Thursday, February 21, 2019


21st February, 2019


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has criticized one of the presidential candidates in the 2019 general elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who promised during the campaigns to sell the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). He repeated this promise yesterday, Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, while speaking in one of the Northern states. According to MURIC, the proposed sale of NNPC which is the backbone of Nigeria’s economy has serious economic implications for the citizens.

In a press statement issued on Thursday, 21st February, 2019, MURIC expressed deep concern about the proposed sale. The statement was signed by Professor Ishaq Akintola, Founder and Director of the Islamic human rights organisation.

“We must start taking Alhaji Atiku Abubakar very seriously, particularly on this issue of planning to sell NNPC. In view of the fact that petroleum is the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy and NNPC is key to its performance, the Nigerian people need to know what will happen if the former vice president’s promise becomes a reality.

“We are therefore asking His Excellency to explain to Nigerians what will become of civil servants who rely on their monthly salaries alone if NNPC is sold. If it is true that at least 70% of Federal Government’s allocation comes from NNPC sales and both federal and state governments rely on the allocation to pay their employees, how will federal and state workers continue to get their salaries regularly? Is this not an invitation to massive retrenchment, unbridled poverty and increased crime rate? What measures have Your Excellency put in place to ensure that our fears are not actualized?

“By extension, MURIC will like to know what Alhaji Atiku Abubakar means by his widely quoted statement, ‘I will enrich my friends’. We will like to know who the former vice president referred to as his ‘friends’ as well as the criterion or criteria for becoming Alhaji Atiku’s friend. Also, what form will such enrichment take? From where will the resources for enriching his friends come, from his personal resources or from our common patrimony?

“The Nigerian people will love to hear an explanation before they go to the polls in the next 48 hours. The Muslim Rights Concern is deeply concerned about the fate of Nigerian Muslims who form a large majority of Nigeria’s population and who are most likely to be the main victims of a general retrenchment and the attendant widespread poverty among the masses. MURIC cannot afford to close its eyes to a major economic policy which is capable of affecting the lives of a large majority of Nigerians.”     

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


20th February, 2019


A tornado of criticisms has trailed President Buhari’s tough stand on ballot snatchers. The president was widely quoted on Monday 18th February, 2019, that ballot snatchers risk losing their lives.

But the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has pitched camp with President Muhammadu Buhari. In a statement released on Wednesday 20th February, 2019, MURIC, an Islamic human rights society insisted that ballot box snatchers themselves are killers who deserve no mercy. The group added that security agencies should be given the power to shoot anybody who attempts to snatch a ballot box. The statement was signed by the founder and director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

“A lot of people still need civic education. How can educated people defend ballot box snatchers? Do they know who they are defending? They are defending killers, thugs and hooligans. Does any ballot box snatcher come with snacks, loaves of bread and bottles of water for voters? No. They come with guns, cutlasses, daggers, charms, etc. They come with death.  

“Are we also not aware that many innocent voters have been killed and wounded in the process of ballot snatching? Are our elites not ashamed of defending such riff-raffs? Must we allow political differences to becloud our sense of decency? Do we know the sponsors of those thugs? These are crooked politicians who have nothing to deliver to the people except to steal public funds. No clean politician will ask hoodlums to snatch ballot boxes for him.

“We all read the confession of some of the armed robbers who killed several people in Offa recently. They said their godfather used to give them assignments during elections. He would ask them to invade polling booths where his opponents are most popular. What does that mean to the election process? It reduces the votes of the opposition. The wrong candidate will be declared winner. Consequently, he does what he likes because he never really felt any sense of responsibility to the people. Can we say such an election is free and fair?

“Nigerians have to make up their minds whether they want free and fair election or they want chaos, cheating, thuggery and hooliganism. We are shocked to our marrows that confusionists are allowed to sway the minds of rational people. How can any rational mind support electoral violence, particularly ballot snatching?

According to Akintola, ballot box snatchers are worse than armed robbers. “Some critics hardly think before speaking. What is the difference between ballot box snatchers and armed robbers? The latter rob people of their hard-earned money. The former robs the people of good leadership. The victim of an armed robbery may be just one person but millions or thousands of Nigerians are the unwilling victims of a ballot box snatcher. Again, the victim of an armed robber may recover the financial loss within a few days or weeks but millions of Nigerians face untold suffering at least for the next four years when ballot boxes are snatched and thieves are declared winners of elections.

The group argued that President Buhari is not the first to call for action against hoodlums carrying illegal arms. It cited the examples of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Nyesome Wike, the governor of Rivers State.

"We are surprised that people forget so easily. On November 25th, 1999, ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo said, ‘The police have instructions that any criminal should be shot on sight. Anyone who calls himself OPC should be arrested and if he doesn't agree he will be shot on sight. We cannot allow this country to be overtaken by hoodlums and criminals. When people decide to behave like animals then they must be treated like animals.’

“It is also on record that Wike once said, ‘If you rig election or snatch ballot box in Rivers State you will die’. Ayodele Fayose was also quoted as threatening, ‘Anyone who brings his rigging madness to Ekiti State will not go home alive. He will die on the spot. In fact, Ado Ekiti will be on fire’. What moral right do such people have to criticize Buhari today for asking security agents to deal will ballot box snatchers? The truth is that Nigerians politicise everything.

“What Mr. President said is totally legitimate, lawful and constitutional. He has the full backing of Section 33(2)(a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which says inter alia, ‘A person shall not be regarded as having been deprived of his life in contravention of this section, if he dies as a result of the use, to such extent and in such circumstances as are permitted by law, of such force as is reasonably necessary - for the defence of any person from unlawful violence or for the defence of property.

“We need to ponder on the exact words of President Buhari. He said, ‘I want to warn anybody who thinks he has enough influence in his locality to lead a body of thugs to snatch ballot boxes or disturb the voting system, he will do it at the expense of his own life’. How can anybody have a problem with that? Are you a ballot box snatcher? Are you thinking of becoming one? Are you a sponsor of political thugs? Are you an advocate of electoral violence? What, therefore, is your problem?

“From the above facts, we are constrained to conclude that those who criticize President Buhari for giving orders to security agencies to shoot ballot box snatchers acted either in error, out of ignorance or as educated illiterates. A new Sheriff is in town. The old order changeth.

“To be or not to be, that is the question: whether to be known as a nation of disorderly, unruly and unorganized people, in which case we will remain the laughing stock of the world, or to be known as a well-organized, law-abiding and decorum-compliant people, in which case we will become the model and pride of Black Africa.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Monday, February 18, 2019


19th February, 2019


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called attention to the strange utterances of foreign diplomats particularly the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU). Some of those statements, according to the Islamic human rights group, border on attempts to railroad Nigeria into an unpalatable situation and to interfere in the electoral process.  

In a statement reeled out early on Tuesday 19th February, 2019, MURIC threw its weight behind the allegations made by Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari against certain foreign diplomats. MURIC’s press statement was signed by its founder and director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

 “We are not comfortable with the pronouncements of foreign powers regarding the 2019 general elections in Nigeria. There are attempts to intimidate the Nigerian government. These statements stand in contradistinction with the status of diplomats. It is interference, pure and simple.

“How can Western diplomats be leaning towards an opposition party which committed the worst rape on our economy? How can they close their eyes to the brutal pillaging of our common wealth? Who feels it knows it. We are the citizens of this country and we know what we have suffered under the present opposition when they were in power.

“These people were in power for good 16 years. Those were years of nightmare, years of ruination, years of stealing with impunity. They ruined the economy. They sold out all major assets and corruptly enriched themselves. They arrogated our common patrimony to themselves. It was on this account that the Nigerian people rejected them in 2015 by voting for President Muhammadu Buhari, a man known for his spartan life, industry and integrity.

“President Buhari’s team put together the rotten pieces they left behind. He carefully and meticulously nursed the economy back to life and just when things started picking up, the prodigal sons want to take over again. They apologized publicly a few months ago but they want to come back to power immediately. That will not happen. Nigerians are not fools. They should watch from the ringsides and learn how to build a nation. We will reject them at the polls. We say no to overambitious and unpatriotic political shenanigans.
“We call on the foreign diplomats to ask the leading opposition the reason for tendering public apology. Was it not for mismanaging the economy, for stealing public money and for throwing a whole nation into misery? Have they learnt their lesson? Why are they in a hurry to take over after just four years? It is clear from their public pronouncements that they have learnt nothing. They sold vital assets in their 16 years of misrule but now they are saying they want to sell the heart and soul of Nigeria. Now, we must ask the US, UK and EU diplomats, can you ever allow such nonsense in your own countries?  

“Nigerians see foreign diplomats hobnobbing with political figures of doubtful credibility as people playing mere lip-service to transparency, probity, accountability and, in particular, the anti-corruption war in Nigeria. The leading opposition candidate has also disappointed Nigerians by leaning towards lobbyists. It is only politicians who have credibility problems who engage the services of lobbyists. Even if lobbying may not be a bad idea, eyebrows must be raised when lobbyists who possess dangerous antecedence in their curriculum vitae are engaged.

“We were shocked to hear that some of the strong members of the opposition have connections to Paul Manafort, a former aide to US President, Donald Trump, who has been indicted with electoral fraud. Equally disturbing is the involvement of Riva Levinson, a woman trained by Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, now hired by Senator Bukola Saraki. These two figures have been fingered in the probe into the interference in the US election by a foreign power.

“Our concern arises from the fact that the leading opposition party (People’s Democratic Party, PDP) with which these professional lobbyists are connected is responsible for the economic rape of Nigeria for good 16 years during which humongous amounts of money went into private pockets. This is clear from statements made by foreign powers in the past two weeks.

“We have juxtaposed intimidating statements made by foreign powers with the coded messages of the leading opposition. The pledge made by the main opposition candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to sell the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and to enrich his friends was not made to Nigerians. We are certain that it was a coded message to foreign powers and we take serious objection to those pledges as a people. It insults our collective intelligence. It poses a potent threat to our economic independence and erodes our sovereignty as a people.        

“We want foreign diplomats to know that Nigerians are greatly impressed by the achievements of the Buhari administration. Its prudent management of lean resources has led to great achievements within a very short period. President Muhammadu Buhari has become the father of modern Nigeria now that things have started working again.  

“We call the attention of Nigerians to the unpatriotic attempt by the opposition to sell Nigeria to foreign powers who have no interest of the citizenry at heart. It is an attempt to subvert our nascent democracy and it can only set back the hands of the clock. We therefore call on Nigerians to roundly reject candidates who rely on dubious foreign characters. We must show them that Nigeria is not for sale.

“Greatest Nigerian People! MURIC calls you out to prove your real patriotism and genuine citizenship of our great nation, Nigeria. This is not about party politics. Our nationalistic instincts must now take the driver’s seat. It is now about Nigeria. We may not have the sophisticated technologies of the US, UK and the EU but this country belongs to us and we are proud of it. We have seen the momentous progress made by this administration and we want it to continue. We must shock foreign lobbyists presently collaborating with the corrupt opposition to return our country to the stone age. We must stop those whose sole desire is to subvert our democracy.

“As our parting shot, we remind the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that Nigerians are aware of the ongoing intrigues and manouvres. The people of Nigeria will hold him responsible if he plays into the hands of any local or foreign manipulator.       

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Sunday, February 17, 2019


17th February, 2019


Rev. Joseph Hayab, the Chairman of Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has denied that Fulanis were killed in Kajuru local government of Kaduna State. Governor Nasir ElRufai had led journalists and security men to the sites of the killings on Saturday 16th February, 2019. The killings took place the previous day.

Reacting to the controversy, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) described the denial of the massacre as condescending, shocking and inhuman. MURIC’s reaction was contained in a press statement issued late Sunday evening 17th February, 2019.

“We are shocked to our marrows that CAN chairman in Kaduna State had the temerity to deny this horrendous and criminal act. We are talking about 66 full-blooded human beings hacked down in their sleep, slaughtered and burnt. Survivors identified the attackers as Christian militia and here is the CAN chairman falsifying the barbaric massacre as if it never happened.

“We are really disappointed with the caliber of people posing as religious leaders. Peace will continue to elude us in this country as long as we refuse to admit the fact that there are criminal elements in our midst. Lasting peace can only be found if the law-abiding faithfuls in all creed collaborate, isolate criminal elements among them and hand them over to law enforcement agencies.

“22 women and 12 children were among those killed in cold blood. Their souls cry out for justice. MURIC has incontrovertible evidence of the massacre. This criminal act is being watered down for now in order to avoid escalation at this critical period of the 2019 general elections. But we have no doubt that both the perpetrators and those who provide cover for them will continue to live with the heavy burden on their criminal consciences until nemesis catches up with them.

“It is most shameful that a religious leader of this status will lie openly that the killing of 66 human beings never happened. The Nigerian Army in Kaduna confirmed the massacre as well as the number. Yet Rev. Hayab keeps denying. Religious leaders are respected for their righteousness but how righteous is a lying cleric?

“We have no doubt that the conscience of the chairman of Kaduna state branch of CAN will forever nag him. He will never be free for denying the truth. The Bible says, ‘You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’ (John 8:32). Hayab will remain a slave of his nagging conscience until he confesses his sin.

The statement which was signed by the founder and director of the Islamic human rights organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola, also lamented the lukewarm attitude of the media to the massacre.

“The silence of the Nigerian press over this massacre is equally nauseating. It is most unprofessional. The Nigerian press has always been known to go agog when Christians are the victims but they will look the other way when Muslims are the victims. Can we say such a group seeks enduring peace?

“MURIC calls on the international community to rise to the occasion. In particular, we call the attention of foreign observers of this 2019 general elections to this gruesome act. This massacre cannot be isolated from the 2019 elections because it was perpetrated on its eve. Christian militiamen have committed a shocking atrocity under cover of darkness. The whole world should condemn this bestiality. This mass murder of innocent and vulnerable people was committed under the nose of foreign observers. It should form part of their concern. They should condemn it because we know what they would have done had Christians been the victims. We demand their reaction to it as they are still in Nigeria.   

“We invite all men of conscience to speak up. The man dies in him who fails to condemn the merciless massacre of women and children in their sleep. The Nigerian civil society is yet to speak up 48 hours after the brutal killings. What does this mean?

“Are Fulanis not human beings? Is it because they are Muslims? Are Muslims not entitled to fundamental human rights? This is the tragedy of our society both locally and internationally. Hypocrisy is the order of the day. Everybody in the so-called civilized world and civil society is calling for peace but nobody is calling for justice. They have forgotten that justice is the soul of peace. Nobody can deny one and still enjoy the other.  

“They accuse Muslims of terrorism but they are the worst terrorists. They forget that terrorism is mere smoke. Injustice, oppression, downpression, persecution and provocation are the real fire which cause the smoke. No good firefighter will turn his hose towards the smoke. Nay, his target must be the tongues of flame. We therefore assert clearly, categorically and unequivocally that those who accuse Muslims of terrorism got it wrong. They are treating the symptom while they leave the disease to spread.    

“On a final note, we appeal to Muslims throughout Nigeria, particularly in Kaduna State, to remain calm and law-abiding. The aim of the attackers is to provoke retaliation so as to disrupt the electoral process. We therefore charge Muslim faithfuls to refrain from any violent reaction. On the other hand, we demand justice. We call on the security agencies to fish out the killers without delay. It is the failure of officials to apprehend culprits which often compel the aggrieved to resort to self-help. Justice delayed is justice denied”.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


17th February, 2019


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has pinpointed a major factor for the failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to kick-start the 2019 general elections yesterday, Saturday, 16th February, 2019 as earlier scheduled.    

According to the Islamic human rights organization, INEC’s failure can be attributed to its lack of concern for the divine will. MURIC’s statement was contained in a press release dated 17th February, 2019. It was signed by its founder and director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

Expatiating further, MURIC said, “Divine truth will always overwhelm social truth. INEC kept telling Nigerians that it was ready. But Almighty Allah knew that it was not actually ready. They told the Federal Government (FG) that no stone had been left unturned. They assured Nigerians that everything was in place. INEC beat its chest before foreign observers.

“But all along, INEC forgot a major factor. It ignored the divine factor, the font et origo. INEC chairman should have added by the grace of Allah (or by God’s power, or bi qudratillahi). By the grace of Allah or by the grace of God is more powerful and more correct than the popular phrase ‘in sha Allah’ because ‘in sha Allah’ simply means ‘if Allah wishes’.

“What happens if Allah does not wish? Nigerians who use this phrase are therefore advised to use ‘biqudratillahi’ which is a more direct and more effective invocation of the power of Allah in support of our plans. Nigerians must remember that the gap-toothed general on Minna hill-top used the same ‘in sha Allah’ to lead Nigerians by the nose for several years.

“One of the beauties of Islam is that it teaches homo sapiens not to express any desire or make any plan without relying on Allah. The Glorious Qur’an says inter alia: “And do not say I will do so and so tomorrow without adding ‘by Allah’s Grace’. But if you forget to do so at the first instance, cite Allah’s name afterwards and say, ‘I hope my Lord will guide me even better than I expect’” (Glorious Qur’an 18:23 – 24).

“The Qur’an also goes on to warn us that no matter how much we try, we will never be able to execute our plans except Allah so desires (wa ma tashauun ila an yashaa Allah Qur’an 81:29; laa tanfudhuuna ilaa bi sultaanin Qur’an 55:33). The Qur’an also says our plans are nothing unless we involve Allah in them, “They planned and Allah planned but Allah is the best of all planners” (Qur’an 3:54; 27:50).

“Even in the Bible, Jesus taught his disciples not to rely on the ability of man to do things but to rely on God who can do all things. “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God” (Mark 10: 27; Mathew 19:29).

“MURIC therefore sends out this strong message to Nigerians. You cannot be ready until Allah is ready. INEC cannot be ready until God is ready. Remember how we all voted in the June 12, 1993 election. We all voted for Chief MKO Abiola. But it was all in vain because Allah did not vote for him.

“Let INEC and the rest of us borrow one or two leaves from this message. Do not underestimate the power of Allah and His place in the actualization of plans. To Him belongs the force majeure. Let this be a lesson to all public officers and political leaders. The Muslims among them must put Allah first while the Christians among them should put God first.

MURIC assured Nigerians that all is not lost. “But do not lose hope”, Akintola added. “The faithful should be hopeful. Allah is wonderful. He will not let the righteous down. The Qur’an says, ‘So do not lose heart, nor fall into despair for you shall be victorious if you are believers (Qur’an 3:139; Mathew 6:24 – 33).   

“Although MURIC is a human rights group, we are faith-based and that should make the difference in a way. We must advocate human rights from the point of view of righteousness, godliness and the fear of Allah. We must encourage worship and supplication because there is no limit to the power of prayer.

“In this regard, we call on all Nigerians regardless of religious leaning to embark on a 3-day fasting and intensive prayers from tomorrow Monday, 18th February to Wednesday 20th February, 2019. The forces arraigned against our nation are powerful and ruthless. We need prayers to overcome them.

“Our prayer points should include a successful and peaceful general election. Let us pray for Allah (God) to take control of our affairs. Pray that all powers of evil poised to cause confusion in this election shall be vanquished. Pray that all those behind the suffering of the poor be brought to shame.

“Pray that the Supreme Creator should give us a progressive National Assembly through this 2019 election. Pray that looters and thieves should lose in this election. Pray that all those who are behind the killing of innocent people should be exposed. In Allah’s Mighty Name we pray!

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Saturday, February 16, 2019


16th February, 2019


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday announced the postponement of the general elections by one week. Presidential and national assembly elections will now be held on Saturday 23rd February while gubernatorial and state assembly elections will take place on Saturday 9th March, 2019. INEC cited logistic reasons for the postponement.

Sequel to this postponement, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has appealed to Nigerian voters to give INEC the benefit of doubt. In a press statement issued on Saturday 16th February, 2019, the Islamic human rights organization called on Nigerians to take the electoral body for its words. 

“The challenge before INEC is gargantuan. Though the electoral body cited logistics alone, we should understand that security is a general problem facing Nigerians. The postponement was not informed by that aspect because the security agencies have risen to the challenge. The report that electoral materials meant for twelve states were missing from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) vault must be worrisome.

“A truck-load of thumb-printed ballot papers was seized by the police in Kano. INEC’s offices were burned down in two South Eastern states. A woman was allegedly arrested with 5,000 voters’ cards in Aba. A man was also allegedly arrested with prepared election result sheets in the same Aba. The sum of $1.2 billion was reportedly seized from another suspect heading towards Akwa Ibom government house. Another man who tried to steal election materials in the CBN was also apprehended.

“MURIC gives kudos to the security agencies for nipping these plots in the bud. The culprits must face the full wrath of the law. We urge the security agencies not to relent in their effort to ensure law and order during the elections. 

“Finally, we appeal to Nigerians to exercise patience and understanding as INEC strives to perfect its logistics before the commencement of the postponed elections on Saturday 23rd February, 2019. 

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Friday, February 15, 2019


15th February, 2019


Sixty-six Fulanis have been reportedly killed in Kajuru Local Government of Kaduna State. The incident occurred towards evening on Friday, 15th February, 2019. 

In a swift reaction, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned the killing. MURIC, an Islamic human rights organization, described the killings as barbaric, inhuman and provocative. In a press statement issued minutes after the report of the killings reached Nigerians, the rights group said it was certain that the killings were intended to truncate the general elections which are set to begin tomorrow, Saturday, 16th February, 2019. The statement was signed by the director and founder of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
“This killing is horrendous and cowardly act. It is calculated to truncate the general elections and also to provoke reactions. It is nothing but a terrorist act. No more, no less. The culprits must be apprehended. We strongly condemn the killings. Those who target vulnerable and innocent women and children for merciless killings deserve due punishment.

“These are rebellious subjects, enemies of peace. They see defeat staring at them squarely in the face in the 2019 elections. But they have decided to tow the path of violence instead of taking the expected outcome with equanimity. 
“MURIC charges the Commissioner of Police in charge of Kaduna State to bring the culprits to book with immediate effect. Steps must be taken by both the government and security agencies to prevent the crisis from escalating. We appeal to Fulanis in the state to exercise restraint.
“The timing of the killings suggest that the culprits intend to cause mayhem capable of disrupting the general election not only in Kaduna State but in the whole country. That is why they launched their attack on the eve of the general elections. They have only used Kaduna State as a launching pad. We therefore call on the Nigerian security agencies to be on the tip-toes of alertness in order to ward off any crisis that rears its ugly head anywhere in the country particularly during the general elections.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)