Monday, December 19, 2016


19th December, 2016

About ten heavily armed daredevil hoodlums in army uniform attacked passengers of a Lagos-bound luxurious bus after midnight on Saturday 17th December, 2016. The incident occurred after the bus left Lokoja, just between Ikenne and Ondo.

For refusing to stop when ordered to do so, the armed robbers shot and killed the driver, leaving the bus to drift for some seconds before the second driver managed to bring it to a halt inside the bush. The passengers then fled into the bush and hid themselves. Thereafter the robbers ransacked the luxurious bus, stealing cash and other valuable properties.  

One of the passengers, a female youth corper, sent out an SOS message which both the State Security Service (SSS) and the Nigeria Police used to trace her location in the bush. The corper and the remaining passengers were rescued alive. They have since arrived in Lagos.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) commends both the SSS and the police for this brilliantly executed rescue operation. The speed at which the victims were located is highly appreciated. We salute the police for their boldness and for risking their lives to save innocent citizens. In particular, we single out the Abuja Commissioner of Police who alerted the Kogi Police Command. The role of the Ondo command was also crucial to the rescue.   

We advise Nigerians to hearken to police warnings. Those warnings are professional and well-informed. They are capable of saving our lives and properties. For example, police usually warns against night travels but how many people heed this warning? The ugly incident we described above could have been avoided if police warning had been taken into consideration.  

In like manner, MURIC calls on Nigerians to willingly and readily give information to the police and other security agencies. Crime cannot be totally eliminated or reduced in any society if citizens treat their security agents like lepers. We understand why people are reluctant to cooperate with the police but we must also remember that all segments of our society are guilty of the same allegations often made against the security agencies. What we all need is a change of mindset. We must be ready to cooperate with the police.

We call on the Federal Government to step up equipment procurement for the security agencies, increase their allowances and introduce other motivations in order to enhance greater efficiency.

We advise youth corpers to avoid constant trips, afterall it is just for one year. They should remain in their places of primary assignment except during emergencies. Parents should discourage their corper sons and daughters from leaving their stations until the end of their service year.

As we round up, we invite civil society, public analysts, critics and activists to broaden their minds. Positive activism cannot rest on hostile comments all the time. It demands the ability to appreciate the good actions of authorities once in a while, not just criticisms ad infinitum. Constant and subjective criticism kills incentive and ignites endless frustration. We may criticize authorities but we must also be objective by showing appreciation for good performance from time to time.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

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