Thursday, August 22, 2019


23rd August, 2019


The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) yesterday criticised the appointment of Muslims as ministers of Interior and Defence by President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has tackled HURIWA for its stand. MURIC described HURIWA’s comment as divisive, subjective, emotion-driven and therefore unacceptable. This was made known to newsmen in a press statement issued on Friday, 23rd August, 2019 by Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director and Founder of MURIC.

Continuing, MURIC said, “HURIWA is whipping up religious sentiment and this is least expected of a ‘secular’ human rights organization. This kind of statement is capable of dividing HURIWA itself unless the body is telling us that it is an all-Christian and anti-Muslim organization.

“Human rights groups and individuals within civil society need to weigh their words. You cannot afford to be one-sided in matters of religion and ethnicity particularly in a charged atmosphere like Nigeria. We take serious objection to the stereotyping of Muslim ministers by HURIWA. Or is the group telling us that Muslims do not deserve human rights?

“The last time we checked, there was no single record of HURIWA seeing anything good in Muslims. HURIWA and the rest of the Nigerian civil society clapped by the ringside each time the elites stigmatised and persecuted Muslims. Pray, what did HURIWA say when a whole law graduate was disallowed from being called to bar over a ridiculous excuse?

“What has HURIWA or any member of civil society said concerning the denial of education for innocent Muslim school girls over an ordinary headscarf? Is it not a manifestation of double standard for a civil society that looks the other way as Muslims face daily persecution to raise hell and brimstone because Muslims get what is their right?

“When did we adopt religious leaning as the standard for picking ministers for a particular portfolio? When will Nigerians grow up? Merit should be the criterion, not the church, mosque or shrine.

“We appeal to Nigerians to allow this government to settle down. The same Buhari who was accused of being too slow has come up with a ministerial cabinet when about twenty governors are yet to appoint their commissioners. We also have a #Revolutionnow group clamouring for forceful change of government when even that government has not settled down. What yardstick can you use to deny a student promotion to the next class when no teaching or examination has taken place? People are just coming up with all sorts of preconceived ideas.

“Our problem in this country is perception. We urge Nigerians to get rid of retrogressive perceptions, negative thoughts, ill-will and bad faith. Activism must not be allergic to appreciation of performance and good governance. To be taken seriously, members of civil society must not concentrate on fault-finding alone, we must also find time to commend government when it does something right.

“Unfortunately the reverse is the case in this clime. We find it very easy to criticize and condemn but find it too difficult to appreciate good work. We assert that It is unrealistic for us to ignore the good works of the Buhari administration in its first term in spite of the challenges and restrictions.

“We have ignored the beautiful flowers which surround the house, the superb architectural design and the marvelous interior decoration to pay attention to the folded piece of paper lying carelessly on the centre-stool and for this we condemn the whole house as ‘filthy’.

“Is it realistic to ignore the modern rail system which is already working in Abuja and Kaduna while work is nearing completion in several other places? Is it fair to turn the blind eye on projects like the Second Niger Bridge? What of the massive infrastructural works like those on federal roads in the East, West and North? Are they sheer mirage?

“Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, once remarked that ‘The greatest weapon is truth’ while Shaykh Usman Dan Fodio said ‘Conscience is an open wound, only truth can heal it’. Heroes and real men do not shy away from recognizing good work and speaking the truth to a mischievious, belligerent and war-mongering opposition.

“To cap the edifice, MURIC invites civil society to allow the Buhari administration to settle down. Human rights groups in particular should speak out only in good conscience. Dancing to the gallery will compel civil society to hide the truth. They must realize that they are not under any obligation to please any opposition. We advise HURIWA not to fall into the temptation of Islam-bashing as this will only earn the organization the distrust of Muslims throughout the country. Finally, we charge Nigerians to discountenance perception and to make merit the standard for the occupation of public office, not religious persuasion.”  

Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Sunday, August 18, 2019


19th August, 2019


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has hailed the management of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for shifting the examination slated for the Jumu’ah period last Friday, 16th August, 2019, in order to allow Muslim candidates to attend the mosque.

NDLEA had fixed DDR examination for 1130 to 1330 hours (i.e. 11.30 am to 1.30 pm) on that Friday. However, MURIC in a followup statement dated 15th August, 2019, appealed to the drug enforcement agency to consider the plight of Muslim candidates who should be in the mosque at that period.

In a dramatic twist last Friday, NDLEA announced a shift in the timing of the examination which eventually began by 3 pm on that day after the Muslim candidates had returned from the mosques. The shift was effective in all NDLEA’s examination centres throughout Nigeria.

In a statement signed by its Director and Founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Monday, 19th August, 2019, MURIC expressed its delight with the NDLEA authorities for shifting the examination.

“We commend NDLEA authorities for shifting the examination billed for the Jumu‘ah period. This agency has exhibited administrative competence, maturity in industrial relations and religious tolerance. This is the kind of attitude we need in Nigeria to foster peace and tranquility. We salute NDLEA.

The human rights organization seized the opportunity to disabuse the minds of Nigerians about its methods of operation.

“Permit us to seize this opportunity to disabuse the minds of Nigerians concerning our modus operandis. Those who regard MURIC as an extremist group have missed the point. Of course we are aware that many Nigerians know the truth about us. But some just want to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. This NDLEA affair has shown the whole world that we do not mind going the extra mile to make our stand known through dialogue. We kept making appeals to the NDLEA management until they became convinced that we have good intention. We made no threats. We flexed no muscles. It is not in our character.

“We just continued to explain the plight of those Muslim candidates to the NDLEA authorities until they understood our point of view. This indicates that those who oppress Muslims sometimes do so due to lack of understanding of the Muslim viewpoint or due to communication gap. It is this gap that MURIC seeks to fill from time to time in order to douse tension and to create an atmosphere which is conducive to peaceful coexistence.

We therefore urge Nigerians to see MURIC in its true character: a pacific organization, peace-loving, law-abiding and dialogue-prone. We detest violence and this is why our motto is: ‘Dialogue, Not Violence’. As a major mechanism in our operations, we open dialogue with institutions, employers and agencies in order to intervene on behalf of aggrieved Muslims. We believe that this is better than resorting to spontaneous violence. Ours is therefore a re-engineering effort.

We are middle-roaders and socio-intellectual jihadists seeking freedom for the oppressed, food for hungry Nigerians, healing for the sick, clothing apparels for the naked and shelter for the homeless. We are non-violent jihadists fighting corruption and extravagance, seeking freedom of worship for all and justice for the persecuted.”

“MURIC’s vision of Nigeria is that of a nation where people live together in peace and harmony, a nation in which no one is oppressed, a nation where merit takes priority, a nation where people of all faiths and ethnicities peacefully coexist, a nation where every citizen enjoys Allah-given fundamental human rights regardless of class, creed, or ethnicity.

“We invite Nigerian Muslims to this paradigm shift. Nigeria has witnessed too many religious crises. It is time to build a strong bridge across the cultures. We should approach the authorities to table our grudges whenever there are issues. Our evidence of dialogue or attempted dialogue will become a powerful weapon against the oppressor when the chips are down.

This is what Muslims do in civilized communities like Britain, Germany, the United States, etc and the authorities listen to them. Muslims must make superior arguments their most potent weapon, not spontaneous violence. It is time to build Nigeria.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Saturday, August 17, 2019


18th August, 2019


The Chairman of Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and former Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN) lost his mother, Alhaja Sarat Abiola Banire, on the night of Friday 16th August, 2019. The late Alhaja Sarat was buried at the Ebony Vault, Ikoyi on Saturday afternoon. She was 92.           

Meanwhile the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has expressed sadness over the death of the matriarch. This was made known in a statement distributed to the media by the Director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Sunday, 18th August, 2019.

“We in MURIC commiserate with Dr. Muiz Banire on the demise of his mother. Although we are well aware of the inevitability of death (Qur’an 3:185), the human nature in us compels us to share these solemn moments with an exemplary, iconic and cerebral Muslim leader.

“We witnessed the grand celebration of the 90th birthday anniversary of Banire’s mother two years ago. It was celebrated with Islamic prayers and attended by all mainstream Islamic organisations and scholars of repute. We were emotionally touched by the thanksgiving event but today, the woman we all celebrated is no more. We are mourning.

“However, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN) has taught Nigerians vital lessons in piety, humility and consciousness of our responsibilities towards our parents. The way he took care of his mother and honoured her is a practical demonstration of Qur’anic injunctions on goodness to parents. Banire is an expert technician in a spiritual laboratory.

“While Qur’an 17:23 instructs children to be kind to both parents, Qur’an 31:14 reminds man how his mother ‘carried him in travail upon travail (wahnan ‘ala wahnin) and weaned him after two years’. The pains of pregnancy and the trauma of labour are sufferings that only women go through while breastfeeding for two whole years is also a feat performed only by women.

“The same verse (31:14) went ahead to enjoin Muslims to show gratitude to Allah and to their parents. There is no doubt that the best way to show gratitude to parents is by taking good care of them particularly their feeding, accommodation, clothing, medication and regular attention.

“MURIC therefore salutes womanhood. We call special attention to the great concern which the Qur’an shows towards womanhood. This attention debunks the false claim of our detractors that Islam is a religion which debases women. The high pedestal which Dr. Banire placed his mother has proved beyond any reasonable doubt that Muslims give women a lofty position in the dignity of the human person.

“It is also on record that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) commanded Muslims to respect and honour their mothers three times before doing same for their fathers (‘Ummuka, thumma ummuka, thumma ummuka, thumma abuuka’ i.e. ‘Your mother, your mother, your mother, then your father’). This is indubitable evidence of the pride of place which Islam gives women.

“At this juncture, we charge Nigerian men to love and honour their wives. We condemn violence against women in all its ramifications and call on those who indulge in this barbaric act to desist forthwith. In like manner, we decry paedophilic practices against children and underaged girls. It is repulsive, preposterous and reprehensible.  

“MURIC urges Nigerians to take good care of their parents while the latter are still alive instead of ignoring parents until they die. We denounce the common practice of ignoring parents in their old age and wasting money on extravagant funerals characterized by drinking, singing and dancing. It is inhuman, wasteful and paradoxical.

“How can we lose our loved ones and still sing, dance and spray naira? How can homo sapien compos mentis lose his father or mother and still go ahead, in good conscience, to lose his money? It is irrational, illogical and inexplicable. We are dancing on our parents’ graves!  
“We pray that Almighty Allah reposes the soul of Alhaja Sarat Banire in al-Jannah firdaus. We put all those left behind by her under Allah’s divine and universal umbrella: Dr. Banire, Alhaja Raimot Ajoke Banire, Mr Ajibola Banire, Dr Rasheed Oki and Mr. Ayoola Oki.
“As we draw the curtain, we call on Nigerians especially Muslims to emulate Dr. Muiz Banire by taking good care of their parents while the latter are still alive. We urge Nigerians to eschew wasteful spendings during funerals and other ceremonies. We aver without any fear of contradiction that the Muslim Umma in the South West will make great progress if we have just one more Muslim politician like Muiz Banire.We therefore invite Muslim politicians in Yorubaland to close the yawning lacuna between them and Islamic scholars from the sub-region.”

Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Wednesday, August 14, 2019


15th August, 2019


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has thanked the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for finding a solution to one of the issues raised by the human rights organization.

It will be recalled that MURIC in a press statement dated 6th August, 2019 entitled ‘NDLEA 2019 Promotion Exam is Anti-Muslim’ had berated NDLEA for fixing its 2019 promotion examination between 15th and 21st August 2019 thereby making it impossible for Muslim officers who are currently on hajj to participate.

In an apparent reaction to the concern raised by MURIC, NDLEA announced via a memo dated 13th August, 2019, reference NDLEA/FIN/88/VOL. VII/227 that ‘Candidates of all examinations slated for 15th – 21st shall be given the opportunity to write a makeup exam at a date to be communicated’. The memo specifically identified ‘personnel granted permission/approval to travel for 2019 hajj’ as the first of the four categories of staff who will enjoy the makeup examination opportunity.

In a press statement issued by the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, the organisation appreciated the management of NDLEA for addressing one of the two concerns raised by it.

“We appreciate NDLEA for taking prompt action on the issue of Muslim staff who would have missed the promotion examination had the makeup examination window not been offered. We thank NDLEA for this.

We must be honest with ourselves. Nigeria will be a better place if all government agencies and ministries address genuine complaints of citizens. Most religious and ethnic conflicts would also have been nipped in the bud.  While it is the duty of MURIC as a human rights group to complain when there is injustice, the organisation will not hesitate to express gratitude when such an issue is addressed. In addition, we will always leave the door of dialogue open.

“In this respect, we remind NDLEA management that we still have a pending request, namely, the issue of clash on the promotion examination timetable between one of the subjects, DDR (Drug Demand Reduction) and Jumu’ah prayer. DDR is scheduled for 1130 to 1330 hours (i.e. 11.30 am to 1.30 pm) on Friday 16th August, 2019. This clash was the subject of our second press statement on NDLEA dated 9th August, 2019 under the caption, ‘NDLEA’s Promotion Exam Clashes With Jumu‘ah Prayer’.

“We seek the management’s wise intervention on this clash. It is oppressive, traumatizing and dehumanizing for Muslims to sit for an examination when they should be in the mosque praying. Man is body, soul and spirit. Muslims may not be able to fully concentrate on such an examination thereby putting them at a disadvantage. We urge NDLEA not to allow such a blemish in its records because it will go into the archives as an act of religious intolerance on the part of NDLEA management once it is allowed. The timetable can still be adjusted even at the last minute.

As we take a break, we reaffirm our deep appreciation of NDLEA’s offer of makeup examination for Muslim staffers who are still in Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless, we reiterate our complaint over the clash between another examination paper (DDR) slated for the Jumu‘ah period (11.30 am – 1.30 pm) on Friday 16th August, 2019. We appeal for a review of the timetable to avoid this clash in the interest of justice, fairplay, religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Saturday, August 10, 2019


10th August, 2019


As Nigerian Muslims join more than two billion adherents of Islam from all over the world to celebrate the Id al-Kabiir tomorrow Sunday, 11th August, 2019, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has urged Nigerians to work and pray for peace and stability.  

This was contained in the Salah message circulated to the media by the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Saturday, 10th August, 2019. The organization felicitated with the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar as well as the generality of Nigerians for having the grace of witnessing this year’s Id al-Kabiir.

MURIC urged Nigerians to change their mindset from negativity to positivity and to adopt the principle of ‘ora et labora’ (work and pray) to overcome the challenges facing the country.  

“First, we must change our mindset from negativity to positivity. We must stop seeing Nigeria as a failed state. if a Muhammadu Buhari can be governor of the whole Northern region, military head of state, chairman Petroleum Trust Fund and now president of Nigeria without a single trace of corrupt enrichment, if Professor Ishaq Oloyede can remit N7.5 billions to JAMB’s coffers within one year alone whereas only N50 million naira was remitted by his predecessor in seven years, then there is indubitable evidence that not all Nigerians are corrupt.

“If an Alhaji Abdullahi Abubakar, the 83-year old Imam of Nghar village in Barkin Ladi Local Government of Plateau State can save 300 Christians from being killed, Muslim-Christian conflict can be resolved. If an air force man Bashir Umar can return 37,000 euros which he found in a parcel to its owner, then there is evidence that not all Nigerians are dishonest and greedy. Not all Nigerians are thieves.  

 “There is hope in the horizon. Nigeria is on the path of greatness. The panacea to our challenges are not far-fetched. First, we must change our mindset and believe that we can be great again. We must determine to rebuild our country, to love our neighbours, to shelve corruption, etc. We can call this our intention or niyyah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Intention comes before work” (an-niyyat qablal-‘amal). He also said, “Works shall be judged according to intentions” (Innamal a’maal binniyyaat).

“Initiate good intention to serve Nigeria and not self. This is part of the reengineering of the Nigerian mindset. Initiate an intention to start the new Nigeria. Let change begin with you. Eliminate that negative belief that everyone is corrupt and that nothing can work in your country.

“Drop that negative idea that it is impossible for us to live together. The late reagge maestro, Jimmy Cliff, probably had Nigeria on his mind when he sang the lines: ‘You can get it if you really try. But you must try, try and try. Try and try. You’ll succeed at last… Listen, Rome was not built in a day. Opposition will come your way. But the harder the battle, you see. Is the sweeter the victory now…’  

“Next, we must adopt the principle of ora et labora (i.e. pray and work). Prayer is the sword of those who have faith in God (Ad-du’aau sayful-Mu’min). We must follow our intention to change Nigeria with prayer and start working towards it. Prayer is good but we must work to follow it up. That is why the Romans say, ‘Ora et labora’.

“We must not spend the whole day on our knees or mats praying. Allah will bring the fishes but we must dig the bait. That is why the Qur’an says, “Work and Allah, His apostle and the believers will see your work” (Qur’an 9:105). The idea of Allah and the believers seeing your work is a metaphor for rewarding it. It is such reward that will serve as necessary incentive for more work and better service.

“It is in this context that we call on Nigerians to pray for the security agencies who are toiling day and night to bring the security challenge under control. They are fighting for us and dying for us. They spend sleepless nights so than we can sleep with both eyes closed. They are in the trenches come rain or shine so that we can enjoy peace in our homes.

“Let us reward them with prayers and active support. Let us pray for the families they leave at home. We must support them actively because security is a collective responsibility. Active support to the police can be in form of material support and giving reliable information. Companies, wealthy individuals and communities should donate vehicles, walki-talkies, etc to the police. It will make them more effective. We must not forget other arms of the security agencies like the civil defence and the secret service men. The latter work behind the scene and make huge sacrifices for our safety. They all deserve our prayers and support.

“In this same context again we are constrained to remind President Muhammadu Buhari of the plight of the 54 soldiers who have been in jail since 2014. If we are talking about rewarding those who risk their lives so that we can enjoy peace, we must not abandon those who fought against Boko Haram but are rotting in jail today.

“Once again we appeal to Mr. President to grant them presidential pardon. The 54 soldiers were those who asked their commander to provide them with better weapons before sending them back to the battle field. It was their request which exposed the 2.1 billion dollar arms fraud. They should be treated as heroes for exposing a scandal, not as criminals rotting in jail.

“On a last note, we urge Nigerians to change their mindset from negativity to positivity and to adopt the principle of ‘ora et labora’ as a panacea to overcoming the challenges facing the country. We must not lose hope. If Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) could receive a ram to replace his son at the last minute, there must be light at the end of the tunnel for Nigeria. Let us keep the fire of hope burning.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,    

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Thursday, August 8, 2019


9th August, 2019


One of the courses to be taken during the forthcoming promotion examination of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) clashes with the statutory Friday Jumu‘ah prayer. The course, DDR, which stands for Drug Demand Reduction, is scheduled for 1130 to 1330 hours (i.e. 11.30 am to 1.30 pm) on Friday 16th August, 2019. The course is billed to be taken by officers of the rank of CSN, meaning Chief Suprintendent of Narcotic.

This alarm was raised by the Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), in a press statement issued by its Director and Founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Friday 9th August, 2019.  

“They have come again. Our oppressors have come again. First, they fixed the promotion examinations close to the Salah festival. Next, they scheduled it for a period when Muslim officers who have gone for hajj will have no chance to participate. Now comes the last straw that broke the camel’s back: even those Muslim officers who are around will have to choose between taking the examination and attending Jumu‘ah prayer. This is a deliberate attempt to ensure that no Muslim of the rank of CSN will be promoted in NDLEA. It had better not be. Boss Gidahyelda Mustapha must hear this. So must Abba Kyari.  

“This is the height of religious apartheid. There is nobody in this country who does not know when Muslims go for prayer on Friday. We are shocked that a major federal agency will do this. It is naïve, jejune and infantile. We are nonplussed that at a time when Europeans and Americans are announcing to participants at their conferences that special large rooms have been provided for Muslims in attendance to offer Salat, a prominent federal paramilitary unit is making it impossible for Muslims to observe the Jumu’ah prayer thereby embarking on the repression of Muslims and denying them their Allah-given fundamental human rights.

“Is the system so loose that a prominent department (and a sensitive one for that matter) will break well known rules with such reckless abandon? It is impunity taken too far. No wonder Nigerian youths and even married women are now highly tramadolised. Marijuana is now more common on the streets than ordinary cigarette. Heroine and cocaine are ten for one kobo. Why won’t they when drug officers who are supposed to watch the borders are busy laying ambush for religious rivals?

“How can officers be committed when they are denied elevation? Staff promotion in NDLEA is permanently on the hanger. There is no motivation. There are staff who have been due for promotion for more than ten or eight years and we are still counting. Yet NDLEA is trying to cut corners with the promotion of the same officers by attempting to marginalize the Muslims among them. We beg to disagree.  

“Who is behind this? Who fixed the timetable for this promotion examination? Nigerian Muslims want to know. Or has NDLEA been sold to a religious fanatic? We need answers to these questions very urgently. Must full-grown officers of the NDLEA be subjected to the same ridicule that young Muslim boys and girls face in some national examinations?

“When shall we be free? Must Muslims cringe and beg from cradle to the grave in this country before they can get their sui generis rights? We said it before that Muslims are being treated like second class citizens in Nigeria. The whole system is grossly Christianised. Otherwise why must any examination spill into the Muslim worship period?

“Why didn’t NDLEA fix the examination on a Sunday? That is where the Christianisation comes in. The Christian day of worship is highly revered and respectfully set aside as a sacred day. Thou shalt not touch Sunday. But Friday is violated by every Dick and Harry. It is abused to humiliate Muslims including senior Muslim officers. They are tied down to write some repressive examinations or remain seated at endless and meaningless meetings while the Jumu‘ah prayer is being observed by other Muslim faithfuls. Is that fair? This examination timetable is capable of plunging NDLEA into a huge controversy.

“Our detractors may find these words too harsh but that is because they don’t want to hear the truth. MURIC is blunt because it has to be so. It is part of dialogue. We have no other choice than to be frank when highly placed officials who are supposed to know better flagrantly break the rules. Anyway, it is better to be bitterly blunt than to flare up and jump to the streets, killing, maiming, burning and looting. That is what we will never do. This oppression has to stop. Friday must be given its sacred status and heads of departments must stop playing God in the lives of Muslims.

“In conclusion, we appeal to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and the Chief of Staff (SGF) to the president, Abba Kyari, to call NDLEA to order. Those who have been due for promotion for so long should be elevated before any new promotion examination can be justifiable. The SGF should see to this.

“In addition, we call for immediate postponement of the coming NDLEA promotion examination. It is repressive and lopsided. The exercise should come up only after those who travelled for hajj have returned to the country. The timetable must also be reviewed forthwith. No examination should be held during Jumu‘ah prayer. In the interest of peaceful coexistence, we demand that a new circular suspending all official engagements on Friday from 12 noon be issued by the Federal Government. This will make Friday a half working day and permanently rest the Friday question”

Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Tuesday, August 6, 2019


7th August, 2019

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has declared a vote of confidence for President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration. This is coming in the face of the call for a revolution against the Nigerian government. MURIC argued that the proponents of #Revolutionnow have lost touch with reality.

The group’s position vis a vis #Revolutionnow was made known in a statement issued by its Director and Founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola on Wednesday, 7th August, 2019.

“While it is on record that we have called for the release or arraignment of Omoyele Sowore, we affirm that the #Revolutionnow camp has lost touch with reality. How do you judge an administration which is yet to take off in its second term? What are the criteria the #Revolutionnow group has used to arrive at its hardline position?

“This is an administration that was ambushed, strangulated and sarakitised from the first day of its inauguration in May 2015. Are they blind to history? Today was born from the wombs of yesterday. Why can’t they take a glance at where this administration is coming from? Have they forgotten how the 8th National Assembly (NASS) held the Buhari administration by the jugular for four good years?  

“So what has changed since then? How much time has Buhari spent in his second term? He has not even taken off. Wednesday 21st August has just been fixed for the swearing-in of ministers. Why won’t they allow this government to settle down? Who is afraid of Buhari? Whose cupboard is full of skeletons? Why are they in so much haste?

“Does it mean that both the leaders and supporters of #Revolutionnow were pleased with the sarakitisation of Buhari’s first term? Where really do they stand in the war against corruption? Where were they when the 8th Senate delayed budget for seven whole months?

“We put it to #Revolutionnow that it has misplaced its priorities and failed to identify the true enemies of Nigeria. #Revolutionnow should have organized its uprising against the 8th NASS. By the way, where were they during the general elections that brought Buhari to power? How did they fare? Is it proper to change by force what the ballots refused to grant? It was Allah who joined Buhari and Nigerians together in the general elections. Let no #Revolutionnow seek to put asunder what Allah has joined together.

“Nigerians are witnesses to the tremendous progress made by the Buhari administration despite a hostile NASS. All contractual debts have been paid up. Treasury leakages were plugged. Internal revenue generation drive has increased while the tax regime has been made more effective. All pension arrears have been paid up including money owed Biafran war veterans.

“Not only that. Recession was overcome within one year and foreign reserve keeps growing despite low oil price. All Federal roads are being reconstructed across the country while fast and modern rails are emerging. The Second Niger Bridge is a living testimony and 13 modular refineries are currently being built in the Niger Delta.

“Nigeria’s economy is being restructured from oil-based to agriculture, solid mineral and manufacturing. Electricity generating capacity has moved from a lowly 3,000 megawatts to 7,000 megawatts. From a high profile renegade group which occupied 17 local governments under Jonathan, Boko Haram has been drastically humbled to a guerilla group that can only hit and run.

“You said Buhari has not achieved anything but who paid the arrears of former staffers of NITEL, NEPA, Nigerian Airways, Nigerian Railway, etc? What is the basis of your revolution against PMB? Where are Buhari’s billions? Where are his hilltop palaces? Can you compare PMB to other ex-presidents and heads of states in terms of wealth?

“You are rising against a man who refuses to steal. It just doesn’t add up. Ungrateful people, rebellious subjects, enemies of peace. Why are you behaving like the nine lepers who could not appreciate Jesus’ healing? ‘Were ten not healed? Where are the nine?’ (Luke 17:17).

“If it is the issue of killings and kidnappings, is it a new phenomenon? Was Buhari in charge when Odi massacre occurred? What of Zaki Biam? Who killed the 47 Biafrans whose corpses were dumped in Ozu River in 2013? Are we so naïve that we fail to realize that all the Oyenusis and the Evans now disguise as herdsmen and Fulanis just to cause confusion? Anarchists are trying to deceive us. #Revolutionnow is a fall guy, a guinea pig. Scientists will call him a ‘lab rat’.

“#Revolutionnow group must be the greatest jokers of the century if they cannot see the above achievements. We therefore urge Nigerians to ignore them. They simply want to gain by the bends what they failed to get by the straight. But must it be by hook or crook?   

“We submit that #Revolutionnow is fighting a proxy war for looters. It has allowed itself to become a willing tool in the hands of corrupt politicians and bad loosers. It is corruption fighting back. We feel the hands of Esau but we hear the voice of Jacob in #Revolutionnow. We therefore advise those behind it to retrace their steps. We warn distinguished Nigerians who have earned the respect of millions of their compatriots not to dance to the gallery. It is not mandatory to speak in support of every rascality. Real wise men are selective in times like this. It is unnecessary to find your finger in every pie.

“By the way, what alternative do the champions of #Revolutionnow have for Nigerians as they seek violent regime change? Whether they call their #Revolutionnow violent or nonviolent, is it time yet for another election? Have they forgotten Libya? Can’t they see what is happening in Syria and Iraq? Real activists respect democratic ideals but the reverse is the case with our friends. The open call for a revolution is a flagrant abuse of democratic principles. Who did this to #Revolutionnow?

“Sowore is a good material for future politicking but he has to redirect his energy towards reengineering Nigerian youth for service, patriotism and dignity, not towards removing a democratically elected government. A Fidel Castro, Thomas Sankara or Che Guevera profile is anachronistic, retarding and un-Nigerian. Even Nelson Mandela emerged through democratic process.  

“As we conclude this advocacy, we appeal to distinguished and elderly activists to tell Sowore the truth. We advise #Revolutionnow  to dismantle, dissolve into a political party and wait for 2023. Even a coup will not pay the group. Coups are no longer fashionable. The Buhari regime is not a product of violent change. It evolved via due democratic process. Any other process is therefore unlawful, illegal, illegitimate and unconstitutional. In view of Buhari’s sterling qualities and his numerous fait accompli in spite of all odds, we affirm clearly, unambiguously and categorically that Mr. President has our vote of confidence.”

Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)