Hoodlums have attacked and destroyed two mosques belonging to Igbo Muslims in the Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State.
According to Usman Isa-Tochukwu, a resident of the area, the altercation started on Saturday after quarrel broke out between an Igbo Keke Napep rider and a Hausa passenger over her fare.
Isa-Tochukwu gave the location of the affected mosques as Edem Road and Barracks Junction, and said they belonged to the Igbo Muslim Community in the area.
“Let it be noted that the person who fought with the Keke Napep driver is not an indigene but also a Nigerian, while the people whose mosques were destroyed and burnt down are bonafide indigenes of the state and reside in their own land and community,” he stated.
HumAngle gathered that many of the other properties destroyed during the attack belong to the Arewa Community in the area.
Muhammad Adam Yusuf told BBC Hausa Service that many of the northerners in the community, fearing for their safety, were in hiding in police custody while most others had travelled to their home states.
“Most shops belonging to our people including mine have been burgled and our wares carted away. Many have been wounded though none is reported dead so far,” he said. “In fact, more than 90 per cent of Hausas have emigrated, the few of us are now hiding in police custody.”
Also in an interview with BBC Hausa, the leader of Nsukka Muslim community, Alhaji Sani Ugwuanyi, said while one of the destroyed mosques was for daily congregational prayers, the second was a central mosque.
“The entire structure of the first mosque has been completely destroyed while the central mosque has been burnt down,” he lamented.
“There is also another Islamiyyah and Primary School that was also destroyed.”
Human rights group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has condemned the attack and appealed to the authorities to protect lives and properties of the Muslims in the region.
In a statement signed by Diocesan Secretary of the Catholic Diocese of Nsukka, Rev. Fr. Cajetan Iyidobi, he said that the Bishop, Most Rev, Godfrey Onah, had appealed to the victims of the attack to remain calm.
He added that the rumour that the Igbo commercial tricycle rider was stabbed to death was false, stating that he was receiving treatment at the hospital after he engaged in a fight with the brother of the woman involved in the disagreement.
Nigerian politician, Shehu Sani, has also condemned the attack and called on the government to ensure justice is served for the victims.
“The reported attack on the Muslim community and the burning of a mosque in Nsukka Local Government of Enugu State Stands unreservedly condemned.
“The State Government must ensure that the perpetrators of such heinous acts are brought to book & the Mosque urgently rebuilt,” he tweeted on Monday.