Tuesday, January 28, 2020
28th January 2020
ARREST, PROSECUTE THOSE WHO THREATENED AKINTOLA
A twitter handler directed a death threat to the director and founder of our Islamic human rights organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola, about a week ago. He wrote a chilling comment on Professor Akintola’s picture and posted it. The post was, in turn, screenshot from the Whatshap status of a contact who identified herself as Tosin Elizabeth a.k.a ‘Hidee’ with telephone number 08163964812.
The death threat was issued under the caption, ‘THIS COBRA NEEDS TO BE KILLED’ and the exact words used were:
“There is one big COBRA we must kill, before it kills all of us with its venom. This MURIC man, Professor Ishaq Akintola, must be tamed, else he will succeed in destroying Yorubaland with venom from his religious stupidity. He sees, he talks and behaves like a big radical Taliban. He’s an agent of disunity, and must be called to order before it is too late.”
We, the chairmen of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) branches from the South West, specifically from Ekiti (Murician Qasim Salahudeen), Ogun (Murician Tajudeen Jimoh), Oyo (Murician Salahudeen Abdul Wasiu), Osun (Murician Marufdeen Odedeji), Ondo (Murician Abdul Ganiyu Maroof) and Lagos (Murician Shefiu Ayorinde) hereby totally and categorically condemn the death threat issued against Professor Ishaq Akintola, the director of our organization.
This death threat is Satanic and provocative. It is capable of causing religious crisis not only in the South West but in Nigeria as a whole. Apart from revealing a desire to assassinate our director, it is also an incitement of the Yoruba people against the founder and director of our organisation. We insist that no harm must come to Professor Ishaq Lakin Akintola.
It is clear from the words used in the death threat that the brain behind the satanic message is a Yoruba person who feels aggrieved by MURIC’s stand on the Amotekun security outfit which the governors of the South West have proposed. For the avoidance of doubt, MURIC did not oppose the establishment of a security unit in Yorubaland so long as it is for better security. MURIC only opposed the way Muslims in the region have been sidelined in the arrangement. We reject the idea of collecting birth certificate from churches or letters of recommendation from pastors.
Is that why our leader must be killed? Is that why Akintola became your first target? Is there no freedom of speech in this country? Are we not in a democracy? Is this how you want to treat Muslims after establishing Amotekun? We are certain that your intention is to turn Amotekun to a terror machine. You want to train assassins for eliminating Muslim leaders one by one.
Yoruba Muslims have the right to speak freely. We are in the land of our ancestors. We are not foreigners. Nobody can expel us from the land of Oduduwa. We will continue to exercise our fundamental human rights without fear while we remain peaceful and law abiding. We are willing to live peacefully with our neighbours whether they are Christians, traditionalists or atheists. The Nigerian Constitution accommodates all faiths. We are even ready to join the new security outfits in our different states once the religious bias is removed and the legal technicalities are resolved. But no true Muslim will give his or her blessing to a security organization which begins by showing anti-Muslim bias and targeting our Muslim brothers in the North.
For the sake of clarity, we affirm that MURIC is a peace-loving organization and our motto is ‘Dialogue, Not Violence’. Incidentally, our leader, Professor Akintola, is also a peace-loving man. He has never engaged in violence or supported any violent group. He has always condemned Boko Haram and promoted peaceful coexistence among the adherents of different faiths. Akintola is also an anti-corruption jihadist.
The implications of attacking the director of MURIC will have far-reaching effect because MURIC is not about one man. Its membership spreads beyond the South West to the North. Those who have been used to persecuting the Muslims while the same oppressors shout to high heaven without anybody challenging them now see him as a threat because he has challenged the status quo and changed the narrative.
Already, there is tension among the Muslims over the threat to Akintola and the Nigerian Council for Shariah (South West zone) issued a statement on the threat on Sunday, 27th January, 2020. Therefore, anybody planning to attack such a man is planning to plunge Nigeria into another crisis.
We wish to warn those behind the death threat against Akintola to know what they are up against. Think well before you act. Akintola is the voice of the voiceless Muslims in Nigeria and he is recognized as such throughout the length and breadth of the country. You cannot attack such a person and get away with it so easily. Don’t cause trouble in Nigeria.
This January 2020 alone, Akintola emerged as Number 4 Most Important Muslim in Nigeria for year 2019. This was the outcome of a public ranking conducted by a Nigerian newspaper. Also in 2019, our director and founder was turbaned the ‘Lion of Islam’ (Kinniun Adinni) by the League of Imams, Ikotun, Lagos State. We all know what it means for hundreds of Imams to unanimously agree to give such a title to an Islamic scholar. We do not need to remind those threatening to kill our director that the lion is the king of all animals, including the leopard (amotekun). What do you think will happen if the leopard attempts to launch an attack on the lion?
In conclusion, we hereby call upon the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the Department of State Security (DSS) to unmask, apprehend and prosecute those who threatened Professor Ishaq Akintola and to provide adequate protection for him. Professor Akintola is a tax payer and deserves to be well protected. We believe that the security agencies will understand the enormity of the issue and realise that it is a matter of national interest. We affirm that Allah is the best protector and the Most Merciful (Glorious Qur’an 12:64). We also restate our full confidence in the ability of the Nigerian security agencies to get to the bottom of the matter, particularly with the lead provided above as the person on whose status the threat was screenshot (Tosin Elizabeth a.k.a ‘Hidee’, telephone number 08163964812).
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria
1. Murician Qasim Salahudeen
Chairman, MURIC, Ekiti Chapter
2. Murician Salahudeen Abdul Wasiu
Ag. Chairman, MURIC, Oyo Chapter
3. Murician Marufdeen Odedeji
Chairman, MURIC, Oshun Chapter
4. Murician Tajudeen Jimoh
Chairman, MURIC, Ogun Chapter
5. Murician Ganiyu Maroof
Chairman, MURIC, Ondo Chapter
6. Murician Shefiu Ayorinde,
Chairman, Lagos Chapter
Sunday, January 26, 2020
27th January 2020
LET AMOTEKUN EMBRACE ALL
Sequel to the resolution of the governors of the South West to give a legal backing to the Amotekun security outfit, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called on the governors of the South West to allow the re-branded security agency to embrace all citizens living in the sub-region. MURIC also advised that the new security organization should not lean towards any religion or target any ethnic group for victimization.
The call was made on Monday 27th January, 2020 in a press statement issued by the director of the human rights organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The statement further added:
“No homo sapien compos mentis living in Yorubaland will oppose the setting up of a security outfit to complement the existing security agencies on ground (the army, police, NNDC, DSS, etc). We all want lives and properties secured all over Nigeria. That is why people living on every street have security arrangements in place while some individuals also have both day and night guards in their private offices and homes.
“It is therefore mischievous to give the impression that Muslims are against the South West security initiative. No reasonable Nigerian today will frown at attempts to boost security in any part of the country. What we oppose is the religious and ethnic tinge which the handlers gave Amotekun.
“You cannot blame Muslims for crying out when you ask them to bring birth certificates from churches before joining Amotekun. Neither can you expect them to stand akimbo when you tell them to bring letters of recommendation from churches. Muslims in the Yoruba enclave are not opposing Amotekun per se. What they oppose is a situation where a ostensibly anti-Islam security outfit comes into operation in Yorubaland.
“Apart from the reference to birth certificates from churches and letters of reference from pastors, the choice of nomenclature is another controversial issue because it has a strong Christian identity. Why ‘Amotekun’ as a name for crying out loud? Research has revealed the biblical origin of this name and it makes Muslims suspicious. Why Amotekun of all brands?
“Jeremiah 5:6 says, ‘A leopard shall guard over their city’. Amotekun is mentioned in this verse with particular reference to guarding a city. Now, we have a sub-region where Muslims have been under persecution for ages coming up with a security outfit under the name of the same leopard mentioned in the bible as a guard over the city. This is not a coincidence. The handlers of Amotekun picked the name deliberately from the bible in order to score a spiritual point. It is very critical. It calls for serious concern. So why give a security unit a religious name?
“However, the latest assurance coming from certain quarters that birth certificates from churches and letters of reference from pastors was not part of the original pre-requisites is most welcome. MURIC will support any security arrangement anywhere in Nigeria so long as such arrangement is devoid of gymnastic religiousity and acrobatic ethnicity.
“In addition, the organisers of Amotekun must desist from attempts to intimidate perceived opponents of the scheme. Leaders of the group must caution their foot-soldiers against excesses. They must distance themselves from arm-twisting gimmicks like deliberately misinterpreting statements made by people who oppose the Amotekun idea.
“For instance, MURIC has very strong evidence that some elements in the Amotekun camp have issued death threats to its leader. That is unacceptable. It is an attempt to silence opposition. All opinions must be allowed in a democracy. That is freedom of speech. Those who attempt to muzzle opinions give the impression that they have hidden agenda. It presupposes that the Amotekun security project will be biased and unprofessional when it finally comes on board. We refuse to be intimidated. It changes nothing in our stand and style of advocacy.
“In a nutshell, as the organisers deliberate on the legal framework to back the complementary security project in the South West, we advise that such legal framework includes a clause that lays emphasis on religious neutrality, security for all citizens residing in Yorubaland regardless of their ethnic background and a new name which is acceptable to all faiths.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
21st January, 2020
MURIC SLAMS BOKO HARAM FOR KILLING CLERIC
The chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Rev. Lawan Andimi, has been killed by the Boko Haram terrorist group. The cleric was declared missing on 2nd January, 2020 but was later discovered to have been kidnapped by Boko Haram. A video clip later confirmed that Rev. Andimi was kidnapped by the insurgents.
Meanwhile, an Islamic human rights body has expressed consternation and bewilderment at the killing. The group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) described the incident as horrendous, ungodly and barbaric. MURIC spoke through its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola on Tuesday evening, 21st January, 2020.
“We are at a loss for words. This killing is horrendous, ungodly and barbaric. We condemn it in the strongest terms possible. We reiterate our earlier declaration that Boko Haram is not an Islamic group. Rather it is a group of misled zealots. Any group that kills at will and sheds the blood of innocent people cannot represent Islam.
“What is the crime of Rev. Andimi? Being a Christian is not a crime. There are thousands of honest, hardworking, law-abiding and God-fearing Christians in this country. Every individual is free to follow any faith of his or her choice because the Qur’an forbids compulsion in religion (Glorious Qur’an 2:256) while the Nigerian Constitution guarantees freedom of religion in Section 38 (i) & (ii).
“It is crystal clear from the antics of Boko Haram that the group is keen on igniting a religious war. They are deliberately targeting Christians for attacks in order to provoke the Nigerian Christian community. But they have failed. They have failed because Nigerians understand what Boko Haram is doing. We will not fall into Boko Haram’s trap. We call on all Nigerians regardless of religious background to unite against Boko Haram. We must stand up together to fight the evil in our midst.
“MURIC calls on the Federal Government to intensify and expedite action on uprooting the last vestiges of Boko Haram. We charge the Nigerian military to leave no stone unturned in its efforts to eliminate the insurgents.
“Our hearts are heavy as we remember the bereaved family. But we are assured in the global reach of God’s divine umbrella. Only Him can console them. Only Him can heal. We pray that the Almighty God will give succour to members of the deceased’s family, his friends and associates.
“We commiserate with the leadership of CAN in particular and the Nigerian Christian community in general. In times like this, it is only patience, maturity and statesmanship that have kept Nigeria going. We must remember that both sides have lost key figures to Boko Haram attacks. Many Imams and high profile Shaykhs have been killed by these same insurgents. We are all losing our loved and respected clerics, friends and family members. We are all victims. Let us console ourselves and strengthen our position with prayers instead of resorting to blame game.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Monday, January 20, 2020
21st January 2020
MURIC APPEALS TO SOLDIERS:
DON’T ABANDON MAIDUGURI – DAMATURU ROAD
An Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has appealed to soldiers in the North Eastern part of the country not to abandon Maiduguri – Damaturu road. There are reports that men of the Nigerian Army have abandoned the road since the state governor exposed the extortion going on in that axis. It will be recalled that Governor Babagana Umara Zulum last week cautioned soldiers against extorting motorists on the Maiduguri – Damaturu road.
The appeal was made in a statement circulated to pressmen on Tuesday, 21st January, 2020 by the director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The statement reads:
“Reports reaching our headquarters from our members in Borno State lend credence to the fear of Boko Haram returning to the roads to make life unbearable for road users. This is because soldiers have allegedly abandoned the check-points along the road. This is unethical, dangerous and counter-productive.
“While we appreciate the sacrifices being made day and night by soldiers, we find it necessary to affirm the need for soldiers to be professional in carrying out their duties. Under no circumstances should civilians be exposed to danger. These are the tax payers and revenue generators who make it possible for soldiers’ salaries to be paid and for military hardware to be purchased.
“We sincerely hope that Borno State is not one of the zones from where the military were asked to withdraw recently. We appeal to the Chief of Army Staff to ensure that the Maiduguri – Damaturu road is not abandoned. Though technically defeated, Boko Haram’s guerrilla tactics necessitate maintenance of military presence particularly on the state’s highways. It is not over until it is over.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Thursday, January 16, 2020
17th January 2020
AMOTEKUN: WHO ORDERED REGISTRATION IN CHURCHES?
Governors of the South West sub-region recently established a security outfit called ‘Amotekun’ (the leopard). However, an Islamic organization has raised the alarm over what it described as the attempt of the handlers of the new security outfit to accept birth certificates registered only in churches as one of the pre-requisites for eligibility for recruitment into the outfit.
This was the view expressed by Professor Ishaq Akintola, director of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) in a statement issued early on Friday, 17th January, 2020.
“Let us make our stand on Amotekun clear from the beginning. MURIC is not allergic to any state or region taking steps aimed at rubber-cushioning the effect of the security challenges currently facing Nigeria. But the approach must be transparent, assuring and all-embracing. There must be evidence of good intention. The legitimacy or otherwise of Amotekun is not our focus. We leave that to the relevant federal authorities.
“We have no objection to Amotekun. But ‘good intention’ appears lacking in the preparations for it as a security unit that will complement the work of the conventional security agencies. It appears shrouded in secrecy while attempts are being made to marginalize Muslims in the recruitment exercise.
“Or how does one describe the social media advertisement in which applicants are being requested to bring birth certificates from the church. This is most outrageous. Amotekun has not started, but we are already seeing symptoms of Christianisation and Islamophobia. This does not look good enough. It is hard to believe but tell us sincerely: is this advertisement from the Amotekun handlers? Who ordered registration in churches and why?
“Are the job vacancies which Amotekun is certain to open meant for Christians only? Are the South West states declaring their state as Christian states? Are they joining Nyesome Wike of Rivers in a Christian enclave? Is Amotekun a secret Christian army? Only one out of the five governors in the region is a Muslim. Are the Christian governors ganging up to form a crusader militia?
“Why then must applicants bring birth certificates from churches? Are we sure that this will not be followed by a request for applicants to bring referral letters from pastors? Handlers of Amotekun owe us an explanation. It is after the explanation that we will also declare our next line of action. But right now all we can say is that there are trepidations among Muslims in the region.
“While we await the response of the organisers, we remind them that no security arrangement can succeed in any society without the active support of the people. To get the support of Muslims in the region, we need assurances. The Muslims must be carried along while recruitments being made must not result in lopsided appointments. Both Christians and Muslims must be palpably visible as officers and other ranks. Nobody should tell us that there are no capable Muslims to join those handling the recruitment exercise. There are more than enough retired military and police officers who are Muslims.
“Apart from the issue of Christianisation of Amotekun, we are strongly of the opinion that the security outfit will perform better if it avoids stereotyping any particular people. Governors in the sub-region have the task of deradicalisation on their hands. Amotekun operatives must not be seen targeting non-indigenes of the area. Amotekun must not be turned into a tool of intimidation. Igbo, Itsekiri, Igbira, Hausa, Fulani, etc who reside in the sub-region must not be stigmatized in any form. The operatives must remember that the Yoruba are also spread all over Nigeria. They must not trigger any tit-for-tat scenario.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
16th January 2020
HANAN BUHARI: WE STAND BY OUR STATEMENT - MURIC
An Islamic human rights group has once again reaffirmed its support for the use of the presidential jet by Hanan Buhari, one of the daughters of President Muhammadu Buhari. In a statement circulated on by the director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Thursday, 16th January, 2020, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) cemented its position.
MURIC wonders why Nigerians fail to appreciate the fact that the father of a Northern girl-child has not been given out in early marriage contrary to the common practice in the region but has been encouraged to pursue Western education. The group therefore accused critics of insincerity and ethnic bias.
The statement reads:
“A Tsunami of criticisms trailed our statement of Monday, 13th January, 2019 in which we expressed solidarity with Hanan Buhari, one of the daughters of President Muhammadu Buhari. Though mainly motivated by political prejudice, the criticism cut across religions. Our organisation was taken to the cleaners simply because we refused to support wailers in bashing a honest man. But the point is that there is always two sides to a coin. Unfortunately wailers will not bother to look at the other side. Why must we all reason along one direction? We can take the bashing. We don’t mind so long as we are convinced that we are on the right path. Truth is constant.
“One particular aspect has jogged our mind again: the fact that Hanan Buhari is from a region which is considered to be conservative and educationally backward. This is a region where millions of male children roam the streets in almajiri fashion while parents keep the girl-child at home, marry them off at tender age and declare Western education as taboo.
“Those who are crying foul today are part of those shedding crocodile tears over the neglect of the girl-child. Well, something phenomenal happened in the Hanan Buhari narrative. A girl-child from this same conservative, education-shy region bagged a first class in a London university where education has genuine quality and first class actually means first class. Isn’t that alone worth celebrating? Isn’t that alone capable of inspiring other girls in the region?
“This was exactly what MURIC referred to when it said in its first statement that Hanan Buhari was an inspiration. We repeat it once again without any fear of contradiction that she is, indeed, an inspiration and a model. Nigerians from a section of the country have for long been lampooning Northerners for giving out their daughters in marriage at tender age. We now have a father who did not do that but took his time to allow his daughter to get the best education available. Lo and behold! Nigerians went for his jugular. Who did this to Nigeria? It is now clear that those making noise over early marriage and neglect of Western education in the North had never been sincere. They were more interested in deriding a whole region and reviling others in self-righteousness.
“Mischief led a section of the media to twist our statement by giving it a wrong caption in order to mislead the general public and also to cast aspersion on MURIC. The mischievous caption read, “MURIC Says Hanan Buhari is an Inspiration While Flying in Presidential Jet”. Of course that was far from our intention. We were called all sorts of unprintable names. That should not worry us anyway. Any organization or individual who wants to change society must be prepared to stomach criticism, both fair and unfair.
“We made it clear in our statement that the issue of the presidential jet was not major. We insisted that the lessons inherent in a president’s daughter studying photography and working so hard at her studies as to bag a first class degree was more important to us. We said it was capable of inspiring the youth, particularly girls in the region, to imbibe hard work. She was likely to create an indelible impression on the Northern girl-child. We said we were proud of Hanan. We still are till tomorrow. We stand by this statement. We have no apologies for that. No retreat, no surrender.
“Some even alleged that our statement was too pro-North and that our stand was capable of hurting the Yoruba agenda. We consider this as a gross misunderstanding of MURIC’s mission. The fact that our headquarters is in Lagos does not make us a Yoruba group. Far from that. We are a completely detribalised group. Our membership spreads to all tribes, including the South-East and the South-South. Our mission is to unite Nigeria. This is why we have consistently stood by the truth and the truth alone no matter whose ox is gored. We will not promote any sectional agenda.
“What manner of people are we in this country? We hail loafers and loath workers. We idolize thieves and demonise honest people. What crime has the president’s daughter committed? A young lady went for studies as the daughter of the Number One citizen in our land. She had all the reason in the world to indulge in self-glorification but she elected to work hard and she excelled. She came back with the highest laurel from a British university where you cannot buy grades with either your look or your cash. She came back home believing that she has neither disappointed her parents nor her compatriots. But we chose to pour invectives on her instead of encomiums. Who cursed Nigeria?
“Our message to Hanan is very simple: ignore the wailers. They are in the ‘bad belle’ camp. But they cannot undo what Allah has done. Continue to do your parents proud and stay focused. You are not alone. Millions of Nigerians North and South of the Niger are with you. Honest and hardworking Nigerians appreciate you. It is your moment of glory. Savour it. Glow and shine in its euphoria.
“We laid little emphasis on the presidential jet. People will continue to play politics with it and that is what has happened. What has Hanan’s father done wrong? Why wouldn’t the father be happy with a daughter who did him proud in a foreign land? We do not see why a biological daughter of the Nigerian president cannot, once in a while, have access to it for an important purpose like Hanan has done.
“The United States is a great democracy. Yet we have seen pictures of President Trump’s daughter, her husband and their little son as they boarded Air Force One for a trip. It is a pity that Nigeria’s democracy leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. We need to grow up. From the daughters of George Bush to those of Lincoln and Obama, White House kids had broken the rules. Ex-President Obama’s daughter, Malia, was filmed smoking pot. The Bush twins, Jenna and Barbara were drunkards. They were also caught using fake identity cards in 2001. Patty Davis was notorious for sexual recklessness bothering on nymphomania. Luci Johnson almost burnt down the White House.
“Compared to the White House daughters, Hanan is a pleasure to behold and a treasure to possess. Unfortunately Nigerians will not appreciate what they have in the daughter, just as they do not cherish the father who sits on their wealth and has refused to steal one kobo. When will Nigerians know the difference between pure gold and ordinary sand?
“To cap the edifice, we wish to correct the wrong impression created that we said Hanan flying in the presidential jet was an inspiration. What we actually said was that Hanan’s educational feat was an inspiration to the Northern girl-child and that there was nothing wrong with her using the jet for that particular assignment which we, in good conscience, cannot consider as private. We reaffirm our pride in Hanan and we concretise our faith and vote of confidence in President Muhammadu Buhari as an exemplary father and president of our great country, Nigeria.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)