This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
SUSPENSION OF SGF AND DG NIA: WHY IS
Buhari recently suspended the Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF) David Babachir
Lawal and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) on
allegations of sharp practices and violation of due process.
Association of Nigeria (CAN) immediately cried foul. The umbrella Christian
body, speaking through the president of its Northern youth wing, Daniel David
Kadzai, accused Buhari of suspending the duo simply for being Christians and
not because of any allegation of graft. The parent body has not denied this
We of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) take exception to
CAN’s allegation against Buhari. It is false, baseless and malicious. CAN’s
allegation is short in modesty, long in indecency.
Does CAN recall that
the grass-cutting scandal broke out since October 2016? Isn’t CAN aware that Nigerians
have since been clamouring for the sack of the SGF? Buhari, who is known for his zero tolerance
for corruption, still allowed the SGF to continue in office for good eight
months after the scandal broke out in spite of the avalanche of criticisms. He
gave the SGF the benefit of the doubt while discreet investigation continued. The
presidency even went out of its way to declare the SGF innocent in a letter to
Senate. Buhari was only constrained to act after indubitable proof of
impropriety was provided.
It is therefore the
height of ingratitude and the climax of impudence for CAN to turn round to
accuse Buhari of suspending the SGF because he is a Christian. Why does CAN
love blackmail so much? At what point exactly did the SGF become a Christian? Was
it just yesterday?
Was he not a Christian when Buhari deemed it fit to appoint
him? Was he not a Christian when Buhari defended him before Senate? Was he not
a Christian when Buhari retained him in office for eight good months while
Nigerians rained all sorts of abuses at the president for not sacking his ‘corrupt’
Ditto for the DG of
the NIA, Ayo Oke. Whereas it is customary for newly sworn-in presidents to
appoint their own men to strategic positions, President Buhari magnanimously
retained ex-President Jonathan’s men and many of them are still in office to
date. Ayo Oke was one of them and we doubt if anything would have happened to
him if the $43 million cash haul in the Ikoyi luxury apartment had not occurred.
Equally nauseating is the statement credited to one
Suleiman who claims to be the son of Babachir Lawal. He alleged that his father
was removed because he was a Christian. This may be understandingly infantile. We
may ask him, nonetheless: did Jonathan appoint Ayo Oke as DG of NIA because he
was a Christian or because he merited the post?
We call the
attention of patriotic Nigerians to the antics of the leadership of Nigerian
Christians: blackmail, arm-twisting, bad faith and ill-will. How can any
Nigerian leader function effectively in this kind of atmosphere unless he is a
Christian? The rough-tackles begin the moment a Muslim becomes president.
We warn that
this must not be allowed to go on. CAN is using religion to promote mediocrity.
CAN is sheltering corrupt Christians in public office. This is a body that
should concretise the values of transparency, honesty, probity and
accountability. It is shameful, self-defeating and unpatriotic.
The amount of money involved in the grass-cutting scam (N220
million) was for weeding the camps of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in the
North East. Is it not disgraceful for any public official to add salt to the
injuries suffered by the IDPs? In the case of the DG of NIA, the amount involved
is a staggering $43 million. This money alone is enough to electrify the whole
South West of Nigeria.
belongs to all of us. Not to Muslims alone. Not to Christians alone. It is our
commonwealth for crying out loud and somebody is playing pranks with it. But
CAN seems to be telling Buhari to “keep off, this is a Christian affair. Touch
not my anointed!...” or something that sounds like it.
MURIC says ‘No’ to religious politics. One they are
indited, a grass-cutter thief is a grass-cutter thief whether he is a Michael
or a Mikail. A dollar hoarder is a dollar hoarder whether he is a Joseph or a
Yusuf. Corruption knows no religion. Let us allow the law to take its due
course. CAN must stop protecting corrupt Christian public officials. Or is CAN
telling us that a percentage of money stolen by Christians from government is
always reserved for the church? So why the hullabaloo?
avoidance of doubt, MURIC’s concern is the welfare of the jamaheer (the masses).
Why should we continue to tolerate a situation where only 1% of the population
corners 85% of our commonwealth to themselves leaving only 15% of the country’s resources to the remaining 99%
of the population who are over-worked,
under-paid and over-taxed workers, frail-looking and weather-beaten indigent students
and the army of unemployed, hungry and homeless Nigerians?
As we round up, we affirm, for the umpteenth time, that our
intellectual jihad is not for President Muhammadu Buhari. It is for
socio-economic justice. It is for a Nigerian El Dorado, for the establishment
of an egalitarian society where no Nigerian will be homeless, illiterate, hungry
Our jihad (i.e. struggle) is against corruption,
injustice and bad governance and we will leave no stone unturned until every
Nigerian, Christian, Muslim or animist, is free to work and worship in any part
of the country he chooses to reside. It is therefore not about Buhari. It is
about good governance and life more abundant. Any government that pursues
transparency will get our support while tyrants and oppressors will always feel
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
In spite of the truce
reached at a parley between Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and Muslim
leaders from the South West three weeks ago, members of the Muslim Rights
Concern (MURIC) in Ekiti State have sighted the governor’s bulldozers strategically
stationed near the mosques under threat in Ado Ekiti yesterday, Saturday 22nd
This move is not
only irrational but also highly provocative. Governor Fayose is deliberately
provoking Muslims in Ekiti State and, by inference, in Yorubaland and the
country as a whole for his own personal agenda. For reasons best known to him, Fayose
wants to set Nigeria on fire. He knows that his action is capable of causing a
breach of the peace yet he appears determined to go ahead.We
warn that nobody should blame Muslims for any breakdown of law and order if
those mosques are demolished.
We are bewildered that the chief security officer of a
state can be hell-bent on stoking religious riot in a country heavily beleaguered
with religious conflicts. Fayose’s belligerence and open display of hostility
towards his Muslim citizens belies the perceived atmosphere of peaceful
coexistence between Christians and Muslims in South Western Nigeria.
Many people, including foreigners in the country, are under
the impression that religious intolerance exists only in the northern part of
the country. Nay, the truth of the matter is that Muslims in the region have
been patiently bearing a long-drawn repression and denial of their Allah-given
fundamental human rights.
exhibition of fascism and religious intolerance has just proved that the claim
of peaceful coexistence among Yoruba Christians and Muslims is a myth, a mirage
and a total illusion. There has been peace because the Muslims of the region have
demonstrated extreme forbearance. The Muslims have continued to remain peaceful
even in the face of gross provocations.
We recall that the American Congress invited the former president
of CAN, Ayo Oritsejafor, to address its members on the purported atrocities
committed by Nigerian Muslims. He told the American lawmakers bundles of lies
but, unfortunately, the US Congressmen are yet to grant Nigerian Muslims the
right of response in the name of fair hearing.
The reality on ground is that while a handful of Christians
may be amenable to the idea of religious tolerance, many others like Fayose
have a phobia for Muslims and an allergy for seeing any Islamic monument in
their neighbourhood. Fayose is determined to uproot every single Islamic
landmark on Ekiti soil before his tenure expires in 2018.
MURIC calls the attention of leaders of the Christian
Association of Nigeria (CAN) to Fayose’s aggression against Muslims. We appeal
to Western diplomats in the country to spare a little time to study the religious
landscape in Yorubaland. We charge leaders of the National Assembly, lawmakers from
Ekiti State and all men of goodwill to make Fayose see reason. We invite
notable traditional rulers in Yorubaland, particularly the much revered Ooni of
Ife and the Alaafin of Oyo to intervene in the matter before it gets out of
Finally, we warn that the fragile peace and one-sided religious
‘tolerance’ being enjoyed in the South West may come under severe threat if Fayose
carries out his threat to destroy those mosques.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
COMMENDS FG ON MOVE TO RECRUIT 30,000 MORE POLICEMEN IN 2017
The Federal Government (FG) is set to recruit 30,000 more
policemen before the end of this year 2017. This was disclosed by the Deputy
Inspector General DIG in charge of north-west zone, Maigari Dikko in Birnin
Kebbi yesterday when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Abubakar Bagudu.
The Muslim Rights
Concern (MURIC) lauds FG’s decision. It is bold, visionary and pragmatic. It is
calculated to ensure security for all. This is one step towards moving the
panacea to Nigeria’s security challenges along global best practices.
By this action,
the Buhari administration has proved that it is not battling corruption alone,
it is equally tackling the problem of general insecurity in the country.
This decision will
boost efforts aimed at curtailing crimes in Nigeria. It is also commendable particularly
against the backdrop of 10,000 cops recruited earlier in January this year. If
it is allowed to become a fait accompli, it will bring the total number
of policemen recruited this year alone to 40,000. It is another feather in the
Federal Government’s cap.
We are excited by this
development. It is one of the best things that have happened in Nigeria since
the Annual Police Report of 2008 which put the total figure of Nigerian
policemen at 310,177. There has been no mass recruitment since then in spite of
the astronomical rise in the country’s civilian population. The December 2016
population estimate released by the National Population Commission in
conjunction with the National Bureau of Statistics is 193 million.
Considering the United
Nation’s recommendation of at least one policeman for every 448 civilians, it
becomes clear that we do not have enough policemen for our teeming population. This
explains why many criminals get away with their nefarious activities at will
and many crimes remain unsolved. The acute shortage has also informed the
wanton killings across the country.
We recall the frustrations of former National Security
Adviser, General Andrew Azazi (rtd) when he lamented in December 2011 that it
was impossible for the security agencies to police the entire country. It was a
euphemism for acute shortage of manpower among the security agencies and we
were shocked that nothing was done to address the shortage until the Buhari
administration came on board. FG’s decision to embark on another mass
recruitment this year, therefore, is not only timely but also belongs to the
class of Solomonic wisdom.
Although cities are said
to be conquered by numbers, the efficacy of modern technology must not be
ignored. Criminals are also getting more sophisticated. This is why FG must pay
urgent attention to the need for technological gadgets. In other climes, every
policeman is equipped with a walkie-talkie and a pistol. Communication
equipment makes it possible for the police to work as a team.
MURIC charges FG to go the whole hug by adopting a policy
of ‘one-cop-one-walkie’ and ‘one-cop-one-gun’. Not only that, our police
deserves better pay, improved health delivery system, good accommodation and credible
life insurance policy. We are ashamed to see policemen in uniform pushing their
faulty ram-shackle police vehicles. We are embarrassed each time our policemen
pack themselves like sardine inside their vehicles. In Egypt, Libya and Saudi
Arabia, it is one car to two policemen. Why should our own policemen be
Nonetheless, FG must
not concentrate on the police alone for improvements. Other arms of the
security agencies like the Department of State Services (DSS) whose numerical strength
stands at 33,000 officers and men as at 2008 need government’s intervention.
Permit us to throw in
a word of caution before we round up. Former Inspector General of Police, Sunday
Ehindero once admitted that there are armed robbers in the police. Therefore Police
authorities must not allow the euphoria of mass recruitment to becloud their
alertness. Imbeciles, area boys, hoodlums, sworn alcoholics, armed robbers,
etc, must be weeded out via rigorous screenings.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Nigerian Christians will join their counterparts across the
globe to observe Good Friday tomorrow 14th April, 2017 as part of
the Easter celebrations. The Easter activities will be rounded up on Monday 17th
April, 2017 when they will mark Easter Monday.
The Muslim Rights
Concern (MURIC) sends fraternal greetings to all Nigerian Christians on this
august occasion. We love our Christian neighbours and we wish to coexist
peacefully with them. Religion is love, not hatred. Religion is unity and
togetherness, not division and rancor. Originally from the Greek word ‘religio’
meaning ‘to link’, or ‘to bind’ religion is expected to bring people together
in peace and harmony.
We call on the Nigerian
body of Christ to consolidate the nation’s gains under the present
administration by heightening its patriotism and its readiness to sacrifice.
We charge Nigerian churches to promote internal justice, equity
and fairplay in all its dealings. We appeal to Christian leaders and clerics to
guide the nation’s leaders both at state and national levels with scriptural
wisdom, to redirect the focus of the youth from materialism to piety and to pay
special attention to core family values which are now lacking in society.
In view of the fact that corruption has been identified as the
major cancerous tumor afflicting the nation’s anatomy, MURIC urges Christian
leaders to give full support to current efforts of the Federal Government aimed
at energizing those vital cells in the Nigerian anatomy already affected by the
cancer of corruption.
We remind our
Christian neighbours that the impact of corruption in the areas of ignorance, disease,
bad roads, poverty, poor power supply, technological backwardness, etc know no
religion. It affects all of us whether we are Christians, Muslims or
traditionalists. We are all victims. We must all stand together in a single
file to fight this social cankerworm. No retreat, no surrender. We must speak
with one voice and reject those who arrogate our commonwealth to themselves
alone without caring whose faith is gored.
Both the church and the mosque have big roles to play in the
fight against corruption because corruption begins from the home. It is also an
open secret that the corrupt elements in our society are either Muslims or
Christians. These anti-social elements also come to the church and the mosque. We
therefore charge both the minbar and the altar to demonstrate the
political will to stamp out corruption in every home. We must address their consciences.
We must stop idolizing dubious characters. We must publicly appreciate hardworking
and honest Nigerians and stop deriding them for their low financial status.
Let us also come together in love and harmony to bring peace to
our great nation once again. Christians and Muslims worshipping only one God
must desist from seeing themselves as enemies. We are from one and the same God
and unto him we shall return. Killing and maiming in the name of that same God
is a huge dis-service to Him as our Creator. Let us use religion to fight evil,
not ourselves. We all do not have to belong to the same religion as it is by chance
that we were born in the South, East or Northern part of Nigeria. We could have
been scattered in Siberia, Holland or Trinidad and Tobago.
Finally, we call on Christian clerics and prayer warriors
to persistently pray for the survival of Nigeria, for peace and stability. We
look forward to the day when our religious leaders will extend dinner
invitations to each other and dine together while radio and television stations
air the joyous event live. We have no doubt that such an incident will go a
long way to promote love, forgiveness and peaceful co-existence. But who will
bell the cat?
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)