This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
OODUA MUSLIM COALITION IS AN AMORPHOUS GROUP
9th May, 2017
OODUA MUSLIM COALITION IS AN AMORPHOUS
A hitherto unknown and unheard of group that called itself
Oodua Muslim Coalition (OMC) attacked the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) on
Wednesday, 3rd May, 2017. In its press statement, OMC alleged that
MURIC is being used by the Northern Caliphate to destabilize Yorubaland. It
further alleged that Yoruba Muslims were not part of Nigerian Muslims headed by
the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammadu
Sa’ad Abubakar III.
The statement was
signed by one Mallam Lateef Adeyera as Chairman and one Alhaji Ambali Olubodun
Noibi as Secretary. The same signatories claim to be Vice Chairman and Deputy
Organising Secretary of the Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC) respectively.
that OMC’s press statement is offensive, abusive and aggressive. It violates
the letter and spirit of decorum and breaks the rules of defamation of
character. OMC is a fake and faceless group. There is no Islamic organisation
called Oodua Muslim Coalition in the South West. Muslims in the South West know
their organisations very well.
We have no doubt
that fake names have been used to issue the group’s statement. We declare
clearly, unambiguously and unequivocally that no genuine Muslim organisation
would issue such a statement in Nigeria of today. OMC’s press release is the
handiwork of malicious detractors who envy the rising profile of MURIC.
Although this amorphous
group does not deserve to be given any serious attention, there is need to put
the records straight in view of the security implications of the group’s
statement and the fact that the group has gone public through the media. We
will therefore systematically and methodically analyse the group’s statement in
order to pull the rug from under its feet.
First and foremost,
the group claimed to have emerged from the mainstream Yoruba socio-cultural
group, the Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC). But upon investigation, leaders of
the two main factions of the OPC (Dr. Fasehun and Chief Gani Adams’ factions)
claim they have no group called Oodua
Muslim Coalition. They said OPC does not confront religious groups as
membership of the group includes all religious affiliations.
Besides, MURIC can confirm cordial relationship
with Dr. Frederick Fasehun, the popular leader of the OPC. Dr. Fasheun was a
speaker at MURIC’s seminar on religious tolerance held at the University of Lagos
By the same token, the leader of the new faction of the OPC
(The Reformed OPC), Comrade Oludare Adesope, has also denied any knowledge of
the formation of any Muslim group under his OPC or any other faction. He said
OPC does not operate along religious lines. So which OPC does this amorphous
Oodua Muslim Coalition claim to have sprung from? The OPC that we know does not attack any religion. They defend Yorubaland.
There are both Muslims and Christians among their members and the last thing
OPC would want is to be divided along religious lines.
The group (OMC) is also not known to the Muslim Ummah of
South West Nigeria (MUSWEN) which is the umbrella body for all Islamic
organisations in the South West. The fraudulent tendency in the group is
further cemented by its deceitful use of the family name of our revered leader
and father of all Islamic scholarsin the South West, Professor Noibi, the Executive
Secretary of MUSWEN to deceive the public (the group claims that its own
secretary’s name is Alhaji Ambali Olubodun Noibi).
The groups allegation that MURIC is run by one man is false
and baseless as attested to by the massive number of members of MURIC who
participate in public programmes, its members on several social media platforms
and Yahoo Groups as well as its branches which are spread all over the country
including Abuja, the Federal Capital
Territory. MURIC is also known to have been represented by competent members in
various fora organized by local and international organizations. The fact is
that MURIC is a united and disciplined organization with recognized leadership.
Perhaps this constitutes a problem for OMC.
Our antecedents date back to 1994. Our motto is ‘Dialogue,
No violence’. We have consistently condemned terrorism and all forms of
violence. We have pedigree and cannot be so easily rubbished. We warn this fake
group and those behind them that it is illegal to impersonate. They will soon
An Islamic organization that interacts with Christian and
traditional groups cannot be called a terrorist or extremist group. Established
in 1994, MURIC has been issuing goodwill messages to Nigerian Christians during
Easter and Christmas for the past twenty years in spite of criticisms by
extremist Muslims. Anybody who accuses such a group of being the ‘Taliban of
Yorubaland’ needs to have his head examined.
Although it is the
wish of the OMC to balkanize Nigerian Muslims and give MURIC a bad name in
order to silence it (for obvious reasons), we assert the unity and indivisibility
of the Nigerian Muslim Ummah. Yoruba Muslims are part and parcel of the NSCIA.
Muslims everywhere in Nigeria, North, East West and Centre are one and a single
Ummah and we are proud to be under a level-headed and peace-loving Sultan of
We alert the OPC of the existence of a group using its name
and platform to cause disaffection between OPC and Yoruba Muslims. The fact
that there are Muslims and Christians in the OPC further shows the unity in
Yorubaland. This is why OPC must not allow fraudsters who use fake names to
launch diatribes under its platform.
We appeal to members
of the press to abide by the ethics of their profession at all times. Gone are
the days of impunity in journalism. Press statements boardering on
assassination of character call for self-censorship in order to avoid the judicial
advise the press not to entertain fictitious writers and ghost organisations
whose only trade marks are name-calling and blackmail.
We alert security
agents in the South West to the dangerous antics of this fake organization.
MURIC is physically visible. We are ready to submit ourselves for investigation
if the need arises but those behind this fake group must be fished out before
they do more harm. Any group which uses fake names is a danger to the community.
This is why no sane society should condone impersonation.
Finally, we assure
Nigerians in general and Yorubas in particular, that MURIC is a peace-loving organization.
While it is true that we project Allah-given and fundamental rights of Muslims,
we are mainly concerned with the people’s welfare in general. We encourage good
governance and promote peaceful coexistence. Those who raise false alarm about
MURIC are the real enemies of Yoruba people.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)