Muslim Group Calls For Arrest Of Comrade Chidi Over Alleged Terror Threat

A Muslim group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has called for the immediate arrest, detention and prosecution of Comrade Chidi for making terror threat against his fellow Nigerians.

Recall that Chidi, had on Saturday, called for the New Zealand treatment for Nigerian Muslims via his twitter handle @legitchidi

In a press statement signed by the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, he noted that the open threat is an open and direct terror threat against Nigerian Muslims.

“It is a call for chaos. Chidi’s call must be seen beyond just a call. This kind of person will go for mass killing of Muslims if he has access to any automatic weapon. Unfortunately that will not prove a challenge to him because already there is a proliferation of dangerous weapons around the country particularly now that we have just concluded the 2019 general elections”.  

“This man is not joking. He is dead serious. His exact words in the tweet show how serious he is. His words were, ‘Let them shift to Abuja Central Mosque abeg…we need them there’.

“A smart lawyer may want to trivialize that statement made by Chidi in his tweet. He may want to tell us that the pronoun ‘them’ in the tweet can be anybody. But Chidi’s reference to ‘them’ can be clearly deciphered by going backward to an earlier tweet by Dr. Joe Abah @DrJoeAbah.

“The latter had tweeted, ‘Why would anybody just go into a mosque where people are praying and kill them? Why? We must condemn all forms of extremism: religious, racial, ideological or political’. #NewZealandMosqueAttacks.

“This was the tweet to which Chidi responded. The fact that Dr. Joe Abah ended his tweet with #NewZealandMosqueAttacks makes Chidi’s target very clear. There is no iota of doubt, therefore, about who Chidi’s pronoun ‘them’ is referring to. That ‘them’ is clearly meant for the terrorists who killed 49 innocent Muslims who were praying inside mosques in New Zealand the previous day (Friday, 15th March, 2019). The terrorists also injured about 21 other Muslims.

“We charge the Nigerian security agencies to go after Comrade Chidi. He must be arrested and detained before he can carry out his planned mass murder. He should also be publicly prosecuted in order to serve as a deterrent to other criminally minded individuals like him.

MURIC also demanded tight security around mosques in view of the New Zealand incident. Akintola said, “The safety of Muslims who attend mosques is attracting greater attention in security circles in civilized environments.  Muslims have become endangered species around the globe and Nigerian security agencies should not be caught napping. Nowadays in America, uniformed and fully armed policemen stand by as Muslims offer Jumu’ah prayers in their mosques. Nothing stops the Nigerian police from doing the same.

“We therefore request for the visible presence of armed security personnel in every mosque around the country particularly during Jumu‘ah prayer on Fridays when mosques are filled to capacity.

“We make a similar request for our Christian neighbours. Armed policemen should be visible near churches around the country every Sunday during worship hours. MURIC’s interest lies in the safety of all, Christians and Muslims. Every Nigerian has the right to belong to the religion of his or her desire and no one has the right to kill worshippers.  

“On a final note, we call on Nigerians to realise that there are criminal elements and extremists in all religions. This is the reality we all must face. Each group must condemn the extremists in its midst and make them accountable before they turn peace-loving and law-abiding Nigerians against themselves in a war of attrition.

It is therefore high time we heeded the advice of the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, that both Christians and Muslims should unite to fight the evil ones in their midst”.

 

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Your Alleged Islamisation Of Nigeria Is Mischievous, MURIC Tells Danjuma

A Muslim group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has urged Nigerians to ignore the words of Retired Lt. Gen. TY Danjuma , saying ” Islamists must not rule Nigeria again.”

Danjuma had accused the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration of islamisation of the judiciary at a gathering of the Northern Christian Elders Forum (NCEF).                       

In a swift reaction, the Muslim group, in a statement signed by its founder and director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, described the allegation of Islamisation as “baseless, unfounded and mischievous.”

“Lt. Gen. Danjuma is trying to mislead Nigerians”. MURIC said.

“He is inciting them against Muslim leaders. He and those who joined him in this last journey to nowhere seek to turn Christians and Muslims against each other. We will not allow that. Such a move is self-serving and callous. It is the road to self-destruction. A house divided against itself cannot stand. We urge Nigerians to ignore them.

“Nigerians who are not victims of collective amnesia will recall that the cry of ‘Islamisation’ has always been on the lips of Islamophobics from time immemorial. Yet nobody has been Islamised. They ranted over sukuk bonds until they saw its fruits being used to build roads everywhere, including the South East. Of the 36 ministers in the country, 18 are Christians while 18 are also Muslims. In addition, Christians were given two juicy posts by this Muslim president: the secretary to the Federal Government and the Chief of Staff. Where lies Islamisation agenda? Islamisation or Fulanisation is a mirage, a phantom. It exists only in the imagination of disgruntled elements.

“Nigerians should ask Danjuma and his ilks the following questions. Is it Islamisation to construct the Second Niger Bridge? Is it Fulanisation to refurbish Lagos-Ibadan expressway? How many of the 9.2 million school children who are being fed free by this administration are Fulanis or Muslims? Is the new fast train in Abuja part of the Islamisation? How many Muslims have taken the train without their tickets and how many Christians have been turned back on the basis of their faith? Buhari may be a Muslim but his new roads know no religion. His trains know no religion.

“How can anyone interpret the suspension of a billionaire CJN who possesses 55 houses in Abuja alone as Islamisation? The next qualified person was picked for the post and that is due process. What crime has he committed for being a Muslim? How can that be interpreted as Islamisation? Very soon it will be Islamisation for Nigerian Muslims to get employment. It will be Islamisation if a Muslim eats. It will be Islamisation if the pilot of a plane or the driver of a bus is a Muslim. It is mass profiling and indiscriminate stigmatization of Nigerian Muslims.

“It is the Acting CJN today. It can be any Muslim tomorrow. MURIC will continue to defend Allah-given fundamental rights of Nigerian Muslims with every legitimate means at its disposal. No amount of blackmail, intimidation and name-calling can deter us. Both Muslims and Christians have the right to rule Nigeria because this country is a multi-religious state. We will not stand akimbo and allow some self-acclaimed elders to mislead Nigerians or to blackmail or scare away Muslims who have leadership potentials  

“Progressive people around the world are not using religion as a criterion for picking their leaders. They look at industry, antecedence, integrity, competence and morality. This should be the focus of Nigerians. We must free ourselves from the bondage of articulated religiousity. Religion is not about hate, killing and burning. Religion is love. We were human beings before we knew about any religion. So religion is humanity.

“We charge Nigerians to be wary of peddlers of hate. It is not religion. Neither is it ethnicity. We strongly suspect that TY Danjuma is calling for a personal pound of flesh. The tap from which free money has been flowing for so long has been closed by this administration. The Father Christmas mentality of past regimes has given way to prudent management of government’s resources. Oil licenses and blocks are not being renewed.

“No wonder, therefore, that a prominent member of the tiny cabal is venting his spleen on the Buhari regime. The electioneering period has been chosen to drive the point home. But Nigerians should not be deceived. It is neither about religion nor ethnicity. Otherwise why are the candidates of the two leading political parties Muslims and ‘Islamists’? How did this come about in spite of all the noise in the churches that Christians should not vote for Muslim candidates? Why are the candidates of the two major political parties of Fulani extraction despite the outcry in churches that Christians should not vote for any Fulani man?

“The truth is that the capitalist bourgeoisie political class to which the tiny cabal belongs are fidgety. They see themselves as the owners of Nigeria and they are deeply worried that power is gradually shifting to the masses. They are just 1% of the population. But they are so powerful that they control 85% of the total wealth of Nigeria. They control the media and they used to control government until 2015. The 99% who are the masses continue to struggle over the sharing of the remaining 15% of Nigeria’s resources. It cannot go round and this explains why we always fight among ourselves. To make matters worse, people like Danjuma and his NCEF inject the opium in religion and the heroin in ethnicity into the system to add fuel to the conflagration.      

“It should be noted that the NCEF has already been disowned by the officially recognized body of Nigerian Christians. NCEF is no more than a concoction and an unknown nomenclature, a pain in the neck even for Christendom and an embarrassment for true and patriotic Christians.

“MURIC advices Nigerians to disregard religious jobbers and spiritual busy bodies looking for a platform to unleash acrobatic religiousity and gymnastic spirituality. NCEF is fanning the embers of religious extremism among Christians. It can only lead to mayhem. This is a group known for fomenting trouble and for crying wolf where there is none. Its stock-in-trade has always been hate speech and incitement.

“Lt. Gen. Danjuma Must learn to live and let live. We remind him that the world is watching. We appeal to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to call NCEF to order once again. We call the attention of foreign observers, leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union to the inciting statements of Lt. Gen. Danjuma and his cohorts.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

2018: Muslim Group Scores Politicians Low

A Muslim group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has berated politicians for failing to evolve a meaningful political culture in the year 2018.

The group, in a statement signed by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, stated that the Central Think-Tank (CTT) of the group took a cursory look at events which dominated the Nigerian atmosphere during the year 2018 before arriving at its conclusion.      

According to Professor Akintola, politicians across the spectrum have disappointed Nigerians.

The statement partly reads:

“There are only a few exceptions. Nigerian politicians displayed astounding unpredictability. They were consistently inconsistent. Political prostitution rented the air in an uncontrollable manner. They were bereft of standards. There was no modicum of principles. All the political parties without exception became infected with political chameleonism. The Nigerian political landscape experienced one of its worst moments in history as politicians swarped parties on flimsy excuses. Personal ego and parochial interest became the parameters for jumping from one party to another”. 

“Instead of pursuing a meaningful, robust and forward-looking political culture, Nigerian politicians fell head over heels in love with ‘bolekaja’ mentality where Machiaveli instinct rivals Herbert Spencer’s theory of survival of the fittest.

“Instead of identifying with the masses and meeting their aspirations, majority of our politicians pitched camp with the capitalist bourgeois class. Politics is pursued purely for economic gains. Service is not the objective. No wonder therefore that politics in Nigeria has become an all-comer game and political charlatanism is the order of the day.  

“Our lawmakers perfected the art of law-breaking in law-making. In their sober moments, they were either competing with Nollywood actors or turning the hallowed chamber into the most notorious motor-park in the country. They made 2018 their year of sabotage when every project designed by the Federal Government (FG) was targeted for retardation. Meanwhile it was poor Nigerians who suffered just as it happens to the grasses when two elephants fight.

“It was the year lawmakers decided to inflict undue punishment on the Nigerian masses by ensuring that they are denied the dividends of democracy. This they did by ensuring that the budget was delayed for seven months and key projects could not be completed on schedule. The 8th National Assembly is the most anti-people in the history of Nigeria while its leadership has proved to be numero uno in parliamentary demagoguery in recent time. 

“It is paradoxical that the Nigerian electorate has failed to recognize its friends. Voters readily sell their votes to the same corrupt politicians who robbed them of the dividends of democracy. Whereas good roads, qualitative education, high standard health institutions, etc are unavailable today due to the corrupt practices of our politicians, many citizens still idolize the same corrupt elements. They fail to see them as the direct causes of their predicament.

“As a result, political shenanigans were able to mislead poor voters into having preference for ephemeral toys which they labeled ‘stomach infrastructure’ but which lasted only one day over concrete, palpable and enduring infrastructure which are capable of lasting for generations.   

“Yet in the midst of our political woes, a few politicians have managed to stay far from the maddening crowd. MURIC salutes these ladies and gentlemen of honour. They are the silver lining behind the dark clouds and they made the several achievements of the present administration possible.  

“For the first time in a very long stretch, a democratic regime has come up with several social intervention programmes which impact on the lives of the ordinary citizen, the market woman, the student and the unemployed graduate. Gargantuan amounts of money which used to end up in the private pockets of corrupt politicians now go directly to the masses. It is an unprecedented socio-economic revolution powered by the highest office in the land.

“It is quite reassuring that in spite of the fact that a recession greeted the Buhari administration on take-off, the revival of the Nigerian economy through diversification has gained considerable momentum. Forbes in September 2018 rated Nigeria as the best economy in Africa and one of the top ten most improved economies in the world.

“Although the price of crude oil fell to $51.60 three days ago (Friday 28th December, 2018), the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate standing at 9.5%, the naira exchanging at N306.9 to $1 and foreign reserve at $43.08 billion as at 18thDecember 2018, we are confident that the effect of the fall in the price of oil will be minimal on the economy considering the prudent management of the present administration.

“MURIC commends government’s war against corruption and we are delighted that as much as N871 billion, 407 mansions and 259 vehicles have been recovered from Nigeria’s serial looters by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The seizures also include nine petrol filling stations and 98 plots of land.

“In summary, Nigerian politicians are a big disappointment. Just as there is little choice in rotten apples, only a few political leaders have added real value to the Nigerian political landscape. The Buhari administration deserves medals for the prudent management of the economy while EFCC should be lauded for its aggressive pursuit of the war against graft”.

 

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Bail Of Alkali’s Killers: It Is Judicial Namby-Pamby – MURIC

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned the bail granted to twenty out of the twenty eight suspects arrested in connection with the killing of retired General Idris Alkali three days ago by Justice Daniel Longji of the Plateau State High Court.

The human rights organization expressed its disappointmnent in a statement issued on Thursday, 20th December, 2018. Professor Ishaq Akintola, the founder and director of the Islamic human rights organization described the bail as a travesty of justice.

“We are greatly disappointed. How can those who actively connived with dangerous and notorious killers be allowed to go home so soon? What message is the Plateau judiciary trying to pass to Nigerians? This is a travesty of justice. This bail is pregnant with ethnic and religious prejudice. It can best be described as judicial namby-pamby.

“Peace has eluded the Middle Belt not because culprits were not known but because such perpetrators have never been brought to justice. This must not happen in this case. The Alkali case must be seen as different by all stakeholders not only because his killing has exposed hundreds of such killings in the past but it has expanded the identity of the victims to Muslims from all parts of Nigeria.

“This development has triggered the interest of all Muslims in the country as they have now seen how hundreds of their fellow Muslims embarked on journeys of no return around the Plateau axis. This recent awareness is very dangerous and can lead to nationwide religious crisis particularly if the authorities handle the prosecution of those
in detention with levity.

“Instead of sweeping the case under the carpet, Nigerians expect that a more serious approach should be adopted. We believe that the suspects who were detained so far are mere messengers. The security agencies have gone to sleep since the arrest of those hirelings despite MURIC’s demand for deeper investigations and the need to apprehend and prosecute the sponsors.

“No big figure has been named since we made that crucial demand. It shows that something is still wrong somewhere. The failure of the security agencies to go after the sponsors is a big minus and it portrays them as unwilling to pursue the matter to a logical conclusion. The issue at hand demands rigorous investigation and
ironcast determination to get to the root of the matter. The dons behind the killers, the financiers and the influence wielders must be the targets of a sweeping investigation if we all want peace to reign in this country.

“Anything short of the above is still a huje joke. But releasing those detained on suspicion of killing Alkali can be most scandalous. It had better not happen. We seriously object to their bail because they are likely to tamper with the investigations. The killers are likely to know some of their sponsors. They should therefore remain in protective custody because they are likely to be silenced or spirited out of the country by powerful individuals who have vested interest in the case.

“We assert that Nigerian Muslims will lose confidence in the security agencies if this case is bungled. We therefore call on the Federal Government to show interest in the case and to send strong representation to the hearings. We charge the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation to keep an eye on the proceedings. We also invite the Plateau State judiciary to desist from frustrating the security agencies.

“Finally, we warn against a similar wishy-washy treatment of the remaining eight accused of actual involvement in the killing of General Alkali. We call on the security agencies to go after the sponsors of the Berom killers. Nobody should make the mistake of thinking that Nigerian Muslims will allow this case to be swept under the carpet. We are on the tip-toes of vigilance ad infinitum”.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Berom killings: MURIC Urges FG To Go After ‘Big Shots’ Behind Crisis

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has urged the Federal Government and the security agencies to go after the big shots that sponsor and mastermind the Berom killings.

While commending the Nigerian Police for arraigning the 19 suspects arrested so far in court over the killing of General Idris Muhammed Alkali (rtd), Director, MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, said, those arrested were “ordinary citizens”, adding that government should make more efforts to nab their sponsors.He said: “Those 19 men paraded on television are ordinary Berom citizens. They are just the fall guys. They are incapable of importing arms and ammunition from outside Nigeria. They lack the capacity to finance the recruitment of hit men, store weapons, train the militia and distribute arms.

“The police must dig deeper. Where are the financiers? Where are the big guys? Where are their sponsors? What of their arms depot? There is need to identify the armourer and trace the supply line as well as the illegal training camps which of course are established with the official backing of their state governments.

“The Plateau crisis festered because nobody was ever punished in spite of the regular killings and it will continue to defy solutions until the big guns behind the killings are dealt with the same way their errand boys are being treated now. There must be no sacred cows in this case.

“Equally didactic are several containers seized at the borders with the arms and ammunitions particularly during the present administration. The fact that such seizures began only after there was a change of leadership both in the Federal Government and Nigeria Customs Service suggests that the illegal smuggling of arms into the country has been going on for long with the tacit support of the immediate past government at the federal level.

“Or could all these have been possible without the active connivance of the immediate past administration at the federal level? What is very clear is that the state governments of Plateau, Benue and Taraba provided official cover for the criminals. It is interesting to note that illegal training camps have also been discovered in those states.

“MURIC is therefore dissatisfied with the prosecution of mere errand boys. The sponsors must be fished out otherwise the killings will continue. Fulanis and other Muslim travelers on that axis are now endangered species on whom Berom killers can pounce any moment,” he stated.Akintola said the task before the Federal Government and the security agencies is to find the sponsors, flood the highways, which are usually blocked by the Berom killers with soldiers and make the roads safe for travellers.

“These are necessary steps in order to build trust in the Nigerian Muslim community. Fulanis and Muslims are the victims and they need FG’s assurance that government is prepared to provide security.

“By the way, what is the Directorate of State Services doing in Plateau State? The onus is on the leadership of the state chapter of the DSS to uncover the brains behind the killings. Hundreds of Muslims were massacred in 2001. Again in 2011, an equally large number was merciless killed, roasted and eaten up a la cannibals at the Id (Salah ground). No secret security outfit worth its salt can remain ignorant of the nitty-gritties of such massive killings under its watch. DSS should dust up its files and place its cards on the table. Nigerian Muslims are tired of hanky-pankies,” he said.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Muslim Group Kicks Against Fayemi’s ‘All-Christian Cabinet’

A Muslim group, Muslim Rights Concern, (MURIC), on Wednesday, frowned at the first appointments made by the newly inaugurated governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

Recall that in a statement released on Tuesday evening, Dr. Fayemi had named Mr Abiodun Oyebanji as Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Biodun Omoleye as Chief of Staff  (COS) and Mr Yinka Oyebode as Chief Press Secretary (CPS).

However, in the statement signed by the director and founder of the human rights organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola, the group wondered why no single Muslim was among the first three appointments since both the governor and his deputy are Christians.

The statement reads in part:

“It is a dangerous signal considering what Muslims in the state went through under the dictator and totalitarian ruler, Ayodele Fayose who is currently rehearsing his incarceration songs in EFCC cell in Abuja. In flagrant demonstration of gymnastic religiousity and excessive hate action, Fayose demolished our mosques. He forbade the learning of Arabic language in the state. He encouraged matchet-brandishing masquerades and thugs to attack Muslim worshippers inside their mosques. The blood of Muslims flowed freely on the streets of Ekiti. Fayose’s ordeal has just started. We remember that we promised to visit him in Kirikiri. We hope to keep that promise very soon.

“Under Fayose’s administrative misadventure, the deputy governor, speaker, deputy speaker, SSG, COS, all the judges in the state, all the fourteen (14) commissioners, all the special advisers except one, all the twenty six (26) permanent secretaries, all the 14 permanent secretaries, all the board chairmen, all the chairmen and members of boards of Ekiti State University, the colleges of education and health technology as well as all the sixteen (16) local government caretaker chairmen except one were Christians. Muslims in the state who constitute no less than 35% of the total population were totally eclipsed. It had better not happen again under Fayemi.

“Yesterday’s appointments hit us pretty hard. Three straight appointments at a go and none went to a Muslim. Incidentally all three appointments are very crucial. They are personnel who must essentially stay close to the governor every hour of the day. We are becoming disillusioned.

“Et tu Fayemi! How can the Muslims start getting the same treatment they received under Fayose when they gave you massive support during the election? We know you as a moderate and tolerant Christian. Have you changed? What went wrong? We hope our fears will be addressed in the next few days and weeks as your government takes proper shape. It is only fair that Muslims are given proper representation in the appointment of commissioners, board chairmen, etc.

“It is on record that Muslims received good attention during Fayemi’s first tenure as governor of the state and we expect nothing less. Fayemi was the first governor in the whole South West to allow female Muslim students in public schools to use hijab even without any protests or legal action. That action alone gave us the impression that Fayemi is one of the few Christians in Nigeria who is ready and willing to promote religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

“In our closing remarks, MURIC calls on the new governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to continue to promote religious tolerance. We urge him to close ranks with Muslims in the state and to show the world that he is not a religious bigot like his immediate predecessor. We remind the ruling party in Ekiti state that Muslims deserve a fair share in the political appointments to be announced in the next few weeks”.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Muslim Group Hails CBN For Banning Spraying Of Naira Notes At Parties

A Muslim group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has applauded the apex Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for placing a ban on spraying naira notes at parties.

Recall that CBN spokesman, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, had instructed that anyone caught spraying faces a fine of N50,000 or six months imprisonment.

Meanwhile, in a press statement issued on Monday by Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director of the organization, he described the ban as long overdue. He further appealed to the law enforcement agencies to enforce the ban in the interest of the coming generation.

“We hail CBN for the ban on spraying at parties. It is a nauseating practice. Ours is a culture of waste. We are so materialistic today that we have forsaken our core values. We worship money even in the house of God. Spraying money at parties is flambouyance. Those who do it are cutting their noses to spite their faces. They are inducing greed and encouraging crime.

“What do you expect when people who have not taken any meal throughout the day watch you spraying money so recklessly as if you are throwing ordinary pieces of paper? You may attract armed robbers to yourself as you spray money at parties. Hoodlums may surround you or trail you when you leave. The CBN ban on spraying is therefore capable of reducing crime in society.

“Apart from that, we live in a country where the average person lives on less than $1 per day. Per capita income is less than $300. More than 80% Nigerians live below poverty level. The average worker lives from hand to mouth while majority of Nigerian students manage to survive on one meal per day. It is either 1 – 0 – 0  or  0 – 0 – 1.

“The question MURIC is asking is this: how can any Nigerian, acting in good conscience, come out boldly to spray money in such circumstance? We have seen the faces of hungry youths hanging around party venues waiting for left-overs from the tables of party-goers. The pain in their eyes strikes our hearts with grief as we watch fellow Nigerians spraying money on the dance floor. It is heartless”, Akintola said.

MURIC also blamed parents for the descent of youths into the abyss of indiscipline. “Parents prefer to turn their children into money-spinners. This has led many parents to use their children for money ritual. It has led many parents to force their daughters to marry rich men who do not care about their happiness. It has also led many parents to close their eyes to the criminal sources of their children’s wealth. Our society has drifted and we need iron hands to instill discipline in society.

“Even the Nigerian electorate has been misled. Stomach infrastructure is valued above long-term investment. The government of the State of Osun was recently punished by voters in the state for building good roads, bridges, modern school buildings, etc. Nobody complained that the state governor stole one kobo but they rebelled against him for investing their money in infrastructure.

“The verdict shows that Nigeria scored zero in voter education. It is also a strong pointer to the level of awareness of citizens’ rights in our society. People are not thinking of tomorrow. Neither are they appreciating leaders who plan for the future. We are in a hurry to eat up our tomorrow today. Consumerism leads us by our noses. It is a pity”.

But MURIC disagreed with CBN on the punishment to be meted out to defaulters. According to Akintola, “We disagree with N50,000 fine across the board. The fine should be based on the amount sprayed and the currency involved. A man who sprays only ten N100 notes cannot be compared with another who sprays two hundred N1,000 notes. Neither can we compare someone who sprays foreign currency with one who sprays naira. What is N50,000 fine to someone who sprayed close to one million naira? The fine should be proportionate to the amount sprayed.

“But that is if there is going to be any fine at all. In a worse case scenario, we would have loved a situation whereby government scraps the fine and opts for imprisonment without any option of fine for anyone who sprays money at parties. The length of jail terms may depend on the amount sprayed and the currency used. It should be a non-bailable offence. Nigerians fear to go to jail but they do not mind paying fines. This is why we advocate the scraping of fines for spraying money at parties.

“MURIC calls the attention of CBN to those who sell brand new naira notes. They are the ones who aid and abet spraying at parties. The police should be empowered to seize such money and return it to government treasury.

“As we take a break, we hail CBN for taking the bull by the horn. Those who desecrate the naira deserve punishment. We charge CBN to walk its talk. Emphasis should be placed on imprisonment for spraying at parties. There should be no option of fine. Only thus can we save this society from materialism, consumerism and moral decadence.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Independence Day: President Buhari Urged To Declare Total War On Corruption

A Muslim group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari for his many achievements in spite of daunting challenges. In particular, the Islamic human rights organization hailed the president for displaying incomparable maturity and unequalled statesmanship in steering the ship of the nation.

The message which was signed by the group’s director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, identified the successful prosecution of the war against corruption, the prudent management of the country’s scarce resources, the technical defeat of Boko Haram insurgents, the unprecedented overcoming of recession within one year, the tactical downsizing of the Biafra agitation, the diversification of the economy, the aggressive provision of infrastructural facilities across the nation like the second Niger Bridge, road and rail networks, etc as areas of visible achievements of the president.

MURIC also cited the indiscriminate release of funds to all states even when some governors remained irrationally hostile and erratic as indisputable manifestation of magnanimity by the president. In particular, the executive order directing the Nigerian Police to suspend criminal charges against the opposition’s gubernatorial candidate, Ademola Adeleke, was another indubitable manifestation of statesmanship.

The Islamic human rights organization reminded Nigerian politicians that corruption is the bane of the country’s progress. It lamented that corruption made Nigerian roads the best death traps in Africa, turned the hospitals into public mortuaries, removed the glamour in education and nearly strangulated the economy.

“As we prepare for the 2019 elections, therefore, all the political parties must steer clear of corrupt politicians. The battle cry should be ‘total war on corruption’. The Nigerian electorate must distance themselves from stomach infrastructure politicians who will feed them for only one day to make them hungry for four whole years.

“The onus is on civil society and the Nigerian press to educate voters. Nigerians should be taught how to become fishermen catching fish by themselves instead of hungry villagers waiting for crumbs from the tables of politicians. We must make our 58 years of independence more meaningful by setting ourselves free from political charlatans.

“Politicians who hold the whole nation to ransom for their selfish interests; those who arrogate to themselves all the milk and honey in the land while the jamaheer continue to suffer; those who pay themselves N29 million per month for sleeping during National Assembly (NASS) sessions while the proletariat cannot get a dignifying minimum wage; those who delay the country’s budget for seven months and those who deduct huge sums from the allocations of critical areas of infrastructure to add to their phony constituency projects are not fit to represent the Nigerian people, talk less of leading them.

“In summary, the focus in the 2019 election should be the emergence of a new, reformed NASS. It must be a NASS that is totally committed to the war against corruption. At both state and national levels, Nigerians should choose tested, trusted and credible leaders. We charge the youth to emancipate themselves from the shackles of laziness, indolence and corruption. There is nothing to emulate in emergency politicians and opportunists whose only credentials are F9 parallel, the flair for criminal propensity, a nuisance value and a godfather of armed robbers.”

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

MURIC Rejects UK Stand On Looted Funds

A Muslim group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has reacted to the United Kingdom’s position on return of Nigeria’s looted fund, describing it as “escapist, ridiculous and unjust.”

Recall that a Queen’s Counsel, Mr. Philip Hackett, had said the country is reluctant to return Nigeria’s looted funds because it cannot trust the country with such funds if returned.

Hackett revealewd this while speaking on the theme: ‘Institutionalising the War against Corruption – New Approaches to Assets Tracing and Recovery’, at the Annual General Conference of the NBA in Abuja on Wednesday, 29th August, 2018.

However, in a press statement by Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director of MURIC, he condemned UK’s claim stressing there was no basis whatsoever for Britain to make such a claim.

The statement reads:

“The main question is: who owns the money? Once it is established that the funds belong to the Federal Government of Nigeria, UK has no excuse holding on to it, talk less of pronouncing conditionalities. Britain cannot be keeping Nigeria’s money. Nigeria is not a land of morons. On the contrary, we are among the most intelligent people in the world.

“Britain is asking us for more transparency. That question might have been relevant in the days of corrupt leadership. Anyone who is serious about refunding money should do so now that we have a transparent and credible leader.

“That excuse is anachronistic and irrelevant in Buhari’s Nigeria. Buhari has made a huge difference and Western countries which have no hidden agenda should reciprocate. Any country that still holds on to stolen funds should be seen as either a thieving nation itself or an accomplice. Why ask for more transparency when we already have a world acclaimed anti-corruption leader as president? It is simply escapist. UK’s reservation is an afterthought, mischievous and irresponsible. Britain has its own agenda. Its economy is benefiting from Nigeria’s looted funds and it wants this to continue.

“It is on record that returned money has been used wisely by the Buhari administration. An example is the Abacha loot which was recently returned by Switzerland and shared among poor Nigerians. The $322 million Abacha loot was disbursed through Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) to 302,000 poor households in 19 states of Nigeria in July 2008. It shows that the present administration can be trusted to use returned money wisely and transparently.

“Now we understand the logic. Western nations have been using the endemic corruption in some African countries as an excuse for keeping money stolen from those countries in their own vaults. Also, it is becoming clear now that the repeated allegation by Western countries that there is still widespread corruption in Nigeria under Buhari is aimed at the same objective. They are using it as an excuse to keep our looted funds in foreign vaults ad infinitum. Nigeria’s money has only moved from one individual and unpatriotic thief to a corporate thief and a rogue nation.

“Yes, we affirm clearly, emphatically and unequivocally that Western nations who refuse to repatriate money looted from developing countries are rogue nations. They are living on the sweat of weaker countries. They have a heavy moral burden to carry”.

MURIC knocked Britain for its attitude on funds looted from Nigeria. “Britain’s attitude to looted funds from Nigeria exposes the underbelly of capitalism. It implies that capitalism is blind to morality. It does not matter where money comes from. Capitalists must grab it from left, right and centre. It does not matter if they step on the dead bodies of millions of poor people of the oppressed nations of the world to get the money. Capitalism is devoid of all human feelings. Capitalism has no veins, no vessels, no blood. Capitalism is like dry wood.

“Britain’s attitude to Nigeria’s looted funds also makes a mockery of democracy. Is this what the West calls democracy? Is it about freedom to sit on looted funds hiding under ludicrous excuses? Is democracy about the freedom to move illegal money from poor nations to powerful countries? If that is true, then democracy is the most pernicious and most inhuman ideology in the world. The decision to continue sitting on our money is impunity of the highest order. Where is Britain’s morality?

“How many looters take their money to communist or Islamic states? How much of Nigeria’s money is in Russia? How much is in China? How many looters have taken their money to Saudi Arabia or Iran? Shame on capitalism and democracy.

“It is an insult to say that Nigeria cannot be trusted with looted funds if returned. The UK government should answer this question: If Mr. A’s house is burgled and the stolen items are traced to Mr. B’s house, has Mr. B any moral or legal right to ask Mr. A that he must first guarantee that he would not allow his house to be burgled again before releasing his stolen items to him? What do you call Mr. B after all said and done?

“Isn’t there some law against receiving stolen item in Britain? We love to remind the UK that we have such a law here in Nigeria in case Britain forgets. The paradox lies in the fact that the law on receivers of stolen items is a legacy from Britain. So who did this to UK? Do we call it colonial amnesia? How did morality go haywire in the Queen’s own land?

“UK is using money looted from Nigeria to finance its economy at the expense of Nigeria. In short, all the noise about the UK supporting the fight against corruption in Nigeria is meaningless as long as the same UK refuses to reprtriate stolen funds. It also means UK is encouraging graft”.

MURIC also taunted Britain over its reluctance to vomit Nigeria’s money. “By the way, what is Britain arguing about? Switzerland coughed out $322 million in July this year. The United States has pledged to return $500 million very soon. What is Britain ready to give? Is the UK holier than the US and Switzerland put together?

“If UK cannot trust us to use repartriated funds wisely, we also cannot trust Britain with our money. It is our money and our money is our money, not Britain’s. This is the same colonialist who exploited Nigeria for more than a hundred years. What did we gain at the end? Britain asked us to close our eyes and pray. By the time we opened our eyes, our land was gone. Our culture was in tatters. How can we trust such people again particularly with our money?

“For the avoidance of doubts, Africans did not have to wait for the common law to be imported from Britain before demonizing and criminalizing the concept of received stolen goods. A popular Yoruba adage says ‘Eni ti o gbe epo laja nikan ko ni ole, eni ti to gba lowo re gan, ole ni’, i.e. the man who steals palm oil from the ceiling is not the only thief, his accomplice who stood below and helped him to collect it from the ceiling is also a thief because without him the thief who climbed the ceiling would have failed in his devilish mission.

“Used in the context of this argument, Britain as well as other Western nations who receive looted funds from Nigeria and other poor nations are as guilty as those who stole the money from their countries. Nigerian looters were in the ceiling siphoning their country’s wealth into big bags, Britain and other receivers of looted money were on the ground below them giving the stolen funds the much needed soft landing.

“As we draw the curtain, we aver that Nigeria may have to approach the International Court of Justice on this matter. Diplomacy is sometimes a potent agent of procrastination. Let us explore the legal angle parri passu.  We charge our leading lawyers, renowned human rights activists and the Nigerian civil society to take up the struggle. Britain and other countries who are yet to repatriate Nigeria’s looted funds should be taken to international courts for arbitration. Let the world adjudicate.

“We invite Britain and other countries still keeping Nigeria’s looted funds to expedite action on its repatriation. Nigerians are not imbeciles whose money must be managed for them by ‘clever’ foreigners. We demand unconditional respect for our country. Nigerians are among the best of the best in the world.

 

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

MURIC Calls For Pardon For The 54 Soldiers

A Muslim Group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has called for the the pardon of 54 soldiers who are currently serving a ten year jail term for alleged mutiny.

The director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola, in a press statement, contended that the 54 soldiers should be seen as heroes, patriots and whistle-blowers instead of criminals and mutineers. He therefore appealed to the committee to recommend them for presidential pardon.

Recall that the federal government on Tuesday 28th August, 2018 inaugurated the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy. The Committee is to assist President Muhammadu Buhari in the discharge of his constitutional responsibility of granting state pardon to deserving prisoners and ex-convicts.

Akintola said, “These 54 soldiers merely refused to confront Boko Haram with poor weapons. They did not actually refuse to fight. They asked for better weapons. Their insistence drew attention to the massive corruption at the battle front in the days of ex-President Jonathan. It enabled the current administration to uncover the $2.1 billion arms fraud.

“But today these brave patriots are languishing in jail. They were first sentenced to death by a military court martial. The death sentence was later commuted to ten years in jail by the Chief of Army Staff. We believe that this is one miscarriage of justice too many. Why should those defending our dear country against insurgents suffer such ignominy? Why should our whistle-blowers end up in jail? The 54 soldiers made no attempt at shooting their superior officers. They only demanded better weapons.

“We believe that setting them free will reinforce the patriotic zeal in hundreds of soldiers who are currently fighting insurgents in the North Eastern part of the country. These 54 soldiers are from different religious and ethnic backgrounds brought together by fate and a burning passion to free their country from the claws of Boko Haram. We have never met or seen them physically in real life except on television and on the pages of newspapers. On our part, we are simply moved by the desire to support the war against corruption and to ensure that there is no miscarriage of justice.

“We have issued many statements in our call for pardon for the 54 soldiers even before the setting up of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy. We mentioned their case in our Maolud message of 12th December, 2016 entitled ‘Set Innocent Captives Free’; our press statement of 9th March, 2017 entitled ‘MURIC Calls For Special Pardon For the 54 Soldiers’;  another statement dated 30th June, 2017 under the caption ‘Set the 54 Soldiers Free’; our  Maolud message of 30th November 2017 entitled ‘Buhari Should Pardon the 54 Soldiers’; our press release of 18th May, 2017 , our Id al-Fitr message of 14th June, 2018 and our most recent Salah message issued last week on 22nd August, 2018.

“In conclusion, we strongly appeal to the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy to recommend the 54 soldiers for presidential pardon on compassionate ground. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said, ‘Allah will show mercy to those who show mercy to their fellow homo sapien’”.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

MURIC Urges Lagos Senators To Rethink Objection To Banire’s Nomination

A Muslim group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has appealed to the three Senators from Lagos State to rethink their objection to Dr. Muiz Banire’s nomination as Chairman of Assets Management Commission of Nigeria (AMCON), by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a press statement signed by the Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, the group said it was saddened by the development.

The statement read in part:

“We are looking at this from an entirely different angle. We are a Muslim human rights group and we are interested in seeing Muslims performing their civic duties, enjoying their Allah-given fundamental rights and taking their rightful positions like all other citizens in public posts.

“We are not out to stop people of other faith from enjoying the same priviledges or occupying positions of authority. But naturally our adrenalin goes up whenever there is an attempt to block a Muslim from enjoying what is his right, particularly when such a Muslim is more than qualified for the post. We have no iota of doubt that Dr. Muiz Banire is well qualified for this post both by his high level of education and experience. His integrity is also solid.

“Muslims are at the bottom of the pyramid of deprivation in this country. Therefore, every appointment given to a Muslim raises the Muslim community above poverty level. It does not matter whether such an appointment is political or otherwise. Muslim youths lose hundreds of admission opportunities into universities on account of their inability to pay the fees. More than 80% of unemployed youths are Muslims while Muslim women and children are among the most vulnerable in Nigeria today.

“We are not interested in party politics. That is an internal matter and only politicians can handle that. Our advice is that politicians should put their house in order. They should learn from the ongoing crisis at the national level which emanated from lack of internal cohesion. They should handle the Lagos angle with great care because the hawks are already hovering above and only a united force can resist them. We note the consistent development of Lagos State under progressive regimes since 1999. Everything should be done to ensure that this state of excellence does not fall into the hands of marauders.

“We affirm that Lagos Muslims are greatly disturbed by the objection raised against Dr. Banire’s nomination because of the closeness of the latter to many Islamic organisations. Banire is recognized as a very active Muslim leader not only in Lagos State but also nationwide. He also identifies with the umbrella Islamic organization and he is well known to its leaders. Muslims cannot afford to keep quiet if he is denied this opportunity to serve. Afterall, Christian leaders too do not abandon their own members in times of need.

“We have nothing against the senators who objected to his nomination because only politicians can understand the issues involved. We respect them as political leaders in their own rights. But we are reminding them that this objection goes beyond politics. It has very wide and serious implications particularly among Muslims at this critical period.

“It is not about Banire alone. Every Muslim politician is important to MURIC. Nay, we have a duty to protect Allah-given fundamental right of every single Muslim in this country, including the right to vote and be voted for and the right to hold a public post without let or hinderance so long as such a Muslim has not committed any crime punishable under the law.  We are there to watch their backs.

“In the final analysis, we call on the Lagos senators who objected to Dr. Banire’s nomination to do a rethink and to settle their internal wrangling amicably. In particular, the respected apex leadership of the party in the South West should use his wide exposure and fatherly disposition to facilitate an all-is-well-that-ends-well outcome. We appeal to Lagosians of goodwill and Muslim leaders in particular to intervene in this matter before it is too late”.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

MURIC Urges FG To Stop Religious Crusaders In Ikoyi Immigration Office

Following reports that the premises of the Nigerian Immigration at Ikoyi has been taken over by religious zealots who compel staffers and applicants to join them in morning devotions, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has cried out to immigration authorities and the Federal Government to save the department from religious crisis.

In a press statement signed by its director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, he complained that its headquarters had been inundated with reports that Nigerians who visit the immigration office in Ikoyi, Lagos early in the mornings are being made to partake in Christian prayers and evangelical devotion without any regard for their religious leaning.

According to Akintola, “The Ikoyi office of immigrations has been taken over by Christian fanatics who force everyone who arrives early to join in Christian prayers. They insist that there must be morning devotion before starting work every morning. The fact that they have Muslims among their staff and applicants means nothing to them. They invoke spirits and imaginary angels. They shout and scream at the top of their voices. It is madness in official quarters.

“Muslims need protection in this country. We cannot just stand by watching as Muslims are embarrassed and denigrated by overzealous Christian officials in immigration office. It is not only ridiculous but also unacceptable. It is hard to believe that Ikoyi immigration office is owned by the Nigerian government. It looks more like a Christian evangelical office.

“When did Nigeria descend to this level? How can a government department of such high status become a tool in the hands of gymnastic crusaders? We are demanding immediate cessation of this rubbish. It must also be investigated. All government offices are there for staffers to work and for visitors to receive quality service. How can we get that quality service when you force us to go down on our knees contrary to our belief? By the way, how can we allow civil servants to mess up tax payers for crying out loud? No serious nation will allow its work force to descend into the labyrinths of mythical religiousity and Treasure Island miracle mentality.”

MURIC affirmed that Nigerian Muslims are tax payers and major stakeholders who deserve quality service. The Muslim human rights outfit decried the compulsion of applicants to join in morning devotion of any kind in Ikoyi immigration office in particular and any other government department for that matter.

“This phenomenon is now common in many ministries, parastatals, hospitals, clinics, market places, etc. Some Christian extremists just assume that they own this country. They arrogantly ask everyone to close their eyes in government offices every morning. They ask them to kneel down and pray. They should be told that Muslims pray in their homes every morning before going to work. So what is the essence of forcing us to pray in the office in Christian fashion? This ignoble practice is common where Christians are heads of department. It happens where Christians are directors. This bedlam must be brought under control.

“If anybody wants to pray in the office, let him or her pray silently and privately. It is an infringement on Allah-given fundamental rights of Muslims to compel them to kneel down and pray in Christian manner just because the boss in that office is a Christian. This is something Muslim bosses will never do and we are demanding immediate stoppage.

“It is paradoxical that the same Christian bosses and directors who force Muslims to join them in prayer are the same people who spread the misleading propaganda that Nigeria is being Islamised. This new revelation proves that they are the ones Christianising Nigeria but accusing the Muslims in order to deceive Nigerians. Our neighbours are adept at deception, outright lies and fake news.

“It may be argued that Muslims also pray at work but while that is true they never drag non-Muslims to join their prayer. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees freedom of religion and that is why whoever wants to worship should do so briefly without compelling others to join him or her. MURIC will continue to expose those who tramp upon Allah-given fundamental rights of Muslims”.

The Muslim group lamented the Nigerian irony where there is excessive show of religious devotion without a commensurate level of transparency and accountability in public office.

“Our advice is that Nigerians should stop this hypocritical show of piety in criminality. How can we spend hours on our knees yet we are ‘fantastically corrupt’? How can we compel people to join in morning devotion but demand bribes from the same people minutes later? Those who waste so much time kneeling down in prayer during working hours do not deserve full salary because they did not render full service to their country. They are cheating on government”.

MURIC also explained that it does not oppose Christians praise-worshipping in workplaces since Muslims also observe Salat (ritual or canonical prayer) at work. The organization insists that the Christian spiritual exercise should involve Christians alone and that no Muslim should be invited or forced to attend or participate. It argued that such Christian praise-singing at work should not be done where both Christians and Muslims are waiting for public service.

 “It is necessary to clarify our position before we draw the curtain in order to avoid deliberate misinterpretation by mischief makers and war mongers. We Muslims are not saying Christians cannot or should not worship in work places. We also worship in our places of work but it is Salat which has prescribed time and special genuflections as we are commanded in the Qur’an ‘Observe regular Salat because it is prescribed at stated times’ (Qur’an 4:103; see also Qur’an 2:238; 23:9; etc). It must be noted that Muslims who observe Salat in their places of work are neither showing off nor being fanatical because such prayer (e.g. between 1 pm and 2 pm) is mandatory and those who ignore Salat are cursed (Qur’an 107:5).

“Nonetheless, our Salat is an all-Muslim affair. We do not invite or force Christians to join us. So what we are saying is that Christians can also assemble for religious purposes in their places of work but they should not invite Muslims talk less of forcing them to join in morning devotion. Morning devotion by Christians in immigration office is legitimate with the proviso that it is an all-Christian affair. But it becomes illegal, illegitimate, unlawful and unconstitutional the moment Muslims are coerced to join. It is religious intimidation of the highest order. Do your own alone and let the Muslims do their own alone. “For you your religion and for us our religion” (Qur’an 109:6).

“As we draw the curtain, we demand full investigation into the Ikoyi morning devotion affair. A circular should go out in all ministries and parastatals warning against forceful morning devotions. Defaulters should be punished as deterrents”.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]