Saturday, March 28, 2020

CORONA VIRUS: PRAY FOR ABBA KYARI, EL-RUFAI


29th March, 2020
          
PRESS RELEASE:
CORONA VIRUS: PRAY FOR ABBA KYARI, EL-RUFAI
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has urged Nigerians to pray for Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Buhari and the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. It will be recalled that Abba Kyari reportedly tested positive to the novel corona virus two days ago while Mallam El-Rufai announced his status yesterday evening.

The appeal was contained in a statement distributed to the media on Sunday, 29th March, 2020 by Professor Ishaq Akintola, director of the human rights organization.    

MURIC said, “Both Abba Kyari and Governor Nasir El-Rufai deserve prayers from Nigerians. They are both tested and trusted. Both of them are the embodiments of loyalty, trust, dedication and service to humanity. Abba Kyari has served Nigeria with all his strength. He proved a most loyal and dedicated aide to President Muhammadu Buhari particularly during the latter’s prolonged illness. El-Rufai has exhibited exemplary leadership, uncommon courage and immense love for the citizens of Kaduna State.

“We call on Nigerians to pray for their quick recovery. Let us remember them in our supplications every hour of the day. To the duo of Abba Kyari and El-Rufai, we say, ‘Though you are in isolation we are with you in spirit. You are not alone. The good people of Kaduna and Nigerians in general are with you. We are confident that Almighty Allah, the great healer, will heal you and you will emerge from isolation to continue your good work.”

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



Friday, March 27, 2020

COVID-19: MURIC BACKS AREGBESOLA ON PRISON DECONGESTION


28th March, 2020
          
PRESS RELEASE:
COVID-19: MURIC BACKS AREGBESOLA ON PRISON DECONGESTION
The media yesterday widely reported the Minister of Internal Affairs, Rauf Aregbesola, as calling for decongestion of correctional centres in order to prevent the dreaded Covid-19 from spreading into them. The minister’s call has been backed by an Islamic human rights group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC). This was revealed in a statement circulated to pressmen by the director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Saturday, 28th March, 2020.

According to MURIC, “Inmates of correctional centers are complete human beings and Allah gave them fundamental human rights. They have the right to live, except those that have been condemned to death. Therefore the Nigerian government has no moral right to keep them in correctional centers where they are gravely exposed to Corona virus.

“In the face of Covid-19’s palpable threat, the Federal Government will be running foul of Section 33 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which guarantees right to life if it fails to free inmates who have not been sentenced to death.

“We all know what is happening around the world today regarding the devastating power of this virus. It is killing people in their thousands on a daily basis. The United States now has more than 100,000 cases as at Saturday 28th March, 2020. Death toll in Italy is now 9,134. There are now 579,892 infections in the world with 26,504 deaths. We also know the poor state of our correctional centres. They are not conducive to human habitation. They are over-congested. Is it right to continue to keep people in jail in such a situation?      

“In particular, there are 54 Nigerian soldiers serving a ten-year sentence in some of the centres. These 54 gallant soldiers were ordered to confront Boko Haram fighters who were armed to the teeth. But our soldiers had very poor weapons. They asked for better equipment and for that they were promptly rounded up, prosecuted and sentenced to death. Their death sentence was later commuted to ten years in jail. Yet it was their demand for better weapons which exposed the $2.1 billion armsgate.

“MURIC regards this as a miscarriage of justice. We have made several appeals on the issue of the 54 soldiers to President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and even the present Minister of Internal Affairs, Rauf Aregbesola. Last month, we sent a petition to the National Assembly for the intervention of our lawmakers. We are still waiting for the Senate president and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to act on the petition.

“The interest shown by Aregbesola raises our hope. Inmates do not deserve to die like chicken inside correctional centres over this marauding virus, Covid-19. Something must be done urgently. We urge governors, chief judges, etc to pay urgent visits to correctional centres with a view to releasing inmates in large numbers before this virus invades their poorly equipped abodes.  

“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to exercise his prerogative of mercy to free all Nigerian prisoners except those on the death row. Nigeria has 74,927 inmates in 244 centres spread around the country. They are Nigerians and they have the right to live. Covid-19 is death sentence for them because they have little or no access to testing equipment or any form of medication.  

“Already, 19 prisoners in 10 prisons have tested positive in British jails. We do not know exactly if the virus is already in our jails because we do not have the capacity to test our inmates yet. Nigeria must emulate other countries of the world which have taken proactive measures to combat the spread of Covid-19 by decongesting their prisons.

“New York is already warming up to release hundreds of inmates for fear of the virus spreading among them. Iran took the lead a few days ago by setting 80,000 prisoners free. Poland freed 12,000 inmates yesterday. Nigeria should act now before it is too late. Let my people go. Set the 54 soldiers free.

“If Iran can loosen the chains around the waists of 80,000 prisoners, if Poland can free 12,000 inmates, Nigeria should allow its 74,297 to go home instead of tying them up for corona virus to swallow them (except those who have been sentenced to death). The time to act is now. It is dreadful already to be in any Nigerian jail. But it becomes worse when subjected to thanatophobia courtesy of the dreaded Covid-19. Nigerian inmates were coping with the horror of poor jail conditions but now it is compounded by the fear of Corona virus. It is capable of resulting in riots in our correctional centres.”

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


Thursday, March 26, 2020

CORONA VIRUS: TIME TO COME TOGETHER


27th March, 2020
          
PRESS RELEASE:
CORONA VIRUS: TIME TO COME TOGETHER
As the dreaded global pandemic, corona virus, debilitates populations worldwide, an Islamic human rights outfit, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has reminded Nigerians of different callings that there is no better time to come together. MURIC revealed this in a statement issued on Friday, 27th March, 2020 by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

“The latest toll from Corona Virus, also known as Covid-19, is alarming. As at today, Friday 27th March, 2020, this dreaded virus has taken the lives of 24,071 people around the world. According to Worldometer, there are also 531,799 confirmed cases of infections. With the number of deaths now at 1,000, the United States now leads in the area of fatality.

“Nigerians should not lose sight of the hidden message in this global tragedy. The most important message is that despite belonging to different faiths, races, colour, etc, the whole of mankind is woven together in fate. We should therefore seek to sink our differences. We should put all human heads under the same thinking cap and eliminate stigma, racism and all forms of discrimination. Our watchword should be humanity first.

“Nigerians should not allow this opportunity to slip by without taking a giant leap across the yawning abyss. Nigerians are too divided over primordial, infinitesimal and inconsequential things. It is either over creed, ethnicity or politics. Yet there are still divisions within every issue at stake.

“Although Muslims and Christians tear at each other’s throats in this country, Muslims still have differences within Islamdom and ditto for Christians. Again, while the Igbo rave at Hausa-Fulani, both groups still nurse deep-seated intra-ethnic grievances. The Egba/Ijebu and Modakeke/Ife rivalry is well known among the Yoruba. Inter-party bitterness in Nigeria may be condemnable but the intra-party intolerance is most despicable.

“Yet right now a common enemy in the name of Corona Virus is on the prowl. America’s nuclear bomb and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) are useless against it. No alliance is being contemplated by the West to fight the common foe. This makes mockery of man’s inhumanity to man. We marshalled the most dangerous weapons against fellow homo sapiens but failed to prepare to defend humanity against corona virus.  

“MURIC charges leaders of different religions and ethnic groups in Nigeria to create new bridges at this particular period. Let us make new compromises towards resolving seeming intractable problems. Let us be persuaded by the phenomenon of Covid-19 which knows no colour, no race, no political party or ethnicity. It does not discriminate between a Muslim, a Christian or the adherents of any other religion. This is the time for all of us to sink our differences. What matters is our dear country, Nigeria. What matters is humanity.”

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



Monday, March 23, 2020

CORONA VIRUS: MURIC PRAYS FOR ATIKU’S SON, OTHERS


24th March, 2020

          
PRESS RELEASE:
CORONA VIRUS: MURIC PRAYS FOR ATIKU’S SON, OTHERS
Media reports yesterday confirmed that a son of former Vice-President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has tested positive to Covid-19. The young man reportedly arrived from a foreign country one week ago.     

Reacting to the development, an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has called on its members throughout the country to pray for the young man. This was revealed in a statement issued by the director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Tuesday, 24th March, 2020.

“We are already in prayer sessions for the quick recovery of one of the sons of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar. No young Nigerian deserves to go through this trauma, least of all the case under study. We urge all our members and indeed all Nigerians to pray for his early recuperation.

“The young man is our brother in faith. We feel his pain. Our sympathy goes to him, his father the former Vice-President of Nigeria and the entire Atiku Abubakar family. We pray that Almighty Allah will touch the young man with His special healing. Allah has said none can heal except Him (mon dhaa ladhii yashfa‘u ‘indahu ilaa bi idhnihi Glorious Qur’an 2:255). Medical doctors and nurses can only care. Healing is in the hands of Allah.

“Our special request to Muslims is that they should combine Aayat al-kursiyy with laqad jaaakunm (Qur’an 9:128 – 129) in prayer for him. In particular, we urge individual Muslims to recite these two powerful prayers morning and night to invoke Allah’s mercy on all Nigerians infected with Covid-19 and on our country Nigeria in this trying period.

“We counsel against the politicization of the illness of the son of the former Vice-President. We do not know those who will survive this pandemic. Covid-19 knows no political party or ethnicity. It knows no race, no colour. More importantly, it does not discriminate between a Muslim, a Christian or the adherents of any other religion. This is the time for all of us to forget our differences. Covid-19 is teaching us to come together to find solutions to our common challenges.

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






Sunday, March 22, 2020

COVID-19: DON’T BE MORE MUSLIM THAN MUHAMMAD (SAW)


23rd March, 2020
          
PRESS RELEASE:
COVID-19: DON’T BE MORE MUSLIM THAN MUHAMMAD (SAW)
Amidst reports that a few Muslims still insist on conducting congregational prayers, particularly the weekly Friday Jumu‘ah prayer despite the ravaging Corona Virus in all parts of the globe, an Islamic human rights group has warned Muslims to eschew extreme positions in matters of religion.

This was stated in a press statement issued by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) on Monday, 23rd March, 2020. The statement was signed by the director of the group, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

“We are nonplussed by the lethargy manifested by some Muslims towards the danger posed by Covid-19. In spite of government’s efforts at sensitizing the general public on the need to shun gatherings, many Muslims are still calling our office asking us to speak against the ban on public gatherings so that they could observe Jumu‘ah service.

“Let us make our position clear on this. MURIC will not support any Muslim group or individual found contravening the ban on public assembly because the ban is in the best interest of citizens. It is not targeted at any religious group.

Saudi Arabia cancelled all Jumu‘ah prayers. It also suspended ‘Umrah. For the first time in history, nobody is performing tawaaf at the Haram. In Kuwait, adhan (call to prayer) has been changed from ‘Come for prayer’ (haya ala al-salat) to ‘Pray in your houses (soluu fii buyuutikunm). But here in Nigeria we still find a handful of Muslims who insist on conducting Jumu’ah service. Do we want to be more Muslim than Muhammad (peace be upon him)?


“MURIC warns against extremist propensities. We all can see where Boko Haram has taken us. It started from little excesses like this. Islam is a religion of moderation. It is dangerous phenomena like Corona Virus that the Glorious Qur’an warned us against when it said ‘Do not make your hands contribute to your own destruction, but do good for Allah loves those who do good (Wa laa tulquu biaydiikunm ila al-tahlukah, Qur’an 2:195)


“Prophet Muhammad said, ‘We (Muslims) are a nation of middle-roaders’. He also said on another occasion, ‘The curse of Allah is upon extremists’. He taught us to be wary of harm, i.e. we should not endanger our lives unnecessarily : This he did by saying, ‘Where there is a tangible harm, it ought to be removed.’
  

“We therefore warn fellow Muslims against tramadolised religiousity and articulated spirituality. The former manifests when Muslims insist on observing Jumu’ah in this corona-infested atmosphere while the latter is exhibited when they insist on conducting asalatu sessions in this dangerous period.


“MURIC salutes the umbrella Islamic organisation in Nigeria, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) for enlightening Muslims in the country on the need for obeying government’s instructions on Covid-19. NSCIA’s statement on the epidemic was scholarly, comprehensive and insightful. We also commend the efforts of other Islamic organisations which issued public statements announcing the stoppage of all gatherings of their followers for either prayers, meetings or social events like naming, marriage and funeral ceremonies until the Corona Virus crisis is over.


“We urge other groups to follow suit. All Islamic organisations should emulate the NSCIA by obeying government’s directives. The Glorious Qur’an directed Muslims to obey those in position of authority (Qur’an 4:59). Based on this, MURIC will not entertain any complaints brought by recalcitrant elements. We base our actions on rationality and credibility. We have no apologies for those whose requests were rejected by us when they sought our backing to conduct Jumu’ah prayer at a time that the whole world is battling Covid-19. We urge them to go back to the true teachings of Islam on such matters.


“Furthermore, we call the attention of such cynics to the gravity of the situation. Germany yesterday banned any gathering that is more than two people (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/22/world/europe/germany-coronavirus-budget.html). Italy is under total lockdown as the number of fatalities rose to 4,825 by yesterday. Lagos initially limited the number of people allowed in any gathering to 50 but this was later reduced to 20 and it is all in our interest as the number of infections in Nigeria rose to 27 yesterday.


“We Muslims must face reality. The manner of congregational salat inside the mosque has all the likelihoods of infection. We stand shoulder to shoulder and feet to feet. There must be no gap between a worshipper and the man standing next to him. On the contrary, health experts recommend at least one meter between persons in social interaction in order to prevent infection.


“MURIC urges all Muslims to see government’s instructions on Covid-19 as necessary and beneficial to them. It is therefore in their best interest to cooperate. Zuhr prayers should be offered at home in place of Jumu’ah. The same may be done with the five congregational prayers where the number of those in the mosque is more than 20. However, we strongly advise praying daily salat at home with members of the family as domestic jama’ah.


“We call on Muslims to supplicate individually for Nigeria to overcome this humongous health challenge within a short time. Individual Muslims are also urged to seek forgiveness from Allah for the interruptions in our pattern of worship. We remind Nigerian Muslims that Islam teaches moderation, not extremism. We therefore advise against gymnastic exhibition of piety. There is no point trying to be more Muslim than Muhammad (SAW).


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




IGNORE QUIT NOTICE TO HAUSA-FULANI IN YOURUBALAND


22nd March, 2020
          
PRESS RELEASE:
IGNORE QUIT NOTICE TO HAUSA-FULANI IN YOURUBALAND
The ‘leader’ of the Amotekun security outfit has allegedly asked all Hausa/Fulani citizens resident in the South West to quit within seven days. An online media house (https://www.naijagist.com.ng/all-hausa-fulani-should-leave-lagos-state-within-7days/?fbclid=IwAR2KI2IrJj726E_Jqqhs3oTu2wUqdLlM41pLOCn-tQuw1sFhdf-mnTM_LxE) quoted the Amotekun leader as saying that the pipeline explosion which occurred last week at Abule Ado in Lagos State was an act of terror perpetrated by the Hausa/Fulani.

But an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has rejected the report. MURIC described it as fake news and asked Nigerians to ignore the story. This was contained in a press statement issued by Dr. Sidiq Okanlawon Uthman media aide to the director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

“It is fake news. We call on Nigerians to ignore the report. There is no such thing. How can anybody attribute an obvious accident along the pipelines to innocent citizens? It doesn’t add up. It is laughable, ludicrous and comical. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) gave a graphic picture of what happened exactly. According to the NNPC, a truck hit gas cylinders which exploded and oil pipelines later caught fire. How does that resemble terrorism?


“NNPC has all the tools for the investigation and we stand by NNPC’s story. It is credible. The allegation of an act of terrorism by the Hausa/Fulani resident in Lagos is false, baseless and unacceptable. Where is their proof? We also have a strong doubt about the authenticity of the statement credited to the Amotekun leader.


“Why was the leader’s name not mentioned? Who actually made the allegation? We urge Nigerians, especially Lagosians to go about their legitimate businesses without any fear. Amotekun leaders know the consequences of such a quit notice. Apart from being illegal, it will definitely elicit backlashes in form of retaliation against Yoruba citizens in the North. At worst, it is sheer grandstanding. Note that a similar quit notice was given to the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, last week as he was asked to leave Lagos.


“We have no scintilla of doubt that Yoruba Muslims have no hand in such acts of hostility against Hausa/Fulani, Igbo or any other tribe who reside in the South West. Islam recognizes the unity of all mankind. We therefore urge the various ethnic groups living in the South West to eschew bitterness towards one another.


“In particular, we urge the various Islamic organisations in the South West to speak up on the threats being issued against the Hausa/Fulani by Amotekun handlers. This is important in view of the fact that Muslims form a majority of the population in the sub-region. Silence over the threats and intimidation is tantamount to endorsement. It is time for Islamic organisations in Yorubaland to speak out.


“By the way, is this part of the hidden agenda in the Amotekun scheme? We said so earlier. There is more to the Amotekun project than meet the eye. Unfortunately governors in the region have not given enough thought to the idea before plunging headlong into it. There must be a rethink now that Amotekun ideologues have started revealing their real colour.


“MURIC appeals to the press to maintain the ethics of the profession. This particular story has all the paraphernalia of fake news. A volatile statement is attributed to a faceless Amotekun leader. His name is not mentioned. That is sensationalisation. It is designed to create panic.  


“We charge the security agencies to be more proactive. We urge more vigilance around all non-indigenes because every Nigerian citizen has the right to live or do business anywhere in the country.”


Dr. Sidiq Okanlawon Uthman
Media Aide to the Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)



Thursday, March 19, 2020

CHANGE AMOTEKUN’S NAME TO ‘ODUDUWA GUARDS’ - MURIC


20th March, 2020
          
PRESS RELEASE:
CHANGE AMOTEKUN’S NAME TO ‘ODUDUWA GUARDS’ - MURIC

An Islamic human rights organization has urged the governors of the South West to change the name of the Amotekun security outfit to ‘Oduduwa Guards’. The governors recently launched the Amotekun security network and gave it legal backing by signing bills on the initiative into laws.

The suggestion to change the name was made in a press statement issued on Friday 20th March, 2020 by the director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

The group said, “People who oppose an idea must suggest the alternative. We are not comfortable with the nomenclature. But the only reason advanced for that was that the name was rooted in a biblical verse. But there are other reasons and there is an alternative name. Amotekun is an animal but those who will protect citizens in the region are complete human beings. So why not give the outfit a human face by giving it the name of a human being, especially the name of the ancestor of all Yoruba people?

“We therefore call for a change of nomenclature. Amotekun as the name of the security outfit does not really reflect Yoruba heritage. A name like ‘Oduduwa Guards’ sounds perfect for the project. Oduduwa is the indisputable progenitor of the Yorubas and this is acknowledged by all historians. The Yorubas are not sons and daughters of an ‘amotekun’ (a leopard) which is an animal. Unless the alleged hidden agenda against Muslims is real, the organisers should adopt ‘Oduduwa Guards’ as the alternate name for Amotekun.

For instance, at the inception of the Amotekun operation, when an amotekun operative in uniform approaches a citizen or speaks to him, is it an animal that is standing before him or a compos mentis homo sapien? Is it an animal that is speaking or a full-fledged son of Oduduwa? The Yoruba must not commit an eternal error of giving other groups the chance to ridicule them.

“Changing ‘Amotekun’ to ‘Oduduwa Guards’ is more honourable, more dignifying and more glamourous. The adoption of ‘Oduduwa Guards’ as the new name of the South West security outfit will further immortalise their great ancestor. The children of Oduduwa are not animals.  

“In conclusion, the name of the South West security outfit should be changed to ‘Oduduwa Guards’ to give the security outfit a human face and as a mark of honour for Oduduwa, the great ancestor of the Yoruba.”

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



Wednesday, March 18, 2020

MURIC LAUDS ANTI-AMOTEKUN PROTEST


19th March, 2020
          
PRESS RELEASE:
MURIC LAUDS ANTI-AMOTEKUN PROTEST

An Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has lauded youths who recently protested against Operation Amotekun. The youths, under the aegis of the Yoruba Appraisal Group (YAG) led by Chief Oloketuyi Joshua, organized a massive rally and commenced their procession from Women Development Centre in Agege down to Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja. The rally took place on Thursday, 12th March, 2020.


MURIC’s endorsement of the protest was expressed in a press statement issued on Thursday, 19th March 2020 by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

“It is very clear now that the Amotekun initiative has been hijacked by ethnic jingoists. The protest by the Yoruba Appraisal Group (YAG) has exposed the tribal charlatans and ethnic demagogues in Yorubaland. It is now very clear that those camouflaging as lovers of Yorubaland are only after their personal gains. They pander to the passion of innocent Yorubas. Not only that, they are pursuing a balkanisation agenda. They neither love Yorubaland nor Nigeria.

“Only a fool will oppose the reform of Nigeria’s security architecture in view of several lapses. But breaking up the country is not the solution. Some looters among the Yoruba who are facing prosecution in the law courts are behind the incitement of the Yoruba against the Federal Government (FG). They want to cause confusion before the long arm of the law can reach them. They believe that the only escape route for them is for the Yoruba enclave to be expunged from the Nigerian entity after which they can no longer be prosecuted.

“This is why they are aggressively promoting non-existent ideologies of fulanisation and Islamisation. We contend that these are sheer myth, phantom and ordinary mirage. We appeal to well-meaning Yoruba leaders not to allow these hawks to railroad them into destabilising the country.

“We call on the governors of the South West to be wary of agent provocateur and advocatus diaboli among the major dramatis personae of the Amotekun initiative. Security is good but not when some have hidden agenda against a section of the country, a particular religion and certain individuals.

“Exempli gratia, the former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, threatened in one of his notorious tweets that they knew where to keep people like Akintola when the Oduduwa project is completed. We believe he was referring to Muslim leaders in Yorubaland who dare to promote Islam and not Akintola alone. Another yet to be identified Amotekun enthusiast called for the assassination of the same Akintola. Again, A Yoruba group, the Apapo Oodua Koya (AOKOYA), told the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi who is currently in Lagos, to go back to the North. These threats have not been withdrawn and nobody has been arrested. What is most worrisome is the silence of Yoruba leaders in the face of these threats.

“It is therefore evident that certain extremist groups and individuals nurse diabolical ideas which they intend to actualise via Amotekun and the more the governors look, the less they see. It is unfortunate that the governors of the sub-region have danced to the gallery in the euphoria of regionalism. We corroborate the fear of last week’s protesters (YAG) who alleged that Amotekun is an instrument to perpetrate crime and make political gains for a few individuals masquerading as having the love of the people of the region at heart. We add that Amotekun is seen by some kleptomaniacs as a means of escaping justice having colluded with other thieves from other regions to steal Nigeria dry.


“It is not too late however. Early changes will save Yorubaland from the clutches of ethnic demagogues. We therefore call for a review of the security initiative before recruitments begin. In particular, we advise against the appointment of die-hard Yoruba nationalists and activists in the top echelons of the security outfit. This class of people will only bring prejudice against particular tribes into the system. We insist that real professionals like retired army and police officers should be allowed to handle the recruitments as well as post-recruitment command centres.

In conclusion, we join the Yoruba Appraisal Group (YAG) in calling upon FG and the Inspector General of Police to exercise caution over the request of the Amotekun camp for arms. There is need for FG to sample the opinion of Muslim leaders in the region.

As for now, Amotekun has become the sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of innocent citizens residing in the South West and critics of Amotekun are being labelled traitors and threatened with death. There is every reason to believe that Amotekun may become a real terror in the land, worse than kidnappers and robbers. Therefore, a gun-brandishing amotekun may be the last nail in the coffin of a united Nigeria.

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


Monday, March 16, 2020

FIND URGENT SOLUTIONS TO PIPELINE EXPLOSIONS - MURIC


17th March, 2020
          
PRESS RELEASE:
FIND URGENT SOLUTIONS TO PIPELINE EXPLOSIONS - MURIC

Sequel to the pipeline explosion which rocked Lagos on Sunday, 15th March, 2020, an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has called on the Federal Government (FG) and the National Assembly (NASS) to find urgent solution to constant pipeline explosions in Lagos State. It will be recalled that series of explosions occurred in Abule Ado, a Lagos suburb, on Sunday killing at least 15 persons and injuring several others. About 50 buildings, including a school, were completely destroyed.


The appeal for solutions to regular pipeline explosions which have become a recurring decimal was made on Tuesday, 17th March, 2020 in a press statement issued by the director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola.


The statement reads:

“The incidence of pipeline explosions in Lagos has become perennial. Lagosians are dying daily in their hundreds from constant pipeline explosions. Properties worth billions of naira are lost to deafening explosions and uncontrollable conflagrations.


“The long history of pipeline explosions and its regimented repetition make it mandatory on both FG and the NASS to find an urgent solution to it. We call attention to the status of Lagos as Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre. This can drive away foreign investors who are already established in Lagos as well as discourage prospective foreign investors. Nobody wants to sink money in an endangered zone.


“The list of explosions and their frequency in Lagos are frightening. More than 300 people were killed in Abule Egba when a pipeline exploded during vandalisation on 26th December, 2006. A bulldozer which struck an oil pipeline caused another huge conflagration that led to about 100 deaths in Ijegun on 15th May, 2008. Fifteen houses and 20 vehicles were destroyed.


“Another oil pipeline vandalisation mishap killed several people in Abule Egba on 30th June, 2009. Baruwa area of Alimosho had its own taste of large scale death and destruction due to the same reason on 5th December, 2019. Many people were killed. Again on 19th January, 2020, five fatalities were reported and several properties destroyed when oil pipeline vandals caused another explosion in Ekoro area of Abule Egba.


“The latest explosion at Abule Ado on Sunday, 16th March 2020 in which 15 people were killed while 50 houses were destroyed is one calamity too many. This carnage must stop.


“MURIC appeals to FG to take drastic actions against pipeline vandals. We suggest the creation of an anti-vandalisation unit in any of the security agencies similar to the anti-terrorism and anti-kidnapping units already in existence.


“Our message to Lagos lawmakers in the NASS is this: How many Lagos lawmakers have deemed it fit to visit the scene of the latest fire incident? Who is going to comfort the victims? Where will they sleep? How will they feed? Kudos to Lagos State government for doling out N2 billion for immediate relief but where are the people’s representatives at the federal level?  


“Why is Nero dancing while Rome is burning? Your constituency is burning while you stand akimbo. We want to hear your voices on the floors of the Red and Green chambers. You must speak up for Lagos. You are not there for yourselves but for Lagosians. Cry out loud until the mountains, the hills and the valleys echo your voices. Lagos must not burn down.


“Nobody should tell us it cannot happen. London was almost completely razed down by a fire which burned for five whole days from 2nd September to 6th September, 1666. The fire started in the King’s bakery in Pudding Lane, near London Bridge. It destroyed four-fifth of the whole city. 13,000 houses went down and King Charles II had hundreds of thousands of homeless people on his hands. This must not be allowed to happen in Lagos. It will be the worst humanitarian disaster in Africa for decades.



“We charge residents to give information about oil pipeline vandals to security operatives. Every citizen must be a self-appointed policeman because security is every man’s business. The dogma in security circles is ‘Keep quiet and lose everything, including your life’.


“We warn oil pipeline vandals against excessive drive for materialism. Greed leads to self-destruction. The Glorious Qur’an urges men to stop running after money and properties. The Qur’an asks rhetorically whether man thinks that money can make him live forever (104:1 – 3). Even the Bible advocates self-satisfaction and reliance on God: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will wear…’ (Mathew 6:25).    


“Finally, we appeal to FG for a special relief package for victims of Sunday’s disaster. The Lagos State government has graciously released N2 billion as an initial relief fund. As the father of all, Lagosians are waiting for FG’s special intervention.”


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