Tuesday, April 28, 2015


28th April, 2015


The Nigerian Army yesterday rescued 200 girls and 93 women from the notorious Sambisa forest in a daring raid on the Boko Haram terrorists’ den.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is greatly relieved by this good news. We commend Nigerian troops for this heroic feat. We charge the soldiers to leave no stone unturned in their campaign to rid the whole North East of Boko Haram religious bigots.

We are aware that the identities of the rescued girls have not been ascertained yet. Nonetheless, this is an achievement worth celebrating. Our fervent hope is that they should be the Chibok girls who have been reported kidnapped over a year ago.

Whether or not the rescued girls are the same Chibok girls whose mass abduction had attracted international outcry, MURIC still deems it fit to congratulate Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, for taking steps to make this happen during the last days of his administration.

Yet had it been early had been good, the early rescue of the girls could have earned President Jonathan a second term in office. But the president dilly-dallied for too long and reports said he did not believe the incident occurred until after 18 days. We cannot but add that the Chibok episode has taught future Nigerian and other African leaders a tough lesson in the danger that lies in official procrastination.

We attribute the progress currently being made by the Nigerian military in its fight against Boko Haram marauders to three main factors. Firstly, the proper attention which the Federal Government recently started paying to the provision of sophisticated weapons. Secondly, the support from Nigeria’s neighbours like Chad, Niger and Cameroon. The third and last factor is the prayers of Nigerians from the churches, mosques and other places.

We recall with nostalgia the days when Nigerian soldiers reportedly took to their heels at the approach of Boko Haram fighters. Today we are proud to assert that our soldiers are back in their true form: gallant, heroic and patriotic.

MURIC appeals to the incoming administration of General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) to treat any other future insurgency with military dispatch before it gets too late. The training and retraining as well as the procurement of state of the art weapons should also be treated with the urgency they require.  

Finally, we remind Nigerians of the price the nation had to pay in the Chibok saga due to the stand of doubting Thomases in official circles. We charge all citizens to stand together as one body in one nation to face the challenges facing our dear country without allowing politics, religion or ethnicity to divide us. From our leaders, we demand vision, courage and unshaken political will.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Monday, April 27, 2015


27th April, 2015


The Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Ali Olanusi, was impeached today Monday 27th, 2015. Twenty (20) out of the twenty five (25) lawmakers in the state’s legislature signed the impeachment notice. The former Deputy Governor defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) just three days to the elections.       

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is satisfied that due process was followed in the exercise leading to the impeachment.

However, the speed with which the impeachment was executed has exposed the dramatis personae as impatient and intolerant politicians. The notice of impeachment was served on Wednesday 22nd April. The Judge constituted the panel the next day and by Friday 24th the panel had submitted its findings! The deputy governor was booted out of office on Monday 27th April, 2015. The whole process lasted four working days.

In the face of the impeachment of the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, MURIC calls the attention of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to the baffling and nauseating paradox in Ekiti State where the governor, Ayodele Fayose exploits the current presidential impunity to abuse his executive power.

The governor of Ekiti State has rendered the principle of separation of power impotent by disallowing both the legislature and the executive from functioning for a long time. The governor allegedly slapped a judge in the court premises. The courts have not been sitting for a long time under Fayose.

Neither has the house of assembly. Nineteen (19) lawmakers of Ekiti State who are members of the APC have not been able to sit in the house. This constitutes an infringement on Allah-given fundamental fights of the legislators. The state police command gives illegal and unconstitutional protection to seven (7) minority lawmakers of the house who are members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the president’s party. This is an incomprehensible act of impunity.

Governor Fayose openly incites citizens of the state against the 19 lawmakers. The roads are barricaded by weapon-wielding thugs allegedly with the connivance of the police. Nigerians are astounded that their outgoing president still allows Fayose’s bolekaja mentality to hold sway in Ekiti State. The five evils enumerated by Chamberlain, “Brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution” now hold sway in Ekiti State.  

How can 7 be greater than 19? What mathematical configuration do we call this? History will not be kind to President Jonathan unless he makes amends before he leaves. The 19 Ekiti lawmakers were elected the same way Fayose was elected and there is separation of power between the executive and the legislature.

Of course it falls in line with Jonathan’s record. Was it not in his regime that 16 was weightier than 19? President Jonathan recognized the governor who scored 16 as the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and persecuted the one who scored 19. In Rivers State, the president also allegedly supported five (5) lawmakers in their illegal attempt to impeach a governor who had the majority lawmakers on his side.  

MURIC holds President Jonathan responsible for the excesses of Governor Fayose. Jonathan is in control of the police and the Ekiti police command has been highly partisan in this matter. The lawmakers must be allowed to sit regardless of what their intention may be.

This is what the law says. Any other thing is a contravention and an illegality. We demand full respect for the rule of law. Ondo State has set a precedence. If the rule of law can be respected in Ondo, it must also be supreme in Ekiti. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

MURIC notes with deep concern that Jonathan’s concession of defeat lacks a followup. One stroke of fairness cannot obliterate the tyranny of a tenure. Action speaks louder than voice.

Rather than promoting liberal democracy and checking the impunity of his cronies, Jonathan’s post-concession actions tend to cement impunity and totalitarian despotism. Jonathan cannot lay claim to heroism and statesmanship until the right thing is done in Ekiti as well as in all other matters. It is not so easy to assume the status of a statesman.

President Jonathan must take necessary steps to allow the 19 lawmakers to sit in the hallowed chamber in the same way that the 20 lawmakers sat in Ondo to impeach the deputy governor. Failure to do this means that Jonathan is deceiving Nigerians and the rest of the world about his newfound love for democracy and statesmanship.

Unless Mr. President does this, Nigerians and the rest of the world would know that this country became George Orwell’s Animal Farm under Jonathan. What would posterity say about this after Jonathan’s exit except, “There goes the president who brandished impunity, condoned lawlessness and divided his country along religious and ethnic lines!”

MURIC’s final message to Mr. President is very simple: you can only take one, it is either impunity or Nigeria. Ignore the impunity in Ekiti State and lose your newly won integrity.   

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


21st April, 2015

Outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan this afternoon sacked the Inspector General of Police, Sulaiman Abba. No reasons were given for relieving Sulaiman Abba of duty. Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Solomon Arase has been named as the Acting Inspector General of Police.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) finds this development very curious for two main reasons. Firstly, Sulaiman Abba is not due for retirement until March 22, 2019. Sacking such a high profile service chief without any justifiable casus belli raises more questions than answers. Secondly, it is quite unusual for an outgoing regime to embark on this type of exercise like sacking service chiefs and appointing new ones.

The implication is that the hands of the incoming administration are being tied and its maneuvers being restrained. The incoming regime is being saddled with unnecessary and avoidable human liabilities.

It is our contention that President Jonathan owes Nigerians lots of explanations about the raison d’etre for this eleventh hour replacement of a service chief.

Tongues have already started wagging. Is President Jonathan really getting ready to handover? If so, why is he in a hurry to appoint a new IG for the incoming regime? Why should an IG be sacked shortly after the ruling party lost a general election?

Is it that he did not ‘play ball’ during the elections? Did he refuse to obey illegal commands? These questions are very vital because the opposition had alleged that the Nigerian government relied on using security agencies to thwart the will of the Nigerian people.

MURIC therefore tasks Mr. President to reveal the offence or offences committed by Mr. Sulaiman Abba. This matter must come to the public court of the Nigerian people who are the end-users and tax-payers. Mr. President must assure Nigerians that he is not just destroying peoples’ careers because he is on his way out.

We appeal to the incoming administration to be on the tip-toes of watchfulness. The people’s mandate must be jealously guarded. Nigerians voted for change. Heads of states are known to change service chiefs to strengthen their positions.

The question here is should President Jonathan be preparing his handover note or strengthening his position? This singular act appears to have been taken to consolidate incumbency. Nigerians must be on guard. It is not over until it is over. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

The Buhari Transition Committee must declare clearly, unequivocally and unambiguously that no unnecessary eleventh hour appointment can be made otherwise such will be declared ultra vires and of no effect whatsoever. Outgoing state governors must avoid saddling incoming state administrations with emergency appointments. Such appointments are, ceteris paribus, made with sinister motives.

MURIC calls on civil societies within the country and the international community to take special note of this development. President Jonathan must be made accountable to his pledge to leave on May 29.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Monday, April 20, 2015


20th April, 2015

Mr. Doyin Okupe yesterday attributed the defeat of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to his failure to rescue the Chibok girls.     

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) frowns at this hero-worshipping attempt to extenuate the various excesses of President Jonathan. While we appreciate President Jonathan’s timely act of conceding defeat in the presidential election, we hasten to assert that this single act alone is not enough to obliterate his litany of abnormalities in governance.

Doyin Okupe’s attempt at praise-singing his employer has only succeeded in jogging our memory. Nigerians cannot forget so quickly. Still fresh in our memory are President Jonathan’s politics of exclusion; his many failed promises; how he soaked the hands of the military in the murky waters of dirty politics; how he punished the entire North but pretended to be its best friend; the way he tore the entire country into two religious camps, his deliberate impoverisation of Nigerian Muslims, his favouritism in the area of job recruitment and his nepotism.

Doyin Okupe is deliberately playing on the collective intelligence of Nigerians. To tell us that the kidnap was staged in order to make Jonathan look incompetent is sheer infantile thinking.

Who really is to blame if the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces refused to believe that the kidnap of the Chibok girls was real. Who is to blame if the C-in-C failed to act for good eighteen days after the unfortunate incident?

Has Doyin Okupe forgotten the cries of Nigerian Muslims over their marginalization in the 2014 National Conference? Has he forgotten the gross imbalance in the number of Christians and Muslim delegates?

Didn’t the C-in-C promise to make amendments when the Sultan of Sokoto led a Muslim delegation to him to plead for parity and equal treatment? Did the C-in-C fulfill this promise? Did he do anything?

What of the removal of Arabic Ajami from the newly printed N100 note? Has Okupe forgotten the hopus copus which followed this anti-North cum anti-Muslim act? Can he recall what MURIC said at the time? If Doyin Okupe would check his records he would find that MURIC made a statement at the time that tyrants are taught the lessons of their lives during elections. So is it still the Chibok girls’ factor alone?

Recall the Oritsejafor angle and the provocative statements which President Jonathan failed to check. The aircraft of the same Oritsejafor was involved in the scandalous and illegal arms deal and money laundering in South Africa.

Add or remove Patience Jonathan’s open contempt for Northerners as contained in a statement allegedly made by her in which she derided Northerners as people who produce children only to throw them on the streets!

The First Lady’s impertinence is also partly responsible for her husband’s loss. Who snatched the microphone from the hands of a state governor at a public function? Who summoned the Borno State commissioner of police? Doyin Okupe should answer those questions.

President Jonathan paid the price for allowing his wife to usurp his executive powers. Nigerians may have said nothing at the time but they are not fools. What of the threats constantly issued by Jonathan’s kinsmen? Couldn’t Jonathan see that they were holding the rest of Nigerians to ransom? Did he think Nigerians are cowards? Jonathan’s conspiratorial silence in the face of the belligerence of his kinsmen has only one meaning.

How does Doyin Okupe explain Jonathan’s trivialization of corruption and his unGodly romance with corruption kingpins? Why must Jonathan give national awards to internationally acknowledged thieves and protect drug barons?

Jonathan’s dictatorial proclivity was demonstrated in the sealing of opposition secretariat, misuse of security and other federal agencies to witch-hunt the opposition. In the height of despotism, aircrafts carrying members of the opposition were denied landing right. This was an inhuman act as it could have resulted in the death of those helpless passengers on board particularly if the aircrafts did not have enough fuel.

A state governor was forced to drive himself from Kano to the South because his aircraft was not allowed to take off. Security agencies were used to subvert legitimate exercises embarked upon by the opposition while they openly supported illegal acts of members of the ruling party. Buhari’s certificategate discredited the army, an otherwise noble profession. It painted President Jonathan as mean and desperate to hold on to power. But the effect on the electorate was negative for him as emotions flowed in the direction of the victim.

These are the issues. It was not just the Chibok girls alone. Jonathan’s cup of excesses was filled beyond the brim and it was already spilling. Regardless of religion or ethnicity, we believe that any credible Nigerian endowed with vision and the credentials for good governance can lead this country.

The president’s religion does not matter. Any good Christian or good Muslim can successfully lead us and take us out of the woods. Whoever will treat Christians and Muslims as well as all ethnicities equally will make a good leader here. The president’s kinsmen must not treat the rest of Nigerians like slaves in their own land.

In conclusion, MURIC implores the incoming administration to learn from the mistakes of the Jonathan administration. Buhari as a Muslim president-elect must rise above religious persecution and clannishness.

The Christians of Nigeria must enjoy all fundamental human rights as well as the dividends of democracy. Neither should the South-South be neglected. Buhari’s administration must work towards improving the welfare of the people of the Niger Delta as a matter of priority.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)