MOTTO: DIALOGUE, NOT VIOLENCE

29th May, 2024

PRESS RELEASE:

COLLAPSED MOSQUE: MURIC VISITS SITE, TENDERS 5 DEMANDS

 

An Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has visited the site of the mosque which collapsed on Sunday at Papa Ajao, Mushin, Lagos State. The group also sent a delegation to the home of the bereaved family and made five demands which include the rebuilding of the mosque by the Lagos State Government (LASG) within six months and compensation for parents of the victim.

 

The demands were made public in a statement issued on Tuesday, 28th May, 2024 by the Executive Director of the human rights advocacy group, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

 

He said:

 

“Following the tragic accident in which the Al-Mutmahinat Central Mosque, situated at Yusuf Street, Papa Ajao, Mushin, Lagos State on Sunday, 26th May, 2024, MURIC sent a powerful delegation which visited the site the next day, Monday, 27th May, 2024. Our team interacted with the Imam of the mosque and visited the home of the deceased victim to offer condolences.

 

“MURIC’s 3-man delegation was led by the chairman of MURIC in LAGOS State, Dr. Busari Jamiu Muhammad. They met the Imam of the mosque, Alhaji Lukman Qasim Olokuta. They also visited the house of the victim and commiserated with the bereaved parents.

 

“Contrary to the common belief that three people died as a result of the accident, our delegation found out that only one person died. The victim was Anifat Yusuf, eleven, who was one of the students of the Arabic school in the mosque who were billed to graduate (walimah) in August this year.

 

“The late Anifat Yusuf was also a JSS 2 student of The Ultimate Secondary School, a private School at Ashofihan Street, Olorunshogo, Mushin. She had entered the mosque briefly to observe Zuhr, the first afternoon salat but, unfortunately, she never came out alive.

 

“Of course we also fell victim of the bloated number but we have to correct the figure now as a disciplined organization, particularly after our fact-finding mission came back to tell us that only one person died.

 

“Although we forwarded about three demands in our first statement on the tragedy, these have since been harmonized with suggestions from concerned Muslims. In view of the fact that the excavator which caused the calamity was working on the road expansion project embarked upon on that street by LASG, we now review our demands as follows:

 

“That LASG should:

 

  1. Rebuild the mosque within six months without reducing its original size and without compromising its standard;
  2. Pay adequate compensation for families left behind by the bread winners killed in the accident;
  3. Pay the hospital bills of the injured;
  4. Refund burial expenses of the eleven year-old girl who died and
  5. Arrange for the welfare of the Imam of the mosque and his family until the mosque has been rebuilt, handed over to the community and become functional.

 

“MURIC is (and will continue to be) in constant consultation with the mosque’s Imam to ensure that these demands are met. The right to life is an Allah-given fundamental human right which has been vicariously denied this little girl, late Anifat Yusuf, by an agent of LASG.

 

“Anifat’s father died five years ago and her mother, a widow of five years, has now lost the daughter whom she was hoping would one day be her bread winner, her succour and her companion. She is now alone facing not only the excruciating pains of a mother who lost a mature daughter but also the harsh realities of Nigeria’s galloping inflation.

 

“This widow’s home at 25, Bello Street, Papa Ajao, which used to be filled with laughter, is now the abode of sorrow, tears, desolation and misery. LASG must take responsibility. Anifat must not die in vain.

 

“Besides, a whole Muslim community whose only Central Mosque has been pulled down by an erratic excavator driver is now rendered mosqueless. They have become spiritual Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) or, more correctly, Internally Displaced Worshippers (IDWs).

 

“Only Allah knows how they have been managing to observe the daily prayers since the tragedy three days ago but, more importantly, they must start looking around from today to find the nearest mosque where they will observe the next Jumuah prayer.

 

“LASG must therefore move quickly to rebuild the mosque. Our mosque is of great significance to us. It is not just where we worship Allah and listen to sermons, it is the house of Allah. It is our brotherhood shelter, our common room, information dissemination centre, counselling centre, education centre, consolation point, our strong room, our engine room and even more.

 

“The mosque is the Muslim centre of gravity. We cannot afford to have it missing for long. Internal agitation may soon grow into external anxieties and there is a limit to the influence which the mosque management and local Muslim leaders can exert on the restless Muslim youths in the area who have started asking questions.

 

“We can expect prolonged patience in any other area or areas of Lagos, but not in Mushin. This is the hotbed of activism in Lagos State. LASG must therefore ensure that this mosque is ready in six months. November 2024 is the deal. Let’s hear the response of LASG loud and clear: Deal?

 

#JusticeForAnifat

#PapaAjaoCentralMosque

#OurMosquesMatter

 

Professor Ishaq Akintola,

Founder/Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).

 

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