Sunday, December 20, 2015


20th December, 2015,

Christian faithfuls in Nigeria and other parts of the world will be celebrating Christmas in the next three days. The season is a period of festivities characterized by huge assemblies inside churches and the gathering of large crowds in public places, gardens and amusement centers. It is also expected to involve massive human traffic on the roads as well as the airports.

Unfortunately the past four or five years have witnessed deadly terrorist attacks on churches and motor parks in Northern Nigeria particularly during the yuletide. The attacks have recorded high casualty figures as well as collateral damages.

Worse still, the attacks have widened the gap between Christians and Muslims as the former accused the latter of sponsoring, encouraging and harbouring the hoodlums. Nigeria moved dangerously close to religious war.

The interfaith suspicions did not abate until it became clear that even mosques and Islamic scholars were falling victims. It was the sincere and laudable efforts of the new administration which injected a new dose of determination into the military thereby enabling them to recapture territories occupied by the Boko Haram insurgents.   

As Northern Nigeria breathes the air of freedom, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) warns that it is not over until it is over. Though grossly debilitated, Boko Haram is still very dangerous. It is now like a wounded lion. This informs the guerrilla tactics recently being adopted by the deadly group. It may want to strike during yuletide, at least to make a point.

We therefore jog the memories of the Nigerian security agencies in this regard. We call for tremendous coordination among the different arms: the army, the police, the secret services, the civil defence, etc. We also appeal to all Nigerians to be on the tiptoes of unprecedented alertness especially in public places like airports, markets, motor parks and schools.

In particular, we advise officials in churches and mosques to set up internal networking capable of facilitating communication among their followers. This will enable members who have useful information but who have no easy and quick access to security agents to pass such information to church or mosque officials who are close to them.  Strange faces must be reported immediately before they can wreak any havoc. People who stand together survive together.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

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