Sunday, June 4, 2023



5th June, 2023




As the nation braces up for a general strike called by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), an Islamic human rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has declared that the proposed strike is politically motivated. The group therefore called on NLC to change its stance before it is fully exposed.



The declaration was made on Monday, 5th June, 2023 by the Executive Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola.


The group said :


“We are in possession of the video clip of a press conference addressed by the National Publicity Secretary of a faction of the Labour Party (LP), Abayomi Arabambi, in which he revealed that the same NLC and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) had supported the party’s presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, when he pledged to remove oil subsidy if elected president.



“It amounts to double standard for the same Peter Obi and his party to support the workers’ union in its planned strike over oil subsidy. It smirks of high level immorality, undisguised deceit and hypocrisy of the highest order. Peter Obi had described oil subsidy as organised crime during the campaigns. It has to remain so. Obi’s sudden volte-face on oil subsidy is illogical. It is inexplicable.



“Nigerians must open their eyes very wide to be able to understand what is happening. The difference between LP as a political party and the NLC which is a workers’ union is like the difference between six and half a dozen. Peter Obi is trying to get through the bends what it could not achieve through the straights. It is an attempt to hijack the workers’ union for a personal ambition.



“NLC has lost its credibility by opposing the withdrawal of oil subsidy. We advise its president, Joe Ajaero, to retrace his steps before it is too late. Nigerians know where the shoe pinches them.



“Oil subsidy is a cancerous tumour in the nation’s anatomy which must be removed before it destroys all parts of its body. No competent surgeon will hesitate to amputate a rotten limb in order to save the rest of the body. That rotten limb in the body of the Nigerian economy is oil subsidy. It must go if the economy has to survive.



“We cannot continue like this. We cannot allow the wolves among us who masquerade as oil marketers to come under the guise of oil subsidy to arrogate all the milk and honey in the land to themselves. The time to stop oil subsidy is now.



“We charge Nigerians of all political divides to join hands with the new administration in ensuring that oil subsidy is killed permanently. It must not be allowed to rise again.



“All other sectors are suffering because of oil subsidy. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) revealed in February 2023 that oil subsidy now consumes N400 billion monthly ( That is a humongous amount of money that should have gone to education, health, security, etc.



“Because of oil subsidy, 7,256 nurses trained by Nigeria left for Britain in one year alone ( 5,000 medical doctors also took the brain drain train to Britain within eight years (



“As a result of this oil-subsidy-induced neglect of the health sector, one million Nigerians are blind, 300,000 Nigerians die of malaria annually, 30 million are hypertensive, four million suffer from diabetes, 400,000 have tuberculosis, 32 million have river blindness, 130,000 die of pneumonia and 4,500 pregnant women die every year. Yet the calamities are avoidable if we drop oil subsidy.



“Because of oil subsidy, power and education sectors are in comatose and the subsidy cabal smiles to the bank. 55 million Nigerians have no access to education. It is on record that the education sector received a meagre N4.6 trillion in seven years from 2016 to 2022.



“The percentages of budgetary allocations to education from 2016 to 2022 were 7.6%, 6.1%, 7.1%, 8.4%, 6.5%, 5.7% and 5.4% in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 respectively. This was in spite of the recommendation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) of 26% budgetary allocation to education.  



“Nigerians must summon the courage to give subsidy thieves the fight of their lives. We cannot wait for tomorrow to begin the struggle. Tomorrow will definitely be too late. We must frontally confront the monster now. Oil subsidy must go and, like a frightened dog, NLC must put its tail between its legs and run back to the drawing board. This politically motivated plan to go on strike has failed.”



Professor Ishaq Akintola, 

Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).



4th June, 2023




President Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday appointed Femi Gbajabiamila, Ibrahim Hadejia and Gerge Akume as Chief of Staff (COS), Deputy Chief of Staff and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) respectively. Meanwhile congratulatory messages have started pouring in for the trio.



Among those who have congratulated the trio is the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC). In a statement released by its Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, from the group’s Lagos headquarters on Sunday, 4th June, 2023, the Islamic human rights organization described the appointments as faultless.


Akintola said :


President Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday appointed the speaker of the House of Representatives, Abdul Hakeem Femi Gbajabiamila, Senator Ibrahim Hadejia and George Akume as Chief of Staff (COS), Deputy Chief of Staff and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) respectively.



MURIC felicitates with the trio. In particular, Gbajabiamila’s suitability for the post is indubitable considering his twenty years legislative experience. We urge the new appointees to work conscientiously.”



Professor Ishaq Akintola, 

Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).

Friday, June 2, 2023



3rd June, 2023




The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday declared a nationwide strike as from Wednesday. This was sequel to the removal of subsidy by the Federal Government (FG). Meanwhile a faith-based human rights group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has accused the workers’ union of abusing civil liberty. The group urged NLC to allow the new administration to settle down.



This was contained in a statement released on Saturday, 3rd June, 2023 by the Executive Director of the group, Professor Ishaq Akintola.


He said :


“The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday declared a nationwide strike. The workers’ union wants the strike to start from Wednesday, 7th June, 2023.  The industrial action is a counter move by Nigeria’s umbrella workers’ association against the withdrawal of subsidy by the Federal Government (FG).



“MURIC considers NLC’s declaration of strike at this particular time as an abuse of civic liberty. To declare a strike within four days of the inauguration of a new administration is rash, confrontational, provocative and unpatriotic. NLC is impatient. Its leaders have failed to demonstrate responsible leadership.



“A union can be radical but it must also be rational. NLC leadership has exhibited acute desertification of rationalism and responsible leadership. There must be human face in activism.



“NLC leadership has behaved as if it has an axe to grind with the new administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Neither has the union convinced Nigerians that its strike is based on informed opinion.



“How can an elite union go on strike because government is trying to save the masses from the clutches of a cabal comprising capitalist comprador bourgeoisie whose tool for the oppression of the hoi polloi is the exploitation of petroleum subsidy? How can NLC take an action calculated to protect the interests of those who are sucking the blood of the jamaaheer? It beggars belief.



“Nigeria’s situation requires better understanding on the part of NLC and other unions. The 2022 Multidimensional Poverty Index survey revealed that 63% of Nigerians (i.e. 133 million people) are multidimensionally poor. Our country is the 26th poorest nation and the 20th hungriest in the world. Eleven million Nigerians are undernourished. Per capita income is just a little above $300 and the average Nigerian relies on two dollars per day.



“Just 1% of the population which comprises of the super rich consume 85% of the resources. They grudgingly leave the remaining 15% for 99% of the population which is the extremely poor class. The average life span of Nigerians which was 74 before independence is now 47. It should be noted that average life span in Japan is 82. It is 78 in the United States.

“This widespread poverty is caused by uneven distribution of wealth. Too many people are poor. Too many people are suffering. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer due to anti-people economic policies like fuel subsidy through which an infinitesimally small number of people parasite upon the large majority of Nigerians courtesy of fuel subsidy.



“We must start somewhere if there must be change and striking at the oil subsidy cabal is a good beginning. Is NLC leadership with us or against us? Is NLC with the people or against them? This is the defining moment. Fuel subsidy is a gangarene that must be burned out with hot iron. NLC must join the Federal Government and the rest of Nigerians in excommunicating the fuel monster.  



“MURIC urges NLC to reconsider its proposed strike. It is unpopular, anti-people and counterproductive. We must allow the Tinubu administration to settle down. By the way, Tinubu did not remove subsidy. His administration is just a victim of the continuity of government. You cannot talk with an administration once, in one day only and decide to go on strike. That is not dialogue.



“We appeal to opinion leaders, traditional rulers and all men and women of goodwill to make NLC leadership see reason. We also urge Nigerians to patiently persevere now in order to enjoy the benefits in the near future. Retaining fuel subsidy is like going to bed while the roof is on fire. Let us burn fuel subsidy before fuel subsidy burns up Nigeria.”







Professor Ishaq Akintola, 

Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).


Wednesday, May 31, 2023



1st June, 2023




An Islamic human rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has reacted to reports that the new Vice President, Kashim Shettima, gave his first two appointments to two Christians from the North and South East. The group warned that President Tinubu and his vice should not make Muslims sacrificial lambs in matters of appointment.



This was made known in a press release issued on Thursday, 1st June, 2023 by the group’s Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.


He said :


“There are reports that Vice President Kashim Shettima has given his first two appointments to two Christians. He made an Igbo man, a Catholic, his Chief Security Officer (CSO). Next, he gave another Christian from the North Central, the post of Aide-de-Camp (ADC). But he gave Muslims nothing.



“These are two very sensitive positions, in fact the most sensitive posts in the office of a top government official and the Vice President has elected to entrust them to Christians.


“We can understand the Vice President’s body language. He is eager to prove that he has nothing to hide. Again, the fact that he made a pronouncement after the appointments to the effect that he has no Islamisation agenda explains it all. The VP is afraid of being accused of pursuing an Islamisation agenda. He has behaved like a man boxed to a corner. No doubt this is the result of consolidated blackmail.



“The development gives us serious cause for concern. Muslims have started asking questions since the appointments: are we not in for another round of marginalisation since Muslim leaders have already started succumbing to blackmail so early?



The ears of MURIC are very close to the ground. We are close to the Muslims. We get reports from all the geo-political zones. This is what Muslims are saying already about the first appointments that were made. The VP can find out by himself since he is close to them too. We hope he will not be given recycled, sycophantic and brummagem reports.  



“Therefore to the new Vice President we have this to say: ‘This is your first act of injustice to Nigerian Muslims. You gave your first two appointments to Christians. Where is that of Muslims? Had you shared those two appointments between Christians and Muslims had been acceptable, but you bent over backwards to please your blackmailers thereby depriving Muslims who are already marginalized but who, characteristically, will not tell lies or blackmail to get what they do not deserve.’



“’Is it because they are good at making noise after committing wrong? Is it because they have perfected the art of the best form of defence is attack? Is it because they control the press? Verily verily we say unto thee oh Vice President, this is your first act of injustice to the Muslims.



“One of those two posts should have gone to a Muslim. Muslims are also human beings. They are affected by the economic crunch more than any other group. Muslims are at the bottom of the pyramid of poverty in this country. Every single appointment in any family reduces poverty in that family. Muslim families matter. Tank you for reducing poverty level in two Christian families while you tell hungry, famished Muslims to wait.’



“It is true that appointments must reflect competence. But it is equally true that it must also mirror the reality on the ground. Interestingly enough, the reality on ground is that Muslims are an overwhelming majority in this country today. MURIC did not say that. The presidential election held on 25th February, 2023 said so.


“In that historic election, Muslim votes were split among four Muslim presidential candidates (Ahmed Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, Ahmed Datti and Abdul-Lateef Kola Abiola). Christians, except a few, voted massively for Peter Obi. Yet Ahmed Tinubu won. It is a strong demographic declaration vis-à-vis the population strength of Christians and Muslims in Nigeria.



“The Kaduna scenario is another good example. A minority Christian group based in Southern Kaduna had been arrogating to themselves the right to leadership until ex-Governor Nasir El-Rufai taught them the lesson of their lives. El-Rufai simply called their bluff by going for a Muslim-Muslim ticket. He has won twice. Those who were promoting their false propaganda promptly shut up.



“Why then should the Christians take the lion share of the dividends of democracy if they are not the majority? Why should the Muslims work like elephants but receive the share of ants? It is still too early to forget how former President Muhammadu Buhari was hounded, intimidated and embarrassed from dusk to dawn with false allegations of Islamisation and fulanisation whereas his accusers were busy actively perpetrating, perfecting and perpetuating Christianisation and Afeniferisation.



“They accused Buhari of appointing Muslims only in his cabinet. The cacophony of noise and vitriolic attacks over this were so massively coordinated that the sky above Nigeria almost crashed until the Christian vice president came up to show how the number of ministers was equally shared between Christians and Muslims.



“Yet these same people went on sabbatical when MURIC was complaining about Ekiti State where a Christian governor, Ayodele Fayose, ran an all-Christian administration with all the fourteen commissioners, all chairmen of boards and agencies were Christians and the only Muslim appointed was the chairman of the Muslim Pilgrims Board.



“The same people were not on planet Jupiter when MURIC was complaining about ex-Taraba governor Darius Dickson Isyaku who appointed twelve permanent secretaries in November 2021 and all of them were Christians. Who does that?



“We affirm clearly, emphatically and unequivocally that Muslim-Muslim ticket is majority rule in Nigeria. It is what democracy teaches. Democracy is about majority having its way while minority has its say. But here we have been witnessing the tyranny of a vocal minority.



“We believe that justice resides in giving the Muslims what they deserve in terms of numbers and giving the Christians what they deserve in terms of numbers. If democracy is a game of numbers, Nigerian Muslim leaders cannot afford to be mindlessly generous to Christians to the detriment of Muslims for fear of being blackmailed by the former.



“They blackmail you but we voted for you. Who deserves your attention most? Remember that second term is payback time. Do not make the mistake of thinking 2027 is still far away. Allah says, ‘They see it as far away but we see it as near’ (Glorious Qur’an 70:6).



“The time to adjust is now. Don’t sacrifice majority for minority. It will be inhuman, inconsiderate, unfair and unjust. Nobody should tell us cock and bull stories about picking Christians only because they cannot find competent Muslims. The advent of the Pantamis, the Oloyedes, the Musa Bellos (former FCT minister) has demystified the myth of incompetence of Muslims.



“The workaholic and highly talented Professor Ali Isa Pantami executed 4,366 projects in the Ministry of Communications and Digital Planning just in four years. The ex-FCT minister is a silent achiever. He is transparent to a fault. Professor Ishaq Oloyede has dazzled the nation with his achievements in JAMB. Yet they are just a flash in the pan. Do not say you cannot find competent Muslims. Tell us another story.



“Of course we find it difficult to see how President Tinubu will bypass competent bona fide sons of the North when sharing cabinet positions. They stood by him in times of hardship. A case in point is that of El-Rufai. The eminently qualified Nasir El-Rufai traversed the length and breadth of Abuja shuttling between media houses and rubbishing the bunkum and balderdash falsely brandished by the cabal as naira redesign and fuel reallocation.



“El-Rufai put both his life and political career on the line and manifested uncommon courage and rare political acumen. Why won’t Mr. President pick such a gem as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) or Chief of Staff (SGF)? This will just be in line with the rhetorical question in the Glorious Qur’an where it asks, ‘Is there any other reward for goodness other than goodness (Hal jazau al-ihsan ila al-ihsan Qur’an 55:60)?



“We know that Islamdom parades many young and competent, nay, versatile Muslims. All President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his vice need to do is search in the appropriate places. Come to think of it. How did Obasanjo and Jonathan always go to the remotest parts of Muslim-dominated areas of Kwara, Borno, Kaduna, etc to fish out ministerial materials among the Christian minorities? If that is possible, how can it be impossible for Ahmed and Kashim to find ministerial materials from hitherto marginalized Muslim-dominated areas?



“We are not asking Tinubu and Shettima as Muslim president and vice president respectively to go on a revenge mission on behalf of Nigerian Muslims. But, like Fernan Caballero opined, ‘Be fair before being generous, be human before being fair.’


“You cannot be generous to Christians at the expense of Nigerian Muslims. Who is losing? Who is gaining? Who is the majority? Who voted for you? This time around, the landlords of Aso Rock must look upon Nigerian Muslims with eyes of kindness. This is not entitlement mentality. We Muslims are a people long deprived, long marginalized, long oppressed. It is time for liberation. It is our turn. Awa lo kan, and rightly so.



Our message to our Christian neighbours is exactly how Laone Collins puts it, ‘Remember: Let's look for ways to take care of each other rather than look for ways to take advantage of each other.’



“We should stop talking about sharing political posts equally, particularly now that it has become glaring that Muslims have a very comfortable majority. Any 50-50 sharing formular is monumental injustice to Muslims. It has gone on for too long. While it is good to be magnanimous in the sharing of appointments, it should not be at the detriment of competent Muslims. Neither President Bola Ahmed Tinubu nor Vice President Shettima should make Muslims sacrificial lambs.”









Professor Ishaq Akintola, 

Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).