Monday, June 17, 2019

ADELEKE UNIVERSITY PERSECUTING MUSLIM STUDENTS


18th June, 2019

ADELEKE UNIVERSITY PERSECUTING MUSLIM STUDENTS

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has accused Adeleke University, Ede, Osun State, of persecuting Muslim students in the institution. According to the Islamic human rights organization, the private tertiary institution is serially violating the fundamental human rights of Muslim students in the institution.

This was disclosed in a press statement circulated on Tuesday, 18th June, 2019 by the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola.  

“Adeleke University is a serial violator of Allah-given fundamental rights of Muslim students. This institution forces Muslim students to attend church on Sundays. It makes it mandatory for students living in the hostel to attend church every Wednesday and Saturday.

“The practice of any other faith on campus except Christianity is banned. Muslim students must not be seen observing Salat. Hijab is a taboo in Adeleke University. Yet all these Islamophobic practices are smartly hidden from prospective students of the institution until they have paid the exorbitant school fees and can no longer withdraw.

“We call on the National Universities Commission (NUC) to come to the rescue of Muslim students in Adeleke University. It is a religious scam. This institution hides under a non-religious nomenclature to ensnare Muslim students into an enclave of religious apartheid.  

“In particular, we invite NUC to take a look at the students’ handbook of this institution, especially pages 7, 49, 50, 56 and 60. These pages, to our mind, contain rules that infringe on the religious freedom of Muslim students. As a regulating body, NUC has a duty to intervene in this matter as part of its oversight function on Nigeria’s universities.

“Such intervention is necessary at this juncture to enhance quality control. We remind NUC that man is body, soul and spirit. These three organs must function without hinderance for students to perform maximally.  As things stand today, Muslim students of Adeleke University have been deprived of the spiritual component of their humanity. We therefore call on NUC to investigate this issue as a matter of urgency. Religious repression is a potential threat to peace, law and order.

“MURIC is aware that such practices of religious intolerance exist in a few other private universities. We therefore advise Muslim parents and Muslim students to take necessary precaution. They should investigate very well before picking universities of interest.

“Many private universities do not bear Christian names but they pursue Christian evangelical goals. Worse still, they lack the spirit of tolerance. Muslim candidates who have already chosen private universities where they are likely to become victims of Islamophobia are, therefore, advised to apply for a change of university before it is too late.

“Western education was the weapon used by the British colonialists to coerce Muslims into converting to Christianity in the past. The new trick is to use private universities to achieve the same aim or to compromise willing staff of public universities to do the dirty job. It is neocolonialism pure and simple.

“The children of Muslim victims of religious oppression under the colonialists are today the targets of apartheid private universities. Those who oppressed the father when he was in school are bent on persecuting the children. This is the gospel according to the slave-driver. This vicious cycle must be halted at all cost.   

“As we draw the curtain, we warn that private and public institutions where Muslim students are denied their Allah-given fundamental human rights are sitting on kegs of gunpowder. We call on NUC to investigate this allegation of religious persecution in Adeleke University, Ede and take appropriate action if found culpable. It will serve as a deterrent for other neo-imperialists masquerading as higher institutions.”   

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


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

JUNE 12 RECOGNITION WILL IMMORTALISE BUHARI


12th June, 2019

JUNE 12 RECOGNITION WILL IMMORTALISE BUHARI

President Muhammadu Buhari this week signed the June 12 bill into law, thus making it Nigeria’s official Democracy Day. The signing of the bill also has the effect of rendering May 29 redundant in the annals of the history of democracy in Nigeria.      

Meanwhile the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has applauded President Buhari for making the recognition of June 12 a fait accompli. In a statement issued by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola on Wednesday 12th June, 2019, MURIC hailed Buhari for coming out boldly in support of truth, justice and fair play.

“President Muhammadu Buhari is the hero of the moment. He deserves accolades for coming out boldly to do what several regimes lacked the guts to do. Buhari is a genuine democrat, a patriot nulli secundus and a statesman primus inter pareil.

“As for May 29, it is good riddance to the bad rubbish that was fraudulently contrived as democracy day. That date had never truly reflected the spirit of nationalism in this country and it had never been accepted by true democrats and June 12 activists North and South of Nigeria.

“June 12, 1993 election which was won by Chief Moshood Kashimowo Abiola (MKO) was by far the fairest, most peaceful and most democratic election held in Nigeria to date. Its annulment by the Babangida regime was criminal, myopic and counter-productive while the incarceration of MKO and his eventual assassination were the heights of tyranny. But the military dictator, Gen. Sanni Abacha (rtd), out-heroded Herod by masterminding the killing of MKO’s wife, Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, while the husband was still in captivity.

“It is these acts of totalitarian tyranny and extreme inhumanity which make Buhari’s act of benevolence stand out and characterized his administration with a real human face and an embodiment of good governance. It must be noted that successive administrations have ignored all appeals to recognize this momentous Day, including those who benefited most from the June 12 struggle.  

“That is why Nigerians have given all civilian regimes since 1999 a thumbs-down except the Buhari administration. This also explains why Afenifere has become irrelevant in the political architecture in the South West. The Yorubas have discovered that they have benefited nothing from Afeniferisation which has come to mean retrogression, negativism and parochialism.

“For who could have thought that succor and honour would come to the Yoruba nation from the least expected source, a Fulani man, a ‘Jibril from Sudan’ as President Buhari was mischievously described after his amazing recovery from his mysterious illness? We do not need to tell the Yoruba race what to do since to whom much is given, much also is expected.

“This singular act, i.e. Buhari’s recognition of June 12, also proves that criminality or righteousness is not the monopoly of any single tribe in Nigeria. As we have the Evans in kidnapping, the Oyenusi’s in armed robbery and the Shekaus in Bokoharamism, so do we have the Buhari’s in good governance, the Oloyedes in transparency and the Tony Elumelus in business acumen. We should therefore desist from ethnic and religious profiling. Fulanisation, Islamisation, Afeniferisation and Biafrisation exist only in nomenclature. They are mere figments of imagination coined by mischievous subjects, unscrupulous elements and enemies of progress.   

“The most important lesson in the June 12 affair lies in its font et origo in 1993 and its resurrection in 2018/2019. Unlike the current situation where Nigerians surrender themselves to gymnastic religiousity and ethnic bigotry,  June 12 by origin symptomized Nigeria’s unity in diversity as Nigerians sank ethnic and religious bias to vote for a Muslim-Muslim ticket. But destiny has again brought Nigerians together in 2018/2019 as a Northerner and Fulani man excavated a seemingly dead June 12 and breathed life into it.   
   
“MURIC charges Nigerians to seize this unique opportunity to sink all prejudices. By proclaiming June 12 as our Democracy Day, President Muhammadu Buhari has brought hope of survival to the Nigerian project. This singular action is a sign of good things ahead particularly for groups who still feel marginalized. Buhari knows where it pinches and he will address all grievances.

“It therefore behoves every Nigerian citizen to cooperate with the Buhari administration. We advise aggrieved groups to adopt dialogue and eschew violence. Our voices are being heard. The fact that Buhari ignored powerful enemies of June 12 to give the latter recognition means that we have a leader who is prepared to damn the consequences in the quest for justice. All we need to do is to remain peaceful, law-abiding, hardworking and prayerful.

“As a parting shot, we remind Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari is gradually and steadily laying the solid foundation for a cohesive, virile and united Nigeria. Posterity will no doubt remember him as the Father of Modern Nigeria. We urge politicians to halt unhealthy politicking and to think Nigeria first. We call upon Nigerians to shun ethnic jingoism and religious particularism”.  

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










Monday, June 10, 2019

DON’T CHRISTIANIZE YOUR CABINET - MURIC TELLS S/W GOVS



11th June, 2019

DON’T CHRISTIANIZE YOUR CABINET - MURIC TELLS S/W GOVS

As South West governors resume office after their inauguration on 29th May, 2019, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called for the formation of balanced cabinets by the new governors of Oyo, Lagos and Ogun.    

Making the call was the Director of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Professor Ishaq Akintola. In a press statement circulated on Tuesday 11th June, 2019, the Islamic human rights organization advised the new governors to allow their cabinets to reflect the spirit of participatory democracy by ensuring that all stakeholders are not only consulted but fully involved.

“Your new governments must be inclusive. It must carry all sectors and groups along. That is the secret of good governance. As you pick political figures, you must involve technocrats and business gurus.

“We are watching the exercise with keen interest. Muslims in the South West are aware that all the new governors in Ogun, Oyo and Lagos are Christians. They should not make the same mistakes made by Ayodele Fayose and his successor, Kayode Fayemi in Ekiti State.

“Fayose ensured that Muslims were politically strangulated during his tenure. The secretary to the state government (SSG), the chief of staff (COS), all fourteen commissioners, all permanent secretaries and all board chairmen except one were Christians. In spite of our exhortations, Fayemi gave Muslims only one commissioner out of fourteen. This kind of attitude cannot promote peaceful coexistence. Neither does it represent good governance.  

“We have a special message for Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State. He has already appointed a Muslim as the chairman of the Muslim Pilgrims Board. His choice is a very good one. Professor S. H. A. Malik is one of the most respected Islamic scholars in Nigeria. But Makinde should not assume that he has given Muslims any post. No, he has not.

“That position can only be filled by a Muslim. Makinde must therefore do his homework very well. Oyo State is not a place where any governor can dare the Muslim population. Bola Ige learnt this lesson too late. We are waiting to see where the posts of SSG and COS will go. The number of seats allocated to Muslims and Christians in the cabinet and board appointments will determine Makinde’s political sagacity.

“For the avoidance of doubts, MURIC is aware of the essence of merit in making appointments. Therefore, we are not suggesting the contrary. Any governor who claims that he could not find competent Muslims to appoint is deceiving Nigerians. The truth is that political appointments have become indices for the general welfare of various groups. Failure to pay attention to the Muslim population in terms of appointments therefore tantamounts to deliberate attempt to impoverish Muslims.

“To conclude this advocacy, we welcome the three new governors in the South West and urge them to give every sector its fair share in governance. We counsel against the christianisation of governance in any form. Rather, the new governors should give their subjects balanced cabinets”.      

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



Sunday, June 9, 2019

MURIC EXPOSES NCEF’S ESCAPIST GIMMICK


10th June, 2019

PRESS RELEASE:
MURIC EXPOSES NCEF’S ESCAPIST GIMMICK

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has described the reaction of the Northern Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) to its statement which was published on Friday 7th June, 2019 as an escapist gimmick, a distortion of facts and the handiwork of distractors, agent provocateur and confusionists. MURIC’s latest statement which was issued on Monday, 10th June, 2019 was signed by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.      

The Islamic human rights organization was reacting to a rejoinder of NCEF which was published yesterday, Sunday, 9th June, 2019 in which the latter attacked MURIC. According to NCEF, MURIC was trying to score political points. NCEF also claimed that placing Shariah in the 1999 Constitution was Nigeria’s problem, not Christianity or Islam.

“NCEF has digressed and it is deliberate. We took NCEF up on its allegation of Islamisation and its criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari’s attendance of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) summit last week. But instead of addressing the substance, NCEF has veered to the shadow.

“It is an escapist gimmick and a distortion of facts. It is the handiwork of distractors, agent provocateur and confusionists. We supplied facts and figures about OIC and its origin in our own statement. We said General Gowon (rtd) took Nigeria to OIC. NCEF could not contradict this. We mentioned the gains brought back home from OIC summit by the president. NCEF has no response for that.

“How can NCEF be complaining about Nigeria’s membership of OIC when many West African countries are there: Ivory Coast, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, etc? Uganda, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique are all there. Guyana from South America is a member. Russia and Thailand are members in observer status.

“Both the United Nations and the African Union are observer nations of OIC. How many of these countries have been Islamised since 1969 when OIC was founded? In fact, can anyone embark on any Islamisation exercise under the watch of the UN? We are not surprised that NCEF was forced to put its car in the reverse gear after realizing all these facts.

“But instead of admitting defeat, NCEF begins to beat about the bush. It is grandstanding. Modesty and humility are not in NCEF’s vocabulary. It is blaming Shariah in the 1999 Constitution. How does that relate to Buhari in 2019? Was Buhari in power in 1999? How did Shariah in the constitution become Buhari’s baby? Why should he be reported to a foreign parliament for what he knew nothing about? Is it the federal government that is practicing Shariah? Is Buhari practicing Shariah? When did Shariah start and when did Buhari become president? We can see clearly that senility and amnesia are close neighbours.     

“By the way, was Shariah part of NCEF’s original statement which MURIC reacted to on Friday? The issue was OIC. How can you jump from one subject to another without thrashing the original subject matter? It is escapist. It is an attempt to confuse Nigerians.

“We are shocked that NCEF now claims to be seeking ‘a peaceful and lasting solution to current national crisis’. ‘Peaceful and lasting solution’ indeed. We have no doubt that even NCEF does not believe itself making such a claim. Can anyone seek peaceful solution by setting fire to the roof? Is it by inciting Christians against Muslims that you can seek ‘peaceful and lasting solutions’? Is it by uttering hate speeches that you can seek ‘peaceful and lasting solutions’? Or is it by always crying wolf where there is none?

“We remind NCEF that its impertinence led the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to disown it. We urge NCEF to first reconcile with CAN and stop seeking undue relevance. NCEF should also examine the audio and video clips of its preachers which are full of incitement before claiming to be seeking ‘peaceful and lasting solutions’. Interestingly enough, Pastor Bosun Emmanuel whose inciteful video clips proliferate cyberspace is the secretary of NCEF. Need we say more?

“The real problem in Project Nigeria is groups like NCEF who want to live but do not want others to live. They are particularly allergic to anything Islamic when in actual fact the Nigerian system was totally christianised by the colonial masters.

“We recognize and accept the Christian way of life for our Christian neighbours but the earlier they also recognize the Islamic way of life for Muslims the better for all of us. Nobody can Shugaba us. We affirm clearly, categorically and unequivocally that Nigerian Muslims are an integral part of this country and we are not leaving any time soon.  

“We appeal to NCEF and its co-travellers to drop this allegation of Islamisation. Nobody can Islamise Nigeria. The Yorubas who reside in the North have Obas. But is that Afeniferisation or Oduduwisation? The Igbo people are scattered all over Nigeria and they have their own Igwes in all those places. But is that Biafrisation?  

Why then do we single out the Hausa-Fulani in our midst and accuse them of Islamisation and Fulanisation? It is stigmatization. It is intolerance. It is petty and crude. It is a mockery of civilisation. If Afeniferisation or Oduduwisation is mere fancy, if Biafrisation is a mirage, we make bold to say Islamisation and Fulanisation are mere hallucinations. None of these ‘isations’ is in the best interest of our country.

“We should therefore come together and drop name-calling or adopting meaningless terms to deceive gullible Nigerians. Stereotyping has robbed us of the last vestiges of civilization. There are criminals in all tribes just as there are decent and law-abiding men and women in all groups. The way forward is for the good people to unite and expose the bad eggs. Nigeria is a great nation with immense potentials. This is how to make it greater. Let us stop these meaningless allegations and harness our country’s human and material resources.

“As we wind up, therefore, we invite NCEF to true tolerance which can only be found in the principle of live and let live. NCEF must allow the integration of all religions, cultures and ethnicities in the Nigerian project. Nigeria is for all of us. It is not a Christian property. Neither is it for Muslims alone. NCEF has locked up Nigeria in a Nigeria-for-Christ-project. It is time to open its windows and allow the breeze of nationalism to come in from all directions. NCEF should stop seeing Islamisation in its dreams. Let us all dream greatness for Nigeria instead.”  

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





Friday, June 7, 2019

YOU CAN’T FOOL EU PARLIAMENT: MURIC TELLS NCEF





YOU CAN’T FOOL EU PARLIAMENT: MURIC TELLS NCEF

The Northern Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) yesterday petitioned the European Parliament over President Buhari’s attendance of the summit of the Organisation of Islamic Conference and alleged Islamisation of Nigeria. NCEF also alleged that the president was not doing enough on the security challenges facing the country.

But the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has described the allegations as a compendium of lies from the pit of Jahannam. MURIC’s reaction was contained in a statement shared to the media by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Friday, 7th June, 2019.

“NCEF’s allegations are a compendium of lies from the pit of Jahannam. They are frivolous, unfounded, imaginary, untenable and unacceptable. We have no modicum of doubt that their lies will come crashing down on them like a pack of cards when the EU Parliament investigates their allegations. NCEF cannot fool the EU Parliament.

“EU Parliament will find it interesting to know that Nigeria became a member of OIC back in 1969 when General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), a Christian, took Nigeria to the organization in observer status. Gowon is not a Muslim but he needed the organisation’s support for Nigeria during the civil war (1967 – 1971). Spain, Portugal and France were supporting Biafra and Gowon found it mandatory to rally the support of African countries through Nigeria’s membership of OIC.

“It will therefore become clear that joining OIC has nothing to do with Islamisation but another way of pursuing Nigeria’s national interest. Nigeria joined for political expediency and the regularization in 1986 was merely procedural.

“Just as Gowon used the instrumentality of Nigeria’s membership of OIC to secure victory for Nigeria in the civil war, President Buhari used his physical presence at the 2019 OIC summit to return home with two juicy take-aways, not for himself, not for Jubril of Sudan, not for the Fulanis, not even for Daura, but for his country, Nigeria. OIC pledged to support Nigeria’s war against terrorism and also to support Nigeria in completing the ongoing Second Niger Bridge project.

“It is therefore unfortunate that NCEF still has the audacity to accuse Buhari of not doing enough on security issues and for attending the OIC summit. How would Nigeria have secured the organisation’s support for its war against terrorism if Buhari had not attended the summit and tabled Nigeria’s challenges there?

“Again, is the Second Niger Bridge situated in Daura? Who benefits from its completion? Is it Buhari personally, the Fulanis as a race or Islam as a creed? NCEF petition to the EU Parliament as well as the criticisms of Ohaneze and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) are therefore a mark of ingratitude. But we are certain that the petition in particular is an exercise in futility. Those behind the petition should bury their heads in shame considering the economic and security gains realized from the summit.

“Nigeria’s security challenges did not start under Buhari. The Boko Haram phenomenon started in the Obasanjo days and grew worse under Jonathan. The insurgents effectively occupied 17 local governments as far back as 2014. It was Buhari’s frontal confrontation that reduced the hoodlums to a hit and run guerrilla unit today.

“Bombs were exploding on a daily basis in Jonathan’s days but it receded to a weekly and later, monthly affair under Buhari. It was because the global terrorist network knew that Boko Haram is dying that the Islamic State of West Africa has taken over. The Nigerian security agencies kill and arrest scores of kidnappers, armed robbers and other criminals on a daily basis. Yet detractors claim that Buhari is not doing enough and NCEF thinks taking him to the EU Parliament is the solution. Where did they take Jonathan to when the North East was almost completely overrun under him? What kind of citizens drag their own country in the mud before foreigners? Nigerians are waiting to see how NCEF will succeed in its satanic mission.

“Concerning the allegation of Islamisation via the OIC, if Gowon, a Christian, took Nigeria to OIC (and he did) without Islamising Nigeria, if Obasanjo, also a Christian, attended OIC (and he did) without being Islamised, if Jonathan, another Christian, also attended OIC (and he did) without being Islamised, then this allegation is a mere tool constantly and indecently employed by professional blackmailers. Interestingly, it is used selectively, particularly when a Muslim is in power.

“We will not succumb to such cheap blackmail and we have no scintilla of doubt that the EU Parliament which is full of credible and intelligent democrats as well as other lovers of truth around the world will see through this gimmick. Do they even think the EU Parliament is made up of mischievous people like them? Do they think the rest of the world have not found out the truth about what is going on in Nigeria? They have merely exposed themselves for what they really are. Petitioning the EU Parliament with a document loaded with fabrications is petty, demeaning and unpatriotic.

“We are however miffed by the eagerness of our Christian neighbours to lie at will just to blackmail Muslim leaders. This clearly amplifies a major characteristic of the NCEF and its cohorts, namely, failure to practice the teachings of the scripture.

“One of the injunctions in the Ten Commandments says ‘Thou shall not lie’ (Exodus 20:16). Leviticus 19:11 says, ‘Do not steal, do not lie, do not deceive one another’. Proverbs 13:5 refers to liars as shameless people, ‘The righteous hate what is false, but the wicked make themselves a stench and bring shame on themselves’. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul advised them against telling lies, ‘Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices’ (Colossians 3:9 – 11)    

“We urge President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore NCEF’s tantrums and continue his good work. Posterity will record him as the father of modern Nigeria, a nation that came out of the ruins of squandermania, moral debauchery, suicide-instilling roads and epileptic electricity to become one of the global best in transparency, probity, integrity and infrastructure.

“On a last note, we appreciate majority of Nigerian Christians who do not peddle or believe these diabolical lies. We reiterate that we are one with all righteous Christians who follow the teachings of Jesus (peace be upon him) to the letter. We appeal to Nigerians in general to seize the opportunity of Buhari’s credible leadership to join hands together with their Muslim neighbours in buiding a prosperous nation. We remind NCEF that it diminishes its corporate entity to run down its own country using unfounded allegations for parochial reasons. NCEF is advised to eschew lies. The world is now a global village. Therefore, NCEF cannot fool the EU Parliament”.

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


Monday, June 3, 2019

ID AL-FITRI MESSAGE: KIDNAPPING: USE CARROT AND STICK METHOD


4th June, 2019

KIDNAPPING: USE CARROT AND STICK METHOD

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has advocated the use of carrot and stick method as a panacea to the scourge of kidnapping rampaging several parts of Nigeria. According to the human rights organization, security agencies should take the battle to the kidnappers while government should introduce welfare packages for the poor. This was contained in the Id Al-Fitr message issued by the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Monday, 3rd June, 2019.  

“It is high time we addressed the issue of kidnapping squarely. Our approach to it in this country is absolutely wrong. We surrender to kidnappers and pay ransom so easily. We don’t want to die because we are too materialistic. We have forgotten that life in this world is ephemeral.

“The criminals are enjoying it because they are having their way. While we subscribe to the theory that this is an uprising of the poor against the rich, I must affirm that the kidnappers in particular have gone too far. They went too far by failing to differentiate between the rich and the poor working-class people. They pick anybody and compel the extended families and friends to pool their hard-earned resources together in order to pay ransom. It is time for the government, politicians, the press and the good people of Nigeria to adopt the ‘O to gee’ slogan and confront kidnappers headlong.

“Mr. President must give the marching order to the heads of all security outfits to eliminate all known kidnappers’ camps and hideouts. He must give them a deadline for this assignment. They are to perform or get sacked. We are aware that our securitymen have not been able to storm the kidnappers’ camps for fear of killing some of the victims, not because they are afraid of the kidnappers.

“But that was when the objective was to rescue the victims. They must now be given a different order. Their new task must be to use every legitimate means to stop further kidnapping. ‘O to gee’. The kidnappers’ dens must be raided even when some victims are still there. These are the same victims they are using as human shield and they will continue to intimidate society as long as we are not ready to damn the consequences.

“This is where Nigerians must cooperate with the government. We must be prepared to make sacrifices. Unless we do this, the kidnappers will continue to pick us one after the other and make us pay through our noses until virtual every Nigerian has fallen victim. It is certain that some of the kidnapped victims may be killed while some will be rescued if the kidnappers’ dens are raided. But we just have to face this grim possibility.

“It is a war situation and casualties are expected on both sides. This is the sacrifice we have to make in order to liberate ourselves. Freedom is never free anywhere. It comes with a price. It is a time for politicians to come together and act like a single body of responsible and patriotic citizens. The blame game must stop. This has always been a disaster waiting to happen. Therefore, no political party should pull the wool over our eyes.

“We have seen how the opposition lambasted the ruling party for failing to stop killings and kidnappings but is the opposition better? History has proved that today’s opposition was worse when it was in power. We must take recourse to history because today was born from the wombs of yesterday. Boko Haram festered under the opposition and 17 local governments were occupied in Borno State alone. The Chibok girls were also kidnapped under the watch of the former president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

“What did he do? Instead of giving the hoodlums a good fight, he shared out money meant for the purchase of arms to his campaign agents. A second term was more important to him than the safety of Nigerians. We would have been able to nip this security challenge in the bud long ago had he taken security issue very serious. But he did not. Yet his cronies have the temerity to blame the current administration.

“The same goes for the outgoing 8th National Assembly (NASS) which refused to expedite action on the release of money meant to purchase special weapons to enhance security nationwide. Unfortunately Nigerians are victims of collective amnesia and it is only the government they are blaming today. They have forgotten the callous action of the NASS which deprived the Federal Government (FG) of the funds needed to purchase weapons. What we are saying in essence is that those who are blaming the current administration for the security challenge facing Nigeria are themselves to blame. They are the real culprits.

“However, the way forward is to take a collective action, stop the blame game, brace up like real men and storm the kidnappers’ camps. ‘O to gee’. If the words of William Shakespeare are true, that ‘Cowards die many times before their death, the valiant never taste of death but once’, then we must overcome our thanatophobia now and face reality.

“We are bound to lose some kidnap victims and rescue some if we storm the dens, but we would have given the kidnappers a run for their money. At the end of the day, Nigerians would have been liberated from the clutches of kidnappers, from fear of the unknown and from thanatophobia.

“This is where the understanding and cooperation of the citizens, the politicians and the press are most crucial. We must all see the raids on kidnappers’ dens as a collective decision and accept the outcome. It is the price we have to pay for our freedom of movement and our Allah-given fundamental right to live. Liberty is never gotten on a platter of gold. There is always a price. Civilised society must be prepared to stand firm against criminals. We must also be ready to make sacrifices in order to stop the onslaught.

“Once we take this action, the kidnappers will now see that they face a determined and organized opposition. Those who survive the raids among them will realise that it is no longer business as usual. Nobody wants to die, including kidnappers and armed robbers. They do not like resistance because they want to live to enjoy their booty.

“This is what we must do as a people. There is a role for government to play, a task for politicians, a duty for the press and a part for the citizens. To overcome our security challenge is a task that must be done. But we all must live up to our parts of the task. We must not expect any abracadabra from the government if we fail to play our own parts.

“We therefore call on FG to change the game plan now by taking the battle to the kidnappers. Politicians in all parties, the press and the citizenry must give government their support. In particular, the payment of ransom must be discouraged as it has fueled the kidnap industry. The more you give kidnappers the more the rest of Nigerians are exposed to danger.  

“We all know that ransom payment is counter-productive but who will bell the cat? Who will speak the hard truth knowing fully well that he may be the next target. Kidnappers will continue to fleece us one by one until we realise the truth. Without being unmindful of the great risk involved, MURIC is determined to address issues affecting the Nigerian society as a whole, not just those affecting Muslims alone. It is our contribution to our country.

“Meanwhile we must realise that society has not been fair to the poor. This is the root of the problem. Government must address this root by adopting a stick and carrot method. Raid kidnappers’ camps. Rescue kidnapped victims. Deal with those who resist but rehabilitate those who surrender.

“However, government must introduce social welfare packages parri passu in order to assure criminally minded ones that there is an alternative to crime. We suggest payment of the old minimum wage (N18,000) for every unemployed Nigerian.

“Ceteris paribus, Nigeria is a blessed country and no Nigerian should go hungry. We have enough human and material resources but only 1% of the population has arrogated 85% of the total wealth to themselves, leaving just 15% for the remaining 99% of the population.

“This is why too many people are poor, too many people are hungry but a few people are stupendously rich. The poor people have now been pushed to the wall and they are fighting back. This is the casus belli of kidnapping, armed robbery and Boko Haram which are rampaging Nigeria today.

“We advise government to review its decision to revoke gun licences. Although we frown at the proliferation of guns, we believe that owners of gun licenses should be screened so that only decent and law-abiding people are allowed to own guns. Such law-abiding citizens deserve encouragement instead of being exposed to attacks by hoodlums. In fact, the indiscriminate withdrawal of gun licences will further boost the kidnap industry as the criminals will now realise that they are free to raid homes without the fear of any challenge.

“In our concluding remarks, we charge FG to change the game plan by giving the security agencies a marching order to raid kidnappers dens while politicians, the press and the citizens give government every necessary support. Government should also give unemployed Nigerians the old minimum wage to help them rubber-cushion the effect of joblessness. In addition, government should review the executive order on the revocation of gun licences.  

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