Tuesday, November 17, 2015


18th November, 2015

Another bomb attack yesterday in a lorry park in Yola killed 32 persons. About 80 others were injured.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is deeply saddened by this tragedy. We are seriously disturbed that violent death has become a recurring decimal in a geographical zone that has been peaceful and quiet for decades.

While we note that the imminent defeat facing the insurgents is the casu belli of recent bomb explosions, we urge the major stakeholders in the zone, particularly the state government and aid groups to focus attention on increasing awareness among the citizens. Tuesday evening’s bomb blast is one explosion too many. It amplifies the need to intensify citizen awareness more than ever before.

We suggest that announcements on radio and television should be repeated every fifteen minutes. Warnings printed on leaflets should be distributed to the public in motor parks, markets, mosques and churches.

These announcements should educate citizens on what to do in these days of insurgency, how to identify a prospective suicide bomber, the danger in ignoring abandoned luggages, the need to report strange faces in our communities to security agencies, etc.

Nigerians must not leave the war against insurgents to the military alone. We must give our gallant soldiers every necessary support. America was able to stem bombings because its citizens were on red alert everywhere.

The military is doing what it should do at the moment. Boko Haram fighters are feeling the heat. They are now on the run and this informs their recourse to guerrilla warfare, striking behind the lines and attacking soft targets. The aim is to embarrass the Federal Government.

These attackers are not ghosts. The fact that they are still able to inflict serious damage implies negligence on the part of the citizens. The state governments in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe should raise the alert level to deep red.

The non-governmental organizations and aid agencies in the zone should enlighten citizens in the three states on the principles of self-survival and the significance of staying alive. More importantly, they must create awareness on the after-effects of falling victims of bomb attacks and the implications of losing one’s limbs in such circumstances.

As a necessary precaution, all the remaining state governments throughout Nigeria should be on the tip-toes of alertness. They should properly educate their citizens on what to do to avert bomb attacks inside commercial vehicles, in motor parks, markets, workplaces, bus stops, airports, etc.

We urge the press to take up this challenge. In view of the fact that educating the public is one of the cardinal functions of the press, the Nigerian print and electronic media is invited to embed in their publications and programmes short but catchy jingles capable of heightening security consciousness among the citizenry.

To round up, MURIC charges citizens in the North East in particular and the whole country in general, to be vigilant in order to avoid more bomb blasts. Peace is around the corner. We remind Nigerians that dead men can neither enjoy the dividends of democracy nor reap the fruits of Buhari’s change mantra.

All hands must be on deck: the army, the police, the state governments, the press, aid agencies, NGOs and all citizens. A united citizenry can never be defeated. We refuse to be intimidated by merchants of terror. But we must all remember that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Every citizen must therefore do the needful.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Monday, November 16, 2015


17th November, 2015

Terrorists on Friday 13th November, 2015 launched seven coordinated attacks on Paris killing at least 129 people. The attacks occurred at the Stade de France, the Petit Cambodge restaurant, the Le Carillon bar, the Rue de la Fontaine au Roi, the Casa Nostra pizzeria, the la Belle Equipe and the Bataclan Concert.  
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) strongly condemns these attacks. They are despicable, vicious and barbaric. They take humanity back to the Stone Age, grant unfettered licence to lawlessness and fuel universal chaos.

It is becoming more glaring that the main preoccupation of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is the shedding of innocent blood and the precipitation of religious war, particularly between Christians of the West and Muslims of the Middle East.

We dissociate ourselves from the violent propensity of ISIS and its blood-thirsty associates in Al-Qaedah and Boko Haram whose stock-in-trade is the misinterpretation of the peaceful message of Islam. We reject the hate messages of messengers of death who ask Muslims to kill Westerners. We affirm clearly and unequivocally that Islam neither teaches racism nor does it endorse terrorism.

MURIC calls on Muslim youths all over the world to save Islamdom from an implosion induced by extremism. This they can do by distancing themselves from radical and violent groups.  

Nonetheless, we charge the West to look beyond the attacks. The authors of these horrendous attacks have merely manifested homicidal tendencies propelled by perceived provocations, presumably from anti-Muslim legislations in France and the genocides in Bosnia, Myammar, Central African Republic, etc in which thousands of Muslims were killed in cold blood while the West stood akimbo and the United Nations did nothing.   

We invite the world to ponder over the anatomy of terrorism and the cause-effect theory. There can be no smoke without fire. The fire which causes violence and terrorism is injustice. Unfortunately, while everyone is talking about the need for peace, nobody is talking about justice.  

We posit that peace is neither an orphan nor is it a lone ranger. We believe in two dogmas: one, peace is born from the wombs of justice. Two: peace must walk parri pasu with equity. Peace walks hand in hand down the isle with justice. Justice is the soul of peace. Nobody can deny one and still enjoy the other. The world must therefore make a choice. To be, or not to be? That is the question.       

In conclusion, we stand side by side with France today in its fight against terrorism. We condole all those who were bereaved in the Paris terrorist attacks and pray that Almighty Allah will give them the strength to bear the losses.

We charge the misled agents of destruction in ISIS, Al-Qaedah and Boko Haram to go back to the true and peaceful message of Islam. We appeal to countries of the West to return to the drawing board for the purpose of charting a new course based on justice, mutual respect and the recognition of Allah-given fundamental human rights in their dealings with Muslims all over the world.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Monday, November 9, 2015


10th November, 2015

The new Ooni of Ife, Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi of Giesi Ruling House, will soon complete traditional rituals of his coronation and begin the business of ruling his domain.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) congratulates the young and dynamic business mogul on his emergence as the new Ooni of Ife. We pray that his reign may be long, fruitful and peaceful.

We call the attention of the new Ooni to the preponderance of poverty, the absence of factories and the army of unemployed Ife youths. Apart from the Obafemi Awolowo University, there is hardly any presence of buoyancy in the city. We urge him to use his influence in the Nigerian and international business community to bring investors to Ile Ife.    

But this project of turning Ile Ife into a prosperous city may become fait accompli if there is no peace. Constant wars have been scaring both local and foreign investors away from Ile Ife. It has also distracted the attention of the youth from engaging in productive ventures. We therefore invite the new Ooni to usher in a new era of peace and stability.

Oba Adesoji Aderemi (late Oba Sijuade’s predecessor) ruled Ife peacefully for decades. There was no single incidence of violence between Ife and Modakeke. He consciously promoted peaceful coexistence between the two communities.

We believe that if it was possible for Oba Adesoji Aderemi to rule without fighting the people of Modakeke, it is equally possible for the young, talented and amiable Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi to reign without fighting any war with his neighbours.  

The Ife-Modakeke wars defy logic. How can the Ife people tolerate people of other tribes like the Igbos and Hausas if they cannot tolerate the people of Modakeke who are also Yorubas?

There is no gainsaying the fact that Ile Ife is the cradle of Yorubaland. Tolerance and accommodation of Modakeke becomes imperative if the new Ooni must justify this enviable position. It is a lofty status which the Ooni must exploit to stamp his royal authority on the rest of Yorubaland and also to enjoy the confidence of the latter.

The new Ooni is the representative of Oduduwa, the ancestor of the whole Yoruba race. By implication, therefore, the Ooni is the father of Yorubaland. Engaging in internecine war with its neighbour certainly diminishes this historical status. The new father of Yorubaland must open his arms to embrace all Yorubas, including Modakeke.

All Yorubas must be welcome in Ile Ife. It is their ancestral home. There is no city in Yorubaland that does not trace its origin to Ile Ife. If, therefore, the Modakekes have come to Ile Ife sometime in the past as a result of pressure and the need for resettlement, they have come to the right place, the place from which they originated ab initio.  

MURIC charges the state government to lift Ile Ife from its current state of economic comatose. Ile Ife has a basically agrarian population. The farmers should be given direct assistance in order to boost food production. The state government is advised to pursue aggressive investment push for the city so as to open the door of employment for the youths.

The cradle of Yorubaland deserves the state government’s proper attention, not crumbs from the table. Posterity may find it hard to forgive state governments which push Ile Ife to the background in the scheme of things in Osun State.

The new Ooni is advised to avoid interfering in religious issues or meddling in the murky waters of politics. He should focus his attention only on those things capable of promoting the development of his people.

The open romance of the late Oba Sijuade with former President Goodluck Jonathan and his ruling party brought the city into confrontation with the state government with the attendant dashing of hopes, frustration of the youths and retardation of development. The new Ooni is advised to tow the path of diplomacy for the progress of Ile Ife.

In the same vein, the undue interference in the affairs of the Ile Ife chapter of the Ansarudeen Society of Nigeria which led Oba Sijuade to order the replacement of the society’s choice of Imam, the sanctioning of the society’s chairman in Ile Ife and the closure of the society’s mosque at Ajamopo around 2006 was ill-advised.

A traditional ruler, particularly a non-Muslim, who takes such steps against an Islamic society in his domain has gone too far. It should not happen again. The new Ooni should avoid actions capable of sparking religious unrest in his domain.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Thursday, October 22, 2015


22nd October, 2015,

The Federal Government (FG) allegedly declared yesterday that work could not continue on Lagos-Ibadan expressway due to financial constraint.    

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) finds this statement alarming and disappointing. Is FG aware of the strategic importance of this road? This is the only road plied by millions of Nigerians going in and out of Lagos. As the commercial hub of the nation, any disconnect between Lagos and the rest of Nigeria tantamounts to economic strangulation of the whole country.

How do we transport goods to and fro Apapa Port if the only access road is rendered unmotorable? Trailers who ferry these goods rely solely on Lagos-Ibadan expressway. Unfortunately the road is in such a dilapidated state that even the trailers fall by the roadside on a daily basis. Yet there is no alternative since there is no reliable rail system yet.

The two companies (Julius Berger and the Chinese Construction Company) which started the work have done very well so far. All the parts of the road which they have refurbished are now very smooth and wide. But the areas yet to be covered are full of bumps and they are now getting worse by the day, particularly since the companies stopped working on them a few months ago.

The bumps are an eyesore and driving there is hazardous. Vehicles break down frequently on the rough surfaces while accidents are also common there as drivers either run into ditches or collide with those behind them as they attempt to avoid the bad portions of the road.

The bad spots have also been causing long vehicular queues thus turning a journey that should not last longer than one hour to one that lasts five or six hours. This is not good enough for our economy because Nigerians can do a lot for their country during those hours of waste and pain.

Worse still, Nigeria has lost so many of its crème de la crème to this road in the last seven years that only those who want to be counting dead bodies in their hundreds and on a daily basis will deprive Lagos-Ibadan expressway the necessary fund for refurbishing at this point in time. We cannot afford the retention of a culture of waste. Furthermore, almost all the spots where resurfacing was stopped by the two companies when the last regime refused to pay them now dangle the sword of Damocles over the heads of road users.

We are not oblivious of the fact that past regimes are to blame for the negligence. The immediate past regime of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan must have been responsible for the failure to pay the construction companies. But today the buck stops at President Muhammadu Buhari’s table. Government is a continuum. Buhari has inherited both the assets and the liabilities. Over to you, Mr. President. 

FG’s only excuse for suspending work on the road is shortage of funds. We can understand this particularly in these days of dwindling resources. But there must be a way out. FG can rearrange its priorities or enter into an agreement with local or foreign partners who have the required funds. The toll gates may come back as a way of recovering funds and paying back the partners. But work must resume on Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)