Saturday, August 29, 2015

MURIC COMMENDS ATIKU’S DAUGHTER



29th August, 2015
PRESS RELEASE:
REJECTION OF SALARIES, ALLOWANCES:
MURIC COMMENDS ATIKU’S DAUGHTER

The daughter of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Fatima Atiku, who was appointed Commissioner for Health in Adamawa State yesterday offered to serve gratis, without salaries or allowances.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) welcomes Dr. Fatima Atiku’s decision with immense pleasure. It is coming at a time when Nigeria needs honest and patriotic citizens to salvage the economic mess left behind by political scavengers and economic parasites who masqueraded as transformers.

By making this huge sacrifice, Dr. Fatima has opened a new and encouraging vista for the young generation of Nigerians. It is also a good example of loyalty in followership as President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Governor El-Rufai and some others had earlier accepted cuts in their salaries.
Like father, like daughter, Dr. Fatima’s altruism is a natural fallout of the workings of the Adamic chromosome as her father, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, during the 2015 presidential campaigns, had offered to serve without collecting emoluments if elected president.        

Unlike the pack of wolves who milked Nigeria dry in the past six years, good leadership is already yielding encouraging results. It has produced the likes of El-Rufai and Fatima. We have no doubt that many others will follow pretty soon. Nigeria will rise again.

MURIC salutes the patriotic Commissioner for Health in Adamawa State. We charge Nigerian youths to learn from her example. One great lesson inherent in her selfless sacrifice is that Nigerians can now see that not all politicians are thieves and rogues. There is, therefore, light at the end of the tunnel. Nigerian youths who had lost all hope for this country should therefore brace up.

Those who had shunned politics for fear of being tarnished should have a change of heart while those who went on self-exile should return home to join us in the task of rebuilding the nation.

In particular, Nigerian women should follow the example of Fatima Atiku. More women should join politics. Gender balance cannot become a reality if our women remain in the kitchen. The time to enroll is now.

In conclusion, we remind Fatima Atiku of her father’s huge contributions to the present dispensation. By leading the historical walkout at the PDP convention in 2014, Atiku Abubakar almost single-handedly engineered the defection of the five PDP governors, an action largely responsible for the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the 2015 presidential elections. Fatima should therefore continue to tow her father’s path of honour, truth, courage and service to the fatherland.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC



Thursday, August 27, 2015

INFORMAL AGREEMENT REACHED ON WAEC EXAM TIMETABLE



Salaam All,

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) wishes to inform all Muslim brothers and sisters, particularly all Muslim candidates who are preparing for the November/December 2015 GCE examination that informal negotiation has taken place between MURIC and the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) through a Muslim leader who is close to WAEC officials.
We have been assured that the papers scheduled for 2 pm to 4 pm on Fridays will be delayed till 3 pm before starting.

MURIC accepts this assurance in good faith and considers the outcome of the mediation as an agreement between men and women of honour.  We also believe that future examination timetables will avoid this controversy.

WAEC is a respected public institution whose integrity we do not wish to impugn. It has served all groups for decades and we all wish to see the institution growing from strength to strength. We appreciate the mature approach which resulted in the latest resolution of the timetable crisis and wish to continue the cordial relationship between WAEC and Nigerian Muslims now and in future.

Islam frowns upon belligerence, violence and acts of terror. In particular, the Qur’an says “… If they (the other party) inclines towards peace, you too must accept settlement (and stop all acts of hostility Qur’an 8:61) and trust in Allah…”

We therefore call upon all our members nationwide, our respected Muslim leaders and all Islamic organizations to accept this agreement, to calm down and to cooperate with WAEC officials as they carry out their legitimate duties.

Allah loves the righteous, those who control their anger and those who forgive others (Qur’an 3:134). Let us all be good ambassadors of Islam. Let us promote peace. Let us join hands with the Federal and State Governments in ensuring peace and harmony.

Thank you all for your solidarity. Allah bless you. Allah bless Nigeria. 

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

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WAEC SHOOTS ITSELF IN THE FOOT



26th August, 2015
PRESS RELEASE:
WAEC’S RESPONSE TO MURIC’S STATEMENT:
WAEC HAS JUST SHOT ITSELF IN THE FOOT

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has responded to a press statement issued today by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) in which the latter criticized WAEC’s examination timetable billed to take off next week for fixing the examinations to coincide with Jum’ah period.

The crux of WAEC’s argument is that the examinations cover the whole of the West African region and that the times fixed for the Nigerian papers were not 1 pm to 3 pm but 2 pm to 4 pm.

MURIC is pleased with the way WAEC shot itself in the foot. The debate is over. Is there anyone in the whole of West Africa who does not know the time Muslims observe Jum’ah? Should a public institution which has operated in Nigeria for decades feign ignorance of the time Muslims go for Jum’ah service on Fridays?

 For the avoidance of doubts, we make it abundantly clear that Jum’ah prayers start by 1 pm or 1.30 pm and ends around 2.30 pm.

WAEC claims that its papers start by 2 pm and not 1 pm. So what? What difference does it make? How on earth can a Muslim candidate arrive early enough at the examination center for a paper which will start by 2 pm even if the prayer ends by 2 pm? Has WAEC built mosques for Muslim candidates at the examination centers? We assert that WAEC is insensitive to the plight of its Muslim candidates by admitting that its papers start by 2 pm.

Let us call a spade a spade. By fixing examinations at 2 pm (as admitted by WAEC in its press statement of today), WAEC has subjected Muslim candidates to undue pressure and undeserved disadvantage capable of militating against optimum performance.

WAEC has just exposed itself as an institution which has never shown interest in the welfare of its Muslim candidates. We wonder how WAEC has been dealing officially with its Muslim employees all these years. Or are there no Muslims at the management level in WAEC to advise WAEC about the right time to fix examinations on Fridays? Is Islamophobia so deep and widespread in WAEC?

WAEC also argues that some subjects and timings are for candidates based in Ghana, are there no Muslims in Ghana? The wind has blown. We have seen the ruff of the hen. So this is how WAEC has been persecuting Muslim candidates in other West African countries.

MURIC reminds WAEC that Islam is a brotherhood without borders. Oppression of Muslims in one country is oppression of all Muslims of the world. Our dogma in MURIC is, “Oppress one, oppress all”. The Glorious Qur’an says, “Verily this Brotherhood of yours is a single Brotherhood and I am your Lord…” (Qur’an 23:52). We therefore reject WAEC’s attempt at divide et impera.

We hereby repeat our advise to WAEC. Review your November/December 2015 GCE examination timetable as you may deem fit. You have insulted our collective intelligence by insisting that MURIC misled the public. Starting a propaganda war with Muslims is not the wisest thing to do at this point in time. There is no way you can win.

This controversy reminds us of the anatomy of terrorism. It is a cause-effect affair because there is no smoke without fire. People who nurse grudges react in different ways but why provoke people in the first place? Provocation is mostly to blame for violent reactions. What Nigeria needs presently is a peaceful atmosphere. Give people justice and there will be enduring peace. Justice is the soul of peace.

WAEC is advised to desist from heating up the polity. Let my people go! Allow Muslim candidates to attend the Jum’ah services. We are not a violent group but there is no point provoking Nigerian Muslims. All we are saying is “Let the Muslims go”. WAEC will lose nothing by eating the humble pie.

We appeal to Nigerian authorities to wade into this matter before it is too late. We call on the education committees of the National Assembly to do the needful. The worst families are those who do not dialogue on issues. The Nigerian nation is a large family. “Come now, let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18). To jaw-jaw is better than to war-war.

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


WAEC EXAMINATION TIMETABLE IS AN INVITATION TO CHAOS



26th August, 2015
PRESS RELEASE:
WAEC EXAMINATION TIMETABLE IS AN
INVITATION TO CHAOS

The timetable of the November/December General Certificate Examination (GCE) of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) which is expected to begin next week shows that some of the subjects will be taken between 1 pm and 3 pm on Fridays.

The implication of this is that Muslim candidates are likely to miss some of their papers unless they choose to skip the Jum’ah services on those days. This is tantamount to denial of Allah-given fundamental rights of those candidates. It is a flagrant breach of Section 38 (i) & (ii) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) rejects this anti-Muslim timetable released by WAEC. It is malicious, baseless, illegal, and unconstitutional. It is also most insensitive, parochial and provocative. This timetable is designed to cause chaos.

We invite the Nigerian authorities to visit WAEC’s website (registration.waecdirect.org) and click on the timetable link to confirm our allegation. WAEC has fixed its examinations between 1 pm and 3 pm of every Friday from 11th September to 2nd October as shown below:

1.  Friday 11th September, 2015: Forestry 2 (Essay) 13hrs to 15 hrs
2.  Friday 18th September 2015: Government2 (Essay) 13 hrs to 15 hrs
3.  Friday 25th September, 2015: Further Mathematics 14 hrs to 15.30 hrs
4.  Friday 2nd October, 2015: Applied Electricity2  13 hrs to 14 hrs
5.  Friday 2nd October, 2015: Applied Electricity1 14 hrs to 15 hrs

We remind WAEC that Jum’ah service every Friday is not a design of homo sapien. It has divine and scriptural basis in Qur’an 62:9-11.

Any attempt therefore to circumspect it by any means constitutes a challenge to divine authority. This is bound to be counter-productive with its dire consequences for our country particularly at this crucial period when Nigeria needs prayers to survive.

We assert that WAEC’s sectional timetable is not likely to affect candidates alone as all service providers who happen to be Muslims are bound to be affected. We wonder why no examination subjects were fixed for Sundays if indeed WAEC is under any stress for time. This development has again underlined the justification for Muslims’ agitation for a workfree Friday.

It further exposes the social imbalance in the Nigerian system today. Everything is in favour of Christians because the colonial master was a Christian and he bequeathed a legacy of a pro-Christian and anti-Muslim culture to Nigerians on the eve of his departure in 1960. Justice demands that this system should have been reviewed long ago, at least to integrate Nigerian Muslims and give them a sense of belonging.

MURIC charges the Federal Government (FG) to do the needful. Nigerian Muslims have become endangered species hounded from pillar to post. There is no freedom of worship for them. Their rights are violated at will and nobody says or does anything about it. Muslim victims are called names and stereotyped when they try to resist. All these must stop if indeed we are serious about the change mantra.

FG should call WAEC to order. By the way, what is the role of the Federal Ministry of Education in matters such as this? Is it not expected to protect candidates from this kind of abuse? Didn’t the ministry have any input into WAEC’s timetable? Or did somebody somewhere fail to perform his/her duty?

We appeal to members of the National Assembly (NASS) to wade into the matter. WAEC must be invited to explain the raison d’etre for this Islam-bashing timetable. NASS is the voice of the voiceless and it should stand up to be counted on a matter which is capable of causing social pandemonium.

MURIC is a dialogue-loving human rights organization. Therefore we will not issue threats. It is hoped that FG and indeed WAEC will take this statement as an offer of dialogue.

MURIC will not be held responsible if aggrieved candidates, their parents and sympathizers hold peaceful protests in WAEC offices should WAEC go ahead with this abominable, archaic and contemptuous timetable which is designed to compel Muslim candidates to sit for examination during Jum’ah service.

MURIC will not stand akimbo while Nigerian Muslims are being humiliated and treated with contempt. We are all equal partners in the Nigerian project and we will employ every available constitutional means to resist the intimidation of Muslims in this country.

Unless it is a deliberate assault on the collective body of the Nigerian Muslim Ummah, WAEC is seriously advised to review the timetable before the commencement of examinations. A stitch in time saves nine.

In the meantime MURIC appeals to Muslims nationwide to eschew violence, to remain law abiding and to patiently await FG’s reaction to this highly combustible issue.
       
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)