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'
OBASANJO/ATIKU DETENTE: LEAVE GUMI AND
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has added to the cacophony of voices on
the recent reconciliation between ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and former
Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
According to MURIC in its press release of early Wednesday, 17th
October, 2018, signed by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, there is
nothing out of place in what took place during the Abeokuta armistice.
should stop blaming Shaykh Gumi and Reverend Kukah. They have every right to
attend any occasion so long as they did not gatecrash. They are not from Sierra
Leone. They are bona fide Nigerian citizens and to that extent they cannot be
described as meddlers.
“Even those who blame them for showing interest in Atiku Abubakar as the
presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) missed the point.
They should actually be commended for being bold enough to come out openly to
be part of the event”.
Akintola, who recently bagged the Islamic title, Asadul-‘Aarifiin, i.e. Lion of Islamic
Scholars (Kinniun Adinni), argued that the Abeokuta declaration has further
buttressed the popular belief that there are no permanent friends or enemies in
politics, only common interest.
“We in MURIC do not subscribe to the idea that people
should jettison politics because of religion. People who avoid politics because
they are devoted Christians or Muslims end up being ruled by the disciples of
Shaytan (Satan) who lack the fear of Allah. For social harmony, progress and
good governance, religion and politics should go hand in hand. Tyranny, misrule
and dictatorship of the left are bound to reign supreme where politics is left
to men who do not fear Allah.
Christians and Muslims should participate in politics to avoid being ruled by
people who are inferior to them, people who are heartless, people who despise
religion. Socrates was therefore right when he said, ‘The wise who refuse to
rule should prepare to suffer the rule of idiots’
“We therefore urge Nigerians to stop the blame game. Both Shaykh Gumi and
Reverend Kukah have merely exercised their Allah-given fundamental right of
expression and freedom of association. It is a challenge to the rest of us.
Although both drammatis personae have
denied any political motive, the issue here is not whether the move was
political or apolitical. The body language, particularly if we read it from the
pre-Abeokuta detente is as clear as
“Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once remarked that the refusal
to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent
acquiescence to evil. He added further that the tragedy of our time is that
those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who
believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.
“This is not the time to sit on the fence. It is Nigeria’s
moment of decision. We must therefore gird our loins not only in preparation
for the coming general election but for the emergence of a new Nigeria. While
we are aware that politicians will only prepare for the approaching 2019
general elections, we beseech statesmen and patriotic Nigerians to prepare for
the evolution of a new nation where corruption, vote-buying, politics of
stomach infrastructure, acrobatic religiousity and ethnic jingoism will give
way to a civilized political culture, transparency, accountability and massive
infrastructural buildup all over the country.
“MURIC has long taken a position and nothing has happened
to change that stance. We stand with integrity. Project Nigeria is our
priority. We believe in a strong, united Nigeria. We believe in a Nigeria where
merit is the parameter, not religion, not ethnicity. The achievements of
President Muhammadu Buhari in spite of the political landmines and gargantuan
challenges inspire us and we believe that it is in the best interest of Nigeria
that we allow him to continue beyond 2019”.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently placed a ban on spraying at
parties. Speaking recently on the ban, CBN spokesman, Isaac Okoroafor, said
anyone caught spraying faces a fine of N50,000 or six months imprisonment.
In a press statement issued on Monday 15th October, 2018, the
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) described the ban as long overdue. The statement
which was signed by the director of the human rights organization, Professor
Ishaq Akintola, appealed to the law enforcement agencies to enforce the ban in
the interest of the coming generation.
added, “We hail CBN for the ban on spraying at parties. It is a nauseating
practice. Ours is a culture of waste. We are so materialistic today that we
have forsaken our core values. We worship money even in the house of God. Spraying
money at parties is flambouyance. Those who do it are cutting their noses to
spite their faces. They are inducing greed and encouraging crime.
“What do you expect when people who have not taken any meal throughout the
day watch you spraying money so recklessly as if you are throwing ordinary
pieces of paper? You may attract armed robbers to yourself as you spray money
at parties. Hoodlums may surround you or trail you when you leave. The CBN ban
on spraying is therefore capable of reducing crime in society.
“Apart from that, we live in a country where the average person lives on
less than $1 per day. Per capita
income is less than $300. More than 80% Nigerians live below poverty level. The
average worker lives from hand to mouth while majority of Nigerian students
manage to survive on one meal per day. It is either 1 – 0 – 0 or 0 –
0 – 1.
question MURIC is asking is this: how can any Nigerian, acting in good
conscience, come out boldly to spray money in such circumstance? We have seen
the faces of hungry youths hanging around party venues waiting for left-overs
from the tables of party-goers. The pain in their eyes strikes our hearts with
grief as we watch fellow Nigerians spraying money on the dance floor. It is
MURIC also blamed parents for the descent of youths into the abyss of
indiscipline. “Parents prefer to turn their children into money-spinners. This
has led many parents to use their children for money ritual. It has led many
parents to force their daughters to marry rich men who do not care about their
happiness. It has also led many parents to close their eyes to the criminal
sources of their children’s wealth. Our society has drifted and we need iron
hands to instill discipline in society.
“Even the Nigerian electorate has been misled. Stomach infrastructure is
valued above long-term investment. The government of the State of Osun was
recently punished by voters in the state for building good roads, bridges,
modern school buildings, etc. Nobody complained that the state governor stole
one kobo but they rebelled against him for investing their money in infrastructure.
“The verdict shows that Nigeria scored zero in voter education. It is also
a strong pointer to the level of awareness of citizens’ rights in our society.
People are not thinking of tomorrow. Neither are they appreciating leaders who
plan for the future. We are in a hurry to eat up our tomorrow today. Consumerism
leads us by our noses. It is a pity”.
But MURIC disagreed with CBN on the punishment to be meted
out to defaulters. According to Akintola, “We disagree with
N50,000 fine across the board. The fine should be based on the amount sprayed
and the currency involved. A man who sprays only ten N100 notes cannot be
compared with another who sprays two hundred N1,000 notes. Neither can we
compare someone who sprays foreign currency with one who sprays naira. What is
N50,000 fine to someone who sprayed close to one million naira? The fine should
be proportionate to the amount sprayed.
“But that is if there is
going to be any fine at all. In a worse case scenario, we would have loved a
situation whereby government scraps the fine and opts for imprisonment without
any option of fine for anyone who sprays money at parties. The length of jail
terms may depend on the amount sprayed and the currency used. It should be a non-bailable
offence. Nigerians fear to go to jail but they do not mind paying fines. This
is why we advocate the scraping of fines for spraying money at parties.
“MURIC calls the
attention of CBN to those who sell brand new naira notes. They are the ones who
aid and abet spraying at parties. The police should be empowered to seize such
money and return it to government treasury.
“As we take a break,
we hail CBN for taking the bull by the horn. Those who desecrate the naira
deserve punishment. We charge CBN to walk its talk. Emphasis should be placed
on imprisonment for spraying at parties. There should be no option of fine.
Only thus can we save this society from materialism, consumerism and moral
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has
reacted to moves by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to deploy 300
observers during the 2019 elections as well as certain subterranean manouvres
in the political arena.
According to the Islamic human rights organization
in a statement signed by its director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on
Monday 8th October, 2018, CAN is over-reaching itself.
“CAN is overreaching itself. The monitoring
of elections in this country has never been based on religious affiliation. The
last time we checked, no country in the whole wide world has been doing that.
The avalanche of non-govermental organizations (NGOs) are more than enough as
neutral observers. We advise CAN to give unto Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar
“Come to think of it, how does CAN
expect to guarantee its neutrality as an observer? Who doesn’t know what the
reports of CAN’s observers will contain? It is very simple given the anti-Muslim
threats and post-Christian comments of pastors in the past two years. Christian
clergies have openly exhorted their followers not to vote for Muslims. So what they
will be reporting as observers is very easy to guess. CAN has shown beyond any
reasonable doubt that it has vested interest. We therefore advise the
Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC) to ignore CAN’s request on the
issue of observers”.
MURIC also accused CAN of seeking to
impose Christian governors in all South Western states.
“Our neighbours do not believe in
sharing with others. They must take everything. To them the method does not
matter. Fair or foul means mean the same to them. Otherwise
how does one explain CAN’s demand that INEC should declare Ademola Adeleke as
the winner of Osun gubernatorial election when CAN is not unaware that Adeleke
scored F9 parallel in WAEC and the police has a case of examination malpractice
waiting for him?
What kind of governor will Adeleke be? What
example can he give the youths of the State of Osun? Will he have the moral
right to condemn students who engage in examination malpractice or cultism? Adeleke
will certainly desecrate the revered office of the governor. Or does CAN think
dancing alone is enough as qualification for the post of governor? CAN wants to
sacrifice excellence on the altar of mediocrity. Just because of religion? How
does a governor with such a low level of education appreciate the value of
education in the state? How will he relate with professors and doctorate degree
holders in his executive when no hospital has the cure for inferiority complex?
“We like to place it on record that CAN
is the one that often forces MURIC to engage it in polemics. We cannot keep
quiet when CAN adopts an aggressive political agenda which is detrimental to
the interest of Muslims. MURIC has a moral obligation to defend the interest of
Muslims. The atmosphere will be cleaner and safer if CAN will not seek to
arrogate all political offices to Christians or make ridiculous demands like
seeking to enthrone the least qualified citizen in a state as governor.
“Can CAN deny that its leaders met the Oyo
State governor about three weeks ago to demand that the next governor of the
state must be a Christian? Was that also not CAN’s battle cry for the heart of
Lagos in 2015? Today, Lagos, Ondo and Ekiti are ruled by Christian governors
while Ogun, Osun and Oyo have Muslims as governors. That means Christians have
three governors while Muslims also have three. But CAN is not satisfied. Its
own idea of neighbourliness is to seize the whole South West. Our people say
that the eagle that perches on a tree top does not know that those on the
ground are watching it.
“We know the rationale for CAN’s
interest and we understand. Patronage becomes specially juicy, pecuniary
benefits become more secretive and political appointments get more lopsided
when its cronies are made governors. But should religion be the main criterion
for choice of state governors?
“We advise CAN to do away with its domineering
complex. Religious leaders should allow the electorate to choose candidates
with the right leadership qualities like vision, high level intelligence,
accessibility, credibility, integrity, probity and accountability. Any
candidate who possesses these qualities should be the favourite of the
electorate. It does not matter whether he is a Christian or a Muslim. Only thus
can such candidates perform when they get into office. For the avoidance of
doubt, MURIC is prepared to accept and support any Christian candidate who
possesses the right qualities.
“Let us pick candidates on the basis of
what they are capable of doing and not on the basis of their religious
affiliation. We must look for candidates who will eliminate corruption, improve
infrastructure, provide job opportunities, care for retirees and senior
citizens, diversify the economy, pursue a rigorous public health scheme,
provide 24-hour power supply and turn the education sector into the pride of
scholars. CAN should therefore stop making demands for Christians to be picked
as gubernatorial candidates or presidents. It is parochial, myopic and
“CAN should also realize the Utopian nature of the ‘Christians
vote for Christians’ dogma. It is unrealistic in the Nigerian setting. For
example now, former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and President Muhammadu
Buhari have emerged as candidates of the two major political parties and both
happen to be Muslims. How does that fit into the Christian agenda?
“MURIC appeals to CAN to think Nigeria and to work towards emancipating
the masses from the grip of the few wealthy, greedy and selfish citizens. How
do we explain a situation where only 1% of the population arrogate to
themselves 85% of the total wealth while the overwhelming 99% fight over just
15% of the resources? The hard fact is that Christians and Muslims are among
the 1% superfluously rich while the 99% hoi polloi are also Christians and
“This is the area that should concern religious leaders. We
should find solutions to poverty, illiteracy and disease. Christian and Muslim
leaders should put their heads under the same thinking cap to find solution to
corruption, insecurity and other problems plagueing the nation. We should think
less of the religion of the president or the governor because that is often
done for personal aggrandisement and other narrow ends.
“A political culture based on religious affiliation cannot
give us good roads, efficient electricity supply, qualitative education,
reliable public health system, etc. It can only give the religious leaders and
their families more private jets, more private universities and more contracts
while the followers continue to wallow in abject poverty. Directing our
followers to focus on religious affiliation alone is symptomatic of acute desertification
“We appeal to well-meaning Nigerians to caution CAN leadership
on its political misadventures. Nigerian Muslims and their leaders are not
known for making explosive or provocative statements. Neither are they known
for hobnobbing with people in the corridor of power. CAN has had a field day in
that respect for a very long time. It can no longer enjoy that monopoly. CAN
should know when the ovation is loudest. The world is now a tiny village and
nothing is hidden any longer.
“We confuse Nigerians when Christian leaders speak and Muslim
leaders react or vice versa. It
stokes the fire of religious crisis. It also confuses and embarrasses political
leaders. A more mature way is for us to follow the path of dialogue based on
mutual respect. We need to interface frequently at both high and grassroot
levels. Leaders from both divides should invite one another to their homes and
allow Nigerians to see how they relate cordially. This will boost peaceful
“In a nutshell, MURIC implores INEC to ignore CAN’s request on
the monitoring of 2019 elections. CAN should allow sleeping dogs to lie.
Religious leaders must help in changing this country’s political culture. Merit
should be the watchword, not mediocrity. We must not make demands for the
emergence of Christian or Muslim candidates. We must educate our followers to
appreciate transparency, credibility, integrity and good antecedence in
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Sequel to the discovery of the car of General Muhammad Idris Alkali (rtd)
at the bottom of the notorious Dura-Du pond, Kayode Ogunsanya, the Nigerian
Army Deputy Director of Information, yesterday announced the arrest of some
people in the Berom community of Jos, Plateau State. The retired general had
been missing since 3rd September, 2018. Four other cars were also
found under the pond’s water. Women in the community had staged a deceptive
protest to dissuade the army from draining the pond.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), in a statement issued on Tuesday, 2nd
October, 2018 had called for action against those behind the disappearance of
the retired general. The group fingered the Berom community, accusing it of
engaging in terrorist activities. It also alleged that the Berom Christian
community was responsible for the killing of hundreds of innocent Muslim and
Fulani travelers. The group charged the Nigerian Army to find the missing
general dead or alive.
a followup statement released on Thursday, 4th October, 2018, the
Islamic human rights organization commended the Nigerian Army for living up to
expectation and for conducting the operation in a professional manner. It urged
the army to leave no stone unturned in its effort to bring a lasting solution
to the recurrent Jos crisis. The statement which was signed by the group’s
director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, called for the prosecution of all those
arrested after the army might have completed its operation.
“Though long overdue, this is a laudable operation. We hail the Nigerian
Army for taking this action. Hundreds of Muslim civilians have disappeared mysteriously
in this zone. The offence cannot be bailable. It is even more than murder.
These people are terrorists. Anyone who engages in actions capable of creating
terror in the hearts of innocent people is a terrorist. The suspects should be
tried for terrorist activities.
“We appeal to members of the civil society, particularly human rights
groups to get a clear picture of what is happening here before intervening. This
is not just a civil matter. Nigerian and international human rights groups who
wish to intervene must first tell us what they did when the Muslims were crying
out for help each time their members disappeared in the terror-laden enclave of
society must appreciate the army for the vital role it is playing. Our gallant
soldiers are in the trenches. They are down there drenched in the rain, sweating
under the hostile North East sun. They are dodging bullets coming from
sophiosticated weapons of insurgents and at the same time stepping carefully to
avoid the enemy’s land mines. But here we are enjoying peace in our homes. We
must realize that it is the sacrifices of our gallant soldiers that give us the
opportunity to enjoy peace.
“This is where the Berom terrorists got it wrong. No civilian in his right
senses should toy with a private soldier, talk less messing up with a whole
army general particularly after the Odi incident of November 1999. It is
acrobatic religiousity taken far above Kilimanjaro Mountain. The Berom terrorists
must be taught such a lesson that they will never touch anyone in khaki uniform
again no matter how low his rank.
society as well as the security agencies should also note the alarm raised by Joyce
Ogwu, Executive Director of the Centre for Social Justice, Equity and
Transparency (CESJET), yesterday over alleged grand plots to unleash a
nationwide instability across Nigeria using Plateau state as the launch pad.
According to CESJET, the plot had been hatched by a former governor of Plateau
State, Jonah David Jang to provoke ethno-religious crisis on a large scale.
CESJET claimed that Jang has ‘drafted the Beroms, his ethnic group, for this
deadly plot that is now unfolding on a daily basis’ http://starconnectmedia.com/plateau-killings-jang-plots-nationwide-genocide-says-cesjet/
“The army should also maintain a heavy presence in the Berom community for
a very long time. They should not leave until the community leaders, including
the youth leaders and members of the excutive of the various Berom societies sign
an undertaking never to block the highways again. This is very important.
“The Beroms have no business blocking the highway each time they have a
disagreement with their neighbours. Why should they vent their deadly spleen on
innocent Fulani and Muslim travelers? It is religious extremism taken to the
In summary, we hail the Nigerian Army for making progress in its investigations
into the disappearance of General Alkali (rtd) and for its professional prosecution
of the operation. We appeal to the army not to relent until the retired general
is found dead or alive. The culprits should be prosecuted for terrorism. We
invite civil society and the international community to allow the Nigerian Army
to do the job for which it is well trained. Discipline must be instilled in the
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)