An Islamic human rights group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has backed the move by the Lagos State House of Assembly to make new laws that would protect indigenes in the state.
The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, revealed on Tuesday, 5th June, 2023 that the state would promulgate laws for the protection of its indigenes.
MURIC voiced support for the new laws in a statement issued by its Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Monday, 12th June, 2023.
The statement reads: “The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, revealed on Tuesday, 5th June, 2023 that the state would promulgate laws for the protection of its indigenes.
“Obasa made reference to the coming laws in his acceptance speech after he was unanimously elected as speaker of the assembly for the third term. He gave hints that there would be laws and resolutions in the areas of economy and commerce, property and titles. He said the programmme may necessitate ‘reversing all that are reversible to protect the interest of the indigenes’.
“There is nothing strange or new in the new laws which Lagos is planning to promulgate. The advanced civilisations of the world do it. Britain had its own taste of the Exclusion Bill in 1679 and 1682 during the reign of Charles II. America enacted the Exclusion Act in 1882 to protect locals from exploitation by immigrants.
“Even as recently as February 2023, Glenn Youngkin, the governor of Texas, United States, signed the Exclusion Bill 147 to bar citizens of certain countries (China, Russia, North Korea and Iran) from owning agricultural land or buying real estate in the state (https://edition.cnn.com/2023/02/18/politics/chinese-land-law-texas-virginia-what-matters/index.html).
“Every society whose indigenes feel threatened take recourse to the law for protection. What we are saying in essence is that responsible governments have a duty to protect indigenes wherever and whenever there is any element of existential threat against their cultural and historical heritage in any form.
“This is why we see nothing new in the new laws which Lagos want to enact. Already, such protections exist albeit in unwritten practices in several parts of the country, North, East and West. There are some parts of the country where non-indigenes cannot buy real estate. What Lagos seeks to do now is to commit such protective conventions into written laws.
“Every civilized society seeks to protect its indigenes from the bastardisations of globalization. It is even considered an abdication of responsibility on the part of the government when and if it fails to rise to the defence of indigenes of the state.
“Therefore, MURIC supports any legislation that protects the citizenry, particularly indigenes and the vulnerable in society. We therefore call on members of the Lagos House of Assembly to join hands with Speaker Obasa and expedite action on the bill of exclusion and protection.
“All parts of Nigeria should seek means of protecting the heritage of indigenes. Every state needs such laws but as usual, Lagos must lead the way for others to follow. From Lagos to Mokwa, from Port Harcourt to Kaora Namoda, indigenes must be protected from overbearing hawks who make stupendous wealth on their land, yet seek to eliminate their ancestral heritage and leave nothing for the benefit of indigenes.
“We charge the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to exercise no delay once the Lagos Assembly passes the bills. Lagos must be sanitised. Complacency, excessive liberalism, indiscipline and impunity are the bane of Lagos. Obasa must strike when the iron is hot.”