Monday, April 22, 2019

MURIC TO NCEF: ALLOW PEACE TO REIGN


23rd April, 2019

PRESS RELEASE:
MURIC TO NCEF: ALLOW PEACE TO REIGN


The Northern Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) has described the conviction of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) as part of the jihad against Christians in the country. NCEF made this allegation in a statement signed by its chairman, Chief Solomon Asemota (SAN) on Friday 19th April, 2019.
However, the Islamic human rights organization, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has rejected NCEF’s allegation. This was contained in a statement signed by the Founder and Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019.


“We are still wondering about what happened to NCEF. This is a group of elders who, ceteris paribus, should know better and, consequently, contribute positively to the national discuss. But we are perturbed by its pedestrian outbursts.


“We find it hard to believe that General Yakubu Gowon in particular, a former head of state, will belong to a group that stands logic on its head and twists the facts of history. How did the overthrow of Gowon in 1975 constitute a jihad? This is a most irrational claim. 


“Our people say when a child rejects evening pounded yam, his parents will narrate to him the story of his mother’s marriage. But what do we say about elders who falsify facts? We must beckon on historians to bail us out.


“For the avoidance of doubts, Gowon was toppled on 29 July, 1975 for reneging on his promise to end military rule in 1976. The spate of protests against his U-turn especially by university students showed how unpopular his procrastination had become. It also led to the closing of some higher institutions.  


“Gowon had fallen in love with power and was not ready to leave even after spending ten years (1966 – 1975). Nigerians may be passive on misrule and parliamentary idiosyncracies but they have never been silent over tenure elongation. The inglorious third term agenda is a good example.


“Gowon got his fingers burnt for seeking to tow the path of sit-tight African rulers like Hosni Mubarak of Egypt who spent 30 years in office (1981 – 2011) and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya who spent 42 years (1969 – 2011). It is a great disservice to history for NCEF to seek to distort the events which led to the toppling of Gowon.

“As it turned out, many of the drammatis personae in the anti-Gowon post-coup events were Christians. Joe Namvan Garba was made commander of the Elite Guards Brigade, Mathew Obasanjo was named chief of staff at supreme headquarters, Theophilus Y. Danjuma became chief of army staff, Commodore Michael Adelanwa, chief of naval staff and John Issa Duku, chief of air staff. The last time we checked, Joe, Mathew, Theophilus, Michael and John were all Christian names. So, was it Joe Garba or Mathew Obasanjo who was pushing Buhari’s jihad agenda?  


“Again, NCEF claimed that Buhari overthrew Shagari in 1983 and retired Justice Taslim Elias, a Muslim, to Islamise Nigeria by replacing a Federal Republic with a Sultanate. What sense does this make for crying out loud? Both Shagari and Taslim Elias were Muslims and why would Buhari remove them if he intended to Islamise the country? 


“The most arbitrary claim of the group has to do with the removal of the suspended CJN. NCEF claimed the removal of Onnoghen is a continuation of stealth jihad which began with the coup against Gowon. It is as ludicrous as it is infantile.


“Perhaps NCEF is also suggesting that the National Judicial Council (NJC) which found Onnoghen guilty of the charges leveled against him is engaging in jihad. When will NCEF stop seeing religion in every big or little thing? Why should the Onnoghen issue be turned into religious blackmail?


“Members of NCEF need to be circumspect and careful in their utterances. If we are not careful, reckless statements like this could prepare grounds for genocide. We need to take lessons from Rwanda and we may not have a Kigame to heal the wounds that are direct consequences of such conflict. 


“Muslims did not call it a Christian crusade when ex-President Jonathan removed the CBN governor (now Emir of Kano) unceremoniously. Neither did they start appealing to religious sentiment when the same Jonathan sacked Justice Salami.


“Again, for want of anything else to say, NCEF blamed the problems of Nigeria on the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern regions. We must ask NCEF who should be blamed for the amalgamation. Was it done by the Sultanate or the Fulanis? The British colonial masters amalgamated the North and South. NCEF should direct its protest letter to No. 10, Downing Street.


“Elders are expected to possess the wisdom to solve problems, not the flair for rabble-rousing. It is high time NCEF accepted this common destiny and settled down. We are bewildered that elders of a religious group whose scripture is filled with wise sermons have elected to behave contrary to the teachings. NCEF members are mere hearers of the word of God, not doers (James 1:23).


“It is didactic to note that the umbrella body of all Nigerian Christians, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has already disowned NCEF. That alone is enough to compel us to ignore the group but for the need to put records straight.


“That development becomes more instructive when considered against the background of the visit of Paul and Barnabas to the elders in Jerusalem for consultation ((Acts 15:2). Instead of consulting NCEF, CAN dissociates itself from the Northern elders. It speaks volumes. Impertinence sometimes creates distance.


“Was this not on Peter’s mind when he advised church elders “not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock”? (I Peter 5:3). Members of the NCEF should not tarry until Nigerians start sending anti-senility drugs to them before they take CAN’s advice.


“On a final note, we affirm that what Nigeria needs now is a peaceful environment. There can be no meaningful development without peace and stability. Let us stop heating the polity. Nigerian Muslims have no Islamisation agenda. We are willing to peacefully coexist with both Christians and traditionalists as neighbours and on equal terms.    


Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


Thursday, April 18, 2019

MURIC HAILS TRIBUNAL FOR CONVICTING ONNOGHEN


18th April, 2019

MURIC HAILS TRIBUNAL FOR CONVICTING ONNOGHEN


An Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has hailed the conviction of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen. The suspended CJN was pronounced guilty this afternoon Thursday 18th April, 2019 by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) headed by Danladi Umar. Onnoghen was accused of making false assets declaration.


MURIC’s endorsement of the tribunal’s ruling came in a press statement dated 18th April, 2019 and signed by its Founder and Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.  


“This conviction will serve as a lesson for other judges who are tempted to tow the same line with Onnoghen. There must be a clear distinction between the temple of justice and the stock exchange market while the homes of judges must not, at any point in time, be mistaken for the bureau de change.  


“For the noble profession to maintain its dignity, judges must not envy business tycoons in their quest for the accumulation of wealth. The glory of a judge resides in his aloofness from merchandise, his noble carriage and his comportment with self-satisfaction.

 
The group blamed the suspended CJN for grandstanding when he could have made the best of the time by resigning when the presidency asked him to do so more than three months ago.  


“As for the letter of resignation submitted by Onnoghen about two weeks ago, had it been early had been relevant, but it had been delayed and trivialized until the NJC’s indictment. It is our contention that this expensive procrastination has ‘stolen’ time from the purported resignation and rendered it an exercise in futility.


“Just as the presidency was constrained to suspend Walter Onnoghen after the tribunal issued an order three months ago, the hands of the presidency are now tied by the pronouncement of guilt by the same tribunal. President Muhammadu Buhari is not known to interfere in the functions of other arms of government. He has demonstrated this trait several times and the Onnoghen affair must not be different. Consistency also demands that he is bound to obey the terms of the conviction in the same manner that he obeyed the tribunal’s first ruling on suspension.


“President Muhammadu Buhari may not want to tamper with the CCT ruling that Onnoghen must be removed from office, forfeit funds found in the five accounts and banned from holding public office for the next ten years.


“MURIC lauds the chairman of the CCT, Danladi Umar, for his uncommon courage and consistency. In the same vein, President Muhammadu Buhari deserves accolades for his doggedness in the war against corruption. He will go down in history as the first Nigerian president to dock a chief justice of the federation.


The human rights group also called on President Buhari to immediately swear in the Acting CJN, Muhammad Tanko.

“In view of the clean bill which the Nigerian Judicial Council (NJC) gave the Acting CJN coupled with today’s conviction of the suspended CJN by the CCT, MURIC hereby urges President Muhammadu Buhari to set the machinery in motion for the swearing in of the Acting CJN as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria with immediate effect. Nature hates vacuum.


“As a parting shot, we reiterate for the umpteenth time that the Federal Government must immediately institute a thorough reform of the nation’s judiciary. The war against corruption cannot succeed until Nigerians can beat their chests about the trustworthiness of their judges”.


Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

PARADE JAMB’S PROFESSIONAL WRITERS


18th April, 2019

PARADE JAMB’S PROFESSIONAL WRITERS     


The Joint Admissions Matriculations Board (JAMB) has announced the arrest of over 100 professional examination writers during this year’s (2019) examinations. The suspects include two biological children of the owner of an accredited Computer Based Test (CBT) center in Lagos.


In its own reaction, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a puritanist human rights organisation has called on the Nigerian Police to parade the professional examination writers. MURIC made the declaration in a press statement signed on Thursday, 18th April, 2019, by its Founder and Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.


“The arrest of these professional examination writers is an eye-opener. It confirms what we have been saying for several years. The phenomenon of the lazy Nigerian youth is no longer a myth. Many people wanted to crucify President Muhammadu Buhari when he used that phrase some months ago. But we can all see now.


“Whereas Nigeria is blessed with many hardworking youngsters, there exists many black sheep who tarnish the image of the industrious ones. We call on the security agencies to publicly parade those caught in order to serve as deterrent to others. They must not be treated with kid gloves.


“Their names and faces must be exposed to friends and family members. They must be paraded as the bad eggs in society. We all know that societal norms and values have long broken down but we never knew that things had degenerated to this level. It is such a big shame.


“Where is the well-known African sense of dignity? Where is the pride of the black man who, decades back, could beat his chest and proudly rub shoulders with the intellectual giants of the West? The owner of the Lagos CBT center who allowed his two biological sons to impersonate other candidates is a disgrace to all Nigerian parents. His despicable conduct confirms the breakdown in family norms and values in the Nigerian society.


“This is a father training his own sons to fill up Nigerian universities with unqualified students. Some of those ‘assisted’ by them will graduate as ‘medical doctors’ who will become harbingers of death to hundreds of innocent patients simply because they were never really qualified to read medicine in the first place.


“It is more painful when we realise that these people have been doing it for years and getting away with it. In essence, we are saying that our universities are filled with unqualified undergraduates while thousands of employees brandish university degrees which they cannot defend.  


“We are not surprised, however. Both the federal and state governments failed to meet global best standards in terms of funding of the education sector. Only one or two states made the education sector a priority. The effect has been a colossal loss in qualitative education.


“Instances of this dwindling performance can be found in the results published by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) in past years. Only 28.58 percent of the candidates obtained credit passes in five subjects including English Language and General Mathematics in the WASSCE examination of year 2015. 38.58 percent passed the subjects in 2016 while the percentage fell to 26.01 percent in 2017.  


“Things got so bad that an unnamed Nigerian who called himself a ‘graduate’ posted a highly embarrassing message on facebook in 2018 in which he said, It's with deeps sence nd humility to told public, friends and family that... I had been collected my result yesterday 30/04/2018 around 2.00 pm with the overall of 3.44 CGPA. I'm now a graduate’. How he made this grade point remains a mystery but at least he has succeeded in exposing the rot in the system.

“Only three Nigerian universities were included in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings out of 1,250 tertiary institutions around the globe. Only one (the University of Ibadan) was in the 2018 list and it was ranked number 801 out of 1,000 universities. The same university was the only one included among the 800 best universities in the world in 2016 and its position was 601. No single Nigerian university made the 2015 list released by the Centre for World University Rankings. The United States alone had eight among the top ten.

“This generally poor performance resulted in parents’ loss of confidence in the Nigerian education system and those who can afford it sought admission for their children outside the shores of this country. It also informed their desire for cutting corners particularly by parents who are thin in integrity but fat in indecency”.


MURIC also commended JAMB’s chief executive, Professor Ishaq Oloyede. “Nigerians should give kudos to the current JAMB registrar, Professor Ishaq Oloyede for the giant strides recorded by JAMB. He is sanitizing the system. We have always said that leadership matters a lot. JAMB is making waves because a no-nonsense man is at the helm of affairs.


It must also be admitted that Oloyede’s achievements are a reflection of the deeply embedded integrity in the numero uno citizen, President Muhammadu Buhari. It would have been another cup of tea if the president himself is of questionable character. Those who are still cynical about the change mantra have another nut to crack.


“In our closing remarks, we call for the public parade of the professional examination writers. The law must be allowed to take its full course no matter whose ox is gored. The owner of the notorious CBT center in Lagos whose two sons are involved must face the full wrath of the law while himself and his CBT center must be banned for life. He is a disgrace to parenthood”.
     

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)



Thursday, April 11, 2019

MURIC CALLS FOR JUSTICE AS BROADCASTER’S DAUGHTER, OTHERS DENIED ENTRY IN JAMB CENTERS


12th April, 2019

MURIC CALLS FOR JUSTICE
AS BROADCASTER’S DAUGHTER, OTHERS DENIED ENTRY IN JAMB CENTERS    


The daughter of a former ace broadcaster, Sulaiman Aledeh, was among several hijab-wearing female students who were denied entry at a JAMB examination center in Lagos yesterday.            


This was revealed in a tweet sent by the ex-broadcaster at exactly 8 am on Thursday, 11th April, 2019 on his twitter handle @aledeh, ‘My daughter is writing her @JAMBHQ today but she just called me now that she’s been asked to remove her hijab before she’s allowed in at the center at New Ocean School, Megida, Ayobo. Is that the rule please? She’s NOT the only one cos they’re from a MUSLIM school’.


Meanwhile the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has denounced the action of the JAMB invigilators and supervisors at the examination centers involved. MURIC’s condemnation was made known in a press statement signed by its Founder and Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.


“We are aware of the refusal of some JAMB invigilators and supervisors to allow female Muslim candidates who wore hijab to the centers to sit for the examinations. This action is despicable, repugnant and barbaric. It is also illegal, unlawful, illegitimate and unconstitutional. When will Muslim-haters grow up? When will they become democracy-compliant? When will they respect the rule of law?


“The law says hijab is constitutional (Section 38 (i) and (ii)) but they will rather follow their whims and caprices. The Muslims of the South West are being taken for granted. Our love for peaceful coexistence and our reluctance to take the law into our hands is being mistaken for cowardice.  But we will like to warn that there is a limit to patience.


“We remind Muslim haters in the South West that there are no more ‘stupid monkeys’ in Idanre. The only remaining monkeys over there are smarter than homo sapiens. Everyday may be for the oppressors and Muslim-haters but certainly there will be one day for the oppressed Muslims.


“This profiling of Muslims particularly through the denial of hijab rights has been on for a long time. The Muslim victims cry out daily. Many cases of hijab denial are in the courts. Yet the various state governments pretend as if nothing is happening. Worse still, the Federal Government has ‘decided not to interfere’. The message is very clear. The authorities are telling us that the fate of Muslims is in the hands of Muslims.  


“MURIC therefore calls on Muslims in the South West to prepare for a long, intellectual and nonviolent struggle. Female Muslim students are hereby instructed to carry recording gadgets on their persons. We want all provocations, victimisations and acts of stigmatization to be secretly recorded wherever they occur because it will be impossible to get a conviction if there is no concrete evidence.

“We charge Islamic organisations, particularly the Muslim lawyers Association (MULAN), the Muslim Teachers Association (MUTAN), the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisation (NACOMYO), the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), The Muslim Congress (TMC) to re-engineer their mobilization strategies towards deflating this rising persecution ego among Muslim-haters in the sub-region. It is high time some fanatical Muslim-haters are made to face the full wrath of the law”.


The human rights organization also alleged that a male invigilator touched the female candidates in an improper manner at the same center under the guise of carrying out searches on candidates.


“We strongly object to the way a male invigilator touched all parts of the female candidates at the center under the guise of conducting searches. It is highly unprofessional, immoral, improper and paedophilic. Men should search male candidates while women officials search female candidates. That is the global best practice.


“We aver that improper touching has occurred in this circumstance and somebody must be held accountable for it. Most of the female candidates are underaged and their parents have entrusted them into the hands of JAMB as a social contract. It is child abuse. JAMB authorities have a duty to ask questions and get appropriate answers from the center.


“Those behind this victimization hide under official assignments to perpetrate their evil acts. Unfortunately, all the government institutions which they represent declare their actions illegal. For instance, all the examination bodies have declared that hijab is allowed in examination halls. But no ad hoc or permanent staff has been punished to date for stigmatizing female Muslim students.


“Are these authorities and examination bodies waiting for the time when Muslim youths will mobilise themselves, lay in ambush and take officials who victimize female Muslims to police stations? Who shall we blame at that point? Are the Muslims in the sub-region being pushed to the wall deliberately because some people want to flex muscles or score a religious or political point?


“Although some of the JAMB candidates were later allowed to enter after being made to stay outside for a long time, we still consider this measure as unfair, uncharitable and very provocative. Muslim candidates were delayed outside the examination hall while their Christian counterparts continued writing in an examination in which all the candidates will stop at the same time.


Is this fair? Is it just? Is it equitable? It will be difficult for female Muslim candidates who were intimidated outside the hall to gain their emotional balance immediately. It is also expected that candidates who were delayed outside while their colleagues had already started writing the examination have been disadvantaged. This is one of the methods being used by Christian officials to favour Christian candidates at the expense of their Muslim counterparts.


“It is also important to note that those who persecute female Muslim candidates in hijab have never attempted the same in any part of the North. Perhaps they know the expected consequence.


“We are placing it on record for the day when records will become priceless. More importantly, we are calling the attention of the whole world to the persecution being meted out to Muslims in South West Nigeria. Our detractors are adept at spreading false propaganda.


“Although they are the perpetrators of injustice, they are always the first to rush to the United Kingdom, the United States, the United Nations, etc. Also, they always find a way to sway media sentiment to their side. But we find solace in the knowledge that truth is constant and it will always overwhelm falsehood no matter how long.


“MURIC calls on the JAMB authorities to carry out full investigation into the victimization of female Muslim candidates at New Ocean School, Megida, Ayobo. The circumstances surrounding the improper, immoral and paedophilic searches by a male on underaged girls must also be investigated.


“Before we draw the curtain, we affirm that in view of the incessant violation of extant rules by staff and ad hoc workers and the continuous criminal molestation of female Muslim candidates, JAMB and other national examination bodies like the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) owe it a duty to issue memoranda and publish advertorials containing permission to female Muslim candidates to use hijab and a clear warning to invigilators and supervisors who disallow it. Only thus can the examination bodies assure Nigerians that they are not collaborators in the age-long persecution of Muslims in the South West.     


Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


Monday, April 8, 2019

MURIC CONDEMNS INSECURITY ON ROADS TO ABUJA


9th April, 2019

PRESS RELEASE:
MURIC CONDEMNS INSECURITY ON ROADS TO ABUJA  


Latest reports in the media indicate that insecurity on roads leading to Abuja has worsened in the last three months. Travelers are attacked at will by armed robbers and kidnappers while the families of victims pay humongous sums of money as ransom.         


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned this ugly development. The human rights organization called on the authorities to rise to the occasion. This was contained in a statement signed by the Founder and Director of the group, Professor Ishaq Akintola. MURIC also frowned at what it described as ‘selected vigilance’, a situation in which the police concentrate on protecting only the rich and powerful while the masses are made to cater for themselves.


“Nigerians will remember that there was massive deployment of police personnel on Abuja-Kaduna road about two years ago, when Abuja Airport was receiving a facelift and senators and lawmakers had to travel by road from Kaduna to Abuja because aircrafts could not land at the Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.


“Police patrol vehicles were stationed at every one kilometer from Kaduna airport onto the city of Abuja. There was no single robbery or kidnapping incident on that road as a result of this palpable presence of security agents. The interesting thing to note is that the road had been notorious before lawmakers and other important government officials were forced to ply it. But the government saw the need for vigilance on that road only when its key officials and lawmakers started using it.


“Yet the sad aspect is the fact that the massive police buildup on that axis melted like ice cream in hot sun the moment Abuja airport started functioning again and those bourgeoisie politicians stopped using Abuja-Kaduna road. Worse still, those armed robbers and kidnappers resumed their deadly operations immediately the police withdrew from the road.


“MURIC complained at the time. That was in April 2017. In our press statement dated 11th April 2017, we lamented that the ad hoc security arrangement was mere window dressing and we prognosticated that it might not last for long (http://theeagleonline.com.ng/abuja-kaduna-expressway-security-arrangement-only-for-the-rich-and-powerful-muric/).  


“MURIC appreciates the challenges facing the Nigerian Police and other security agencies. Whereas the United Nations recommends at least one policeman for every 448 citizens, Nigeria is yet to meet up with this global best practice.


“We had just 310,177 policemen around 2008.  Ex-president Jonathan failed to recruit a single policeman throughout his six years in office in spite of worsening security situation around the country. But President Buhari has recruited about 20,000 during his first tenure. So we may have a total figure of 330,177 policemen as at today. But with a population of 200 million people, this still falls short of global best practices.


“The way forward, therefore, is to recruit more policemen. The usual practice of attaching several policemen to public officers may also have to be discontinued. The Nigerian Police needs sophisticated weapons, state of the art communication gadgets, large number of patrol vehicles and welfare facilities to enhance its performance. We must not focus on increasing the number of policemen alone. Meanwhile the limited police population should be judiciously deployed particularly to those dangerous roads.


“In summary, MURIC calls on the Inspector General of Police to step up security measures on Abuja-Kaduna road in particular, as well as other porous roads around the country. Nigerians do not need a police regiment which protects only the rich and influential. What we need is a people’s police force that will secure the lives and properties of both the weak and the powerful”.  


Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)