Tuesday, June 23, 2015


23rd June, 2015

The Nigerian National Assembly (NASS) has been engulfed in leadership crisis for the past two weeks. The elections of Senators Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogara as Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively have been enveloped in controversy. Consequently, the NASS has not been able to make any progress as inauguration has since been postponed indefinitely.

Like all other Nigerians who have strong faith in the ‘change’ ideology, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is deeply disturbed by this ugly development.

Nigerians threw their weight fully behind the ruling party during the last general election and the least APC can do now is to drop buck-passing, find a middle course and move the nation forward. Only thus can our votes be made to count.   

Intra-party feuds are not strange in democracies all over the world but what marks a political culture as sophisticated is the ease and the speed with which solutions are found each time there is a threat of implosion. This is why APC leaders must quickly bury the hatched before political shenanigans and enemies of democracy capitalize on the in-fighting to cause greater damage.

Above all, APC leaders must demonstrate their political sagacity in handling the crisis without allowing it to escalate further in order to keep the military at bay. We should not give the military the impression that Nigerian politicians cannot handle democracy. An early resolution of the crisis in a friendly way will also assure Nigerians that our democracy has matured.

Why should the APC give leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) cause to mock them? Nigerians know the PDP for its cluelessness, its waste of scarce resources, its unbridled promotion of corruption and its love for impunity, abuse of decorum, recklessness and lawlessness. That explains why the Nigerian ship drifted aimlessly at sea for sixteen years.

Have APC leaders forgotten so soon how former President Jonathan wielded the tyrant’s big stick against them? Security agents were illegally employed by Jonathan to silence you in the opposition camp. Hundreds were clamped in detention in the days preceding elections. Your movements and speeches were censored. Your aircrafts were denied landing right while you were midair. Those planning to take off were not allowed to do so, all in an effort to destabilize and frustrate you. Buhari’s certificate could not be found. But you weathered the storm and came out victorious. Will any sacrifice be too big in order to sustain this victory?

A verse of the Glorious Qur’an which teaches unity is very pertinent here. It says, “And hold fast the rope which Allah stretches out to you. Do not be divided. Remember Allah’s favour on you when you were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, such that, by His Grace, you became brothers (you formed the coalition that enabled you to win the election). You were on the brink of the pit of fire (Jonathan’s torments) and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His signs clear to you so that you may be guided (Qur’an 3:103).

MURIC therefore reminds APC leaders that this is not the time to allow experts in divide et impera to have their way. This is not the time to win and take all. It is the time to share with partners in the trench, time to extend the dividends of democracy to all Nigerians.

The contributions and sacrifices of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu cannot be overemphasized. His common sense revolution galvanized the control of a single state to six and later metamorphosed into what we have today.

Neither should anyone underestimate the gargantuan input of President Muhammadu Buhari’s party, the Congress For Progressive Change (CPC) which all alone gave Jonathan the run for his money in 2011 and garnered a large chunk of the day’s votes.

Yet the coalition of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the CPC could still have had little effect on the 2015 general elections without the defection of the five governors.

The historical walkout at the PDP convention led by former Vice President Abubakar Atiku paved the way for the governors’ defection and spelled doom for the PDP administration. Stakeholders in the party must therefore acknowledge the fact that it was the partnership which worked.  

While we admit that intra-party conflict is good for democracy because it promotes transparency and free speech, we must know the limits. We must know when the party is pushed to the edge of the precipice. That is the time to allow the spirit of give-and-take.

Finally, MURIC strongly appeals to the top echelon of the party to make more sacrifices now in order to strengthen the party. Those who stoop early conquer convincingly. Giving so much and taking so little is the hallmark of altruism. Nay, it is the height of leadership quality. To the authors of the conspiracy which has engulfed the NASS, we remind them that posterity will only honour them if they think more of Nigeria and less of themselves.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


17th June, 2015
Muslims around the world are on the threshold of this year’s Ramadan (Ramadan 1436 AH). Muslims fast for thirty or twenty nine days while dedicating themselves to other religious duties like supplications, public lectures and tafsir (exegesis of the Glorious Qur’an).
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) felicitates with Nigerian Muslims on this auspicious occasion.

We note with deep concern that thousands of workers in many states of the federation are being owed salaries ranging from five to seven months. We express strong solidarity with these poor workers. We feel their pain and frustration. We are in the abyss of despondency because we know that they are in a state of sadness.

We are constrained to blame the past regime of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for stinting states of funds whereas it wasted billions of the taxpayers’ money on buying votes and extravagant campaign projects. Such money could have saved the states from the mess in which they now find themselves.

As a result of Jonathan’s lackluster performance and financial recklessness, workers in many states have been turned into beggars. Hunger and starvation have been their closest companions as they have been compelled to start their own fasting everyday even long before the advent of Ramadan.

MURIC shares the pangs of hunger being felt by Nigerian workers at this particular period. It is the irony of faith that people who are already suffering from starvation are now being required by the dictate of creed to fast in the month of Ramadan.

We appeal to workers to exercise patience and to allow the new regime of Muhammadu Buhari to settle down. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Nigeria has enough resources to take care of all so long as those in power do not engage in waste and kleptomania.

Finally, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to expedite action on federal assistance to states, particularly those owing salary arrears. We appeal to Muslims throughout Nigeria to spend the Ramadan period praying for enduring peace, political stability and economic recovery in Nigeria.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Monday, June 8, 2015


8th June, 2015

June 12, 1993 will remain sacrosanct in the annals of Nigerian history. It was the day Nigerians from all walks of life voted for Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, presidential candidate of the defunct Social Democratic Party.

That election was the fairest and most peaceful ever held in Nigeria as there were no incidents of violence, ballot box snatching or allegations of rigging. Yet an infinitesimally tiny cabal comprising senior military officers in the then ruling military government and a handful of civilian turncoats ganged up to annul the election even after it was clear from the results announced so far that Chief M. K. O. Abiola had won the election.

That annulment turned Nigeria into a pariah nation as the West slammed economic sanctions on the country. Peace also eluded us for several years as civil unrest reigned supreme. Democracy was eventually restored when the military handed over to a civilian regime on May 29, 1999. But the fifth columnists were still able to influence government’s policies as the latter declared May 29 of every year as Democracy Day. Nigeria has since been marking its Democracy Day on May 29 of every year.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) hereby calls on the Federal Government of Nigeria (FG) to take steps to correct this anomaly by declaring June 12 as Democracy Day throughout Nigeria. May 29 is a monumental fraud. It is an attempt to rewrite the history of this great country. June 12 is Nigeria’s date with destiny. It is the plain truth. Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, the late Sardauna of Sokoto said, “The greatest weapon is truth”. We therefore urge FG to stand by that truth.

We hinge our position on the fact that the progressives who constituted the opposition before and who controlled states in the South-West had always marked their own Democracy Day on June 12. They are the heroes of the June 12 revolution.

Also, since the slogan and driving force of the new political dispensation is ‘Change’ and it was on that basis that Nigerians voted for the Buhari-Osinbajo combination, it is only proper that the ‘Change’ begins to manifest from an official recognition of June 12 as our Democracy Day.

The present regime of President Muhammadu Buhari has a lot in common with the June 12 phenomenon. Just as June 12, 1993 marked the day Nigerians sank their tribal and religious differences to vote for MKO, the man in whom they had faith, Nigerians closed their eyes to ethnicity and creed and voted for ‘Change’ on March 28, 2015. FG must therefore give Nigerians the ‘Change’ it promised them, the ‘Change’ they are yearning for. That ‘Change’ is to declare June 12 as Democracy Day and to jettison May 29.

Finally, MURIC posits that May 29 as Democracy Day was a military imposition concocted to spite the MKO revolution which is deeply rooted in June 12. We therefore charge FG to sow the wind of ‘Change’ by allowing the GENERAL WILL to take its due course. June 12 is the date of truth and transparent honesty. It is the date of ‘Change’, the date of destiny. On June 12 we stand.   

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)