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'
The Central Think-Tank (CTT) of the
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) met yesterday, 30th December, 2018 to
take a cursory look at events which dominated the Nigerian atmosphere during the year
In a public statement released early on
Monday, 31st December, 2018 to showcase the findings of the CTT, the
Islamic human rights organization scored Nigerian politicians low. According to
Professor Ishaq Akintola, the director and founder of the group who signed the
statement, politicians across the spectrum have disappointed Nigerians.
are only a few exceptions. Nigerian politicians displayed astounding
unpredictability. They were consistently inconsistent. Political prostitution
rented the air in an uncontrollable manner. They were bereft of standards.
There was no modicum of principles. All the political parties without exception
became infected with political chameleonism. The Nigerian political landscape
experienced one of its worst moments in history as politicians swarped parties
on flimsy excuses. Personal ego and parochial interest became the parameters
for jumping from one party to another”.
MURIC berated politicians for failing to
evolve a meaningful political culture. “Instead of pursuing a meaningful, robust
and forward-looking political culture, Nigerian politicians fell head over
heels in love with ‘bolekaja’ mentality where Machiaveli instinct rivals
Herbert Spencer’s theory of survival of the fittest.
“Instead of identifying with the masses
and meeting their aspirations, majority of our politicians pitched camp with
the capitalist bourgeois class. Politics is pursued purely for economic gains.
Service is not the objective. No wonder therefore that politics in Nigeria has
become an all-comer game and political charlatanism is the order of the day.
lawmakers perfected the art of law-breaking in law-making. In their sober
moments, they were either competing with Nollywood actors or turning the
hallowed chamber into the most notorious motor-park in the country. They made
2018 their year of sabotage when every project designed by the Federal
Government (FG) was targeted for retardation. Meanwhile it was poor Nigerians
who suffered just as it happens to the grasses when two elephants fight.
“It was the year lawmakers decided to
inflict undue in parliamentary demagoguery in recent time.punishment on the Nigerian masses by ensuring
that they are denied the dividends of democracy. This they did by ensuring that
the budget was delayed for seven months and key projects could not be completed
on schedule. The 8th National Assembly is the most anti-people in
the history of Nigeria while its leadership has proved to be numero uno
is paradoxical that the Nigerian electorate has failed to recognize its
friends. Voters readily sell their votes to the same corrupt politicians who
robbed them of the dividends of democracy. Whereas good roads, qualitative
education, high standard health institutions, etc are unavailable today due to
the corrupt practices of our politicians, many citizens still idolize the same
corrupt elements. They fail to see them as the direct causes of their
a result, political shenanigans were able to mislead poor voters into having
preference for ephemeral toys which they labeled ‘stomach infrastructure’ but
which lasted only one day over concrete, palpable and enduring infrastructure
which are capable of lasting for generations.
“Yet in the midst of our political woes,
a few politicians have managed to stay far from the maddening crowd. MURIC
salutes these ladies and gentlemen of honour. They are the silver lining behind
the dark clouds and they made the several achievements of the present
“For the first time in a very long
stretch, a democratic regime has come up with several social intervention
programmes which impact on the lives of the ordinary citizen, the market woman,
the student and the unemployed graduate. Gargantuan amounts of money which used
to end up in the private pockets of corrupt politicians now go directly to the
masses. It is an unprecedented socio-economic revolution powered by the highest
office in the land.
“It is quite reassuring that in spite of
the fact that a recession greeted the Buhari administration on take-off, the
revival of the Nigerian economy through diversification has gained considerable
momentum. Forbes in September 2018 rated Nigeria as the best economy in Africa
and one of the top ten most improved economies in the world.
the price of crude oil fell to $51.60 three days ago (Friday 28th
December, 2018), the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate standing at 9.5%,
the naira exchanging at N306.9 to $1 and foreign reserve at $43.08 billion as
at 18th December 2018, we are confident that the effect of the fall
in the price of oil will be minimal on the economy considering the prudent
management of the present administration.
“MURIC commends government’s war against
corruption and we are delighted that as much as N871 billion, 407 mansions and 259
vehicles have been recovered from Nigeria’s serial looters by the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The seizures also include nine petrol
filling stations and 98 plots of land.
summary, Nigerian politicians are a big disappointment. Just as there is little
choice in rotten apples, only a few political leaders have added real value to
the Nigerian political landscape. The Buhari administration deserves medals for
the prudent management of the economy while EFCC should be lauded for its
aggressive pursuit of the war against graft”.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
SEIZED $2.8M : MURIC CALLS FOR THOROUGH
A Nigerian bank has allegedly claimed
ownership of the $2.8 million cash seized by the Economic and Financial
Commission (EFCC) at the Akanu Ibiam Airport in Enugu State. Two suspects, Igho
Augustine and Ezekwe Emmanuel had earlier been arrested on Friday, 21st
December, 2018 on suspicion of money laundering.
The bank has criticized EFCC for
releasing a statement without completing investigations. The bank claimed that
movement of cash across states was a legitimate process for all banks.
In its characteristic intervention, the
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has accused the bank of grandstanding. In a press
statement issued on Tuesday, 25th December, 2018, the human rights organization
asked Nigeria’s foremost anti-graft agency, EFCC, to pursue the investigation to
a logical conclusion.
confession of the two suspects that they have been conveying such cash for
notable banks for more than six years raises eyebrows. We strongly suspect
economic sabotage. The matter must be properly investigated before the cash can
be released. The bank may be grandstanding for all we care.
when has movement of cash of such humongous amount been the sole responsibility
of two citizens? Is that not an abuse of due process? How safe is that in a
porous society like ours? By the way, are the two gentlemen staffers of the
bank? There are too many questions begging for answers in this case.
“It is also common knowledge that
looters who have hidden money in uncommon places are most likely to be making
attempts to bring them out in these electioneering days. The $2.8 million may
be the break we have been waiting for. It may lead us to other finds.
we call for a thorough investigation of the circumstances leading to the care-free
movement of so much cash. The money must not be returned to the bank unless all
evidence point to respect for due process. That money may belong to one of those looting politicians who want
to use it to buy votes”.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
As Nigerian Christians join their
counterparts in other parts of the world to mark Christmas, the Muslim Rights
Concern (MURIC) has congratulated Christian leaders in the Christian
Association of Nigeria (CAN) and all church-goers.
In a special message issued on Monday,
24th December, 2018 and addressed to Nigerian Christiandom, MURIC
invited all in the Christian faith to join hands with their Muslim compatriots in
a bid to come to common sense. This, according to the human rights
organization, will enable them to fight evil on a united front. The press
statement was signed by Ishaq Akintola, the director and founder of the
said, “People who belong to the Abrahamic faiths are brothers and sisters. We
must therefore unite to fight the evil in our midst. Poverty, corruption,
gymnastic religiousity, drug abuse, criminality, hate speech, etc are some of
the evils in our society. But these evils know no religion. Paradoxically,
however, instead of coming together to fight these open enemies, we allow
religion to divide us. We have therefore been economical with the use of common
“We all ply the same bad roads because
there are no separate roads for Christians or Muslims. We suffer together from
poor health facilities and acute shortage of necessary infrastructure in our
schools. There is no separate public transport for any religious group. We use
the same airports and fly in the same aircrafts. Inflation bites in our homes
because we buy from the same markets. We are all victims of the Nigerian
condition but instead of addressing the situation we fight over religion. Who
did this to Nigeria?
sense dictates that we should work together to improve those facilities. But
today we are at loggerheads over religion. Is common sense so common in Nigeria?
We have failed to realize that our destinies are woven together. We are in the
same boat in stormy waters. To continue to antagonize one another is to seek to
rock the boat and to rock the boat is to tow the path of self-destruction. We
must keep Nigeria alive. What we must kill is corruption, articulated
religiousity, waste, indiscipline, materialism, greed, hate speech, etc. We
must go back to those values which deepen our humanity.
“It is not our religion that is bad. We
only think so. William Shakespear was right when he said, ‘Nothing is good or
bad, only thinking makes it so’. It is our mentality. We tend to look at
leaders and fellow Nigerians on the basis of their religion or ethnicity. We
must change this mindset because it blurs our sense of judgement. We must look
“We have had good Muslim leaders in this
country in the same way that we have had good Christian leaders. Alhaji
Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, Alhaji Aminu Kano, Chief Jeremiah
Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Joseph S. Tarka and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe were selfless
leaders. Yet none of them rode to leadership positions on the altar of
religion. So how did we suddenly become blinded by acrobatic religiousity? Who
did this to Nigeria?
we need in Nigeria today is bold statements emanating from religious groups
expressing their readiness to jettison religious particularism in the interest
of the nation. We must be ready to work and live under leaders who do not
necessarily belong to our own faith. Leadership should be based on merit and
competence. In this respect, MURIC assures Nigerians that we will fully support
a competent, transparent, patriotic and altruistic Christian who follows the
true teachings of Jesus and possesses the right leadership qualities and
qualifications as the next president of our nation. We have no doubt whatsoever
that such a Christian leader is capable of taking Nigeria to El Dorado.
“In this regard, we felicitate with the
Nigerian Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on the occasion of this 2018
Christmas season. Without any iota of doubt, the current Vice President who is
a Christian has demonstrated to all Nigerians that it is possible for
Christians and Muslims to work together for the good of our great country. He
eschewed greed, selfishness and religious particularism. Mr. Vice President
Sir, we the Muslims of Nigeria are very proud of you.
“Our strong message to Nigerian
Christians is to grab the opportunity of the general acceptability of Professor
Yemi Osinbajo to Nigerian Muslims at this crucial moment. We are certain that
Nigerian Muslims are satisfied with his performance. As a tested and trusted
vice president, we will not hesitate to accept him as the next president come
ball is therefore in the court of Christiandom. The machinery for a
non-controversial emergence of a Christian president for Nigeria in 2023 must
therefore be set in motion. The time to do it is during this coming February
2019 general elections. It will lay a solid foundation for an Osinbajo regime
“In conclusion, we send warm season’s
greetings to our Christian neighbours. We charge Nigerians to change their
mindset. Religion should not be the major factor to consider in leaders but
merit, competence and integrity. Christians and Muslims must join hands to
fight evil in the land. Let us love, forgive and tolerate one another”.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Sequel to the rowdy session of the joint sitting of the Nigerian Senate and
the House of Representatives during the presentation of the 2019 budget by
President Muhammadu Buhari, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has accused the
lawmakers of political imbecility.
MURIC’s view was contained in a statement released on Friday 21st
December, 2018. According to the director and founder of the human rights
organization who signed the press release, Professor Ishaq Akintola, the
attitude of the lawmakers was infantile, pedestrian and ludicrous.
“Our lawmakers manifested
articulated immaturity and exhibited pronounced desertification of
parliamentary decorum. They desecrated the hallowed chamber. It was such a
shame of a National Assembly (NASS). They descended to the lowest abyss of
disgraceful conduct. It is now very clear that the 8th NASS is
suffering from acute poverty of patriotism, a yawning lacunae for dignity and an
irredeemable deficiency in righteousness.
“To boo and jeer during the presentation of an annual budget shows that
our legislators are not interested in how Nigeria makes progress. This was an
occasion when lawmakers are expected to show seriousness as the fate of the
nation and its people for the next year was being reeled out. In saner climes,
the elected representatives of the people manifest concern as the budget of
their country is read. They eschew politicking and listen with rapt attention. But
not Nigerian lawmakers of the 8th NASS. These are the same lawmakers
who delayed 2018 budget for seven months and refused to have anything to do
with it until they had sliced off the juicest portions unto themselves.
“MURIC is not depriving the lawmakers of their right to disagree with the
executive. But no lawmaker worth the salt anywhere in the world will carry
political disagreement to issues pertaining to the welfare of the citizens. The
budget of a country reflects the fate of the people and their welfare at least
for that year and sometimes impacts on their future. For choosing to make
caricatures of themselves on that august occasion, our lawmakers have proved
that they are not worth the trust reposed in them.
“MURIC is not tongue-lashing the lawmakers for booing. We are chastising
them for booing without knowing when to stop. Donald Trump was booed during the
State of the Union address on 17th January, 2018 but it was done in
a very civilized manner. Democrats who booed him kept quiet after a while and
listened attentively because they knew it was about America, not about Trump. They
booed Trump for being inhuman by trying to halt chain immigration of poor
people from the Third World. That was issue-based.
“Our own lawmakers booed the president non-stop to
the extent that Speaker Dogara who was expected to dive the closing remarks could
not do so. They booed without borders. They threw caution to the winds.They
booed President Buhari for identifying with the poor masses of Nigeria, for
refusing to steal and for exposing their voracious gluttony. It is laughable, detestable,
repulsive and condescending, It is, indeed, a tale of two cities.
“Lawmaking is a leadership position
but our lawmakers failed to display the necessary qualities of leadership. They
disappointed Nigerians. All those who partook in the booing and jeering need to
be taken back to school where they will learn the art of discipline and the
qualities of leadership. They are square pegs in a round hole. It is such a
shame that our lawmakers decided to vent their spleen in such a disgraceful manner
on their president simply because the man refused to join in the rapacious
avarice to loot the nation dry. They failed to realize that the line of
demarcation between lawmaking and law-breaking is very thin and fragile and
they crossed that line in their exhibition of legislative rascality.
“Whereas Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “The leader of the
people is their servant”, our lawmakers see themselves differently. They are
feudal lords. They belong to the capitalist and bourgeois political class to
whom the people’s welfare means very little. They lack a civilized political
culture and their political ideology springs from a ‘bolekaja’ mentality where
bitterness, acrimony, derision and violence take the driving seat. This much
was displayed by them during the presentation of 2019 budget.
“MURIC salutes President Muhammadu
Buhari for remaining calm and composed throughout the day. Mr. President stood
ramrod as they booed and jeered. His comportment unsettled his adversaries. He made
the nation proud by refusing to loose his temper. But the icing on the cake was
his fatherly admonition to the rascally lawmakers as he scolded them, ‘Let us
conduct ourselves properly. The world is watching us. We are supposed to be
above this’. That was Mr. Integrity incarnate speaking, the pride of our great
“Those golden words will remain on the marble as long as Nigeria continues
to exist. They are monumental, philosophical and didactic. Generations to come will
read them and they will ponder, ‘What a great leader that was’. But what will
they think about the rowdy lawmakers? ‘Verily, verily, we say unto the 8th
NASS, you were a huge disappointment!’
“The fault goes to the electorate anyway. Nigerians are adept at electing
incompetent politicians. Our level of enlightenment is near zero. But the worst
problem we have is our pathological docility. Venezuela parliamentarians learnt
to comport themselves the hard way. They were proving too difficult for the
president. The citizens invaded parliament and threw them out. Nigerians leave
everything in the hands of God whereas the Qur’an says, ‘God will not change the
condition of a people until they decide to change it themselves’ (Glorious Qur’an
“As a parting shot, we remind those hostile lawmakers that their disgraceful
conduct on that day has added luster to Buhari’s glamour. He is already a hero
of our nation but they made him a greater hero. Whether he clinches a second
term or not, Nigerians, nay, the world at large, have written his name in
letters of gold.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
OF ALKALI’S KILLERS: IT IS JUDICIAL NAMBY-PAMBY
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned the bail granted to twenty
out of the twenty eight suspects arrested in connection with the killing of retired
General Idris Alkali three days ago by Justice Daniel Longji of the Plateau
State High Court.
The human rights organization expressed its disappointmnent in a statement
issued on Thursday, 20th December, 2018. Professor Ishaq Akintola,
the founder and director of the Islamic human rights organization described the
bail as a travesty of justice.
“We are greatly disappointed. How can
those who actively connived with dangerous and notorious killers be allowed to
go home so soon? What message is the Plateau judiciary trying to pass to
Nigerians? This is a travesty of justice. This bail is pregnant with ethnic and
religious prejudice. It can best be described as judicial namby-pamby.
“Peace has eluded the Middle Belt not because culprits were not known but
because such perpetrators have never been brought to justice. This must not
happen in this case. The Alkali case must be seen as different by all
stakeholders not only because his killing has exposed hundreds of such killings
in the past but it has expanded the identity of the victims to Muslims from all
parts of Nigeria.
“This development has triggered the interest of all Muslims in the country
as they have now seen how hundreds of their fellow Muslims embarked on journeys
of no return around the Plateau axis. This recent awareness is very dangerous
and can lead to nationwide religious crisis particularly if the authorities
handle the prosecution of those in detention with levity.
“Instead of sweeping the case under the
carpet, Nigerians expect that a more serious approach should be adopted. We
believe that the suspects who were detained so far are mere messengers. The
security agencies have gone to sleep since the arrest of those hirelings
despite MURIC’s demand for deeper investigations and the need to apprehend and
prosecute the sponsors.
“No big figure has been named since we made that crucial demand. It shows
that something is still wrong somewhere. The failure of the security agencies
to go after the sponsors is a big minus and it portrays them as unwilling to
pursue the matter to a logical conclusion. The issue at hand demands rigorous
investigation and ironcast determination to get to the root of the matter. The
dons behind the killers, the financiers and the influence wielders must be the
targets of a sweeping investigation if we all want peace to reign in this
“Anything short of the above is still a huje joke. But releasing those
detained on suspicion of killing Alkali can be most scandalous. It had better
not happen. We seriously object to their bail because they are likely to tamper
with the investigations. The killers are likely to know some of their sponsors.
They should therefore remain in protective custody because they are likely to
be silenced or spirited out of the country by powerful individuals who have
vested interest in the case.
“We assert that Nigerian Muslims will
lose confidence in the security agencies if this case is bungled. We therefore
call on the Federal Government to show interest in the case and to send strong
representation to the hearings. We charge the Minister of Justice and the
Attorney General of the Federation to keep an eye on the proceedings. We also
invite the Plateau State judiciary to desist from frustrating the security
“Finally, we warn against a similar wishy-washy treatment of the remaining
eight accused of actual involvement in the killing of General Alkali. We call
on the security agencies to go after the sponsors of the Berom killers. Nobody
should make the mistake of thinking that Nigerian Muslims will allow this case
to be swept under the carpet. We are on the tip-toes of vigilance ad
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
has expressed satisfaction with the role of the Awujale of Ijebu-Ode, Oba
Sikiru Kayode Adetona, in the selection of the Eketa Adinniof Ijebu Ode. This development followed the
revelation of more facts on the positive role which the king had been playing
in the growth and development of Islam in Ijebu kingdom.
This was the view expressed by
the human rights organization in a press statement on Monday, 17th
December, 2018. According to the director and founder of MURIC, Professor Ishaq
Akintola, the organization has uncovered more facts on the controversy
surrounding the selection of the Eketa Adinni of Ijebu-Ode.
“Several stakeholders have supplied more facts since our press
statement of Wednesday 12th December, 2018 and we have seen that the
three zones which make up Ijebu-Ode, Ijasi, Itun Metala and Oke were actively
involved in the process of picking the new Eketa Adinni. We wish to state that
MURIC has no vested interest in any particular candidate. We therefore wish to
respect the choice of the Muslim community.
“We appeal to any aggrieved
person or persons to drop any planned legal action particularly through the
conventional courts because the legal system in the Southern part of Nigeria
does not understand or respect the Islamic system. This has informed the
decision of conventional courts to lock up many courts in Yorubaland for
several years as a result of legal tussles. Any recourse to legal action on
this matter should therefore be made to the Shariah panel within or outside
“We assert clearly, categorically and unequivocally that the Awujale
remains a steadfast Muslim and he has for a long time been contributing to the
growth of Islam in Ijebuland. He enjoys immense respect among Muslims and
non-Muslims, not only in his domain but in Yorubaland as a whole.
“MURIC as a human rights group should not be mistaken
for a media house or an arm of journalism. Therefore the strict rules of
journalism do not apply to it. However, unlike a media house, the resources of
a human rights group and its reach are limited to a large extent. It can
therefore react to petitions from an individual or a group of people who feel
MURIC takes a case to the court of public opinion, the onus is on concerned
parties and stakeholders to state their own side of the story for us to do a
followup where necessary. Refusal to review our stand after new facts have been
revealed will be injustice, impropriety and unethical. MURIC or any other human
rights group should also not be misconstrued as a court of law. It has no such
power. It is only a pressure group that can seek redress for an aggrieved
person, a group of people or a community.
“Our views are not divine as we are
prone to error like all human beings. But the beauty of any responsible human
system is its readiness to review its stand instead of relishing in error. Failure
to do so will be impunity. Nay, it is a sin. Islamic eschatology emphasizes the
doctrine of accountability.
Qur’an says, ‘We (Allah) shall ask those who received our message and we shall
also question the messengers’ (Qur’an 7:6). This should make the difference
between an Islamic human rights organization and other human rights groups. The
fear of hurting or labeling innocent people must be uppermost in our hearts. In
this context, we appeal to all stakeholders, particularly whistle-blowers,
informants and aggrieved Muslims who send petitions to MURIC to fear Allah and
to avoid making false claims.
a whole Nigerian Army with all its resources recently erred on its ban of the
United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in the North East
and it reversed itself. Our policy in MURIC is magnanimity in exactitude and
humility in error. Only Allah is infallible. When we are right, it is Allah who
guided us to the light and the glory should go to Him alone. If otherwise, we
seek His guidance all over again.
the avoidance of any doubt, we affirm that nobody asked us to retract our
statement of last week on the Awujale and Ijebu Muslims. But as an Islamic
group we know that even if human beings have not asked us to do so, we will
still account for everything yawm al-Qiyamah (the Day of Judgement).
Muslims must not peddle untruth (Qur’an 61: 2-3).
stated in our earlier statement, we re-affirm our highest esteem for the office of the Awujale and all traditional
rulers. We advise the Itun-Mefa Muslim community to seek re-integration and to
desist from any conventional legal action. The Shariah panel is most preferable
in the event of dissatisfaction”.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)