Igbo Muslims seen as saboteurs in South East – Aisha Obi

Igbo Muslims in the South East, comprising Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states, are seen as saboteurs, Ms Aisha Obi has said.

Speaking to the BBC of her experience in the South East, an area largely inhabited by members of the Igbo ethnic group, Aisha Obi, an Igbo Muslim, said “They see you as a saboteur.”

She said there are frequent attacks on individuals and mosques in the region which the authorities do not take seriously.

“They don’t believe us. When we tell them, they accuse us of us wanting to cause religious war,” she said.

“Even inside a vehicle or on a motorcycle, they call you: ‘Hausa person, who knows what they are carrying. It could be a bomb.’ They feel Igbos are not supposed to be Muslims,” she added.

There is a growing community of Muslims in the South East. Some are converts, although the majority were born into the faith in the predominantly Christian region.

She said women were the prime targets because of their Islamic dress and were subject to a hostility born of the civil war that started in 1967 when Igbo leaders declared independence.

The secessionist rebellion ended but some wounds are yet to heal with resentment felt towards the Muslim Hausa-Fulani community from the north, which then dominated the government.

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