This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Two girls, Amina Ali and Serah Luka, who were abducted on 14th
April 2014 from their school hostel in Chibok have been rescued by the Nigerian
Army in collaboration with the Civillian Joint Task Force (CJTF).
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) gives kudos to the Nigerian Army and the CJTF for
making this rescue possible. We also congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari
for witnessing the happy moment when a new lease of life is being given to
The rescue of the Chibok girls has some implications.
Firstly, it shows that the 219 Chibok girls are still alive. Secondly, it
implies that professionalism is now back in the army. Thirdly, it means Boko
Haram camp is falling apart. The days of Boko Haram are numbered. Their
logistics are in shambles. They are surrounded, outnumbered and outgunned. Fourthly,
it points at low hanging fruits of Buhari’s headlong confrontation of
corruption in the military.
Furthermore, the rescue of the two Chibok girls has exposed
the hypocrisy of charlatans in corridors of power like ex-President Jonathan,
his wife and Governor Ayodele Fayose who donned the toga of doubting Thomases
over the abduction of the Chibok girls. What will they say now? Are Amina Ali
and Luka Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) from another planet?
A sixth implication can still be deduced from the rescue of
the two girls. We can safely infer that more girls will be found in the days
ahead. One of the two girls, Amina Ali, spoke of five other girls who tried to
escape with them. They must be hanging out somewhere. Our troops should
intensify the search and continue to push deep into Sambisa.
The testimony of Muhammed Hayatu, purported husband of one
of the rescued girls, is quite instructive and may form a seventh implication
in our postulate. He said hunger and poor health made him surrender. This means
that the army’s strategic targeting of Boko Haram logistics, their fuel and
food supplies is working.
An eighth inference can still be made. The rescued ‘husband’
claimed that he was not a member of Boko Haram ab initio but was captured by them and forcefully conscripted. This
reveals a lot about the modus operandi
of the insurgent group.
In retrospect, it is sad that we are witnessing piece-meal rescue
today. Had it been early had been good. But it was delayed for too long by the
former president who waited for 18 painful days before issuing orders for
In comparison, 3 girls abducted this year from a Christian
seminary in Lagos were rescued within 48 hours because the Governor, Akinwumi
Ambode, personally joined in the search which started immediately after the
abduction. Jonathan’s cold and lackadaisical attitude to the kidnap of the
Chibok girls are responsible for the long delay, the pain and the suffering.
MURIC salutes Nigerian soldiers fighting Boko Haram
insurgents. They are the heroes of our time. But they must not relent. The war
against insurgency must be pursued to a logical conclusion in order to serve as
a deterrent to religious bigots, rebellious subjects and all enemies of peace.
We appeal to the Federal Government (FG) to properly and
fully rehabilitate the girls. It is reassuring that President Buhari has
declared that Amina Ali would go back to school. We suggest that FG should give
scholarship to all rescued Chibok girls up to tertiary level.
We urge parents of the Chibok girls and the entire Chibok
community to exercise patience. The issue of rescuing kidnapped persons is
highly technical. It can boomerang if not properly handled. This rescue has
shown light at the end of the tunnel. It has also proved that Nigeria has not
forgotten the girls. You are not alone. We stand by you at these moments of
grief. We share your pain.
Finally, we congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari for
this great feat. There is no doubt that the rescues were made possible by the
full support he gave the Nigerian military as well as his ‘no-nonsense’ mien.
Mr. President has also won the hearts of Nigerians by opening the doors of Aso
Rock to Amina Ali, the first rescued Chibok girl within 48 hours of her gaining
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
NLC THREAT OF SHOWDOWN OVER
DEREGULATION: DIALOGUE IS BETTER
The Federal Government (FG) yesterday announced the deregulation of the
oil sector. The price of oil was raised from N85 per litre to N145 and below. A
tornado of criticisms has greeted the new price and the Nigeria Labour Congress
(NLC) has threatened a showdown with FG.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) calls on all stakeholders, particularly NLC, to
do a critical analysis of the situation and adopt dialogue instead of open
confrontation with the government on the issue.
We call attention to FG’s sober statement in which it described the decision
to increase the price of petrol as ‘difficult and painful’. We regard such
statement as emanating from a government which has feelings for the citizenry
and considers itself as part of the masses.
is an urgent need to recall the characteristics of good governance so far
demonstrated by President Buhari’s administration. It has checked financial
recklessness in the public sector. It has also imposed disciplinary measures on
Exempli gratia, some ministers are still squatting
in Abuja because President Muhammadu Buhari refused to approve N200 million for
each minister as done in past administrations. A ban has been placed on foreign
medical treatment and travelling first class in aircrafts for public officials.
Any government which takes these steps deserves the support of civil society
and the ordinary citizens, not its antagonism. We should understand the
difference between a financially prudent administration and a reckless and an
overtly corrupt regime.
We therefore appeal to the NLC and the rest of civil
society to adopt dialogue in the present circumstance. Civil society needs responsible
leadership at this critical moment. It is true that we are the voice of the voiceless
and defenders of the poor and downtrodden. But we are not just there to make
noise arbitrarily. Good governance should be complemented with responsible and
mature approach on the part of civil society.
Activists should not just make noise for the sake of
making their presence felt. Neither should we dissipate energy unnecessarily.
It is when we show understanding that we are being reasonable. It is irrational
to go all out when government puts all the cards on the table for all to see.
We are not enemies of the government. We are here to complement government’s
efforts as partners in progress.
Civil society should therefore sit down to objectively
appraise the situation. We should try to understand the raison d’etre for the removal of subsidy which includes the subsidy
fraud phenomenon and the cabal behind it, the free fall in oil price, etc…
Although critics may argue that Nigerians should rise
against the removal of oil subsidy because they resisted same during the
Jonathan administration, we contend that the situation is now different and the
same parameters cannot be applied. There was no fall in oil price when the ex-President
removed oil subsidy. Nigeria was producing 2.4 million barrels of oil daily,
selling at $93.61 per barrel, earning $224 million per day and $81 billion per
The scenario has since changed for the worse and Buhari is now
neck-deep in crisis management. As at 7th May 2016, Nigeria produced
2.7 million barrels per day and sold at $42.3 per barrel.
Whereas corruption was Nigeria’s middle name during the
Jonathan era, the Buhari regime is globally certified as transparent and
credible. We all should feel proud that both the Archbishop of Canterbury and
Transparency International rose to Nigeria’s defence two days ago when David
Cameron derogatorily referred to Nigeria as one of the two most corrupt nations
of the world.
Only the tiny cabal would have benefitted from removal of
subsidy under Jonathan. This informed the mass demonstrations at that time. But
poor Nigerians stand to benefit if subsidy is removed under a transparent
leader. That is why we do not need to agitate over the current increase. It is
a difficult phase that will pass onto prosperity.
These are the yardsticks which objective critics and
members of the civil society should be looking at. Not sentiments, not gallery
dancing, not grandstanding. We should not play into the hands of corrupt politicians
whose executive agent provocateurcum enfantterrible has already started inciting the NLC against FG.
Finally, we charge FG to set the machinery in motion for
dialogue with NLC. We appeal to civil society, the press and all Nigerians to
continue to support the central government in its quest to make life more
meaningful to all.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
The British Prime Minister, David Cameron declared yesterday that Nigeria
and Afghanistan are the worst corrupt countries of the world. In a swift
reaction, however, the Nigerian Presidency described Cameron’s statement as ‘embarrassing’.
It argued that the British Prime Minister had failed to take into consideration
Nigeria’s current anti-corruption campaign.
the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) agrees with David Cameron’s rating of Nigeria
on corruption, we posit that the comment is belated, misleading and
It is belated because it does not reflect the true picture on ground today,
particularly in Nigeria’s corridor of power as well as its civil service. Things
have changed. It is misleading because his comment is capable of being
misinterpreted as representing the general opinion of the British people but Archbishop
Justin Welby’s interjection put paid to that. It is hypocritical because
Western countries, Britain inclusive, which open the doors of their financial
institutions for looters from other countries are to blame for the persistence
of corruption in developing countries.
must be noted that Archbishop Welby’s endorsement of President Buhari’s
anti-corruption crusade and his testimony to the latter’s credibility is a
trillion-dollar feather in the Presidency’s hat.
Cameron’s remark is belated because it failed to take cognizance of three
landmark policies presently making change possible in Nigeria. Firstly, the introduction
and implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has blocked many
leakages and has succeeded, within one year of its introduction, in netting
more than N3 trillion for the Federal Government (FG).
Secondly, FG forbade public officials from travelling first class on
aircrafts at government’s expense. Thirdly, foreign medical treatment for
government officials has been put on hold. These were the conduit pipes used to
siphon public funds in the past.
Cameron made his remarks 365 days ago he would have hit the mark. His
corruption comment of yesterday should have come in the days of financial
recklessness which was championed by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. The latter
shocked Nigerians when he declared that stealing was not corruption and looked
the other way as his ministers and aides looted the treasury silly.
should not be pointing at the speck in Nigeria’s eyes. Rather, it should do
something about the log in its own eyes and very quickly too. Why does Britain
allow looters from Nigeria to keep stolen money in British banks? Why does
Britain make it extremely difficult for funds stolen from Nigeria to be
repatriated even after indubitable evidence has been provided? Britain is
therefore an accomplice in this corruption saga.
Can Cameron tell the world that his country has not been benefitting from
the stolen funds? What does British law say about a person who receives stolen
property? Or is it in British character to aid and abet stealing? These posers
are not for Britain alone. Countries like Switzerland and the United States of
America have a moral burden on their conscience. A Yoruba proverb says the man
who steals things kept in the ceiling is not the real thief, the big thief is
the one who stayed on the ground to receive the stolen goods.
The same questions should be answered by the World Bank and the United
Nations Organization. The West is sitting on Nigeria’s wealth. The World Bank
and the UN are using ‘natural selection’ and looking the other way as these
powerful but selfish countries strangulate poor nations. The Darwinian theory
of the survival of the fittest remains pertinent here because it is clear that the
UN has failed to enforce global financial morality.
a concluding remark, MURIC calls on Britain to seize the opportunity of hosting
the World Summit on Corruption to clear itself of the charge of being an
international accomplice of looters.This can be done by declaring a short deadline
for the release of all stolen funds presently domiciled in Britain back to
their original countries.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)