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BEING THE TEXT OF PRESS CONFERENCE JOINTLY ORGANISED BY MUSLIM ORGANISATIONS IN OSUN STATE, DELIVERED BY THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF JAMAAT TAAWUNIL MUSLIMEEN, ALHAJI DAOOD IMRAN MOLAASAN ON 17TH APRIL, 2012 AT NUJ PRESS CENTRE, OLU OSUNGBOHUN HALL, OSOGBO, OSUN STATE TITLED: ALLEGED PLAN TO ISLAMISE OSUN STATE IS A BIG LIE!

Gentlemen of the press, we gather once again to address the issue of unfounded allegation levelled against Jama'at Ta'awunil Muslimeen, a subset of Muslim community in the state, as being used to islamise Osun state. The allegation came as a surprise to the entire members of Taawun. The Saturday Sun of April 14, 2012 reported that the Department of State Security (DSS) identified Jamaat Taawunil Muslimeen Society of Nigeria, as being used to islamise the state. The Muslim organisations and the Jamaat Taawunil Muslimeen considered the report as a pack of lies which are made to achieve sinister motives. This is in our view a plot to give the organisation a bad name so as to blackmail Muslims to achieve WHAT we do not know.
The most ridiculous part of the allegation is that Jama'at Ta'awunil Muslimeen is planning to become a Boko Haram type organisation. This is beyond any imagination for an organisation like ours which has established some schools, hospitals, cyber caf and many others to be now want to change from creative development to a destructive organisation. God forbid!
In the first place, the organisation of Jamaat Taawunil Muslimeen understands that Osun State is a component in Nigeria comprising citizens of divergent beliefs and backgrounds whose actions are bound by the constitution. It will be selfish enough to rub mind together with the government of a state to create an Islamic component out of a country binded together by the constitution. It will be against our vision and mission to work with anybody governmental or non-governmental organisations to disrupt the peace of a peaceful state. This accusation, as carried in The Saturday Sun, is a blatant fallacy because the agents of the fabricated report should know that we are not ignorant of the fact that Nigeria is a secular country that is constitutionally established.

The allegation of planning to create Boko Haram in Osun State with the collaboration of the state governor is seen as a sheer blackmail on the part of the Jama’at Ta’awunil Muslimeen and a plot by the enemies of the state to use federal power to disrupt our good development. It is crystal clear to everybody that the South-West is free from obnoxious acts of Boko Haram sect. But the architects of this plot are fanning the ember of hatred creating the ghost of Boko Haram sect in the South-West where it can never exist.
There are evidences to show that the organisation is not supporting the activities of Boko Haram, let alone collaborating to create it in Osun State. The organisation first condemned the activities of Boko Haram in The Nigerian Tribune on August 9, 2009, titled “No Extremism in Islam”. In addition, on Saturday 18th March, 2012, the organisation held a press conference on Boko Haram evils in the state capital, Osogbo, which had in attendance, the representatives of Osun State Commissioner of Police and Director of State Security Service. The highpoints of the conference were widely covered by the radio stations in the state and prominent newspapers in the country. More specifically, the interview granted by the National President of the organisation, Alhaji Daood Imran Molaasan, was published by The Nigerian Tribune under the title of “No Boko Haram in South-West”, on Saturday, March 24, 2012.
We were surprised with the unusual courtesy visit of the Director of State Security Service, Osun State, Mr. Adegboye, ably accompanied by the O/C SSS, Iwo Local Government, Mr. Isaac Ogunmola on 26th March, 2012, around 6pm, who came to appreciate the good contribution of the conference, held on Boko Haram to the peaceful co-existence in Osun State, South-West and Nigeria at large.
Besides, The Federal Government should be cautious in reckoning with the unfounded report of existence of Boko Haram in South-West especially Osun State. It is a mere cooked report to create the theory of Boko Haramism in the South-West in order to destabilise the peace in the South-West just as the peace in the North has been found wanton.
The Federal Department of State Security (DSS) also needs to know that the clamour for the use of Hijab is not an issue new to the present administration in the state. It has been an issue that Muslims clamour for in the past governments. Even the administration of Olagunsoye Oyinlola witnessed such a clamour from the state Muslim faithfuls which was not resolved before the closure of the administration. Hijab is a universal identity of Muslims and the right to use it is not silent in the constitution.
Earlier, the governor has mediated in the issue and administered justice by holding interdenominational meetings with religious leaders in the state to hear their views before the eventual decision by the executive. It is noteworthy to let the public aware that the selection of school uniform in Osun State was made out of the designs shortlisted by officials of the Ministry of Education during the executive council meeting of Wednesday, April 4, 2012, and the council is dominated by Christians.
It is not an offence to ask for one’s right (Hijab) that is constitutionally backing. It is a strange information which would not be credible to the right-thinking people of Osun State because a part cannot be accused for the action of a whole. Jama’at Ta’awunil Muslimeen is just a part of the whole of Muslim community in Osun State. What is now the semblance of spearheading the use of Hijab?
It is our advice to the Federal Department of State Security (DSS) to embark on intensive investigation in order to obtain the facts on the unfounded allegations about the Jama’at Ta’awunil Muslimeen. The organisation is known for promoting peace and progress of the society, helping the less privileged and promoting good governance in the country. Series of programmes had been held which point to civic responsibility of our organisation to the nation. Among the programmes are:

  • Topic: Global Prejudice and Peaceful Co-existence among Religious Organisations.

Guest Speaker: Dr. Eshel Williams Murad of the US Consulate Office, Nigeria.
Venue: Iwo Local Government Secretariat Conference Hall.
Date: March 19, 2006

  • Topic: The Role of Islamic Organisations in Civic Engagement.

Guest Speaker: Ms Amy Lillis Amanda of the US Consulate Office, Nigeria.
Venue: Iwo City Hall, Iwo
Date: July 29, 2006

  • Topic: The Role of Muslim Youth Associations in Extending the Frontiers    of Democratic Practices in Nigeria.

Guest Speaker: Ms Amy Lillis Amanda of the US Consulate Office, Nigeria.
Venue: Iwo City Hall, Iwo.
Date: May 27, 2007.

  • Not only that, we have also successfully collaborated with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation organization on a day workshop for local community in Osun State on August 4, 2009.
  • Topic:        Who are to be Chosen come political   Dispensation and how peace can be achieved?

Lecturers: Professor O.O. Ladipo, Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin.
Barrister G.M. Adedeji, Ex-Commissioner for Justice & Attorney General, Osun State.
Honourable Ibrahim Imran Akala, The Leader of Iwo Local Government Legislative Council.
Chief Sulaiman Adiatu, Chief Oloya of Iwoland (Rep. Of Oluwo of Iwoland).
Contributors:        The Chairmen of Political Parties in Osun State and other States.
Venue:                  Iwo City Hall
Date:                     30th of May 2010.

Moreover, the achievements of the organisation through its departments have spoken loudly about the organisation. Some of which are:

  • Establishment of Twenty-Nine (29) Nursery and Primary Schools throughout the South-West.
  • Establishment of  three (3) Secondary Schools
  • Establishment of Diploma in Islamic Studies Affiliated to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
  • Establishment of Darul-Islam Women Education and Vocational Centre
  • Establishment of Al-Qudus Islamic Information
  • Establishment of Asharikatul Islamiyah (Computer Business Centre and Handset Engineering)
  • Establishment of Islamic charity foundation to cater for the poor and the needy.
  • Establishment of registered Al-A’awan Maternity and Health Centre to provide health care for people.
  • Establishment of a government approved hospital for comprehensive health care.

ASPIRATIONS OF TA’AWUN

  • Ta’awunu aspires to stop backwardness in education and reduces ignorance in the society.
  • Taawunu aspires to establish Women Empowerment Centre which will be channeled at creating freedom for women i.e. Literacy department; Technical Skill Acquisition department; Education department; Computer Training department; Financial Granting department; Mini-Loan Scheme department etc
  • Ta’awunu aspires for united and strong Nigeria with peaceful and relationship among tribes and religions.
  • Ta’awunu calls for good leadership that can paddle the nation to greater height and act of patriotism among the citizens.
  • Ta’awunu aspires for justice and equity in all states and Nigeria at large without tribal prejudice or religious bigotry.
  • Ta’awunu aspires for freedom of press through objective journalism that will reveal the truth regardless of who hides behind the curtain.
  • Ta’awunu aspires for comfortability of masses by encouraging government to provide employment opportunities and infrastructural facilities.

In conclusion, the contribution of our organisation to youth development, self-empowerment and its interest in good governance made it possible for Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola as the governor of Osun State then to commission our Al-Qudus Islamic Information Centre on 24th December, 2005. If we were a religious extremist, the ex-governor (a Christian) would not have attended our programme. Therefore, it is advisable for the security apparatus and journalists to carry out reliable investigation before publicising any sensitive issue so as not to mislead and misguide the general public. It is clear from all indications that it is a planned attempt to create false image of Jama'at Ta'awunil Muslimeen Society of Nigeria to the people. God forbid! Also, the general public should know that those who get their balanced diet from adulterated information will never allow the truth bearer to blow his trumpet freely.

 

The Muslim organisations in the state who jointly organised and signed the press release are:

  • Jama'at Ta'awunil Muslimeen (JTM)
  • Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Osun State Chapter
  • The Muslim Congress (TMC)
  • Global Islamic Movement
  • Joint Muslim Action Forum (JOMAF)

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