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'
The Nigerian community is currently facing an ethnic controversy as Fulani
herdsmen are being accused of attacking their fellow Nigerians on their
farmlands. The complaints have spread from the plains of Plateau State to Benue
in the North and from Ondo in the South West to Enugu in the South East.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) strongly condemns the alleged killings. In line
with our avowed motto, ‘Dialogue, Not Violence’, we denounce all acts of
violence, all actions capable of disturbing the peace and all statements calculated
to cause public disorder.
We remind the Federal Government (FG) that security of
lives and properties of all Nigerians is its inalienable responsibility. Article 14
Section 2(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states
that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of
According to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’
Rights, Article 4, Clause 1 & 2, “Human beings are inviolable. Every human
being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his
person.” As a signatory to the African Charter, the FG should take urgent steps
to protect lives and properties and also bring perpetrators of crimes to book.
Nonetheless, MURIC still calls on all stakeholders to
exercise restraintas nothing has so far been proved against anybody. We must
allow the security agencies to pursue the matter to a logical conclusion. All
allegations at this point remain assumptions. Article 7(b) of the African Charter on Human
and Peoples’ Rights stipulates the right to be presumed innocent until proven
guilty by a competent court or tribunal.
We call on Nigerians to consider the huge pressure on the
corporate existence of the country as manifested in the Nigeria-Biafra war of
1967 to 1971, the June 12 saga from 1993 to 1999, the numerous religious crisis
experienced in the country, the Niger Delta militancy over resource control
which is still ongoing, the Boko Haram insurgency which is just about dying out
and the reincarnation of Biafra in form of renewed agitations from the Eastern
All the above took heavy tolls on the Nigerian nation in
terms of human lives and collateral damage and it has been a miracle that
Nigeria has survived all. A new crisis under the guise of attacks by Fulani herdsmen
poses a very serious threat to the corporate existence of Nigeria and no one
can predict its outcome.
It is noteworthy that there are backlashes already. Seven
youths of Northern extinction who engaged in tricycle business in Ugwuaji,
Enugu South Local Government were allegedly killed and secretly buried in
January this year. There are calls by ethnic groups and individuals from the
South East and the South West for Northerners to leave the region.
MURIC considers these calls as premature, unjustifiable
and untenable. The calls for certain ethnic groups to leave particular regions
are tainted with ethnic jingoism. They are as parochial as they are myopic.
Our position is based on facts emerging from police
investigations into alleged Fulani killings and attacks. For example, the Elogba
and the Egba in Benue State clash which claimed 60 lives was blamed on Fulani
herdsmen. The kidnappers of Chief Olu Falae who were citizens of Niger State were
led by one Baba Olu, a Yoruba man, but Fulani herdsmen were blamed for it.
It is didactic that the police have absolved Fulani
herdsmen from blame over the killings in Nimbo community of Enugu State. Equally instructive is the fact
that the Inspector General of Police has issued a similar statement. We advise
Nigerians to stop calling a dog a bad name in order to hang it.
is sad that pictures of herdsmen in Sudan, Mali,
Niger and Chad brandishing AK 47 rifles are taken from the internet and displayed
to gullible Nigerians as Fulanis on Nigerian soil. This is quite misleading, highly
mischievous and grossly provocative. It is incitement on a large scale. The
Nigerian press is advised to desist from playing to the gallery.
We appeal to Nigerians to separate individuals with
criminal propensity from their tribes and religions. Every Nigerian tribe has its own
criminals, lay-abouts, never-do-wells, busy-bodies and area boys. Yet every
Nigerian ethnic group has its men and women of honour, men and women of timber
and caliber, including Fulanis and Igbos in particular.
We therefore call for objective appraisal of incidents and
caution against generalization, sensationalisation, stigmatization of Fulani
herdsmen and the profiling of Northerners or their religion. It is a time bomb
waiting to explode and none can visualize its reach or its victims.
We must not allow people who nurse anti-Fulani and
anti-North agenda to blow this country apart. Neither should we allow politics
of resentment and unsubstantiated minority claims of marginalisation to becloud
our sense of critical analysis at this point in time. We have all the law we
need to punish the individual Fulani, Igbo or Yoruba if he commits any crime.
But we have no moral right to target a whole ethnic group for annihilation.
In conclusion, MURIC
calls on all Nigerians to allow one love to keep us together. Let us think
Nigeria and stop thinking of ethnicities. Let us rise as one to punish
individual criminals and not their tribes.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Three government officials of the State of Osun were kidnapped in Lokoja,
Kogi State, on Friday 22nd April, 2016. The officials were returning
from an official assignment in Abuja when the kidnappers struck.
Those kidnapped included the state’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry
of Finance, Mrs. Adebimpe Ogunlumade, the Director, State Audit, Mr. Tajudeen
Badejoko, and the Driver, Mr. Oladapo Ajani Arogundade.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) strongly condemns this criminal attack on
innocent civil servants. Our thoughts go to the victims’ families. We stand by
them in this hour of despair and pray for the early and safe reunion of the
victims with their families.
In the same vein, we commiserate with the government of the State of Osun.
In particular, we console the state governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
appeals to those behind this gory incident to consider the travails of the
State of Osun against the background of the transparency and simple life style
of the state governor.
To identify with the poor masses, Aregbesola refuses to be called ‘His
Excellency’, he goes round the state without siren, without pomp without
pageantry. His government has been implementing schemes supporting the poor (e.g.
giving monthly allowance to elderly people, free lunch for all students in the
state, free books to all students in form of ipad or ‘Opon Imo’for more than
six years now.
it is true that most kidnappings and armed robberies are acts of reprisal by
the poor against oppression by the rich and influential people, attacking Aregbesola’s
officials is, indeed, a paradox. Men of the underworld are known to have
certain moral principles, rules, regulations and general guidelines for their
operations. Aregbesola’s government is a true government of the people and targeting
his officials is an irony of fate.
We appeal to the kidnappers to consider the above and let the officials
go. We call on the good people of Nigeria in general and particularly the ‘Omoluabi’
people of the State of Osun to don their prayer gowns from this moment for
these innocent officials. Let us pray for their early and safe release. Let us
pray for the families of the victims who are presently in trauma. Let us also pray
for our country, Nigeria. Let us pray for peace and security. Let us pray for
the return of the glory of our land.
we round up, we appeal to the Federal Government to expedite action on steps
aimed at alleviating poverty in this country. We charge Ogbeni Aregbesola not
to be disappointed that the poor people for whom he has been fighting so
passionately are the same people who have kidnapped his own officials.
remind him that the nose is a wicked sensory organ, it can neither perceive the
sweet aroma of saints nor smell the offensive odour of evil doers. Had this
been possible, the kidnappers would never have touched anyone working for
Aregbesola. This sad incident will soon be over by the Good Grace of Allah but
Ogbeni must not relent in his good works for the poor masses.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
There are indications that the Federal
Government (FG) is planning to collapse Bible Knowledge (BK), Islamic Religious
Knowledge (IRK) and Civil Education into a single subject.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) warns the
FG to leave both BK and IRK alone as separate subjects. The plan to marry them
into a single subject with Civil Education is an ill wind that will blow no one
Such a plan can only be
the handiwork of confusionists and apostles of the misleading concept of
secularism. The Federal Ministry of Education should therefore look before it
leaps. It will be a disaster of monumental proportion to merge those subjects.
There is also a legal angle
to the planned move. It contravenes both the letter and spirit of Section 38
(ii) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which
stipulates religious instruction in own religion in schools.
The sub-section states inter alia, “No person attending any
place of education shall be required to receive religious instruction …if such
instruction …relates to a religion other than his own, or a religion not
approved by his parent or guardian.”
We are therefore constrained
to put it to the Federal Ministry of Education that its purported plan to merge
BK, IRK and Civil Education into one subject is illegal, unlawful and
unconstitutional. The plan should therefore be put in abeyance.
Authors of this sinister
plan should tell us how any subject teacher can effectively handle BK, IRK and
Civil Education together all at once and in a single class? What educational
qualification would such a teacher have attained and from which university? This
plan can only succeed in confusing our young ones.
Our policy makers love to
build castles in the air. They also love to entangle the citizenry in the abyss
of complicated conceptualization. Why not make things as simple as possible for
everybody to understand? Why are we always changing from one policy to another like
a camellion? We have lost count of the number of times the Federal Ministry of Education
has changed the curriculum.
Yet such changes have not
improved the levels of delivery, perspicacity and performance. A standard six
certificate holder of the 50s is better than a university graduate of today.
Some graduates cannot form simple sentences and you need to keep stress-relieving
drugs by your side if you have to read materials authored by new ‘Jambites’.
By the way, what is the
rationale behind the plan to merge BK, IRK and Civil Education at a time when
moral standards are falling everywhere in the world? Why must we play ‘super
bureaucrats’ with religious subjects when FG is waging a war against
From where will the
citizens draw their spiritual strength if we have already destroyed the
foundation of the citizens’ individual religions. Every religion has its
special appeal and that appeal resides in its peculiarity. There will be
nothing special left after a merger. Nothing. This proposed merger will be the
last nail in the coffin of morality.
The current rush for
science and technology must be pursued with caution. While we admit that both
science and technology are crucial to human development, we call attention to
the dangers inherent in full concentration on material development at the
expense of balanced spiritual growth. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are bitter memoirs
of misuse of technology. The 9/11 attack, the wars around the globe and the
attendant humanitarian disaster are eloquent testimonies of the abuse of
Both science and
technology need some form of control and mankind can only find the effective
control in religion. Science without religion is a wild, ferocious dog. It has
the propensity to bite indiscriminately, including its own master.
It is true that we need
science and technology, but the moral subjects are necessary as bulwark against
misuse of scientific discoveries. Ditto for the rush to read accounting,
banking and finance, law, etc. Why are huge sums of money always missing
despite the existence of hundreds of accountants and auditors? Even self-confessed
armed robbers escape justice if they have access to clever lawyers.
In conclusion, we advise the
Federal Ministry of Education to put on hold its plan to collapse BK, IRK and
Civil Education into one subject. If the FG educates Nigerians without a
special place for religion, it will only succeed in producing clever devils.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Former Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was recently quoted as
saying that he had not yet finished with Nigeria.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) takes this statement with a pinch of salt. It is
an expensive joke. Coming at a time when Nigeria faces fuel shortages and poor
electricity output, the former president must have read the signs upside down.
Jonathan’s latest remark is pregnant with meanings. It exposes the cunning
subterfuge behind the reluctant handover of power on May 29, 2015. That
handover was never meant to be and the ex-president had meticulously laid
landmines on all paths that led to Aso Rock.
A vivid example is the twilight appointments and sacks ordered by Jonathan
on the eve of his exit from office. He was deliberately packing the civil
service with his own loyalists in order to make things difficult for the
incoming administration. Jonathan at the time was not thinking or building
Nigeria. He was destroying his fatherland.
Another glaring instance is the refusal of the Jonathan administration to
pay oil marketers thereby amassing debts for the incoming Buhari regime.
Nigerians will recall that oil marketers refused to lift oil by the middle of
May 2015. There were long queues at filling stations all over the country and a
liter of petrol sold for as high as N300. It was a well-rehearsed maneuver to
scuttle the incoming administration and a cruel parting gift.
explains the recent fuel crisis and Jonathan’s statement which coincided with
the fuel shortage was a coded message. But the wind has blown and we have seen
the ruff of the hen. Nigerians are not fools. They remember ‘the evil that men
Jonathan’s party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
supervised the destruction of the Nigerian economy for sixteen years. They turned
Nigeria into an orange, squeezed out all the juice and left nothing but the
peel for the Buhari regime. That is why we are where we are today.
However, the new regime is picking the seeds and replanting
them. Seeds do not grow into trees overnight. That is why Nigerians need to be
patient with the Buhari administration. We just cannot afford to go back to those
who wasted this generation. There is very little choice in rotten apples.
We disagree with those who ask President Muhammadu Buhari
to abandon the war against corruption. We believe that this is a war that must
be fought to a logical conclusion if we must save coming generation from
ruination. The fight against corruption is a priority and it must be steadily
prosecuted because corruption is at the root of all challenges facing Nigeria
What is killing the power sector? Why can’t Nigeria fix
its roads? What is responsible for falling standards in education? Why have our hospitals turned into public
mortuaries? Why are Nigeria’s gallant security agents unable to nip crime in
the bud? Why are Nigerian judges compromising on matters of principle? Why can’t
the average Nigerian get three square meals per day?
It is all due to the cancer called corruption. Cancer destroys anything
it touches. It also spreads fast and only a good surgeon will remove a cancerous
tumor to save the rest of the body. Nigeria is bedridden with the cancer of
corruption. Let the surgery operation continue otherwise total collapse of the
anatomy will follow.
That is why we cannot consider the possibility of Jonathan’s
return to mainstream Nigerian politics. This is a man under whom massive
plundering of Nigeria’s economy took place and he did not bat an eyelid. What
did Jonathan do despite loud outcries against former aviation minister’s scandalous
purchase of bullet proof cars? What did he do about the fatal immigration recruitment
Jonathan’s reaction to the monumental kleptomania during
his administration was to institutionalize corruption. He dined with drug barons,
hobnobbed with ex-convicts and dashed out our national honours to bail-jumpers
on a platter of gold.
He said stealing was not corruption. He followed up this
preposterous statement by describing public officials as goats and the tax
payers’ money as yam! He reportedly said “You cannot stop a goat from eating
yam”. So the ‘impossible’ task of keeping a goat away from eating yam became
Jonathan’s parable of corruption. Jonathan is an interesting study for
It is just two days to the anniversary of the abduction of
more than 200 Chibok girls. Those girls would have been found had Jonathan
reacted early enough. The whole Northern Nigeria would have been history had
Jonathan won a second term going by his lackadaisical attitude to the war on
insurgency. Allowing $2.1 billion arms money to be frittered away during his
administration is culpable treason.
How then can Jonathan be thinking of coming back for an
unfinished business? Nigerians are chanting ‘Bring back our girls’! Jonathan and
PDP are singing ‘Bring Back Corruption’! It is unacceptable. We reject any
attempt to bring back corruption. We denounce Jonathan’s glorification of
stealing and his trivialisation of kleptomania.
What is Jonathan coming back for? What did he do with
Nigeria’s money when Nigeria was producing 2.4 million barrels per day and
selling at $93.61 per barrel. He was making $224 million per day, $81billion per
annum (a whopping N12.8 trillion naira)). What did he do with that money? Where
is Niger Bridge? Where are Ore-Benin and Lagos-Ibadan Expressways? How much of
all that money did he save? So come back for what?
Let no one be under any illusion that corrupt public
officials should be treated with kid gloves just to please saboteurs and bourgeoisie
cabals. Islamic liberation theology rejects economic oppression. We will rather
be free men in our graves than live as puppets and slaves. The fact remains
that greedy people will never willingly let go one kobo from their massive
loots unless ‘by fire by thunder’. Neither will there be any genuine moral reformation
in this country unless thieves who plundered our common wealth are made scapegoats.
Nigeria’s current setbacks are temporary. It is
corruption fighting back. Bad times do not last but strong men do. How do you
shoot an arrow from a bow? Is it not by bending the bow backwards? We are
simply bending back our bow to shoot the arrow. Nigeria is not finished. We are
not finished except with looters and clueless leaders.
Not finished with Nigeria? We advise Jonathan to perish the
dream. In what capacity is he coming back? To pick the annual million naira cutleries
he forgot in Aso Rock or to finish the job of rocking the Rock? Not finished
with Nigeria? This must be a joke and an expensive one at that. The truth is
that if Jonathan thinks he has not finished with Nigeria, Nigeria is finished
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)