Easter Message: Be Patient With Buhari Administration – MURIC  

Nigerian Christians are currently celebrating Easter with their counterparts throughout the world. This year’s Easter festival began yesterday, Friday 25th March 2016 and will end on Monday 28th March, 2016.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) felicitates with Nigerian Christians on this occasion.

We charge our Christian neighbours to spend the period in sober reflections on the current situation in the country. Nigeria, a nation blessed with abundant human and material resources, the numero uno producer of crude oil in Africa, cannot supply enough for its citizens.

Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa (about 180 million people) with vast arable land, cannot feed its population. Nigeria, the ‘giant’ of Africa and a country that has helped other nations in Africa to quell disturbances, is today ravaged by a 5-year insurgency which has claimed thousands of lives while smaller and weaker countries now rally to save it from going under.

But many Nigerian politicians are committed to a culture of waste and a dogma of ego. Only a few are altruistic. How else can we explain a single politician who has 170 aides; a top military officer who stores $1 million in a septic tank in his home; another who fraudulently collects N554 million monthly while $2.1 billion meant for purchase of arms to fight insurgency is shared among politicians?  

These are issues we must reflect on. We must seek to build this country. We must not destroy it. Religious leaders must preach love. We must be models in tolerance and forgiveness. We must eschew hate speeches and all acts capable of inciting our followers. We must avoid extravagant and flamboyant life in order to teach our followers simplicity and the need to avoid greed and avarice. These are the things we must do to get out of the doldrums.

Look at where the greed of a ‘tiny cabal’ has led this country. Nigeria, a nation that became independent 56 years ago is still crawling like a 2-year old baby. There is darkness in the land, stomachs are empty and the youths are roaming around the cities.

4,500 pregnant women die in pregnancy yearly in this country. 52,000 Nigerian women die in childbirth annually. 11 million Nigerians are malnourished. 55 million Nigerians lack access to education. Nigerian roads are a collective apology. Nigeria is the 26th poorest and 20thhungriest nation in the world.

Unfortunately, just at the time we found a forthright leader, the economy was hit by an unprecedented downturn and oil, the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy which used to sell at $93.61 per barrel, crashed to less than $28!

But all hope is not lost. Stolen funds are being recovered. Hitherto sacred cows are being made to vomit their loot. Transparency, probity and accountability are on the front burner once again. The price of oil has started rising and governments at both federal and state levels are tightening their belts. There is cause to believe that Nigeria will rise again.

MURIC therefore calls on Nigerians to be patient with the present administration. The essence of Easter is patience, fortitude and tolerance and these are the expected take-aways from Easter.

Finally, we invite Nigerians to compare President Muhammadu Buhari’s impeccable character, his frugality and his unbeatable pedigree to the greed, recklessness and selfishness of past leaders. Whereas a past leader insisted that stealing is not corruption and that there was nothing wrong if a goat eats yam, Buhari has zero tolerance for stealing. This is the barometer we should use when taking our decision. Let us all imbibe the lessons of Easter, namely, patience, fortitude and tolerance.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
08033464974

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Muric Supports Reps Action Against Telcoms For Indiscriminate Calls, SMS

The House of Representatives yesterday threw its weight behind the enactment of a bill aiming at reducing the incidence of unsolicited telephone calls and text messages received by consumers. The bill which was sponsored by Ali Madaki (APC Kano) has already scaled through the second reading on the floor of the House. It is now awaiting fine-tuning by the House Committee on Telecommunication.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) lauds the House of Representatives for taking action on unsolicited telephone calls and text messages. Current members of the House deserve our accolades because the immediate past House ignored the matter when MURIC raised it in a press statement issued on 14th December 2014.

Unsolicited calls and text messages constitute public nuisance, irritants of no small measure, threat to the health of Nigerians and drawbacks to productivity. Judged from its irritant perspective, mobile telephone services which began actively during the regime of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (1999 – 2007) is fast becoming a curse rather than a blessing unless something is done urgently.

Service providers have become extremely audacious. They exhibit no concern for the personal privacy and health of consumers. They call defenseless consumers by phone and send strange and unsolicited text messages to them at odd times. Those that are most disturbing and irritating are sent in the unholy hours of the morning between 1 and 4 am when hardworking Nigerians are fast asleep.  

The messages wake them forcefully from sleep. Many find it hard to go back to sleep hours after the satanic invasion of their privacy. This is not only irritating but provocative and exploitative. It is gross abuse of priviledge on the part of service providers.

 

These unsolicited telephone calls and text messages are not limited to nights and early morning hours alone. They also come during the day. The high volume of text messages sent by service providers has exposed these shylock business concerns as relentless capitalistcompradore bourgeoisie. Some customers receive as many as 40 messages per day.

MURIC is asking the telecommunication companies operating in Nigeria: If you can afford to send so many text messages to all customers at no extra charges to yourselves, why do you charge so high for the text messages sent by individual customers?

It is our contention that Nigerians are being taken for a ride by service providers. These capitalist-oriented companies are inflicting pain on innocent subscribers. Nigerians yearn for protection.

We call attention to the great havoc in the torrential outpouring of text messages from service providers to innocent tax-payers. The havoc is mainly in health hazards but what could be more damaging to a nation than threat to the health of its citizens?

Experts agree that sound sleep means ability to think clearly, to plan and to design the next line of action in day-to-day endeavours. The reverse is the case when sleep is brutally cut. There is no gainsaying the fact that stress and fatigue are certain to occur when people are stinted of sleep. We suspect that the current rise in mental illnesses all over the country is partly informed by this flagrant disregard for people’s privacy and the rate at which unsolicited calls and text messages have been disturbing Nigerians.

The impact of this phenomenon on the nation’s economy cannot be overemphasized. . If it is true that the health of the individual reflects on the performance of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), then we must agree that the telecommunication service providers are not serving the interest of our country.

MURIC invites the Consumer Protection Society to wake up to its responsibilities. We also charge the House Committee on Telecommunication to expedite action on the draft bill as Nigerians are eagerly awaiting the outcome of its deliberation on the bill. Finally, we urge President Muhammadu Buhari to give speedy accent to the bill as soon as it gets to the Presidency.  

 

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
08033464974

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56 Nigerians Confirmed Dead In Saudi Hajj Stampede, Many Still Missing; MURIC Explains How It Happened

As Saudi Arabia authorities are still trying to ascertain the identities of those affected in last Thursday hajj stampede which resulted t the death of over 700 pilgrims, 56 Nigerians have so far been confirmed dead.

This was disclosed last night at a news conference in Makkah  by the Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Abdullahi Mukhtar

According to him, 77 others were injured, while many still missing.

The NAHCON chief said most of the victims and the injured came from the North.

Some of the affected states are Bauchi, Borno, Cross River, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kaduna, Katsina, Nasarawa, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, Taraba, Zamfara, Ogun

Mukhtar said: “42 pilgrims under the State Pilgrims Welfare Boards have been confirmed dead alongside two officials from NAHCON. Also, 12 pilgrims who came in through tour operators  died in the stampede too.

“I think 61 state pilgrims welfare boards and 16 from tour operators (Private Hajj Operators) got injured in the stampede. We will update you as the information comes.”

On the missing pilgrims, he said:”We cannot give you the full figure until the ongoing head count is concluded.”

Meanwhile, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, the Director of Muslim Rights Concern, an Islamic has recounted how the incident occurred.

Akintola said: “As eyewitnesses of the gory stampede incident, we testify that it was caused by security breakdown on the part of the Saudi authorities. We left Muzdalifah for Mina around 6am on that fateful day. We branched in the NAHCON camp to drop our personal effects and headed straight to Jamrat which was less than three kilometres away.   To our surprise, the road was blocked by Egyptian pilgrims who had cast their own stones and were returning to their camp. Instead of taking the route designated for returning pilgrims, they stubbornly took the route meant for those who were going.

“The road became narrow and movement became difficult. The atmosphere became charged and even breathing and visibility were affected. The few policemen around desperately threw water at us to save us from collapsing. It became glaring to us at that moment that a monumental stampede was just around the corner

“The Saudi authorities therefore lied when they tried to put the blame squarely on African pilgrims. The stampede would not have occurred at all if Saudi security agents had disallowed pilgrims returning from the Jamrat from taking the same route on their way back.

“The practice over the years has always been to take a detour but this was not enforced last Thursday. The fact that the road to the same Jamrat became very free and safe yesterday and this (Saturday) morning when Saudi security agents strictly enforced the rules by disallowing returning pilgrims to use the same route as those going proves that our hypothesis is correct.

“This is criminal negligence and the Saudi authorities must be held accountable. We urge the Nigerian government to support NAHCON’s stand on this. Nigeria must demand compensation from the Saudis for families of the bereaved.

“We should also task the Saudis to involve the world Muslim Ummah in the planning and implementation of the annual Hajj exercise in view of the emerging scenario of complacency on the part of the Saudi authorities.”

MURIC hailed NAHCON for insisting that Nigeria should be part of any investigation of the tragedy.

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