Wednesday, May 27, 2015


27th May, 2015

Outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan said on Friday 22nd May, 2015 that he would be an advocate of peace in the country after leaving office. He was quoted as saying, “One thing that I have decided to do after leaving office, is to make sure that I will be talking to all faithful of all religions, Christians, Muslims and other religions the need for Nigerians to live in peace.”

While we agree that there is every need for peaceful coexistence, we of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) regard Mr. President’s latest declaration as immodest, belated, hypocritical and an absolute afterthought.

President Jonathan’s request to become an ambassador of peace is baffling. People do not ask for honour. It is given freely, willingly and spontaneously.  

Honour is earned through quality leadership, not demanded and snatched via rough tackles and arm-twisting. People who are truly honourable do not lobby for it. The quality of honour is like the golden fish. Honour has no place to hide. 

People will see it wherever it is even without showing itself. So why is our outgoing president parading himself as a peace ambassador?

A peace ambassador must be acceptable to all parties but the case of Jonathan is different. He is not acceptable as an ambassador to Nigerian Muslims. 

We cannot accept Jonathan as a go-between in matters affecting us and our Christian neighbours because his sins against us are so many that we have stopped counting. 

But we continued to respect him because of his exalted office. We believe that respect for the office of Mr. President is respect for our country, Nigeria.  
MURIC complained when President Jonathan marginalized Muslims in ministerial and other appointments. We cried out when Jonathan turned his national conference to an overwhelmingly Christian conference. There are many more. 

Just recently and a few days to handing over to a new administration, Jonathan gave Nigerian Muslims a direct slap on the face when he selected members of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) without consulting Muslim leaders at all. How can Jonathan shave our heads in our absence? No good ambassador will do this.

 It means that if he becomes ambassador of peace, at worst, he would just sit down in Otuoke, invite the Christians and take a decision without meeting the Muslims. Or, at best, he would ignore the recognized leadership of Nigerian Muslims and simply handpick the minority Muslims in his state to represent all the Muslims of Nigeria. Respect begets respect. Jonathan has forgotten that people below are watching those on top. 

How can Jonathan be an ambassador of peace? His militant kinsmen threatened the rest of Nigeria with hell on earth if he lost the election and he kept quiet. His wife publicly insulted Northerners in particular and Nigerian Muslims in general calling us people who produce children without caring for them and the husband kept mute. Jonathan has no sense of justice. Neither can he call those under him to order. How can such a man be crowned ambassador of peace?

Except the few political jobbers in his government, Nigerian Muslims have no confidence in President Jonathan. How can we repose confidence in him when we could not get justice, fairness and equal rights under him? 

How can we accept him as an ambassador of peace and a fair umpire when he was not fair to us when he was in government. President Jonathan wants to be rewarded for what he did not work for. He wants to sow where he did not reap. We will not accept that.

Nigerian Muslims know political and religious leaders who deserve their respect and who they can accept as ambassadors of peace. We do not wish to be misunderstood. There are Christians among such leaders whom we respect. 

Even the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has produced leaders who are devoid of prejudice and hatred against Nigerian Muslims. ArchBishop John Onaiyekan, former CAN president is one of such leaders. Bishop Idowu Fearon of Kaduna Diocese is another. There are many others.

Jonathan’s claim to deserving ambassadorial honour between Christians and Muslims is false, baseless and therefore unacceptable. In fact, by marginalizing Muslims and maltreating them, Jonathan did more harm to Christians in Nigeria because those actions of malice against Muslims stoked up anti-Christian sentiments in the minds of the former.

Any leader who engages in favouritism for people of his own faith while ignoring those of another creed is setting the two groups against each other. MURIC therefore advises the President-Elect, Muhammadu Buhari, to pursue a policy of fairness and openness to all, to give unto Christians all rights and priviledges due to them without forgetting the demands and complaints of Muslims.

What Nigeria needs is not necessarily a Christian or a Muslim. We need a leader with an iron will, a leader to whom riches mean nothing, a leader who cares and feels for the jamaheer (masses), a leader who has zero tolerance for corruption and utmost respect for the rule of law.

We advise President Jonathan to stop building castles in the air and to face the reality on ground. He is not leaving office as a hero but as a leader who messed up the economy of his country, glorified corruption and divided Nigeria along religious and ethnic lines. How can such a man demand the exalted position of a peace ambassador?  

Finally, we urge the international community to ignore Jonathan’s image-laundering efforts after his woeful performance in office. He is not acceptable to Nigerian Muslims as a peace ambassador. Rather, we regard him as one of the major causes of Nigeria’s woes, an unmitigated disaster in Nigeria’s search for quality leadership and the worst president Nigeria should never have had.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Monday, May 25, 2015


Salaam All,

Nigeria is gradually and deliberately being shut down by Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and his agents of darkness.

A liter of petrol now sells for N1,000, commuters are paying transport fares through their noses, air travellers are stranded at the airports, network providers like MTN and the rest are threatening to shut down their networks, television and radio stations may soon follow.

Jonathan plans total lockdown of the country. The consequences, as you are all aware, are dire.

The Spiritual Committee of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has recommended that Nigerian Muslims should pray and fast in order to avert a calamity of monumental proportion.

Muslims who can read the Glorious Qur’an are required to read one Surat al-Kahf each before May 29, 2015. A three-day fasting is requested from all Muslims (Tuesday - Thursday).

In addition, we appeal to both Christians and Muslims to engage in intensive prayers in churches, mosques and homes.

May Allah frustrate the evil plans of agents of darkness. May Nigeria rise again very quickly and may bloodshed be averted. Aamiin.

Ishaq Akintola

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


20th May, 2015

Muslims in Lagos on Monday 18th May, 2015 received information that hijab (head scarf) was being removed from the heads of female Muslim corpers at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camp in Iyana Ipaja, Lagos State.      

The office of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) immediately became inundated with calls while social media went agog. We immediately set the machinery in motion to find out the veracity of the report. To our surprise, we discovered that the story was grossly exaggerated as no female Muslim corper suffered such humiliation.

In view of the volatile nature of the Nigerian society and in view of the fact that Nigeria has witnessed too many religious riots which led to the shedding of blood and destruction of properties, we decided to nip the rumour in the bud before things went too far.   

A four-man team led by the director of MURIC (and three other members) visited the NYSC camp at Iyana Ipaja, Lagos, for proper investigation. The team was warmly received by the NYSC officials comprising the Lagos State Coordinator of the NYSC secretariat, the Camp Director and the Camp Commandant. Two female Muslim corpers at the center of the hijab imbroglio were also in attendance.

Our findings show that contrary to reports no female Muslim corper was asked to remove her hijab and none had her hijab removed. They were all allowed to use their hijab except four of them who wore extra-long hijab. These four were requested to reduce the length of their hijab to allow for camp activities. Two of them complied while two refused. One of the two who refused also behaved rudely to the Camp Commandant who also happened to be a Muslim from the North.

The two corpers who refused to reduce their hijab were present at the meeting and we were able to counsel them. It is didactic that both of them confirmed that NYSC officials did not attempt to remove their hijab.

MURIC warns the general public against spreading false and malicious information which are capable of causing public disorder. In particular, we charge Muslims to investigate reports properly before judging issues. The peace and tranquility which Lagos State has been enjoying for years would have been disturbed over this minor issue if urgent action had not been taken to douse tension. At stake also are the career of innocent NYSC officials and the lives of corps members inside the camp.

Allah says in the Glorious Qur’an, “Oh you who believe, if a tale-bearer brings a report to you, investigate it (before taking any action) so that you may not harm innocent people inadvertently and become full of regret over your action.” (Qur’an 49:6)

Finally, we affirm that there was no incident of the seizure of hijab or placement of ban on it at the Lagos NYSC Camp. The NYSC officials and the Camp Commandant have been treating the youth corpers in their care in loco parentis. Muslims in Lagos and elsewhere are therefore requested to remain calm and law-abiding.  

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Monday, May 18, 2015


18th May, 2015

Outgoing Nigerian president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, recently undertook last-minute location and commencement of projects, sacks and appointment of heads of government parastatals.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) wishes to question the rationale for these hurried actions. We find no justification for them since the Jonathan regime is at the twilight of its tenure. We smell a rat. We therefore wish to alert the incoming Buhari administration to make the revocation of these mischievous actions its first fait accompli within seven days of its resumption.       

These eleventh hour appointments and sacks are irritating Nigerians. They bother on the theatre of the absurd. It is as if a sleeping and clueless regime has just woken up. But the litany of corruption cases and acts of indiscipline to which President Jonathan turned a blind eye in spite of public outcries belies his recent attempt to act born-again.

Even the president’s explanation for sacking former Inspector General of Police, Sulaiman Abba, which he gave two weeks after the sack does not hold water. President Jonathan claimed that the former chief of police was booted out of office for acts of indiscipline. Mr. President can tell the marines.

Nigerians know better. Most of the recent sacks, appointments, location and relocation of projects few days to the administration’s exit were motivated by bitterness, malice as well as a deep sense of frustration over election loss. Aso Rock is no longer working for and in the interest of Nigerians. Our Oga on top may be suffering from suspended shock.

If it is true that Jonathan means well, why has the president’s transition committee failed to cooperate with that of the President-Elect? Why is Jonathan not forthcoming in his interactions with Buhari?

The president-elect allegedly complained yesterday that he had learnt nothing from President Jonathan. Governance is a continuum and Buhari is expected to continue from where Jonathan stopped. How can transition be smooth if Jonathan fails to reveal what he has done? Is this in the interest of our dear country? What is our president hiding? This is quite alarming. Nigerians need to brace up because Jonathan is leading us to terra incognito.

In conclusion, we question the moral justification for the post-election appointments, sacks, location and relocation of projects by President Jonathan. We demand the revocation of all such actions within the first seven days of the resumption of the Buhari administration.

Most importantly, we alert the international community that President Jonathan’s latest foot-dragging antics expose him as a bad loser and reveals that his concession of defeat was merely an outward show designed to portray him as a democracy-compliant African leader.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


12th May, 2015

The long queues at filling stations all over the country which began about two weeks ago have continued unabated. Travellers, particularly car owners, are stranded. Workers, many of whom have not received their salaries since November last year, are forced to trek long distances to reach their places of work.

Petrol is sold at exorbitant prices in different parts of the country. Only the fuel stations belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are selling at the normal price (N87 per liter) and only those who can afford to sleep at the NNPC petrol stations are buying there as the queues extend to kilometers on end. Prices in other filling stations range from N300 to N140.

The impact on the economy has been severe. Prices of foodstuffs have skyrocketed. There is widespread hunger in the land. Traders blame increased prices on transporters who charge more than 300% to bring goods to the city. Transporters are not even trying to defend the hike in transport fare. They know Nigerians are not blind and vehicles do not run on ordinary water.

The poor jamaheer (masses) who live in face-me-I-face-you houses are the worst for it as they can no longer afford to buy fuel to operate their I-pass-my-neighbour ‘toy’ generators. They are forced to stay awake sweating it out in this scorching heat particularly now that it is evident that Jonathan’s power project has become a mirage.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is perturbed by the unending fuel crisis. We denounce the cluelessness which has greeted this phenomenon for the past two weeks. What kind of system is the petroleum ministry running for Allah’s sake? Why must petrol scarcity occur so repeatedly that it becomes a regime’s middle name?

But the buck stops at President Jonathan’s table. A visionary long-term plan for the regular supply of fuel could have put paid to this mess. It is so bad now that Nigerians would have taken to the streets but for the fact that they know Jonathan is on his way out.

President Jonathan’s record in governance is quite disturbing, if not scandalous. How do we explain the untold suffering brought upon Nigerians through the present petrol scarcity? It has affected all sectors, all disciplines.

Children going to school; undergraduates and their lecturers who have to move from one institution to another for research purposes; meetings, seminars and conferences that have been scheduled which must now be rescheduled, etc. We must not forget the six weeks postponement of the presidential election forced on the nation by President Jonathan and its bandwagon effect on many other programmes in the country.

We must ask President Jonathan: Where is fuel? Where is the regular electricity supply which Jonathan promised us? It is just 18 days to handing over and the total power supply has dropped to 2,800 megawatts for the whole country. Why should we regret being Nigerians? Jonathan’s administration is an unmitigated disaster.
MURIC demands immediate end to the fuel crisis. President Jonathan is ending his tenure on a sad note and with resounding failure. Mr. President is wasting our time and making us suffer. This is the least we expect from an outgoing leader, unless suffering is actually what he had planned all along as his parting gift for Nigerians.

We conclude this press statement with a caveat. Nigerians must keep their eyes and ears wide open. The ongoing fuel shortage may be another well rehearsed maneuver to scuttle the transition. It may have been designed to shoot up our adrenalin glands, ready to burst in the first month of the incoming Buhari administration.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Saturday, May 2, 2015


3rd May, 2015
The death has been announced of the Chief Imam of the National Mosque, Abuja, Alhaji Musa Mohammed. He died Saturday evening after a brief illness.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) commiserates with the leader of all Nigerian Muslims, Alhaji Muhammad Saad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA). In like manner, we condole the entire Nigerian Muslim community and the Abuja Muslim jamaah whom the late Chief Imam had led and served most fervently during his lifetime.  

Alhaji Musa Muhammed dedicated his whole life to the service of Almighty Allah. He was a great scholar of Islam who led a simple and ascetic life. His death will serve as a lesson to Nigerians on the need to shun materialism and to move closer to the Unseen Creator. His death will definitely leave a yawning lacuna particularly in Abuja Muslim community.

MURIC charges Nigerian Muslims to use the occasion of his death to forge greater unity in the Muslim Ummah and promote peaceful coexistence with non-Muslims.

We pray that Almighty Allah will forgive the late Chief Imam’s shortcomings and shower His mercy on him. We also pray that Allah gives his family the strength to bear the loss.   

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)