The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has appealed to the Buhari government to ignore the allegation made by the visiting Turkish leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan had said when he met President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja that Turkish terrorist organisations that tried to remove him from office are in Nigeria.
Responding, MURIC, in a statement signed by Ishaq Akintola, its national director, advised Buhari to ignore the claims made by Erdogan.
MURIC said that those groups being described as terrorists by Erdogan have been in Nigeria for over 20 years building primary, secondary schools, universities, hospitals, engaging in humanitarian services, assisting poor Muslims to meet religious obligations like hajj and sacrificial animals.
“We heartily welcome the bilateral agreements signed by Nigeria and Turkey as they have the potential to boost economic and military advancement in both countries,” MURIC said.
“However, we take the Turkish president’s allegation that there are Turkish terrorists in Nigeria with a pinch of salt. It is false, baseless and of no consequence whatsoever.
“We are aware of the existence of Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists in the country but we reject the attempt to label innocent Turkish citizens as terrorists just because there is a political difference between them and their president.
“He derailed by veering into the issue of opposition members from his country who reside in Nigeria. He should have ignored them.
“Erdogan’s humongous Muslim hero image [will not] becloud or diminish MURIC’s commitment to protecting Allah-given fundamental human rights of Muslims in Nigeria, be it individual or group. This is where the issue of protecting the rights of members of HIzmet in Nigeria comes in.
“Or is it terrorism to build hospitals and establish schools? The terrorists that we know (Boko Haram) blow up schools and hospitals. Is it terrorism to build boreholes for public schools? Is it terrorism to assist Nigerians on hajj and sacrificial animals? Erdogan is our hero as a defender of Islam but his allegation of terrorism against these people does not hold any water at all.”