Sunday, April 24, 2016


24th April, 2016,

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.

The 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.

MURIC 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.

If 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.

As 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.

We 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)

Monday, April 18, 2016


19th April, 2016,

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 any good.       

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 corruption?

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 technology.

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)

Monday, April 11, 2016


12th April, 2016,

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was recently quoted as saying that he had not yet finished with Nigeria.      

The 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.

This 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 do’.

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 today.

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 exercise?

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 political scientists.  

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 with Jonathan.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


7th April, 2016,

The trial of Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, began at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) two days ago (Tuesday 5th April, 2016). Since then, shocking revelations have been made at the proceedings. But the last nail in the coffin is the implication of Saraki in the recent Panama papers where the Senate President allegedly has hidden assets in safe havens abroad.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is constrained to call the attention of honourable members of the Nigerian Senate to the serious and damning implication of this ugly development. The integrity of Senate is at stake here and something needs to be done and very urgently too.

It is on record that more than sixty senators accompanied Dr. Bukola Saraki to the CCT on his first day of appearance. The picture has been largely the same during other appearances. The business of Senate was grinded to a halt on each occasion with the attendant waste of tax-payers’ money.

While we salute senators for this manifestation of camaraderie, several attempts by the embattled senate president to resist trial suggest that he probably has skeletons in his cupboard. The recent revelations during court proceedings where staggering amounts of money were alleged to have been surreptitiously deposited in bank accounts or siphoned outside this country by the Senate President through his agents also call for caution, concern and sober reflection.

The fact that huge sums were reportedly split into smaller amounts and paid fifty (50) times into the same bank account on a single day is quite worrisome. Somebody somewhere knew that the source of the money he intended to deposit in a bank account was illegal. Somebody somewhere wanted to avoid detection. Somebody somewhere knew that he could be detected if the whole amount was paid in bulk and at a go. Somebody somewhere has been a smart Alec.

Can honourable members of Senate beat their chests and tell Nigerians that this somebody somewhere is not occupying the highest seat in the hallowed chamber? Is this not desecration of the highest office in Senate? We know that there are honest men and women in Senate. We know there are people of integrity who occupy well-deserved seats in our Senate today. Are our senators waiting until Nigerians start judging all senators by the same parameter?  Are our Senators tarrying until Nigerians start invoking popular proverbs like “Birds of the same feather…?”

MURIC therefore calls on Senate to do the needful. The Nigerian public is disenchanted with a legislature that cannot satisfy all righteousness. A legislative arm which condones stinking corruption at the leadership level can never be in tandem with Nigeria’s new elixir for anti-corruption.

Saraki must go. Those who come to equity must come with clean hands. We cannot afford to have an icon of credibility at the Nigerian apex of the executive only to have the exact opposite in the higher chamber. Perhaps that is why very little progress has been made since May 29, 2015. Saraki is a Trojan horse.

The Nigerian masses will know their true friends in Senate in the next few days. They will know those who are ready to sanitise the system and those who are in Senate to pursue the wicked agenda of the super rich against extremely poor Nigerians. The practice whereby ‘monkey dey work, barboon dey chop’ must stop.

Workers’ salary cannot take them home even on the day they receive it. Some states are yet to pay the N18,000 minimum wage. Some states also owe as much as three months salary arrears. Our graduates of ten years ago are still roaming the streets. There is hunger and starvation in the land. The average Nigerian lives on less than one dollar ($1) per day. Our per capita income is less than $300. More than 70 million Nigerians are poor.

How then can the masses stomach reports of a single person depositing between N600,000 and N900,000 fifty times in a single day? This wide gap between the rich and the poor is nothing short of social economic injustice. It is responsible for the rise in violent crime, particularly armed robbery. Robbers see no difference between robbing with the pen and stealing with the gun. It kills workers’ morale and frustrates the few honest people we still have around. Students use this same socio-economic disequilibrium as an alibi for jettisoning academic pursuit. The youths use it as justification for going into Yahoo-Yahoo and other fraudulent activities.  

MURIC therefore calls on senators to save Nigeria from the impending doom. Our senators must prove to Nigerians that no single person is greater than Nigeria. It is time for pendulum swing. Distinguished Senators, are you going to be loyal to a particular person or to Nigeria?             

As a concluding remark, countries like Switzerland and the United States with questionable latitudes in their banking laws which allow kleptomaniacs from Africa to hide their loots must own up, stop the eye service and take urgent steps towards transparency, probity and accountability. Those who make it easy for thieves to hide their loot (and also benefit their economy from the proceeds of looting) live with a moral burden.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)