instruction is in the Glorious Qur’an 49:10. The verse describes Muslims as ‘brothers’ (innama al-mu’minuun ikhwatun) and commands members of the Ummah to intervene in disputes for the purpose of reconciling two feuding Muslim brothers (faslihuu bayna akhwaykunm).
“The question is what is at stake and we affirm that a lot is at stake because when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. The ongoing face-off is likely to affect the fortunes of both Aregbesola and Oyetola in the coming gubernatorial election in Osun State this year although they may not acknowledge this fact now as both gladiators are still grandstanding.
“It is also likely to ricochet on the rumoured presidential ambition of their principal, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. A divided camp cannot fight on one front. Neither can it speak with one voice. For the past two years, MURIC has been calling for a Yoruba Muslim as the next president of this country and we still stand by this. But as it stands today, this bitter quarrel between the two most prominent Muslim politicians is likely to scuttle our aspiration.
“This is why we cannot continue to fold our arms to watch by the ringside while the two combatants slug it out. We must find a way to de-escalate tension. If the combatants will not listen to Muslim leaders who have allegedly pleaded with them in private, we have a duty as a Muslim rights group to task both of them in public. This is a case that is already known to every Dick and Harry anyway and people are wandering why the Muslims have not been able to douse the tension.
“Both Aregbesola and Oyetola deserve al-Jannah because they are Muslims and because they have performed excellently well in office. But they should not endanger their chances in al-Akhirah (the Hereafter) with this bickering, based on the above hadith. We hold the two Muslim politicians in high esteem and we will continue to do so as long as they comport themselves in a manner befitting good Muslim politicians who have the fear of Allah in their hearts. Well, the clock has started ticking. They have seven days to prove the depth of their Imaan as well as their love and concern for the Ummah.”