APC Restructuring Committee List Is Lopsided, Says Group

A Muslim group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC). has said that it is greatly dissatisfied with the membership of the restructuring committee.

The group, in a press release signed by its President, Professor Ishaq Akintola, questioned the absence of the original proponents of restructuring in the committee.

The part statement reads:

“Our disappointment stems from the exclusiveness of the list. Where are the proponents of restructuring in the committee? They are not there. Can APC shave a man’s head in his absence? Objectivity demands that at least one or two people from the South East where the call for restructuring and self-determination is loudest should be there.
“We can understand if PDP governors from the South East are excluded but at least a state chairman of the APC from the sub-region should have been picked.
 
MURIC demands a review of the membership of the committee before its first sitting in the interest of transparency and objectivity. We appeal to agitators who feel genuinely aggrieved to pursue the path of dialogue. The emergence of the ruling party’s restructuring committee is a strong signal that hope is on the way.
 
Finally, we affirm that although setting up the committee in the first place portrays the ruling party as a listening political body, the recent agitations which created tension in the country calls for cautious, objective and patriotic appraisal.”
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Protest Against Banire: A Bad Precedent, Says Group

A Muslim group, The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has described a protest staged against the National Legal Adviser of the party, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN) as a bad precedent.

The group, in a press statement signed by its President, Professor Ishaq Akintola, said that the staged protest “is likely to open a window of opportunity for the PDP and its army of greedy, selfish and overtly corrupt politicians to stage a comeback.”

The part statement reads:
“It is natural for innocent onlookers who are watching the unfolding scenario to start feeling unsafe. Corruption drove Nigeria to the pitiable economic condition in which it found itself today and the PDP should be blamed for the country’s present woes. The present administration’s headlong attack on corrupt elements in the country gave hope to the masses but crisis in APC is beginning to becloud this sense of security moreso since the war against corruption is far from being over as new challenges rear their ugly heads on a daily basis.
 
“APC leaders should borrow a leaf from its recent loss in Osun senatorial election where victory was snatched by opportunists whose major credential is dancing on their fathers’ grave. Charles Darwin’s wise words come in handy in these circumstances: “It is not the strongest of the species or the most intelligent that survives. It is the one most adaptable to change
 
“By calling for adherence to democratic principles as entrenched in the party’s constitution and demanding a stop to the imposition of candidates, Banire was merely performing his duty as the party’s legal adviser. The call for expulsion is therefore arbitrary. It should be ignored in the interest of the party and that of the Nigerian people at large.
 
“We advise APC leadership at the national level to immediately set its reconciliation machinery in motion and to up its internal democracy game. At the local level, the leaders are advised to stoop to conquer. They should remember that the hawks are waiting by the ringside. We appeal to all stakeholders to sheath their swords in the interest of Nigeria. There is also no need to feel slighted as this will not diminish an inch from the greatness of the founding fathers of the party.
 
“Banire represents the new generation politician and any attempt to expel him for defending noble principles of democracy will send the wrong signals to up and coming generation of politicians. While Banire may have fallen foul of Woodrow Wilson’s advice that, “If you want to make enemies, try to change something”, APC leadership should be wary of ignoring Hegel’s warning that history always repeats itself and Karl Marx’s rejoinder that the first repetition of history is a tragedy and the second, a farce.
 
“We further advice that APC leadership should not see Banire as an enemy. Neither should it frown at his exposure of certain autocratic propensities within the party. Former President Goodluck Jonathan learnt too late that it is better to listen to complaints coming from within and he paid dearly for it.
 
“According to Aristotle in his Analytics,Opposition is true friendship. The man who tells you that you have a stinking rear is your friend. He is only drawing attention to your bodily filth and asking you to do something about it. He is better than a sycophant who says you can always come out of the sewage tank and smell roses!”
 
“On a last note, we affirm that we are not interested in any political party. Our concern springs from genuine fear for a return to unbridled kleptomania, reckless spending and free descent into corruption without tears in Nigeria. MURIC’s advocacy is party-blind, ethnically neutral and religiously liberal. We are middle-roaders and social jihadists seeking food for hungry Nigerians, healing for the sick, clothing apparels for the naked and shelter for the homeless.”
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Bill On Full Amnesty For Looters Satanic, Says Group

A Muslim group, The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned in strong terms a Bill seeking full amnesty for treasury looters in Nigeria.

The Bill, sponsored by Hon. Linus Okorie from Ebonyi State, has scaled through the first reading within two weeks of its introduction on 14th June and it is scheduled for the second reading this month.   

In a statement signed by President of the group, Professor Ishaq Akintola, he described the bill as provocative, shameless and luciferous. 

The statement reads in part:

“Coming at a time when the country is regaining its glory in the international community as a former most corrupt country in the world, this satanic bill seeks to take Nigeria’s public officials back to the inglorious days of graft with impunity.
 
“It will be recalled that Nigeria was declared the Most Corrupt Country by Transparency International in the year 2001, ranked Second Most Corrupt in 2003 and Third Most Corrupt in 2004. Twelve years later, in May 2016 to be exact, former British prime minister David Cameron still had cause to describe Nigeria as one of the two most ‘fantastically corrupt’ countries in the world.
 
“It is on record that the doggedness of the Buhari administration’s war against corruption has won accolades worldwide. Within just one and a half years of its inception, the same Transparency International which ranked Nigeria as the world’s Most Corrupt Country moved the country to number 136 least corrupt nation out of 175 countries in its Corruption Perception Index of January 2017.
 
“It is most dishonourable that members of the House of Representatives now seek to undo what the Federal Government (FG) has been able to achieve in its current fight against corruption. The bill seeking amnesty for looters is a declaration of war against the Nigerian people.
 
“MURIC calls on the House of Representatives to stop this bill immediately. It must not be allowed to go through the second reading. We remind the Speaker that posterity will not forgive him if he allows this stench to soil his good name. Neither should the House take the docility of Nigerians for granted. National Assembly may be sitting on a keg of gun powder if it goes ahead to pass this obnoxious bill into law.”      
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Group Condemns Masquerades Attack On Mosque, Worshippers In Ekiti

A Muslim group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned the attack by masquerades on Muslim faithfuls inside the Central Mosque in Ikun Ekiti, Moba Local Government Area of Ekiti state.

The incident which occured on Tuesday May 30th left several worshipers injured and some hospitalized.

More so, two cars were reportedly damaged while the mosque also suffered part damage.

Narrating the incident, MURIC, in a statement signed by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola said that the incident occurred around 7 pm in the evening when the Muslims had just broken their fast and were observing the Maghrib prayer.

This attack cannot be isolated from the hostile and belligerent attitude of the governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, towards Muslims in the state as well as their mosques. We are inclined to declare that the masquerades who attacked Muslims inside their mosques in Ikun Ekiti took the cue from the governor’s open hostility towards Ekiti Muslims and his determination to destroy mosques in the state.

“It is already clear that Fayose has declared Muslims in the state as persona non grata and their mosques legitimate targets for destruction.

“The fact that the Muslims were attacked inside their mosque is quite instructive. The masqueraders alleged that they had warned the Muslims not to pray during their Egungun festival. They claimed that the adhan (Muslim call to prayer) that was called provoked them.
 
‘This is nauseating. When did the Muslims’ adhan turn into a weapon of mass destruction? Who did the adhan injure? How can the prayers being offered by Muslims inside their own mosque become pernicious to the masquerades who were passing by? The worship of one faithful should not deter another from his own worship,” the statement reads.
The group urged relevant authorities to clip the wings of traditional worshippers saying “They arrogate illegitimate powers to themselves by unilaterally declaring curfews for the purpose of rituals.”
It also rebuked the police of ignoring the breach of the law perpetuated by the traditionalists and allowing them to unleash reign of terror on law-abiding citizens.
He however urged the police to with immediate action, arrest the masquerades who attacked Muslims inside the mosque in Ikun Ekiti.
“The police must arrested and prosecute the masquerades for breaking and entering, willful damage, thuggery, hooliganism, attempted murder and breach of the peace. The Nigerian Police must nip illegal curfews in the bud by making a strong statement banning unauthorised curfew anywhere in Nigeria,” the statement reads.
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Group Rejects May 29 As Nigeria’s Democracy Day, Says Its Fraudulent And Unrealistic

A Muslim group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has expressed its dissatisfaction over Federal Government’s decision to continuously declare May 29 as Nigeria’s democracy day.

In a statement signed by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, the group stated that celebrating May 29 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day is fraudulent, unrealistic and escapist.

“May 29 was picked by the last military regime of General Abdul Salaam Abubakar because it marked the day that the military handed over power to civilians after decades of military dictatorship. But the soul of Nigerians is in the June 12, 1993 general election whose result was criminally annulled by the military,” the statement reads.

“It is our considered opinion that June 12 should be Nigeria’s real Democracy Day because June 12 election was adjudged by both local and international observers as the most orderly, most peaceful and most democratic election in the annals of Nigeria’s history. That election remains celebrated today as the only one that was free of rigging, ballot box snatching, thuggery, hooliganism and other related ugly incidents.
 
“June 12 1993 was the day all Nigerians decided to sink religious and ethnic differences. They voted for the Muslim – Muslim ticket of Chief M. K. O. Abiola and Babagana Kingibe. Nigerians spoke with one voice on that memorable day from Enugu to Kaora Namoda and from Sokoto to Bayelsa. The churches rejoiced with the mosques on June 12 1993 and Nigeria truly became one.   
 
“One of the reasons for our failure to resolve the problems facing Nigeria is the inability of our leadership to face reality, to admit mistakes and to made amends. May 29 was a grievous mistake. June 12 is the way forward. If we do not know where we are going, at least we know where we are coming from. June 12 is where we are coming from. Let us go back to it in order to jog our people’s memory, ignite their passion and rekindle their patriotism.
 
“Those who picked May 29 merely wish to switch attention from our collective will. May 29 is enslavement and captivity. June 12 is freedom and liberty. It symbolizes unity and epitomizes unconditional love. It is emancipation from the claws of bourgeois politics, ethnic jingoism and corruption unlimited.
 
“June 12 removed the veil from our eyes. It taught us to seek leadership in competence, integrity and decency, not mediocrity, religious affiliation or ethnicity. On June 12 we stand.   
 
 “In conclusion, MURIC urges the Federal Government and the ruling party to keep faith with the change mantra by going back to June 12. Nigerians were promised change. We want that change to manifest in the day recognized as Democracy Day. It must be the people’s day, not the day picked by a tiny cabal. It must be the day of unity. It must be the day of unlimited love. Give us June 12.”
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Group Urges Muslim Faithfuls To Empower Imams

A group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has directed Muslim faithfuls throughout the country to pay attention to the socio-economic plight of Imams.

This was contained in a statement signed by it Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

The statement reads:

“In a country where the average citizen lives on less than $1 per day and per capita income is less than $300, the current recession has worsened the plight faced by Imams. It must be noted that while a few Imams receive stipends from Islamic organizations, more than 90% of them have no reliable source of income whatsoever. This is quite embarrassing.
 
“It is also paradoxical that government establishments do not recognize the Arabic certificates obtained by them even after spending close to twenty or thirty years in various Islamic schools and centers. To make matters worse, elite Muslims expect Imams to go for another vocational training like carpentry and tailoring in order to make ends meet. This amounts to gross socio-economic injustice. It creates a wider gap between the rich and the poor and promotes class compartmentalisation.
 
“The Imam’s daily routine is so enormous that labour activists cannot but see it as slave labour. He begins the day’s work in the mosque from 5.30 am in preparation for the Subh prayer. He must be there to lead the congregation for Zuhr between 1 and 2 pm. ‘Asr prayer is between 3 and 4 pm and he must not miss it. He is still in the mosque for Magrib (around 7 pm) and for ‘Ishai around 8 pm.
 
“Yet that is not all. He takes charge of funeral matters when any member of the congregation passes away. He washes the corpse. He shrouds it and leads the salat al-janazah (prayer offered on the dead).  He is there for the solemnization of marriages (nikah). The Imam is overworked, overtasked but underpaid. 
 
“To get back at his oppressors, the Imam capitalizes on wedding (nikah), naming (‘aqiiqah) and funeral (janaazah) and graduation (waliimah) ceremonies by turning them into bazaars in order to rake in their dues from the negligent congregations. This is often done to the chagrin of envious elites who complain endlessly of extortion and exploitation.   
 
“But the fact is that none of those educated elites and critics of the Imam who argue that the Imam should go for some vocational training can bathe their dead relations. They will call the Imam. None of them can solemnize their daughter’s marriage by themselves without inviting the Imam. They fail to accept the fact that Islamic scholarship is a profession by itself and a most noble one too and no Imam should be expected to set out to learn any other vocation. Or have lawyers been requested to learn carpentry or tailoring?
 
“MURIC contends that the Imam is badly shortchanged and the time to appreciate him is now. We are not talking of Islamic scholars who are in government institutions. This is about Imams in private mosques and those employed by Islamic organizations. They only receive seasonal tokens. It is a big shame that Islamic organizations pay their Imams the poorest salary in this country.
 
“This Ramadan season offers a unique opportunity for sober reflection on the way Imams have been impoverished by their followers and pauperised by Islamic organizations. We remind Muslim faithfuls that Imams also have family responsibilities. Their children must pay school fees. Their wives buy from the same markets like all other consumers even in the face of rising costs and the current recession. The Nigerian Imam is in economic bondage.
 
“MURIC charges the Muslim Ummah to set the Imams free. Why is it that some mosques are built without any provision for the Imam’s quarter? This practice does not conform with liberation theology in Islam. Our religion is essentially welfarist. Every individual Muslim has a duty to extend a hand of fellowship to his or her Imam. Making the Imam comfortable is the only way to stabilize the Imamate institution and make Islamic studies attractive.
 
“Have we not seen the recent drift in choice of courses by students in universities? How many Muslim parents want their sons and daughters to read Islamic studies? How many of them want their children to become Imams in future? Most Muslim parents want their children to read accounting, banking, insurance, law and other materialistic though glamorous courses. Is it not because even the Muslims look down on the Imam and pays him a pittance?
 
“We appeal to Islamic organizations to embark on an upward review of the salaries of their Imams without any delay. We urge leaders and officials of Islamic organizations to fear Allah by according the Imam his rightful place of respect, honour and dignity. The gagging of Imams and the usurpation of their powers by religious bureaucrats must stop.”
 
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Muslim Group Condemns British Lawmaker Over Inflammatory Comment On Buhari’s Health

A Muslim group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned ex-British parliamentarian, Eric Stuart Joyce for his deceitful claim that President Muhammadu Buhari is dead.

Eric Joyce had in a statement, incited  Nigerians to ask questions about President Buhari’s health, saying citizens should not be quiet under a democratic system of democracy.

In a swift but apt response to his claim, MURIC, in a statement signed by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, advised the British parliamentarian to desist from interfering in Nigeria’s internal affairs.

“We are constrained to seize the opportunity of his interest in our country to plead with him to divert his interest to the billions of sterling  pounds siphoned from Nigeria’s shores to British banks and other investment sources in England.

“It must interest Mr. Joyce that the British economy is being propped up with money stolen from Nigeria. We are urging the ex-parliamentarian to use his connections particularly among his friends who are still in parliament. Nothing stops the ex-lawmaker from issuing a public statement to compel the British government to repartriate money stolen from this country.

 
 “MURIC contends that Britain and the rest of Europe, particularly Switzerland which operates secret bank account system thereby shielding thieves from exposure and subsequent prosecution are aiding and abetting corruption in the Third World. The looters of our common wealth would not have succeeded without the existence of such leeways.
 
Mr. Joyce will agree with MURIC that countries where stolen money is kept is an accessory after the fact. Again, countries that benefit in any way from the proceeds of stolen money have a burden of morality on their conscience. But is Mr. Joyce ready to help free Britain from its moral burden?
 
“In conclusion, we assert that the ball is in Mr. Joyce court. Whether to give the issue of Nigeria’s stolen money in British banks (oiling British economy) the same publicity as he gave the president’s health remain to be seen in the next few days. Joyce may want to use his influence in the House of Commons (where we believe he must still have many friends) to stir up a debate on the need to repartriate Nigeria’s stolen money. This will be more honourable than stirring up needless controversy on the Nigerian president’s health.  
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Muslim Group Commends Kano Gov Abdullahi Ganduje For Suspending Probe Of Emir Sanusi

A Muslim group, The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has on Tuesday expressed delight in the peaceful resolution of the probe of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II.

In a press statement signed by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, he acknowledged the outstanding contributions of the Emir to the introduction of the Islamic banking system in Nigeria, his immense exposure to the Shari’ah legal system and his passion for the advancement of Islam.

“We thank all those who intervened in the imbroglio especially His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III.
 
“In conclusion, we appeal for cohesion among Northern leaders and charge them to utilize the various mechanisms available in the region to resolve issues without externalizing them because every little incident in the North has far-reaching impact on Islamdom in Nigeria,” the statement reads.
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Muslim Group Condemns Massacre Of Islamic Scholar In Ogun State

A muslim group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has described the gruesome killing of a popular Islamic scholar, Shaykh Amzat Salaam, his wife and four children as a “dastardly act.”

Amzat was butchered in his home in Atiba area, Odogbolu Local Government, near Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, alongside his wife and four children.

Director of the group, Professor Ishaq Akintola, in a press statement made available to newsmen said the killing reveals the underbelly of the Nigerian security agencies.

MURIC charges the Ogun State Police Command to fish out the killers of the Salaam family. We want justice. Nobody should murder an Islamic scholar, rout his whole family and get away with it. Ogun police must prove its mettle within days.

“We also call for their full cooperation so that the police can freely conduct its investigation. We urge Islamic scholars all over the country, particularly in Ogun State, to remain law abiding, to tighten security around them and to remain vigilant day and night. May Allah have mercy on the victims, forgive them and grant them Al-Jannah firdaus.

Finally, we appeal for calm among the Muslim faithfuls in the state. We also call for their full cooperation so that the police can freely conduct its investigation. We urge Islamic scholars all over the country, particularly in Ogun State, to remain law abiding, to tighten security around them and to remain vigilant day and night. May Allah have mercy on the victims, forgive them and grant them Al-Jannah firdaus,” the statement reads.

 

 

 

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MURIC To Nigerians: Curse Looters Three Times Daily

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)  has called on Nigerians to curse “looters of national treasury”, three times daily.

In a statement released on Monday, Ishaq Akintola, director of the group,  also asked on jobless graduates to rain curses on ” their oppressors”.

Akintola advised the federal government to adopt an unconventional method in its fight against corruption, citing some techniques that have failed in various countries.

“Looters have the elephant while FG has the ant. South Africa used the truth commission when it had a national crisis but it did not work when Nigeria adopted it because many powerful people refused to appear before the commission,” he said in a statement.

“A drastic problem requires a drastic solution. So what else is the panacea to corruption in Nigeria?

“We believe that it is time to adopt something unconventional; something we have never adopted before; something that costs government no money or effort at all; something revolutionary and mass-oriented; something local and scary and, above all, something in which every Nigerian has an emotional attachment.

“MURIC charges the Nigerian masses to seize their destiny with their hands by mobilising their individual and collective prayer power.

“Greatest Nigerian People! We must curse our oppressors three times daily.

“Curse them in the morning as you rise from bed or from under the bridge if you are homeless. Curse them under the scorching sun as you trek up and down on empty stomachs. Curse them before you go to bed at night.

“Curse them as you roll sleeplessly in bed. Curse them as you sweat profusely in bed when your fan is useless because they have stolen the money meant for electricity supply.

“Curse them as your vehicle crawls on bad roads where you spend hours instead of minutes because they stole all the money allocated to the repair of roads.

“Curse them as you wonder why you are still jobless despite graduating years ago.

“Let us introduce self-curse mechanism at swearing-in ceremonies. We must suspend swearing by simply holding the Bible or the Qur’an. It has no effect on them. They are hardened thieves and die hard kleptomaniacs.

“Let an appointee hold the Qur’an or Bible or anything he believes in and curse himself saying, for example, ‘I, Lagbaja the son of akasegbe, if I betray the people’s trust, if I steal in this position, if I abuse my office or if I am unfair to others on ground of religion or ethnicity, let me be put to shame’.

“Let my children end up in the streets like the children of the poor. Let all the known and unknown diseases of this world afflict me and my children, like meningitis, ebola, lassa fever, cholera, etc. Let me sweat without reaping the fruit of my labour…In Allah’s Mighty Name I swear”

It also accused the national assembly of being the stumbling block in the fight against corruption.

“Knowing the slow nature of judicial cases in Nigeria and over-loaded with stolen money, the foot soldiers of corruption have calculated that corruption cases will continue to drag for the next eight years even if Buhari wins a second term. this is why they are feeling comfortable and laughing at the masses.

“Who will misbehave after this kind of swearing-in? Who is the son of a killer of elephants in the presence of a licensed killer of men?” the group asked.

“Politicians will become sober. In fact many of them will retire and only the serious ones will remain in the political arena.

“The vultures in the NASS will go back to their various private businesses, leaving the seats open for young, patriotic and visionary Nigerians.”

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Release Of 21 Chibok Girls: A Plus For Buhari – MURIC

21 of about 265 Chibok girls who were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents were set free today after several negotiations between the insurgents and the Federal Government (FG).

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) commends FG for the successful negotiation which led to the freedom of 21 of the Chibok girls. This development marks the beginning of the liberation of the girls in totality. It also showcases FG’s genuine commitment to the rescue of the Chibok girls. It is a plus for President Muhammadu Buhari.

Although it is not yet Uhuru, we wish to congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari for bringing out 21 of the girls from captivity. It may be a small number but it is a pointer to better days ahead. A silver lining has appeared in the sky after cloudy and stormy days.

In particular, we hail President Buhari for his  recent passionate appeal to the United Nations (UN) to come to his aid in negotiating with the Boko Haram insurgents. We believe that it was this transparent and highly pragmatic approach which brought the Red Cross and the UN into the negotiation process. It is needless to say that the insurgents saw credibility and sincerity in FG’s latest negotiation moves because international agencies were involved.

However, the release of the 21 girls has effectively punctured the conspiracy theory of a few doubting Thomases led by the wife of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan who alleged that the abduction of the girls was a phantom. The reunion of the girls with the rest of Nigerians is also a serious indictment on the former president who dilly dallied for 18 good days after their kidnap before lifting a finger. Had he acted early, the girls would have been rescued before the insurgents did so much harm to them.

Former President Jonathan must therefore live with the moral burden of official and deliberate neglect in the case of the abduction of the Chibok girls for the rest of his life. It was sheer dereliction of duty at the highest echelon of power. No more, no less. Jonathan’s moral nightmare must include the trauma experienced by the girls and their parents over the single parent phenomenon to which some of the girls who came back with kids are unjustly subjected.

We are saddened by the fact that some of the girls came back with children of their own but we thank Allah that they are alive. We charge FG to come up with a programme for the full rehabilitation of the 21 girls, their kids and others still in captivity whose release we are eagerly anticipating.

MURIC appeals to the parents of the Chibok girls whose children are yet to be released to remain hopeful, to exercise patience and to have faith in the efforts of the Buhari administration to bring back their daughters.

On a final note, while we commend the efforts of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group in putting pressure on governments of the day on the subject-matter, we appeal for decorum and rational behavior in the methods adopted. While public demonstrations in the days of Jonathan can be rationalized in the face of official lethargy, the same cannot be said about the Buhari period.

We therefore advise the BBOG group to stop public demonstrations henceforth. Public demonstrations are capable of being hijacked by hoodlums who may loot shops, attack innocent motorists and commit other atrocities. BBOG should divert its energy to peaceful advocacy on the issue through press statements and humanitarian efforts aimed at improving the standard of living of the Chibok girls in particular, their education, their kids, their parents and the Chibok community in general.   

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

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Lagos Hijab Imbroglio: We Must Separate Office From Religion – MURIC

 

Sequel to the response given by the Lagos State Deputy Governor to a question on hijab in which she gave the official government position, some concerned Muslims raised eye brows immediately. Although we made an attempt to douse tension by issuing a press statement immediately the issue broke in the public domain, we are still constrained to update our press release on this burning issue.

We fully understand and respect the feelings of fellow Muslims who expressed concern. Most people expressed genuine fear without an iota of malice. We appreciate them. But the facts must be put on the table and critically analysed in order to avoid hurting the innocent and labeling a committed Mother-of-Islam unjustly.   

She was confronted with a delicate question during a television interview. The question had to do with Islam, her own personal faith and hijab to be precise. Incidentally the state government already has an official position on the issue and she happens to be the sitting deputy governor. Ceteris paribus, she is expected to give the official position of the state government. Anything to the contrary would have been tantamount to desecration of the office she holds, a betrayal of her sacred oath of office and an attempt to undermine the state government.

Muslims in Lagos State and all over the country must consider the fact that the question was put to her as the Deputy Governor, not as a Muslim. The fact that she gave the official position of the state government does not mean that she has jettisoned her faith or abandoned her fellow Muslims. She does not need to betray her personal emotions in official matters.

It was a difficult moment. Whereas a judge can afford to step down in a case in which he has personal interest, like when his junior brother is arraigned before him, a politician cannot resign because he is a stakeholder in an issue in which the press seeks to know the government’s official position. Parrying the question could have been worse as it is likely to imply that she had something to hide.

We must separate government officials from their religion in order to get the best out of them. Dr. Mrs. Idiat Adebule is well respected in academic and political circles. But she is not the ‘Deputy Governor of Lagos Muslims’. She is the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, of the good and progressive people of Lagos State, of the indigenes and non-indigenes and of the Christians, the Muslims and the Traditionalists.

She is therefore expected to speak for all and attend to all regardless of tribe or faith. She should not be guillotined for giving the official position of the state government. She would have been deemed to have failed in her duty if she had done otherwise.

In view of the foregoing, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) hereby reposes full confidence in the Lagos State Deputy Governor. We are proud of her as a practicing Muslim, a non-extremist and a public servant of high integrity. We appeal to the Deputy Governor to treat the events of the last few days with equanimity. It is part of the challenges and sacrifices of leadership. We plead with her to bear the comments with fortitude and to continue to serve the state with her well known passion, accommodation and humility.  

We invite Muslims in Lagos State and indeed in the whole country to join us in working for peace and progress in Lagos State. We appeal to Muslims who expressed the fear ab initio that the Deputy Governor had abandoned her fellow Muslims to ponder over the above analysis for a better assessment of the situation. We are all working towards the emancipation of the oppressed Muslims of Nigeria. We assure you that there will be no retreat, no surrender until our goals of equal rights and justice are attained.

We remain oppressed until the right of the Muslim girl to use hijab is fully recognized everywhere in Nigeria. Hijab is the symbol of our right to self-determination and we will employ every legitimate means to ensure it becomes fait accompli.

 

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

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