The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called on law enforcement agents to arrest and prosecute those behind the illegal imposition of curfew in Ikorodu on Tuesday in Lagos.
The director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola in a statement issued on Thursday, said this should be done in earnest to serve as deterrent to others.
According to MURIC, the unilateral declaration of curfew by Oro priests was illegal, illegitimate and unconstitutional and therefore ultra vires.
It explained that Chapter 4 Section 41 of the 2011 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria says, “Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereby or exit therefrom.”
It added that only the state government on the advice of the state commissioner of police could impose curfew on a town, saying that even then, such imposition must be based on adverse security report.
Social and economic activities were paralysed in Ikorodu town, Lagos State, on Tuesday 8th May, 2018 as Oro worshippers unilaterally imposed curfew on the town to celebrate Oro Festival.
This was encountered in spite of the assurance given by the police and the traditional institution on free movement.
He said, ‘’Banks and shops were shut down and there were no vehicular and human movements in many parts of the town, while all motor parks in the neighbourhood remained deserted.
“Historically, curfews declared by the priests used to be for the night but due to the pervading general lawlessness in the society, Oro priests have started imposing curfews during the day.
“This shows that Oro priests are becoming daring and this is instructive. It should not be allowed to continue. Apart from this traditionalists have become more combative and security operatives need to more vigilant.”
It recalled that masquerades have attacked churches in many parts of the South East, mosque was vandalized while worshipers were severely injured by masquerades in Ekiti State.
It added that several skirmishes have also been recorded in other parts of the South between traditional worshippers and Christians or between the former and Muslims.