Wednesday, November 29, 2017


30th November, 2017

The  Federal Government (FG) has declared tomorrow Friday 1st December, 2017 as a holiday to mark the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). 

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) felicitates with the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, CFR, mni on this auspicious occasion. We also congratulate the Nigerian Muslim Ummah and the entire Nigerian citizenry for witnessing another birthday of the greatest man that ever lived.

According to the Glorious Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad was the seal of all prophets (Qur’an 33:40) and an exemplary leader (Qur’an 33:21). He was sent to the whole world (Qur’an 34:28) as a compassion to Muslims and non-Muslims alike (Qur’an 21:107 wa ma arsalnaaka ilaa rahmatan lil‘aalamiin وما ارسلناك الا رحمة للعالمين).

The celebration of the Prophet’s birthday is therefore the recognition of Compassion. It is the day of mercy, a day that deserves being declared as Compassion Day by world organizations like the United Nations.

A fortiori, MURIC reminds President Muhammadu Buhari of the plight of the 54 soldiers who were imprisoned for refusing to fight Boko Haram insurgents with poor weapons. FG may not realize it, but the 54 soldiers actually exposed the $2.1 billion arms fraud. They are whistle-blowers, not criminals.

Paradoxically, while other whistle-blowers are being rewarded, the 54 soldiers are languishing in jail. This casts a shadow on our war against corruption. It is very disheartening.

In the spirit of the Compassion Day which the Prophet’s birthday signifies, MURIC appeals to Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to grant presidential pardon to the 54 soldiers.

We call on civil society, particularly anti-corruption crusaders to speak out for the 54 soldiers. We also appeal to state governors and chief judges to use the occasion to visit prisons in their states with a view to setting free a large number of inmates particularly those awaiting trial.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Sunday, November 26, 2017


27th November, 2017

About sixty Fulanis including women and children were allegedly massacred six days ago in Shaforon, Kikem and Kodemti villages in Numan. Fingers are pointing at Bachama militia men.        

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) strongly condemns this wanton waste of human life. It is horrendous, heartless and barbaric. It is nothing short of ethnic cleansing and a crime against humanity.

It will be recalled that over 130 Fulani people were also killed in June this year as hundreds of Fulani villages on the Mambilla Plateau were raided by members of the Mambilla tribe allegedly on the orders of the chairman of Sardauna Local Government Area, Mr. John Yep.

We are deeply disturbed by the rate at which ethnic violence is erupting in Nigeria. We are equally constrained to blame the recent attack on authors of hate speech, particularly those motivated by anti-Fulani, anti-North and anti-Muslim sentiments.

We contend that these primordial emotions are inter-connected and cannot be separated with microscopic accuracy. Those who whip up anti-Fulani sentiments do so because of their hatred for Muslims and their inability to tolerate Islam. Those who speak evil of Fulanis are fully aware that more than 95% of the Fulani population is Muslim.

The same people incite Nigerians against herdsmen. They have forgotten that every profession has inherent values and every Nigerian worker renders one service or another to the nation. Instead of appreciating hard-working itinerant herdsmen, tribal and religious sentiment blind authors of hate speech. We contend that all the anti-Fulani imbroglio would melt like ice cream in the hot sun today if the Fulani population revert to Christianity en masse.

While we commiserate with the Taraba people on these brutal killings, we charge the Nigerian security agencies to bring the culprits to book. We call on the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to investigate these atrocities. We also urge the United Nations to set up an international judicial commission of inquiry into this horrible crime against humanity.

MURIC invites authors of hate speech to change their mindset. Perception has the capacity to becloud minds and rob humanity of fair assessment. Ethnic jingoism limits human interaction, blocks opportunities and debilitates understanding while acrobatic religiousity deprives humanity of that thin veneer of civilization and erodes its infinitesimally small atom of sagacity.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Thursday, November 23, 2017


23rd November, 2017

The Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, yesterday confirmed the killing of one of its marshals by suspected kidnappers on the Abuja-Kaduna highway. It will be recalled that the FRSC Tsafe Command in Zamfara State was also invaded by unknown gunmen two months ago. The invasion led to the killing of one officer and the abduction of another.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) condemns these attacks but blames men of the FRSC for manifesting arrogance, avarice and arbitrary show of power on the highways. These are attitudes capable of stoking anti-FRSC sentiments and provoking premeditated attacks on its personnel by angry, frustrated and desperate Nigerians.

It is an open secret that men of the FRSC have lost public respect due to their attitude on the highways. They are in the habit of stopping vehicles arbitrarily and subjecting drivers to unnecessary interrogation thereby causing undue delay and suffering to travelers. This is why many motorists ignore their ‘stop’ signs and take the risk of being pursued by them.

Records show that such risky ventures have resulted in fatal crashes on many occasions. It is also on record that provoked members of the public have staged both peaceful and violent protests in the FRSC office. These incidents are indubitable proofs that men of the FRSC no longer enjoy public acceptance and trust.

Added to this is the high possibility of vehicles breaking down at the spots where they are stopped, the danger of being attacked by robbers after being stranded, the psychological trauma inflicted on families of stranded motorists and passengers at home and many more.

MURIC strongly opposes the stopping of vehicles whose drivers have not committed any traffic offence on highways just for the purpose of checking driving licences and vehicle particulars. This is not done in other climes. FRSC endangers the lives of innocent Nigerians by ordering vehicles to stop in isolated areas of our highways. It is highway terrorism. Nigerians deserve better treatment. FRSC is encroaching on Allah-given fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens to life, personal safety and personal esteem.

We therefore call on the people’s representatives in the National Assembly (NASS) to swiftly intervene and restore the citizens’ rights. Members of the NASS should identify with the Nigerian masses by taking urgent measures to stop men of the FRSC from stopping vehicles on highways. We urge the lawmakers to note that they have not fallen victims personally because they usually have police escorts when travelling. They should take action in the interest of the jamahiir (masses). It is our belief that the intervention of lawmakers will discourage those who take the law into their hands by attacking FRSC officials.

We are deeply concerned that men of the FRSC wear a combative mien, treat drivers and vehicle owners with disdain, look upon tax payers as captives, assume an aura of the Alpha and Omega and threaten motorists with seizure of their vehicles. This threat to impound vehicles is pronounced with impunity thereby casting fear in the hearts of motorists. It is suspected that this threat is designed to coerce motorists into ‘cooperation’ and the attendant extortion. Lonely motorists are the most susceptible to this treatment.  

We state clearly, unequivocally, unambiguously and emphatically that men of the FRSC have no business stopping vehicles on the highway. It is not only dangerous but sadistic and murderous. They are to ensure smooth flow of traffic and assist motorists in distress. Why should they turn themselves into causes of distress? They can only go after traffic offenders and dangerous drivers.

These excesses recently led the Lagos State Government to ban men of the FRSC from Lagos roads. It can be adduced that what led to the ban was their misbehaviour to the wrong personalities.     

MURIC appeals to the FRSC authorities to evolve a modern, more acceptable and less risky means of checking expired driving licences. Afterall it is a digital world. It is high time FRSC grew up. They should stop traumatizing and killing innocent Nigerians. FRSC is further advised to do more of public enlightenment than highway terrorism. The distribution of leaflets and mobilization of motorists for seminars and workshops will go a long way in reducing carnage on Nigerian roads.

In conclusion, we demand a clear policy statement from FRSC officials on the issue of stopping vehicles on highways. We commiserate with families of FRSC officials killed or kidnapped while on official duty. We urge Nigerian motorists to always ensure that their driving licences and vehicle particulars are updated as at when due. We invite members of the NASS to quickly set the machinery in motion to stop men of the FRSC from further endangering the lives of Nigerians. We appeal to all to eschew violent acts and to obey stop signals from all security and traffic agencies.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


22nd November, 2017

The governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, yesterday presented a N345.42 billion Appropriation Bill to the state’s House of Assembly. The education sector took the lion share of the budget with N79.246 billion, representing 22.9 percent of the total budget.     

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) commends Governor Amosun for this huge step forward in the path of education. It is bold, visionary and progressive.

Governor Amosun’s budget has taken cognizance of the reality facing the education sector. He has realized that education is taking a nose dive and he is taking steps to bring the sector back soaring in the sky once again. The mass failure of candidates who sat for the May/June 2017 WAEC/GCE examination whose result was released yesterday speaks volumes.

Compared to the Federal Government’s (FG) paltry 7% which was allocated to education in its 2018 budget, Amosun’s 22.9% is a saving grace. Its closeness to the 26% recommended by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) gives every citizen of Ogun State a good reason to stand tall. Amosun is immortalizing the legacy of the great sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

Ogun State’s 2018 education budget is an eye opener for FG. It shows that it is possible to give education its prime of place if a government is determined to lift the sector to its appropriate pedestal. FG must therefore develop the political will to rescue the education sector from the doldrums.

As we round up, we charge other states to lift the fate of education in their domains by increasing government spending on the sector. Education is like a computer machine. What you put in is what you retrieve. It is garbage in, garbage out. There is no abracadabra in it. What you sow is what you reap.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)