Thursday, September 25, 2014


26th September, 2014


The Nigerian military yesterday confirmed the killing of one Muhammed Bashir, the replica of Abubakar Shekau, who had allegedly been mimicking the leader of Boko Haram. According to the military, Abubakar Shekau himself had been killed a year ago in a confrontation with soldiers fighting Boko Haram insurgents.      

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) regards the killing of Muhammed Bashir as a feather in the cap of the Nigerian military. It is no mean feat to get close enough to the leader of deadly insurgents and to succeed in killing him. The Nigerian Army should also be commended for achieving this feat in spite of its limitations which include sabotage, acute lack of supplies, complete absence of motivation and a criminal deprivation of arms.

MURIC recalls the atrocities of Shekau and his alleged replica under whose brutish leadership Boko Haram unleashed terror on the people of the North East, bringing untold hardship and grinding the economy to a halt. Nonetheless, we regret his death on the battle field as this does not adequately demystify him as the monster behind the assassination of more than three North Eastern Emirs, the killing of scores of Islamic scholars and Christian clerics as well as the attack on the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero.

We regret that Shekau’s death or that of Muhammed Bashir has elevated the duo in the den of terrorists to the lofty status of martyrs. Alive and in chains, they would have served bitter lessons to rebellious subjects, enemies of peace and apostles of death and destruction.

But what next after the death of these two terrorists? It is quite unfortunate that the only lesson men learn from history is that they learn nothing from history. We charge the Federal Government to learn some lessons from the killing of Bin Laden whose death merely fuelled the rise of terrorism and gave birth to ISIS and Boko Haram. FG must therefore be told point blank that it is not yet Uhuru.

Abubakar Shekau may be dead. Muhammed Bashir may have been put under. Boko Haram is still alive and kicking. FG therefore has a Herculean task before it. To kill Boko Haram is a task that must be done. What steps must FG take to ensure that Boko Haram is dead and buried?

MURIC suggests the following:

1.  Soldiers battling Boko Haram insurgents must be adequately catered for in terms of welfare, medicare and the relations left behind by fallen soldiers;
2.  The procurement by the military and prompt supply of state-of-the-art weapons and equipments to soldiers confronting insurgents must be FG’s priority from now on;
3.  The revitalization of the economy of the North East in particular and the whole North in general and the provision of jobs for hitherto idle youths have become mandatory in order to prevent similar occurrence in future;
4.  FG must, on the basis of equal rights, justice and fair play, establish as a matter of urgency, a Nothern States Development Board and a Ministry of Northern Affairs in the same manner that there now exists similar institutions in the Niger Delta and
5.  In view of submissions by experts that Boko Haram is a fallout of bad governance and socio-economic injustice, governments at all levels must henceforth ensure that justice is done to all its citizens.

It is not over until it is over.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


17th September, 2014

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor was alleged to have admitted ownership of a private jet seized last weekend by South African authorities. The aircraft was stashed with $9.3 million in cash meant for arms purchase. In the same vein, the Federal Government (FG) issued a statement yesterday admitting ownership of the cash. Oritsejafor has sought to extenuate the deal by claiming that the jet was hired out by Eagle Air in which the pastor himself has “residual interest”.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is alarmed by this scandalous development. We have every reason to reject FG’s explanation and it is hereby rejected. Government is being economical with the truth. We suspect a grand conspiracy against Nigerian Muslims in this latest revelation.

Nigerian Muslims are enveloped with apprehension. All the ingredients of a plot are here for those who care to look beyond their noses. In a country in which two religions are most prominent and are hot rivals of each other, here is the national leader of a religious group who also happens to be the president’s kinsman, an undisguised Muslim hater, a man with a belligerent disposition towards his Muslim neighbours, a man who has been threatening hell and brimstone over the Boko Haram saga. Tie this to the Israeli connection, a country well known for its anti-Muslim and mass murder propensities. It raises more questions than answers.

For instance, was the intended arms purchase really meant for the Nigerian Armed Forces? What is the guaranty that it was not meant for Niger Delta militants, or Christian crusaders masquerading as Boko Haram? Afterall, under-the-table assistance for Boko Haram has been noticed in the past. Where did the arms and food drops for Boko Haram by helicopters come from? Only the Israelis are capable of doing that.

MURIC is shocked by the huge amount involved: $9.3 million! Conservatively, $1m is N163m. $9.3m is therefore N1,514,502,583.61 at the current exchange rate of N163 to $1. It is very disturbing for this to be happening in a country bedeviled by serious security challenges bordering on religious rivalry and ethnic jingoism. There is definitely something sinister about all these.

We assert that Nigerian Muslims are not safe any longer. We are not safe in the hands of Israeli military advisers breathing down the neck of the Nigerian government and encouraging it to arm the Christians to the teeth. The fate of Nigerian Muslims is therefore not certain.

We have lost confidence in FG and its security agencies, particularly with the involvement of Israel. Islamic scholars are disappearing at will all over the country.

Recruitment exercises into the security outfits favour Christians even in Muslim dominated areas. President Jonathan has just concluded a national conference whose composition was lopsided and in favour of Christians. FG relies heavily on Israel, a well-known anti-Muslim country for its security matters. Palpable fear of religious cleansing has therefore gripped Muslims.

Whole Muslim communities are already being wiped out in the North East under the guise of ‘Boko Haram’. Just two months ago, 34 Muslims who were followers of Shaykh Ibrahim Alzakzaky were massacred by soldiers in Zaria and nothing has been heard of it.

MURIC calls on the National Assembly to save Nigeria from total disintegration. This jet and cash story is a scandal of monumental proportion and it must not be swept under the carpet. The National Assembly must intervene in order to calm nerves.

This is not the hand of Esau and the voice of Jacob. It is the hand of President Jonathan and the voice of Oritsejafor. There is an unholy union here. An aircraft owned by a war-mongering and current national president of CAN, the cash is being claimed by a Christian-led, Muslim-repressing government, there is more to this than meets the eye. We are no longer safe.

MURIC demands the termination of all security deals with the Israelis in Aso Rock, the seat of government. It is too dangerous to involve a country like Israel, an anti-Muslim country in the security matters of a country like Nigeria, deeply polarized by religious sentiments. Only a government with an anti-Muslim agenda will do such a thing. It is time for the Israelis to be kept at bay regarding key security issues in Nigeria.

We advise President Jonathan to change his tactics, to integrate Muslims into his government, to stop the political marginalization of Muslims, to review the Christian-loaded recruitment into the security agencies, to probe the disappearance of Islamic scholars and the killing of Muslims in Zaria and to balance the sharing of the dividends of democracy between Christians and Muslims.

 We warn that the lopsided recruitment into the security agencies, particularly the Nigerian Army in the past three years, smacks of a more sinister plot to systematically wipe out Nigerian Muslims through extra-judicial killings.

We draw the attention of the international community to acts of pro-Christian favouritism and anti-Muslim practices of President Jonathan. The Nigerian leader is deliberately dividing his citizens along religious lines.

MURIC affirms that it seeks peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims. We are prepared to live with our neighbours. We urge those fanning the embers of war and amassing weapons to remember the plight of Liberia, Congo, Sierra Leone, Bosnia Herzegovina, etc. The ravages of war, the sufferings of millions of innocent young and old are better imagined than experienced.

Finally, we appeal to Muslims throughout Nigeria to allow the National Assembly to wade into the matter. Meanwhile, we charge them to remain calm and law-abiding.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


9th September, 2014


The death occurred yesterday of Shaykh Mustapha Olayiwola Ajisafe, the Chief Imam of Oshogboland and President-General of the League of Imams and Alfas, South-West, Edo and Delta States. Shaykh Ajisafe died in the evening of yesterday, Monday 8th September, 2014.

He will be buried by 2 p.m. today at his home, in Oshogbo, Osun State.

Until his death, Shaykh Mustapha Ajisafe was a member of the Ulama Committee of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA). A brilliant and forthright Islamic scholar, Shaykh Ajisafe has been playing a prominent role in guiding pilgrims from the Southern part of Nigeria during hajj seasons in the past five years.

The deceased will be remembered for his friendliness and warmth and his closeness to the youth. He worked tirelessly for the progress of Yorubaland. He promoted peaceful coexistence among different religious and ethnic groups. His death will leave a yawning gap in the Muslim community of Southern Nigeria.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) condoles the governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the Ataoja of Oshogbo, Oba Jimoh Laranoye II,  the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the NSCIA, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III and the Muslim community of Southern Nigeria.

We pray that Almighty Allah will repose his soul in Al-Jannah Firdaus and give his family and close associates the strength to bear this irreparable loss.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)