Sunday, September 30, 2018


1st October, 2018

Nigeria is marking its 58th independence anniversary today, Monday 1st October, 2018. As usual, the Federal Government (FG) has declared the day a public holiday.      

In its Independence Day Message, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari for his many achievements in spite of daunting challenges. In particular, the Islamic human rights organization hailed the president for displaying incomparable maturity and unequalled statesmanship in steering the ship of the nation.

The message which was signed by the group’s director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, identified the successful prosecution of the war against corruption, the prudent management of the country’s scarce resources, the technical defeat of Boko Haram insurgents, the unprecedented overcoming of recession within one year, the tactical downsizing of the Biafra agitation, the diversification of the economy, the aggressive provision of infrastructural facilities across the nation like the second Niger Bridge, road and rail networks, etc as areas of visible achievements of the president.

MURIC also cited the indiscriminate release of funds to all states even when some governors remained irrationally hostile and erratic as indisputable manifestation of magnanimity by the president. In particular, the executive order directing the Nigerian Police to suspend criminal charges against the opposition’s gubernatorial candidate, Ademola Adeleke, was another indubitable manifestation of statesmanship.

The Islamic human rights organization reminded Nigerian politicians that corruption is the bane of the country’s progress. It lamented that corruption made Nigerian roads the best death traps in Africa, turned the hospitals into public mortuaries, removed the glamour in education and nearly strangulated the economy.      

“As we prepare for the 2019 elections, therefore, all the political parties must steer clear of corrupt politicians. The battle cry should be ‘total war on corruption’. The Nigerian electorate must distance themselves from stomach infrastructure politicians who will feed them for only one day to make them hungry for four whole years.   

“The onus is on civil society and the Nigerian press to educate voters. Nigerians should be taught how to become fishermen catching fish by themselves instead of hungry villagers waiting for crumbs from the tables of politicians. We must make our 58 years of independence more meaningful by setting ourselves free from political charlatans.

“Politicians who hold the whole nation to ransom for their selfish interests; those who arrogate to themselves all the milk and honey in the land while the jamaheer continue to suffer; those who pay themselves N29 million per month for sleeping during National Assembly (NASS) sessions while the proletariat cannot get a dignifying minimum wage; those who delay the country’s budget for seven months and those who deduct huge sums from the allocations of critical areas of infrastructure to add to their phony constituency projects are not fit to represent the Nigerian people, talk less of leading them.

“In summary, the focus in the 2019 election should be the emergence of a new, reformed NASS. It must be a NASS that is totally committed to the war against corruption. At both state and national levels, Nigerians should choose tested, trusted and credible leaders. We charge the youth to emancipate themselves from the shackles of laziness, indolence and corruption. There is nothing to emulate in emergency politicians and opportunists whose only credentials are F9 parallel, the flair for criminal propensity, a nuisance value and a godfather of armed robbers.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Wednesday, September 26, 2018


26th September, 2018

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) recently conducted nationwide recruitment exercise for which applicants were requested to appear in white shorts, white round neck T-shirts, canvass and socks.

Reacting to the development, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) described it as a deliberate exercise in religious marginalization, economic deprivation and undisguised discrimination against Muslim women.

MURIC’s reaction was contained in a press statement signed by its director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola on Thursday, 26th September, 2018.

The Islamic human rights organization wondered why FRSC would issue a directive which is designed to exclude a section of Nigerian citizens. Akintola said, “The whole world knows that Muslim women do not wear shorts. It is therefore strange to hear the FRSC requesting applicants of both sexes to appear in shorts. FRSC is a federal road safety concern and its recruitment exercise should be inclusive.

“Or is FRSC telling us that it only recognizes Christian women alone? Is FRSC telling us that it cannot tolerate the sight of Muslim women? Is this federal agency only interested in giving jobs to Christian women to the disadvantage of their Muslim counterparts? Is FRSC unaware of the economic implication of this among the Nigerian Muslim population? Is this not a deliberate attempt to empower Christians and continuously impoverish Muslims?

“We believe it is a deliberate attempt to exclude Muslims. We are disappointed that FRSC has joined the clique of anti-Muslim institutions that claim secularism in order to shortchange Muslims. Muslims are being shut out of the economy of this country. Muslims are being dragged to the bottom of the pyramid of poverty in Nigeria. Instructions which make it impossible for Muslims to participate in nation-building are being rolled out on a daily basis in public and private sectors.

“We remind FRSC that the marginalization of any section of the Nigerian population by any agency is a violation of Section 14(4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which stipulates that “The composition of the Government of the Federation, a State, a local government council, or any of the agencies of such Government or council, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognise the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the Federation”

“MURIC therefore rejects the FRSC recruitment exercise for failing to recognize the diversity of our population. It is illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional to issue directives which are designed to exclude any section of the country. The exercise can best be described as incomplete, sectional and discriminatory.

“To complete the exercise, FRSC authorities must give Muslim women their own opportunity to participate. A new date must be fixed for the recruitment of Muslim women in the next few weeks. Nigeria belongs to us all. MURIC will not fold its hands while our common patrimony is shared out among Christians alone.

“We advise FRSC and all uniformed formations to take note of this observation in order to correct the anomaly in future exercises. Marginalisation is the oil which lubricates the engines of bitterness, animosity and rancour in any heterougeneous community like Nigeria. Part of the problems facing Nigeria today is the failure of public institutions and agencies to accept and fully integrate Muslims into the system. Most institutions assume that the anti-Muslim system bequeathed by the colonial master is the ideal thing. They never bother to look around to know if it is all-inclusive”.

MURIC also has a message for Muslim women. “We charge Muslim women all over the country to rise to the occasion. Demand your Allah-given fundamental human rights and that includes the right to employment, right to decent living and right to the dignity of your human person. Nobody under the sun has the right to ask you to expose your body. The Glorious Qur’an affirms that Allah Himself created mankind with dignity. (Qur’an 17:70). Why then should you allow anyone to deprive you of your Allah-endowed dignity?

“We urge the Federation of Muslim Women Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN) to sensitise and mobilize Muslim women across the country for the coming struggle which is aimed at emancipating Nigerian Muslim women from the clutches of neo-imperialists. Freedom is never offered on a platter of gold. It is no longer fashionable to be docile.

“The Qur’an asserts, ‘Why should you not rise in the cause of Allah to defend men, women and children who are oppressed due to their weakness? The weak ones cry out, “Our Lord! rescue us from this city (Nigeria?) whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from Thee one who will protect us, and send to us a helper!” (Qur’an  4:75-76). 

“If you dare to struggle, you will dare to win. Muslim women in Nigeria must keep their eyes open. They must adopt ‘discrimination against one is discrimination against all’ as a motto. The Nigerian Muslim woman has become an endangered specie and this is the only way she can be defended because the authorities never show any concern for their freedom. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

“On a last note, MURIC demands a special recruitment exercise designed for Muslim women to be conducted by FRSC in the next few weeks. We advise the federal agency to consult FOMWAN on the modalities.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


25th September, 2018

The gubernatorial election which was held in Osun State on Saturday 22nd September, 2018 was declared inconclusive and a new date, Thursday 27th September, 2018 has been fixed for a re-run.      

According to the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) in a press statement issued on Tuesday, 25th September, 2018 and signed by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, its office has been inundated with complaints from its members in Osun state who fear a raw deal in the event of Senator Adeleke emerging winner after the re-run.

“Our members are apprehensive. There is this information that Senator Adeleke pledged to return mission schools to their owners if he becomes governor of Osun. We don’t peddle rumour. We are therefore using this medium to ascertain the veracity of the report. The distinguished senator has ample time to issue a disclaimer now.

“The question is very simple, did you promise to return mission schools to their owners? The implications are very serious when considered against the background of the running battle over the mission schools between the Christians and Muslims in the state in the past eight years.

“To assure Nigerians that this is not just a conjecture of MURIC or our concern alone, the Muslim Community of Osun State had earlier raised the alarm on this matter. In a widely publicized press conference of 8th September, 2018, the president, Osun State Muslim Community, Alhaji Mustapha Olawuyi, said inter alia:

‘One of them has been using ‘return of schools to missionaries as one of his campaign promises. We are aware that this is a gimmick to swindle the public. You can’t return the property that belongs to all of us to a mission just because such schools bear mission names. We are all aware of massive investments of public fund in these schools after it had been taken over soon after independence with full compensation. We have told him to forget it. Even if he has a pact with any group, it won’t fly. Any politician that tries it will regret it.’

“As far as MURIC is concerned, we see a big threat to religious freedom for Muslims if a candidate has entered into a pact with Christians leaders to return schools to the missions. If Adeleke has a pact with Christian leaders, what agreement does he have with the Muslims? He may be taking Osun Muslims for a ride. He has to explain.

“He was only known as Senator Ademola Adeleke prior to his emergence as candidate but suddenly he became ‘Nurudeen’. Our strong suspicion is that this ‘Nurudeen’ converted to Christianity a long time ago but he now finds it mandatory to portray himself as a Muslim in order to deceive gullible Muslims. He appeared on Id ground during Salah. But that should not surprise anyone because even Fayose attended Salah prayer wearing a turban. But why must politicians deceive Muslims this way? We charge Senator Adeleke to elucidate on this.

“A second poser to which the distinguished senator must respond before the re-run on Thursday is the repression of Muslim students in Adeleke University, Ede, Osun State. MURIC has petitions from Muslim students in the institution. They complain of religious discrimination, forceful attendance of church services and refusal to allow them to worship as Muslims.

“Our question to Senator Adeleke on this is also very simple. Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria sir, what is your connection with Adeleke University? We are aware that Dr. Deji Adeleke who happens to be the senator’s brother, is the Pro-Chancellor of the institution.

“Given the passion with which members of the Adeleke family have thrown their weight behind the senator’s political ambition, can the distinguished senator separate his policies on education as a prospective governor of Osun State from that of the university? Are Muslims in the state not going to come under the sledge hammer just as Muslim students are facing persecution in Adeleke University?”

MURIC also raised issues on the hijab affair. “The road to freedom to use hijab in public schools was rough and hard. We doubt if Muslims in the state will be ready to tolerate a reverse in case an anti-Muslim governor emerges winner. The president of Osun State Muslim Community expatiated on this:  

‘Again, this is a back door approach to banish hijab from public schools. We have seen hate and lack of religious tolerance displayed in the Adeleke University Ede and the Bowen University in Iwo. And as the majority group in Osun, we will not fold our hands and allow that happen in our schools. It will be resisted with full force. We just fought for hijab for three years, so anyone who intends to mitigate our rights or oppress us should forget his ambition to become a governor in this state. In Osun State, we are aware of our rights and we have enlightened populace.’

If it is true that a pledge was made to return schools to the missionaries, then religion has been introduced into the politics of Osun state. Therefore, nobody should tell MURIC not to intervene in the politics of Osun state. This is not about supporting any political party. Our members are spread across all the political parties but our interest lies in the protection of the Allah-given fundamental rights of Muslims.

To round off, we implore the distinguished senator to expatiate upon the issues raised above and allow the Osun electorate to decide the rest.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Sunday, September 23, 2018


24th September, 2018

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has kicked against the action of Mrs. J.O. Sadare, principal of Isolo Senior Secondary School who suspended five female Muslim students on Friday 13th September, 2018 for wearing hijab. MURIC described the principal’s action as overzealous, infantile and condescending.

MURIC’s reaction is contained in a press statement signed by its director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Monday, 24th September, 2018. According to the human rights organization, Mrs. Shadare’s action is a manifestation of acrobatic religiousity.

“It is now clear to everyone that some Lagos teachers have their anti-Muslim agenda. They just hate the sight of Muslims. We have no iota of doubt that the state government is unaware of the actions of these Muslim haters. The sad thing is that such teachers are tarnishing the image of the state government by their actions. It is quite disappointing that when the whole world is trying to ecourage the girl child to realize her full potential, some Lagos teachers are bent on retarding her progress by sending her out of school. We therefore call on Lagos State Government to protect the Muslim girl child.

“Like Leah Sharibu and the Chibok girls, female Muslim students in Lagos are in captivity. They are not free to ‘manifest’ their faith as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Their parents watch helplessly as their daughters are derobed and molested in public. There have been instances when Christian teachers go to the extent of beating up female Muslim students in hijab inside commercial vehicles and on the streets. The Muslim girl child is now an endangered specie in Lagos State schools as a result of the refusal of the state government to obey the order of a higher court.

“Apart from the Isolo incident, there have been six different instances where Allah-given fundamental rights of female Muslim students were violated in Lagos schools. All the six instances occurred in 2017 alone. This is apart from those reported earlier and those that were not reported. We have the names of the teachers involved in the six cases. We also know their schools. The records are in the cooler for appropriate legal action at a future date.

“Those claiming that there is religious tolerance in the South West can now see the fallacy in that claim. The reality is that Muslims are at the receiving end and the peace of the graveyard which the region is enjoying now is due to the uncommon resilience and astounding forbearance of Muslims.

“It is true to some extent that Christians and Muslims live together peacefully in Yorubaland. They even live in the same houses without fighting. But that is only because they know one another individually. A different scenario plays itself out when they face religious matters in their communities or in their states. Christians bitterly oppose the requests of Muslims and they flagrantly violate the rights of the latter.

“The same Christian neighbour or fellow tenant who plays and jokes with his Muslim co-tenant is the same man who will snatch the hijab of a female Muslim student from her head when he gets to the school where he is a teacher. He is the same man who will vehemently and viciously attack the idea of Islamic banking or disallow the Muslim staff under him from going for Jum’ah prayer.

“Analysed further, this means that the perceived friendship and tolerance among Christians and Muslims in the South West exist only among individuals who know themselves but there is bitter enemity on institutional matters. It is only on the surface. There is a wide gulf between them when issues affect Muslims generally. Examples are the hijab affair, the Friday question, Islamic banking, Shari’ah, etc.

“The reaction of Christians in the State of Osun when the state government approved the use of hijab in public schools after a court of competent jurisdiction ruled in favour of hijab is a good example. The state branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) ordered Christian students to wear church garments like choir dresses to school. There was pandemonium. It is therefore our considered opinion that the South West is sitting on a keg of gunpowder for so long as Muslims are denied their civil rights.

“The best advice we can give Lagos State now is to allow sleeping dogs to lie. Stop stirring the hornet’s nest. Let the Muslims go. The issue of hijab in particular has gone viral. It is now a matter of serious international concern. Advanced democracies of the world like Britain, Germany and the United States allow Muslims to use it in school. In the South West, Osun, Ekiti, Oyo and Ogun have approved it. It remains Lagos and Ondo alone. What is the ‘center of excellence’ waiting for? Should the ‘center of excellence’ be the last to dish out a dividend of democracy?  

“As we round up, we warn teachers and principals not to export their religious gymnastics to public schools. Lagos State government should respect the decision of the Court of Appeal. That is the path of honour.  Lagos as the center of excellence should walk its talk. Lagos has a moral duty to protect the Muslim girl child. It is the only path towards peaceful coexistence.

Lagos authorities should not wait until Muslim students and their parents mobilize to schools where their daughters are abused, stigmatized and traumatized. The continuous harassment of the Muslim girl child over hijab is a serious threat to public peace, a cog in the wheel of democracy, a drag on global best practices and a dent on the efforts of the state government to engender religious harmony”. 

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)