Monday, May 20, 2024

MURIC TO MINISTER UJU: GET JUSTICE FOR MOLESTED NURSE

 


20th May, 2024

PRESS RELEASE:

MURIC TO MINISTER UJU: GET JUSTICE FOR MOLESTED NURSE

 

A civil liberties group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called on the Minister for Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy Ohanenye, to fight for a nurse who was severely beaten for daring to come out during masquerade festival. The group argued that the nurse, not the 100 orphan girls in Minna, needed the Minister's urgent intervention.

 

MURIC's call was contained in a statement circulated on Monday, 20th May, 2024 by its Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola. 

 

He said further:

 

"MURIC is in possession of a video clip in which a nurse in her white uniform who was being driven to work by a motorcyclist was beaten to a pulp by masquerades. The nurse, writhing in pain, ended up inside a dirty gutter. The only crime committed by the nurse was that she dared to come out during the masquerade festival. 

 

"We strongly condemn the action of the masquerades. It is wicked, inhuman and barbaric. This is violence against women taken too far. 

 

"The order given to women in the community to stay indoors during the masquerade festival was discriminatory, chavinistic and anti-feminine. It infringes upon Allah-given fundamental human rights of women. It also breaches Section 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which guarantees freedom of movement for all Nigerians regardless of their gender.

 

"It is similar to curfews imposed on women in the South West by traditional worshippers of Oro cult. Sometimes, week-long restrictions are issued against innocent women while men are allowed to roam freely. These Oro curfews and masquerade restrictions are tools of tyranny, male chauvinism and gender segregation. They are illegal, illegitimate, unlawful and unconstitutional.

 

"Interestingly, those who do this against women are fully aware of its illegality but they still do it. It is impunity of the highest order. Unfortunately the law enforcement agents who should stop them and protect women have become complicit. as these atrocities are committed under their noses. 

 

“Traditional rulers in the areas where these curfews are imposed are equally guilty of favouring one faith over another. The same traditional rulers may also be responsible for the nonchalance of the security agencies towards the atrocities being committed by traditionalists.

 

"For whereas it is against the law for any unauthorized person to declare a curfew or enforce a restriction of people's movement, masquerade and Oro worshippers do so with reckless abandon. Law enforcement agencies know that only the president, governor or chairman of a local government, as the case may be, have the power to impose a curfew or any form of restriction but they pretend not to be aware of the excesses of traditional worshippers. 

 

"These are the areas where Nigerians need Minister Uju's intervention. She must curb the overzealousness of traditional worshippers particularly what the latter exhibit against vulnerable Nigerian women.

 

"In particular, we need her now to get justice for the unknown nurse who was brutally manhandled by masquerades. It is interesting that the incident occurred in Nsukka, the same city where the minister obtained her first degree in law. She will therefore find it easy to trace both the victim and her traducers. 

 

"We assure her that she will enjoy our full support stopping the excesses of Oro worshippers and masquerades who target women with illegal curfews and movement restrictions in the South East and South West. 

 

"On the contrary, we do not need her to stop Muslim weddings in the North, whether mass or single. The myth of an uncivilized and uneducated North exists only in the figment of imagination of Muslim haters. Our Islamic scholars and Imams know when to allow or disallow an Islamic wedding. They need no official from Abuja to breathe down their necks.

 

“Minister Uju should get down to real business. Get justice for this molested nurse. Stop chasing shadows in Minna. Turn your searchlights to the South once in a while. Stop Oro worshippers and masqueraders from oppressing women down South.

 

“This lawyer minister has the penchant for litigation. She once threatened to sue the United Nations for allegedly misusing funds meant for Nigeria. She has actually gone to court over the proposed wedding of 100 orphan girls in Minna. But when will she sue the persecutors of innocent little girls who are disallowed from entering examination halls and from using hijab at all in the South West and South East? Or is her fight for womenfolk meant to be selective? Uju should let the Muslims go."

 

#MolestedNurse

#MinisterUju

#StopSelectiveFightForWomen

 

Professor Ishaq Akintola, 

Founder/Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).

 

Saturday, May 18, 2024

MINISTER UJU WILL HEAR FROM OUR LAWYERS – MURIC

 


18th May, 2024

PRESS RELEASE:

MINISTER UJU WILL HEAR FROM OUR LAWYERS – MURIC

 

As the Minister for Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, denied the withdrawal of the court case involving the proposed marriage of 100 orphan girls in Niger State, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC, has vowed to challenge the minister’s ex parte motion.

 

In a statement issued on Saturday, 18th May, 2024, the Executive Director of the human rights group, Professor Ishaq Akintola, accused the minister of ignoring the criminalities, intimidation, harassment, dehumanization and oppression to which the Muslim girl child is subjected in the South only for her to overzealously rush to court to frustrate a genuine effort to rescue Muslim girls in the North from hunger, starvation and acute poverty.

 

The group added :

 

“The Minister for Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, yesterday allegedly denied the withdrawal of the court case involving the proposed marriage of 100 orphan girls in Niger State. Earlier reports had stated that she had withdrawn her motion ex parte (https://www.channelstv.com/2024/05/17/minister-withdraws-orphan-marriage-suit-against-nassembly-speaker/)

 

“However, if the news emerging from several media outlets today is true and she has not withdrawn the motion (https://punchng.com/orphan-marriage-case-is-still-in-court-says-minister/), we of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) have no choice than to dust our files. Minister Uju will hear from our lawyers, ceteris paribus.

 

“We are still wondering if the minister consulted the ministry of justice for advice before rushing to court? Did she assume she could use the ministry for her whims and caprices? Is the Ministry of Women Affairs owned by the Nigerian Government or is it the minister’s personal property?

 

“If it belongs to the Nigerian government, then it belongs to the Nigerian people and Nigerian Muslims are an integral part of the people of Nigeria. Therefore, can any matter involving the culture and tradition of Northern Muslims be treated without any consideration for the practice of Northern Muslims in such matters?

 

“Is the minister aware that mass weddings are not a new phenomenon in the North? Is she aware that it has been organized in the North several times by state governments? 

 

“Where was this minister when several state governments in the North conducted mass weddings? 1,000 couples were joined in marriage at the palace of the Emir of Kano in 2012 (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-18072118). Ex-Governor Ganduje married off 1,111 couples in December 2013 (https://apnews.com/389f2664e07b419889814f37488a81d3).

 

“The ancient Islamic city of Kano witnessed another mass wedding on 6th May, 2019 (https://www.africanews.com/2019/05/06/mass-wedding-in-nigeria-s-kano-state-ahead-of-ramadan//). Again in 2023, the Kano State Government conducted mass weddings of 1,800 women on 17th October, 2023 (https://www.africanews.com/2023/10/17/nigerias-kano-state-holds-mass-wedding-for-1800-couples//).

 

“Even this year 2024, in Kebbi State, mass weddings were held for 300 couples on 29th January, 2024. That was four months ago (https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/663232-kebbi-holds-maiden-mass-wedding-for-over-300-couples.html?tztc=1). The wedding was organised by the state government under Hajia Nafisa Idris, wife of the state governor, through her pet project, Nafisa Nasir Development Foundation (NANAS).

 

“Government is a continuum. There was a Federal Government (FG) in place all these years when mass weddings took place in several states of Northern Nigeria but FG did not object to the exercise.

 

“Is Minister Uju’s Ministry of Women Affairs another entity outside the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Is she running a ‘government’ within a government? Or is she driven by some primordial sentiment? Nigerians want to know. No minister should behave in such a way as be perceived as a Muslim-hater or anti-Christian. Uju’s own is just too open.

 

“The case of the 100 girls in Niger State is even more pathetic. They were orphans already engaged to their elected suitors but no parents to spend on their part of the ceremony as required by tradition. All their parents have been killed by bandits. The original number of orphan girls was even 270, not 100. The state’s Speaker, Rt Hon Abdulmalik Sarkin-Daji, could not sponsor all. He therefore offered to sponsor 100 only. 

 

“Now, why would the minister allow some and stop another? Why should mass wedding be allowed in Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, etc but disallowed in Niger when the exercise is among the same Muslims and no single Christian girl or man is among the couples? Is this not selective justice? Feminists suddenly wake up from their slumber when Muslim girls decide to follow the culture of Islam.

 

“It is quite ‘convenient’ for Minister Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye to show no interest whatsoever in Muslim girls in the South who are intimidated daily. They are subjected to criminalities, intimidation, harassment, dehumanization, oppression, depression and downpression in the hands of Christian government officials.

 

“Are they not ‘women’? Don't they fall within the purview and jurisdiction of the Ministry of Women Affairs? This minister will not protect Muslim girls under severe religious persecution in the South but will go out of her way to stop the Muslims of Northern Nigeria from protecting their girls from rape and prostitution.

 

“Southern Muslim girls are disenfranchised at every election as they are disallowed from registration and voting with hijab on their heads. They are sent out of school for wearing hijab. But the minister is ‘not aware’ of these horrible violations of the Allah-given fundamental human rights of Muslim girls in the South.

 

“Uju’s ministry will not defend oppressed Muslim women who are insulted and harassed daily in health centres in the South for wearing hijab. They are denied treatment unless they removed their hijab.

 

“One pertinent question for the minister, ‘Are girls who want to marry not better by far than those who hit the clubs daily, take hard drugs and prostitute openly? Are girls who want to marry men not better by far than girls who want to marry girls of same sex? Just asking ma.

 

“Honourable Minister ma, why persecuteth thou our daughters? Even your alibi of Child Rights Act is irrelevant because the state governments in the North have already domesticated it to suit the religion of Islam. So why stir the hornet’s nest?

 

“We will not accept Western views and values as benchmark for all. Our mature girls want to marry men, not women as in lesbianism while our men want to marry girls, not men as in homosexualism which is being promoted by the West. It is a pity that a Nigerian ministry which is expected to serve the interest of Nigerians has elected to do the bidding of the imperialists. 

 

“In view of the fact that the original number of orphan girls was 270 and the Speaker could only sponsor 100, we hereby request that the Niger State Government should gracefully and compassionately sponsor a mass wedding for the remaining 170 girls at a date not too distant. 

 

“Perhaps Minister Uju does not understand the full implications of what she has done. Nigerian Muslims desire to fulfill a religious obligation, namely, marrying off their mature daughters but the minister chose to stop them by going to court. In essence she has challenged Nigerian Muslims and she wants to force them to follow Christo-Western culture. It will never happen. Minister Uju will hear from our lawyers.” 

 

#100GirlsMassWedding

#MinisterLeaveMuslimGirlsAlone

 

Professor Ishaq Akintola, 

Founder/Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).

 

Thursday, May 16, 2024

ALLOW MARRIAGE OF 100 NIGER STATE ORPHANS : MURIC TELLS MINISTER

 


17th MAY, 2024

PRESS RELEASE

ALLOW MARRIAGE OF 100 NIGER STATE ORPHANS : MURIC TELLS MINISTER

 

— Urges Nigerians to learn to respect each others' culture and traditions.

 

Nigeria's foremost Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called on the minister for women affairs and social development, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, to withdraw the litigation threat and ill-advised petition she wrote to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), over the proposed sponsor of the marriage of 100 orphaned girls by the Honorable Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Abdulmalik Sarkin-Daji. The event was slated to take place on May 24, 2024.

 

The call was contained in a statement released on Friday, 17th May, 2024, by the group's Kano State chapter Chairman, Malam Hassan Sani Indabawa.

 

Malam Indabawa said:

 

"We found as weird the harsh and hasty decision taken by the Honorable Minister for women affairs over a matter that is entirely beyond the scope of her ministry.

 

"The minister's attempt at media demonization of marrying off of 100 poor and orphaned girls, who were largely traumatized for losing both parents to brutal and bloody banditry and insurgency, exposed her ignorance to the culture and traditions of the Muslim north; and has further as well, demonstrated her lack of empathy, compassion and respect for other people's culture and tradition.

 

"Speaking to journalists on Monday, May 13, the minister

said she had approached a court of law to stop the speaker of the Niger state house of Assembly from marrying off 100 prospective brides. She also disclosed that she had petitioned the I-G of Police over Sarkin-Daji's plan.

 

"This elaborate media blitz, over the matter, MURIC observed, was deliberately done to sway public opinion against the marriage institution, and an attempt to vilify Sarkin-Daji, after demonstrating his genuine concern to the needs of members of his constituency.

 

"Addressing a press conference on Tuesday 14, May, 2024, the speaker, who was distraught, had told the world that the story made by the minister was untrue, malicious and a mere speculation. 'I didn't force any girl into marriage and I didn't arrange the marriage of anybody', he said.

 

"The speaker explained that he announced plans to support orphaned girls, especially victims of banditry attacks following an appeal by religious and traditional leaders from his constituency. He further disclosed his surprise at the way the minister tried to smear his name and reputation without any background check or even calling him as a leader, to hear his own side of the story. 'The honourable minister should have got across to me directly...rather than making topic out of it', he added.

 

"However, making a topic out of everything, has become the hallmark of minister Kennedy-Ohanenye, leading oftentimes, to avoidable embarrassment.

 

"In January, 2024, The Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, visited the Chief of Army Staff, Taoreed Lagbaja, at the high command in Abuja over the case of a female soldier.

 

"Ruth Ogunleye, a female soldier of the Nigerian Army, accused some  senior army officers of sexual harassment, intimidation and threat to life. She also claimed her salary was stopped in February 2023.

 

"The minister, during her visit to the military high command, was however 'informed with documented evidence that the lady’s salary was never stopped as she was paid up to December 2023.'

 

"In February, 2024, same Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, placed a N2 million bounty on an Anambra State-based lawyer, Adachukwu Chukelu-Okafor, for allegedly burning her 11-year old house help. A simple administrative protocol would require her to file a report with Anambra Police Command.

 

"In a mother-of-all gaffes, the minister, in October 2023, told the world in a press conference that she was going to sue the United Nations if the body did not provide reports on all the monies they sourced from donors in Nigeria’s name, by November 15. What an egregious gaffe!

 

"Since her appointment as women affairs minister, she has become famous for some weird statements made in public. She was seen on TV recently suggesting that children can be engaged in tooth pick, sanitary pads production, thereby promoting child labour which she is supposed to condemn by virtue of her position.

 

"The case of speaker, Niger State House of Assembly is therefore another one of her several gaffes, depicting lack of administrative and leadership skills. Some simple steps should have been taken before exploding the issue on social media. First is to call the speaker, initiate a courtesy visit to meet with the speaker and perhaps some religious and traditional leaders from the state to share ideas and understand their cultural and traditional peculiarity, which the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria not only recognized, but has guaranteed.

 

"Then there is Justice Fati Lami Abubakar, a former first lady, former Chief Judge of Niger state and founder of Women's Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA). Founded in 1999, WRAPA is a women-focused, non-governmental organization whose mission is actualizing the legal rights of women in private and public spaces. WRAPA seeks to advance and protect the rights of women and girls as one of its core goals. Most importantly, Justice Fati Abubakar lives in Minna, where Sarkin-Daji holds sway as Speaker of the house.

 

"The Federation of Muslim Women's Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN) is another association which the minister should have engaged, considering, that is, if she knows her onions. FOMWAN is a not-for-profit civil society umbrella body for Muslim women's associations in Nigeria. 

 

"The minister did none of this, but instead, came down heavily on the speaker with threats of fire and brimstone, failing to recognise the social and political status of the office of a state assembly speaker. Minister does not have to behave like the head of an NGO. Government ministries do not rush to court at the first instance!

 

"We, at MURIC, therefore, categorically and unequivocally call on minister Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye to immediately withdraw the purported legal case she has filed and equally withdraw the petition she had written to the I-G of Police to avoid an imminent embarrassment because, in this matter, no law has been breached and no coercion was ever to be established. 

 

"We believe, had the minister initiated some engagement with all the relevant stakeholders before rushing to press, she won't be facing another imminent embarrassment that awaited her if she refuses to recognize the diversity and religious peculiarity of some sections of Nigeria. The speaker, Niger state house of assembly, should also continue with the good work he has been doing in meeting the demands of his constituency members. The marriage preparation of the 100 prospective brides must go on as no law was broken.

 

"In the end, MURIC calls on the Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN), FOMWAN, WRAPA and other CSOs to remain vigilant. The minister's next move must be keenly watched. 

 

"The women affairs minister should also get educated on the constitutional guarantee bestowed on all Nigerians to practice their religious, cultural and traditional customs without let or hindrance. The Nigerian constitution and the Human rights Act provide for fundamental rights of persons to enter into marriage for any couples in Nigeria; Niger state 100 prospective brides, therefore, should not be an exception. By the way, where was the minister when the governments of some Northern states were organising similar mass marriages?"

 

 

Malam Hassan Sani Indabawa

Chairman,

Kano State Chapter

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC),

 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

IMPLICATIONS OF CITING FOREIGN BASES IN NIGERIA – MURIC

 


16th May, 2024

PRESS RELEASE:

IMPLICATIONS OF CITING FOREIGN BASES IN NIGERIA – MURIC

 

An Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has shed more light on the implications of a foreign military base in Nigeria. The group insisted that such a move has dire security consequences for the country, particularly loss of territorial sovereignty, the abdication of national dignity and admission of self-inferiority.        

 

The human rights advocacy group spoke on Thursday, 16th May, 2024 via its arrowhead, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

 

Akintola gave his reasons:

 

“There is every reason to put to rest the ongoing debate on the likelihood of the United States of America (US) citing its military base in Nigeria after its exit from the Sahel. The most important is the denial by the Federal Government (FG) that it has no intention to permit the US to cite its base in the country.

 

“We must give FG the benefit of doubt but at the same time we must continue to sensitise Nigerians on the issue. They need to know why no foreign country, not even a neighbouring African country, should be allowed to set up a military base in Nigeria, talk less of a world power bent on unipolarisation. Our people need such enlightenment because Nigeria is the ancestral home of articulated gullibility.

 

“We therefore see the need for a follow-up to our press release of Sunday 5th May, 2024 captioned ‘No To US Bases in Nigeria – MURIC’ (https://independent.ng/muric-cautions-tinubu-on-proposed-us-french-military-bases-in-nigeria/; https://www.muricnigeria.com/no-to-us-french-bases-in-nigeria-muric/).

 

“The example of Ghana is enough lesson for Nigeria. The Ghanaian president was denied access into the US military base in Ghana after the base had been set up. This is a serious security breach because if the president of a country cannot enter any place within the country, it means even their security agencies cannot enter that place.

 

“It also means America or France can hide criminals, fugitives and kidnapped ‘persons of interest’ (for rendition) in any military base in the country thereby frustrating our security agencies and giving them inferiority complex.

 

“With a US military base in Ghana, US soldiers cannot be held accountable in the Ghanaian law court if they kill Ghanaians or commit any atrocity. It means US soldiers will be above the law if they are allowed to set up a military base in Nigeria. That will be a calamity of unimaginable proportion.

 

“According to the defence agreement between Ghana and the US, no Nigerian can sue the US military if it destroys his or her property. US soldiers cannot be sued for damages if their drone mistakenly or deliberately destroys a residential or school building, killing the occupants, even if the victims are children or pregnant women. Do we want that to happen in Nigeria?

 

“Based on the same defence pact, Ghana gave the US base radio frequencies pro bono but Ghanaians must pay millions for communication licence before they can establish radio and television stations. This implies that Americans are super homo sapiens inside Ghana whereas the citizens who are the tax payers and the aboriginals are inferior human beings.

 

“By virtue of the same military agreement, neither the immigration or customs men in Ghana can search the body of a US soldier entering or leaving Ghana. Nigeria would have compromised its security and abdicated its responsibility to protect its citizens if this should happen on Nigerian soil.

 

“Besides, US soldiers do not need any international travelling passport to enter Ghana at any time because the defence pact between Ghana and the US covers them. But no Ghanaian soldier can enter the US without a valid Ghanaian passport. Where is reciprocity? Where is mutual respect?

 

“Can Nigeria stomach such a one-sided agreement? Does it not give the impression that countries which allow foreign military bases to be cited in them are inferior to the overlords?

 

“By the way, can America allow Nigeria to station a battalion of its army in Washington in the North or Florida in the South? Shouldn’t such agreements be based on mutual respect?

 

“There is yet another potent raison d’etre. Any country that allows a foreign power to launch an attack from its soil automatically becomes a target of the country that was attacked. That was what happened recently when Iran warned neighbouring Arab countries that they would also become its targets if they allow Israel or the US to launch a strike at it from their soil.

 

“Again, the closer a military base belonging to the US or France is to our country, the greater the danger of drone strikes on Nigerians perceived, rightly or wrongly, to be working against the interest of those two countries.

 

“It is an open secret that the US is fond of interfering in the affairs of other countries and imposing its own values on those countries. History does not forget. It is on record that the US has invaded many countries in several parts of the world.

 

“In chronological order, America invaded Guatemala in 1954, Cuba in 1961, Guyana also in 1961, the Dominican Republic in 1965, Chile in 1970, Nicaragua in 1981, Grenada in 1983, Panama in 1989, Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003.

 

“The ground for the invasion of Nigeria was being prepared when, like a garrison commander to his captive, Donald Trump asked ex-President Muhammadu Buhari in April 2018, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’ (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-01-18/trump-questioned-nigerian-president-about-killing-of-christians).

 

“Nigeria cannot afford the risk of allowing such a country that believed that a section of the country is killing the other with the express permission and participation of its leader to set up a military base in the country. It will make it too easy for the US to see another Manuel Noriega in Aso Rock and give it cause to revisit the Panama scenario in Abuja for the purpose of reenacting Operation Just Cause.

 

“MURIC is aware that Nigerians are a gymnastically religious people. But this is not religion. The issue of citing a military base has nothing to do with religion. It is national interest. Nigerians should not fool themselves by thinking a US base in their country will give the adherents of a particular religion an edge over other faiths.

 

“Neither is our position for the American case alone. We will react the same way we have done now if Iran or Syria decides to cite its military base in Nigeria. Neither are we swayed by ideological consideration of anti-capitalism because we will reject any request for a military base from the communists too, be it Russia or China. We should be allowed to remain neutral between the West and its foes.

 

“As we drop the anchor, MURIC commends FG for coming out boldly to debunk the rumour of the likelihood of citing US and/or French military bases in Nigeria. It is another evidence that this administration listens to its citizens and engages them in national discourse. We urge Nigerians to give FG the benefit of doubt. Those who never believe their own government will end up as professional doubting Thomases.”

 

#ForeignMilitaryBase

#NigeriansNotSecondClassCitizens

 

Professor Ishaq Akintola, 

Founder/Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).

 

Sunday, May 12, 2024

CYBERSECURITY LEVY BY INDIVIDUALS: A LIE FROM THE PIT OF JAHANNAM - MURIC

 


13th May, 2024

PRESS RELEASE:

CYBERSECURITY LEVY BY INDIVIDUALS: A LIE FROM THE PIT OF JAHANNAM - MURIC

… Warns against inciting Nigerians against government.

 

Nigerians have been advised to ignore rumours of cybersecurity levy payable by individuals because it is not true. The advice was given by an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC). 

 

In a statement issued on Monday, 13th May, 2024, the Executive Director of the human rights advocacy group, Professor Ishaq Akintola, debunked the idea of a cybersecurity levy to be paid by individuals. He insisted that the 0.5% levy will only be paid by banks and other financial institutions, telecommunication outlets, insurance companies and the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

 

He said further:

 

"The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has been disturbed by the recent hullabaloo over the cybersecurity levy recently announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria which some unscrupulous elements deliberately distorted by spreading false, unfounded and baseless allegation that individual Nigerians were required to pay the cybersecurity levy. This is a lie from the pit of Jahannam. 

 

"According to Section 42(a) of the Cybercrime Act 2024 the 0.5% levy is actually meant for banks and other financial institutions, telecommunication outlets, insurance companies and the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Unfortunately those who have some axe to grind with the Tinubu administration saw it as an opportunity to incite Nigerians against the Federal Government (FG). That was why they spread the false information that individuals will have to pay the cybersecurity levy. This is far from the truth.

 

"MURIC strongly condemns this attempt to cause disaffection, distrust and pandemonium in the country using misinformation, disinformation, provocation and outright incitement of Nigerians against the Federal Government (FG). This action smirks of desperation, recklessness and irresponsibility on the part of critics, detractors, the opposition and any other group or groups that may be behind the falsification. 

 

"In particular, the disinformation embarked upon in the last 24 hours in which it was claimed that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had ordered the discontinuation of the cybersecurity levy (https://dailypost.ng/2024/05/12/cbn-tinubu-reportedly-orders-suspension-of-cybersecurity-levy/) amounts to a deliberate attempt to hijack government's channels of communication.

 

"These actions are marks of a desperate opposition ready to use all means, fair and foul, moral and immoral, legal and illegal, to get what it wants, namely, to take over the reins of governance through unconstitutional means. 

 

"Like Niccolo Machiavelli, the Italian philosopher (1469 – 1527), those behind this disgraceful scheme believe that the end justifies the means, including the needless and wasteful sacrifice of the lives of Nigerians whose deaths are likely to guaranteeing ccur in the ensuing chaos. 

 

"MURIC is not allergic to criticism if it is objective. It adds luster to governance in a multiparty democracy. Criticism is acceptable so long as it is constructive but what we are seeing these days from some members of the opposition is archaic and bohemian.

 

 "We warn Nigerians not to fall for these unconventional manoeuvres. Those who instigate the citizens against a legitimate and purposeful government through luciferous manipulations and rabid, hydrophobic lies capable of making Joseph Goebbels (1897 – 1945, Adolf Hitler's professional liar) turn in his grave are incapable of guaranteeing free speech, mature and responsible leadership, transparency, probity and accountability if Nigerians make the mistake of making them their leaders come 2027.  

 

 "Nigerians must reject anarchists and shameless liars. The need for Nigerians to apply some caveat to the false propaganda being rolled out by some elements in the opposition is sine qua non to a healthy democratic heritage, a peaceful environment plus the attendant economic growth and political stability.

 

"That caveat can be achieved through careful screening and cross-checking of information to enable us separate the wheat from the chaff, fake news from genuine information, liars and agent provocateur from a truthful and responsible government. 

 

“Just as the Glorious Qur’an warns Muslim faithfuls to beware of bearers of false information, ‘If an ungodly person brings any news to you, you must investigate its veracity so that your next action will not hurt the innocent and you will regret that action’ (Qur’an 49:6), the Bible also implores Christians to ‘Investigate all matters and hold on to that which is the truth’ (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

 

"Nobody can accuse this administration of docility or nonchalance with regards to feeding Nigerians with necessary information whenever necessary. Government's spokespersons always add their names to government’s official statements. We therefore advise that Nigerians should ignore all kinds of information purportedly coming from government but which do not contain names of its spokespersons. 

 

"Nigeria would have taken one big step forward in information dissemination if the media would take the above advise very seriously. It is lazy journalism if we fail to crosscheck particularly when journalists have access to government’s spokespersons. We can take professionalism in journalism to the level of global best practices."

 

#CybersecurityLevyNotForIndividuals

#StopIncitingNigerians

 

Professor Ishaq Akintola, 

Founder/Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).