Tuesday, November 20, 2018

STOP NEW KILLINGS OF MUSLIM TRAVELLERS BY BEROM


21st November, 2018      
PRESS RELEASE:
STOP NEW KILLINGS OF MUSLIM TRAVELLERS BY BEROM
   
The spokesman of Operation Safe Haven in Plateau State, Major Adam Umar, has confirmed the killing of two Muslim travelers at Nding Sesut village of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, Plateau State on Sunday night. According to him, two other persons were also injured while one escaped unhurt.

Although the army spokesman did not actually identify the killers as Berom youth, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has denounced the killing and pointed accusing fingers at the former. In a press statement issued on Wednesday, 21st November, 2018, the human rights organization alleged that Berom youths were still killing Muslim travelers.

“We have the names of the two dead victims. They are Tanimu Sanusi and Usman Inusa. They were members of Vegetable Sellers Association at the Building Materials Market in Jos. They were returning from Barkin Ladi when they were attacked. Abdullahi Muhammad is one of the two persons injured.

“The army spokesman is being diplomatic by not pinning the killing on Berom youths. MURIC has a duty to cry out and reveal the true identity of the killers. They are Berom youths. The survivors made the revelation. The reference to the possibility of an armed robbery attack by the army spokesman is part of the tact being employed by the army. They took the victims’ car away to divert attention. Armed robbers are not in the habit of killing their victims.

“No money was snatched and no cell phones were collected from the victims. Our bet is that the victims’ car is now lying under one of the ponds in the neighbourhood. There are more than 80 such ponds there and the late General Alkali’s car was found inside one of them”.  

According to Professor Ishaq Akintola, the director and founder of MURIC who signed the statement, the Berom are recalcitrant.


“These are people who have tasted human flesh before. They can never be the same again. They massacred hundreds of Muslims in 2011. They roasted their victims on the spot and ate them up. Like the leopard which cannot change its skin, cannibals are always thirsty for more human meat. Besides, Berom youths allegedly trained as killers in Israel are constantly looking for ‘game’ and ‘bush meat’.


“This is an indubitable proof of the meaninglessness of Governor Lalong’s apology. How can the governor be apologizing while his kinsmen continue to kill innocent travelers? Coming barely a week after the burial of the late General Alkali (rtd), a strong evidence of continued criminality is emerging. It is unacceptable. The Beroms are not showing remorse at all.


“MURIC therefore demands that the army must announce the outcome of investigations being conducted into the recent attack on Muslim travellers. We charge the army and other security agencies on ground to heighten their vigilance. The Berom capacity to inflict any harm on travelers must be categorically neutralized. There is an urgent need for military checkpoints in strategic places along roads used by travelers. Regular military patrols are also mandatory.


“While we commend the army for its gallantry, relentlessness and adherence to the rules of engagement even in the face of provocation, we assert the Allah-given fundamental human right of Nigerian Muslims to move freely without let or hinderance. This right is stipulated in Section 41 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Government of Nigeria, ‘Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof…’ It therefore behoves the Nigerian security agencies to ensure that the Berom are not allowed to abridge the right of Muslims to move freely in Jos and environs.


“In conclusion, MURIC calls on the Federal Government (FG) to rise to its responsibility of protecting Fulanis and Muslims in the face of Berom threat. In particular, we demand the draining of those dangerous ponds around Jos metropolis since there is strong evidence that they are being used for criminal purposes. It is our strong suspicion that hundreds of dead bodies of Fulanis and Muslims have been dumped in the ponds. The time to do this is now and FG must not abdicate its responsibility. We call FG’s attention to Section 14 (2) (b) of the Constitution which says, ‘The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government’”.   


Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Monday, November 19, 2018

MAOLUD MESSAGE: POLITICAL LEADERS SHOULD EMULATE PROPHET MUHAMMAD


20th November, 2018      
MAOLUD MESSAGE:
POLITICAL LEADERS SHOULD EMULATE PROPHET MUHAMMAD
   
As Nigerian Muslims join their counterparts all over the world today to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet, he Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has congratulated the Sultan of Sokoto and the President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’d Abubakar III.

MURIC also felicitated with leaders of all Islamic organizations in the country, the entire Muslim population and all Nigerians for witnessing the occasion.  

The message was contained in a Maolud message signed by the director and founder of the human rights organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Tuesday 20th November, 2018.

MURIC called on Nigerian politicians to focus on the plight of poor Nigerians instead of nursing selfish ambitions. “Problems like epileptic power supply, sub-standard public health facilities, bad roads, poverty and desertification of qualitative education are what our politicians should be addressing. 2019 should not be about stealing our common patrimony. Politicians should eschew bitterness, greed and selfishness.

“We urge Nigerians to ignore flambouyant politicians. This is the time to choose leaders who possess some of the virtues of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in terms of transparency, integrity, simplicity and trustworthiness. Muhammad is being celebrated today because he was the epitome of self-discipline. He shunned opulence throughout his lifetime and he was nicknamed Al-Amiin (i.e. the Trustworthy) even before he became a prophet on account of his transparency and Spartan way of life.

“We charge Nigerian youths to shun politicians who seek to exploit them during the electioneering campaigns. The children of politicians are studying in foreign countries and enjoying themselves. Nigerian youths should turn their backs against those who seek to use them for thuggery and hooliganism. They should tell such politicians to bring their own children to do their dirty jobs. Our youths are advised to shun drugs and cultism and to concentrate on productive enterprises that can make them great in the future.  

“Nigerian parents are urged to inculcate in their children the virtues of self-respect, frugality, honesty and industry. They should stop encouraging consumerism and a culture of waste as manifested in funeral parties and expensive wedding ceremonies. They should stop leading false lives.   

“Finally, we invite religious leaders in all faiths to come closer, to spread love, send out messages of peace and to emulate the great leaders of their faith.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)



Sunday, November 18, 2018

DISCOS ARE SABOTAGING FG’S EFFORTS


19th November, 2018      
PRESS RELEASE:
DISCOS ARE SABOTAGING FG’S EFFORTS
   
The Nigerian media was last week agog with news of demonstrations held by the Ishashi Communityof Lagos State against Eko Electricity Development Company. The demonstrators complained of ‘crazy bills’ and poor power supply. It was not an isolated case as demonstrations had been held on several occasions in many parts of the country, particularly in the South West, South East, South South and some parts of the North against the electricity distribution companies (DISCOs).

Contributing to this ugly development, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) in a statement issued on Monday 19th November, 2018, described the performance of the DISCOs as disappointing.

“Something is fundamentally wrong. It is as if the DISCOs are working at cross-purposes with the Federal Government (FG). They have not shown the industrial will for regular power supply despite the uncommon enthusiasm shown by the Minister of Power, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who has a reputation for high-level delivery of service.

“We can confirm as eye-witnesses since MURIC’s headquarters is based in one of the communities at the receiving end of one of the DISCOs, namely EKDEC. Iba area of Lagos State receives the worst treatment. Apart from ‘crazy bills’, the lights are never supplied throughout the night. People sleep in darkness. They are exposed to the terrible heat and mosquitoes.

 “Many transformers have been vandalized and the vandals operate under cover of darkness. All appeals to EKDEC to ensure that light is supplied at night have fallen on deaf ears. Apart from that, armed robbers seize the opportunity of all-night darkness to terrorise the neighbourhood. This would not have been so easy for the hoodlums if there is power supply at night.

“Resolutions reached at the meetings of the communities urging the DISCO to supply electricity at night for security reason have been ignored to date although the resolutions were communicated to EKDEC. This company has constituted itself into a government within a government. It is very insensitive, sadistic and recalcitrant.

“Iba area is a university community where lecturers and students reside in large number yet the DISCO has failed to take this factor into consideration. Students must study. They must also do their assignments. The lecturers too must research. They also have students’ projects, dissertations and theses to peruse and correct. How do they do all these in darkness?

“The case of Lagos State University (LASU) is pathetic. Alhough the university’s visionary, purposeful and dynamic leadership has taken the university to world class status with several initiatives, lack of regular power supply constitutes a potent threat to the sustenance of LASU’s current enviable status.

“In an effort to ensure regular power supply on Ojo campus, the University management spends a humongous amount every month on diesel and maintenance of the big generators which are installed all over the campus. This eats deep into the coffers of the university.

“Apart from students who are in the hostel and who must use electricity at night, LASU students also read on campus during the night and this poses another big challenge. EKDEC’s diabolical policy of ‘no electricity at night’ in Iba area makes this a serious challenge to the university administration.  

“It is the height of sadism to give consumers light in the daytime only. People have the opportunity to go outside on the veranda or balcony for fresh air if there is no light during the daytime. They can even take a strol or sit under a tree outside but they dare not attempt that luxury at night for obvious reasons. They are stuck indoors during the night and that is the time they really need electricity. Unfortunately that is the time EKDEC has sworn never to supply electricity to consumers in Iba area.

“People in the area are wondering what is amiss? Of course this is Nigeria and you have to open your eyes properly. Is EKDEC colluding with some companies who need electricity in the daytime to power their industrial machines? We really have no objection to this because it will aid the country’s quick industrialization and tecknological growth but this must not be done at the expense of poor consumers”

MURIC also revealed that its team had held a dialogue session with EKDEC management in the area to no avail.

“About five members of MURIC were picked to discuss with EKDEC management in Iba area about eight months ago. We complained that though electricity was sometimes supplied in the daytime for some hours, it was not supplied at night. They usually switch on around 11 am and switch off around 5 pm. It is an average of six hours per day.  

“We learnt that the company had the capacity to supply electricity for ten hours and we suggested that the ten hours should be split between day and night. Isn’t that fair enough? We suggested that the five hours of the night should be from 12 midnight to 5 am. Did we ask for too much? We are yet to see that implemented. EKDEC has no listening ear, at least not for poor areas like Iba.  

“MURIC is deeply disturbed as EKDEC and some other DISCOs are depriving Nigerians of the dividends of democracy. They are not allowing Nigerians to enjoy and feel the impact of the good work which the Buhari administration has been doing. After the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wasted $16 billion procuring darkness and subjecting Nigerians to untold suffering, the DISCOs which are owned and managed by PDP agents and contractors are deliberately frustrating the people in order to destroy the good work of the Buhari administration.

They continue to suck the people’s blood under the protection of the rule of law. This could not have been possible in a military setting. This is one instance where a second look must be taken at the rule of law. Should rapaciously greedy politicians be allowed to subject the people to exploitation using the rule of law as a cover for their atrocity? Is national interest terra incognito in a democracy? Can’t we revoke the contracts of the DISCOs in an emergency situation?  

“People in the whole area are frustrated. Coupled with that is the economic implication of the denial of electricity supply at night. We are forced to use generators and to spend huge amounts of money on fuel and maintenance. It is a colossal loss. This bhas forced the communities to drag EKDEC to court under the auspices of the Confederation of Iba Communiries (CIC) but the case has been dragging for more than one year now.

MURIC also accused EKDEC of discrimination. According to the director of the human rights organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola, “EKDEC treats consumers in high brow areas like Ikoyi with special respect but treats those in Iba area with contempt. That is class segregation. Consumers have been compartmentalized into ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. EKDEC’s consumers are in an Animal Farm scenario with its crooked ‘four legs good, two legs better’ mantra.   

“MURIC appeals to the honourable Minister of Power, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, to come to our aid. We are really suffering. It is high time FG called the bluff of the DISCOs. If it is true that the contract of the DISCOs will be expiring this month (November 2018), we strongly advise that the contracts should be revoked. These DISCOs are not on the same page with the current administration. They are cogs in the wheel of progress. Let them go back to their avariciously glutonous politicians and superfluously voracious capitalist bourgeoise.

“For the sake of microscopic clarity, we affirm that the concern of the Muslim Rights Concern is the welfare of the masses. We are greatly concerned that the DISCOs are supplying darkness instead of light. We are concerned as socio-intellectual jihadists seeking 24-hour electricity supply to Nigerians, freedom for the oppressed, food for the hungry, healing for the sick, clothing apparels for the naked and shelter for the homeless. We remain oppressed until these welfare objectives are attained. The struggle for better life for the poor masses is a noble jihad and we will not abandon this great path.

“As we round off, we call on EKDEC in particular and other DISCOs to stop deceiving their consumers. You can fool some people sometimes but you cannot fool all the people all of the time. Enough is enough. MURIC will not hesitate to spearhead a massive but peaceful demonstration against them if they do not perform. We urge FG to put an end to the DISCO’s contracts as quickly as possible because they have failed Nigerians”.     

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


Thursday, November 15, 2018

UIS HIJAB IMBROGLIO: IT IS RELIGIOUS APARTHEID


15th November, 2018      
PRESS RELEASE:
UIS HIJAB IMBROGLIO: IT IS RELIGIOUS APARTHEID
   
The University of Ibadan International School (UIS) hijab crisis was exacerbated this morning Thursday, 15th November, 2018 when female Muslim students who wore hijab to resume with other students of the school were disallowed from entering the premises.
    
A meeting of the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) convened to resolve the matter ended in a stalemate as Muslim parents who attended the meeting were not allowed to express their grievances. Instead, they were shouted down by Christian parents and teachers who constituted the majority at the meeting. The Muslim parents therefore decided to stage a walkout.

Commenting on this ugly development, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) lamented the poor handling of the crisis by the school principal, Mrs. Phebean Olowe.

“It is administrative masturbation. We are not novists in management. The school principal has manipulated the PTA executive and exploited the meeting to achieve her hidden agenda which, ab initio, has been the denial of hijab for female Muslim students. Being a die-hard member of the Scriptures Union (SU), this woman characteristically has a pathological hatred for Muslims and their children.

“Why should a matter which affects Muslims only be subjected to the decision of a Christian majority? The likely outcome was already known to the principal. Whoever presided at that PTA meeting also had a preconceived idea. Majority may have their way but the minority should have their say. But that is only in democracy. Incidentally this is not about democracy. It is religion and religion is a sensitive matter. It will not succumb to democratic rules.

“Also by shouting down the Muslims at that meeting, the chairman has exhibited gross irresponsibility. The chairman of any meeting has a duty to protect all. He must have a listening hear and he should allow common sense to prevail at the end of the day. Common sense in this case should have made the chairman realize that bringing a majority Christian group together with a minority Muslim group in a matter affecting Muslims only in present-day Nigeria will only end up in confusion”.

Professor Ishaq Akintola, who signed the statement, also condemned the shutting out of Muslim students from the school premises this morning.

“It is religious apartheid. The principal has just shot herself in the foot. Her real plan is now exposed. She never really wanted Muslim children in that school unless they are prepared to compromise their faith. It is glaring from the way she hobnobs with Muslim officials who have exhibited readiness to compromise. She sees them as ‘liberal’ Muslims. To her a good Muslim is one who is not ready to stand by his or her religion. Yet she knows the rules in her own denomination (SU) where compromise is taboo. Imagine people who claim to be educated willingly denying entrance to schools to school children.

“It is impunity. It is tyranny of the highest order. We will resist this marginalization with every legitimate arsenal at our disposal. It cannot happen in Ibadanland. UIS authorities have acted ultra vires by shuting those students out. This is not a school where anyone can do what he or she likes. It is a fee-paying institution and the authorities will have to explain why those Muslim students who have duely paid their school fees are shut out of the school gates. The judiciability is not in contention here. A prima facie has been established. If UI itself is not an island, its international school cannot be entire of itself.

“They should look back and ponder. What happened in Osun State when Christian parents engineered their children and wards to wear church garments to school? How long did the church garment culture last in Osun schools? Why do people love to start what they cannot finish? What happened in the Law School when a single female Muslim law graduate challenged the status quo? Or have we forgotten the Amasa Firdaus affair so soon? What happened in Lagos State just two days ago after several years of depriving female Muslim children of their rights? How long will it take this principal to come to her senses?

“Phebean Olowe will eat her words. So will her cronies. The battle has just begun. We will humble her without firing a single shot and without recourse to violence. It is a battle of wits between the oppressor and the oppressed. Phebean Olowe should stop massaging her ego. She should do the right thing before it is too late.

“We will see who has the backing of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Her rubber-stamp PTA will need to explain to all Nigerians how their school’s laws can over-ride the Nigerian constitution. We hope they know what they are up against.

“Before we have a break, we advise the management of the University of Ibadan to intervene. The school principal must be called to order. We urge the Muslim parents to send their children and wards to school everyday and to also record treatments meted out to them by the school authorities. Freedom is never given on a platter of gold. Dare to struggle, dare to win. No retreat, no surrender.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)