Monday, January 21, 2019


21st January, 2019


A message trending on social media alerting Christians not to attend a crusade tagged ‘We Are One’ because Muslims planned the crusade with the intention of bombing the venue in order to kill all Christians in Nigeria has been debunked by an Islamic human rights organization.

In a press statement issued on Monday 21st January, 2019, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) described the message as fake news and advised Nigerian Christians to ignore it. The statement was signed by the director and founder of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

“We are aware of a message now trending among Christians on social media. The message which was meant for Nigerian Christians only was leaked to MURIC through a patriotic and true Christian, reads:
To all Christians: please tell all the Christians brethren (sic) around
You not to attend the crusade with the title *we are one*. It's said that
the crusade is planned by Muslim leaders and it will be holding in all
the states in Nigeria at the same day and time. They will use a popular
and well respected pastor in a state as a guest speaker in the crusade in
other (sic) to gather people. Their intention is to bomb all Christians at
ones (sic) in other for them to archive (sic) their Islamisation agenda.
One of the elder (name withheld for security) who is not in support of
the plan has just made this known to the head of ... (name of Christian
mission deleted by us). Please pass this info to at least 20 people in your
contact as the crusade is just few weeks away. The Lord will hold you
responsible for any life lost through this evil attack if you refuse to share
this info’.

“This is a blatant, wicked and diabolical lie. We assure Christians in Nigeria that there is no such plan. It exists only in the figment of imagination of the devilish authors. It is the handiwork of enemies of Nigeria. We cannot rule out disgruntled politicians, particularly looters who are afraid of being exposed. They are looking for all means of causing pandemonium so that the authorities will be too preoccupied with searching for peace to have time for bringing them to book.

“In the same vein, we urge Nigerians to ignore another rumour concerning the hijab. Fake news mongers claim that Muslims in the South West are advocating for the use of hijab by their women and female school children because Muslims plan to launch terrorist attacks. They said the hijab would serve as special identity for Muslims so that the attackers would not attack them.

“This is atrocious. It is far from the truth. It is also illogical, false, baseless and unfounded. Nigerians should not allow themselves to be hoodwinked by rumour mongers. How is this possible? If the hijab is to serve the purpose of identifying Muslim women in the event of a terrorist attack, what of the Muslim men? If the attack is to happen in schools, what of the male Muslim students? How will the terrorists identify Muslim male students so as not to attack them? It is sheer bunkum, balderdash and poppycock twaddle.

“We urge both Christians and Muslims in the country to go about their businesses without any fear. This is the time to come together putting our heads under the same thinking cap for the sake of our country. Election period is a sensitive time and we should do everything we can to avoid anything capable of undermining the security of the nation.

“Nigerians should ignore baseless information particularly those that have security implication around this time. Any information which cannot be verified should be ignored. Adherents of the two major religions should follow the teachings of their faith regarding fake news. The Qur’an commands Muslims to investigate information before taking any action so that innocent people will not be hurt (Qur’an 49:6). The Bible also urges Christians to ‘Investigate all matters and hold on to the truth’ (II Corinthians 5:19 -20).

“We share the same destiny in this country and we should stick together in the interest of peace and progress. Where are the peddlers of hate and animosity today? Where are those who said we should not vote for Muslims? Where are those who said we should not vote for Fulanis? They should hide their faces in shame. The last time we checked, the candidates of the two major parties (APC and PDP) are still Muslims. Fulani blood also flows in their veins.

“Those agent provocateur ended up in a cul de sac because both President Muhammadu Buhari and former vice president Atiku Abubakar are Muslims and full-blooded Fulanis. It goes to prove further the folly in acrobatic religiousity and articulated ethnicity. We should allow merit to decide who will rule us. The criteria should not be religion. Neither should it be tribe. We should seek noble criteria like integrity, credibility, antecedence, etc.

On a last note, we charge Nigerian Christians to ignore rumours of Muslims planning a grand crusade with the intention of killing all Christians in Nigeria. The rumour of Muslim women using hijab for protection in case of a terrorist attack is also fake news. Nigerian Muslims love their neighbours and they wish to coexist peacefully with all regardless of creed or tribe.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Friday, January 18, 2019


19th January, 2019


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has issued a stern warning to the former vice president and presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as well as the former governor of Edo State and chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Comrade Adams Oshiomole over what it described as ‘frivolous pronouncements’.

It will be recalled that Atiku Abubakar pledged to sell the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) if he becomes the president of Nigeria even if he would be killed for doing so. He was also quoted as saying that he would enrich his friends if elected president. On his own part, Oshiomole was widely quoted as saying, “once you join the APC, your sins are forgiven”.

In a statement issued on Saturday, 19th January, 2018 and signed by MURIC’s director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, the Islamic human rights organisation cautioned the two politicians over pronouncements capable of raising fears or causing doubts among the populace.

According to Akintola, “These are weighty statements. They are unguarded. While the former vice president’s pledge to sell NNPC may be described as controversial and a mere policy statement, his reference to commitment even in the face of death is an extreme position while his promise to enrich his friends is capable of raising adrenalin among poor Nigerians.

“That statement is seen as far-reaching and pregnant with meanings. The fact that it was made at a gathering of the country’s business community means a lot. Is Atiku focusing on the rich at the expense of the hoi polloi? Are we going to witness a wider gap between the rich and the poor if he wins the election? Is it not going to be a case of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer? What then is the fate of the jamaahiir (i.e. masses)? How can our common patrimony go to a few friends?

“What exactly does the APC chairman mean by declaring that sins are forgiven once the sinner joins his party? When did any Nigerian political party become a cleanser of iniquities? What kind of sins does APC forgive? Do such sins include wide-scale looting, fraud, economic sabotage, criminal conspiracy, murder, political assassination, aiding, abetting and acting as godfather of armed robbers, etc? Is joining APC tantamount to atonement?

“The Muslim Rights Concern is concerned because as an Islamic human rights organisation protecting Allah-given fundamental rights of Muslims in particular and Nigerians in general, we cannot close our eyes to developments capable of increasing poverty among the poor or halting developmental projects and infrastructural development. Neither can we ignore statements or actions capable of debilitating the ongoing war against corruption.

“MURIC belongs to the poorest constituency in this country today as Muslims represent majority of the 80 million poverty-stricken Nigerians. We are concerned because the socio-economic statistics are frightening. The average Nigerian still lives on less than $1 dollar per day while the per capita income is still less than $300.

“Only 2% of Nigerians own 90% of total bank deposits. Only 1% of the Nigerian population controls 85% of the nation’s total wealth, leaving a paltry 15% for the remaining 99% to fight over! That is why there is social disharmony.

“Unfortunately MURIC’s constituency (the Nigerian Muslim population) constitute more than 70% of the 99% poorest Nigerians. Yet one politician is still talking about ‘enriching’ his friends and another one speaks of forgiving’ sinners once they join their party. Who cursed Nigeria for Allah’s sake?

“This is why MURIC is concerned. It is also the raison d’etre of our support for the war against corruption because the latter is the real cassu belli for poverty, illiteracy and widespread disease among the majority Muslim population. Our intervention which some Nigerians interpret wrongly as involvement in politics or partisanship is therefore a fight for the survival of this generation of Muslims. We look beyond politics.

“Whereas the present generation of Nigerians has been described as ‘a wasted generation’, we are constrained to describe Muslims in Nigeria today as a generation of almajiris going by the rate of poverty and squalor compared to their compatriots in other faiths. This is a verifiable claim. Whereas majority of adherents of other faiths are in white collar jobs, majority of Muslims are engaged in poor menial jobs like gatemen, bus conductors, drivers, and labourers. The Muslim names given to poor characters in Nigerian films and television drama perfectly exemplify this claim.

“This explanation is necessary so that Nigerians will understand where we are coming from and why we are solidly and unflinchingly in support of the war against graft. We are not looking at it with political lenses, rather it is about the liberation of millions of Muslims and other poor and oppressed Nigerians from the clutches of economic strangulation. We are concerned with how to eliminate corruption and raise the standard of living of the average Nigerian. Any political party which turns its attention to these key issues will therefore gain our support.

“This is why we find the statements accredited to these two politicians capable of raising the citizens’ adrenalin and we are constrained to issue this caveat emptor. Atiku and Oshiomole should note that those are no go areas. We reject them in their totality and we demand explanations from both of them”.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Thursday, January 17, 2019


18th January, 2019


More than 45 legal luminaries represented the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Monday, 14th January 2019. The CJN himself was not in court. Onnoghen is facing allegation of false declaration of assets.

Meanwhile an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has insisted that the CJN must face trial. According to the group, the evidence is too overwhelming and the onus is on the CJN to prove whether he did it or not. MURIC stated this in a statement issued on Friday, 18th January, 2019. The statement was signed by the director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

“The question Nigerians want the CJN to answer is ‘Did you do it or not?’ He needs to clear himself. This grandstanding is not reassuring. We have lost faith in the CJN as the symbol of justice in this country. Instead of answering that simple question and defending himself at the CCT, the CJN is resorting to technical escapism.

“The ordinary man in the street may not know law, but he knows about morals. He can distinguish between decency and moral debauchery. He knows the difference between integrity and immorality. The CJN should know that this is not a matter for playing around with legal entanglements.

“He occupies a position of trust. The Nigerian people entrusted him with the whole judicial system. He has betrayed their trust. A million SANs defending him cannot prove otherwise unless he can convince us that those extremely scandalising lodgements were not in his bank accounts.

“He must step down because this issue is not about him personally but about his hallowed office and about Nigeria. It will continue to be a stain on the judiciary as long as he insists on remaining in office. He has to save that office by stepping down or staying put and staining it forever.

“Those who argue that the CJN should first appear before the National Judicial Council (NJC) have failed to realize that the composition of the NJC where more than 60% of the members were appointed by the same CJN makes that option illogical and unacceptable to the Nigerian people. The CJN is the chairman of the NJC and it is morally wrong for him to sit in judgment over his own case.

“Should we then say that every Nigerian worker who commits a criminal offence should first appear before the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)? Should we also rule that such a worker shall not appear in court unless NLC pronounces him guilty? Should every teacher be tried first by the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT)? Should every nurse who has a criminal case be tried first by the Nursing Council? What kind of protectionism is that? This is a policy that will never earn professionals a scintilla of respect from members of the public.   

“Why do you think the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) stood aside and allowed a whole professor to face a case of sex for marks and to go to jail without intervening? It is outstanding sense of decency. Your colleague is part of you as long as he observes the ethics of the profession. He must be allowed to face the music the moment he behaves unprofessionally. We must not get involved in unholy camaraderie.

“It is only in Nigeria that we insist that a known thief is being victimized because we worship in the same shrine. We threaten hell and brimstone that the country will be made ungovernable whenever our kleptomaniac kinsman is caught red-handed. We idolize the demons among us yet we expect things to work. We are suffering from massive pathological obfuscation of all sense of justice, fairness and equity.   

“As far as ordinary Nigerians are concerned, 45 SANs defending the CJN is meaningless to them because they know that what those SANs are out to achieve is to use the technicalities of law to shelter the CJN, being one of them. This is one of the major problems with us in Nigeria. If a thief is one of us, did he steal for us? Did we send him to go and steal? We must allow him to defend himself if we know nothing of his crime. The law profession is a noble one. We should not allow Nigerians to impugn the integrity of highly revered SANs.

“That courtroom show of numerical strength is sheer judicial intimidation. They were not out to prove that he did not do it. It was a show of impunity. Unfortunately Nigerians are more interested in whether he did it or not.  If he did it, he should quit. If he did not, we are not keen on punishing an innocent man. The honourable thing for the CJN to do therefore is to go to CCT and defend himself. We will take nothing less in the face of overwhelming evidence. Only those who have something to hide refuse to face trial.

“Neither do we have any modicum of respect for any individual, group or political party that stands up to rationalize massive stealing. It is interesting that the only political party that is showing interest in prosecuting the CJN over suspicion of judicial graft is the ruling party. It is equally interesting that the party’s main manifesto is fighting corruption.

The main opposition party appears to be on a familiar terrain in its defense of the CJN. It all boils down to one thing: Nigerians will be judged by whose interest they promote and by who they protect. It is either you stand with stealing and looting or you pitch your camp with decency and integrity  

However, if it is all about restoring faith in the judiciary and returning Nigeria to the comity of sane nations, we have no choice than to ask President Muhammadu Buhari to do everything within his power to ensure that the rule of law prevails. The president must protect poor Nigerians from the looting cabal.

If indeed Nigeria is practicing democracy, then nobody, including the CJN, must be above the law. Onnoghen must face trial at the CCT.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)