Tuesday, January 29, 2019


29th January, 2019


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has suggested that President Muhammadu Buhari may have to apply the doctrine of necessity in order to steer the Nigerian ship safely through the stormy waters of judicial gridlock. The Islamic human rights group made the suggestion in a press statement issued late on Tuesday 29th January, 2019. The statement was signed by its director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola. 

This was sequel to the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting of the National Judicial Council (NJC). The Council gave seven days to both Justice Walter Onnoghen (the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria) and the Ag. CJN, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed, to respond to petitions raised against them. NJC elected Justice Umaru Abdullahi to preside over the meeting held today, Tuesday, 29th January, 2019. The petition against Justice Onnoghen came from a non-governmental organization (NGO) while that of Justice Tanko Muhammed originated from Mr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN and another NGO.
“From the look of things and in view of the fact that Nigeria is approaching a general election, we believe that the best thing President Buhari should do now is to apply the doctrine of necessity as applicable at every development before, during and immediately after the elections. This is in order to save the nation from constitutional crisis. 
“To be candid, we are constrained to express reservations on the ability of the NJC to remain absolutely neutral in the issues being examined. Our fear arises from the composition of the NJC. About 60% of the membership are appointees of the CJN and the same CJN is being investigated. How can they assure Nigerians of their neutrality? Any CJN at any point in time wields too much judicial power in the present council as constituted. Government should therefore review its composition as soon as possible. 

“The alacrity with which the two petitions against the Acting CJN were entertained raises our suspicion as there appears to have been a predetermined position not to allow him to preside over today’s meeting.

“There is every reason to be wary of certain sections of our national institutions. Senator Bukola Saraki claimed that Senate met and resolved to approach the Supreme Court on this same Onnoghengate but this has been debunked by other members of Senate. 

“In view of the prevailing circumstances and in the interest of the nation, we strongly advise President Buhari to resort to the doctrine of necessity. The nation must not be allowed to grind to a halt. The chief executive will know how best to apply this doctrine but there is no doubt that it has become necessary. 
“We know that all these crises arose because certain elements within the judiciary and among the politicians are diametrically opposed to the war against corruption. Interestingly, Transparency International (TI) just issued a fresh positive statement today about Nigeria. According to TI, Nigeria’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2018 has improved by four places. The country is therefore ranked 144 out of 180 countries that were surveyed in 2018. We commend President Muhammadu Buhari for this achievement.

“This should be good news to Nigeria, ceteris paribus, but here we are with prominent members of other arms of government constituting themselves into cogs in the wheel of progress in the anti-corruption war. It further goes to cement our suggestion that conventional methods may not give the government the much desired progress in its war against corruption. At the risk of sounding hostile to the principle of the separation of powers, we assert that nobody challenges the status quo with bare knuckles. Necessity may have to compel government to move at unusual speed. 

In conclusion, we express strong reservations at the composition of the NJC and the speed with which the Acting CJN was served with petitions. We suggest very strongly in the interest of Nigeria that Mr. President adopts the doctrine of necessity from this moment until there is palpable stability. We also recommend very strongly that the composition of the NJC should be reviewed in such a way that the power of the CJN is reduced to a minimum. 

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Monday, January 28, 2019


28th January, 2019


Members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) today resolved to embark on a two-day warning boycott of courts in protest against the suspension of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen. The ex-CJN was suspended from office last week by President Muhammadu Buhari on allegations bordering on graft. However, NBA rejected the suspension claiming it did not follow due process. 

The two-day warning boycott will begin tomorrow Tuesday, 29th January, 2019 and will continue on Wednesday, 30th January, 2019. The NBA announced its decision at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Abuja. Reacting to the boycott, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) advised the NBA not to institutionalise corruption. The Islamic human rights organization told members of the legal profession to avoid taking sides with a man who has already admitted that he committed an offence. 

“This boycott is sheer hocus pocus. It is poor Nigerians who will suffer from the NBA’s boycott. They have allowed their emotions to run away with them. The problem with our lawyers is that they see every problem, including political, as a legal problem. They do not look at other angles or think of other possibilities and solutions. They tend to corroborate an African proverb which says, ‘If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.’

“We are talking about a man who sat at the helm of our judiciary here. This man has admitted that he ‘forgot’ more than a billion naira in his bank account. That, to us, is preposterous. It is alarming. Unfortunately those who know better because they are ‘learned’ are the same people staging a boycott to protect the billionaire Justice. 

“Why can’t it happen here if it can happen elsewhere. Just last year, on June 20, 2018 to be precise, a judge of the Supreme Court in West Virginia, United States of America, Justice Allen Loughry who was accused of using his office for personal gains was suspended. His offence involved $363,000 worth of office furniture, having expensive office furniture taken to his private house and using government vehicle and gas card for personal use.

“That happened in a sane society They have lawyers there too and his colleagues did not identify with the wrongdoer. So we need to ask ourselves if we truly want to sanitise this society. Perhaps it was this kind of sentiment that made Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, to conclude that, ‘To fight corruption in a corrupt system, you don’t follow due process, you follow the necessary process.” Vladimir Putin

“We are tempted to ask, ‘Where is the human face in the practice of law in Nigeria? We know the thief. He confesses to us. But we are the same people who will tutor the thief to change his confessional statement. We tell him to claim it was made under duress. We are the same people who appear for the Evans and the Oyenusis yet we go to the mosque on Fridays and attend church on Sundays. Do you think God is blind?

“MURIC appeals to the NBA to put humanity on the front burner in matters like this. NBA should not wish away Justice Onnoghen’s offence. It should be Nigeria first. No single person is bigger than Nigeria. Crimes like the one the ex-CJN is accused of are what turned this country into a wild jungle and NBA must join other patriotic citizens who are presently working day and night to return Nigeria to the comity of sane communities. 

“We further appeal that the NBA creates an enabling environment for ordinary Nigerians to have access to justice. We should not be seen protecting the rich and powerful all the time, particularly a powerful man who has already admitted that he is the owner of incriminatingly humongous bank accounts when poor Nigerians are sentenced to long terms in prison just for stealing one tuber of yam. Ayn Rand has a strong message here, ‘When the law no longer protects you from the corrupt, but protects the corrupt from you, you know your nation is doomed’.

“It was the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who said, ‘Any wealth accumulated on a selfish basis, at the expense of the state in defiance of social justice helps to create a disorganized society in which everybody will eat everybody, and no one person can be safe.’ Do the respected members of the NBA want to support the creation of such a chaotic society?

“MURIC has taken the ex-CJN to the court of public opinion and he lost woefully. Nigerians are flabbergasted that the ex-CJN has N1,131,684,554.00 (one billion, one hundred and thirty-one million, six hundred and eighty-four thousand, five hundred and fifty-four naira) in his personal accounts and still counting. It is appalling, repugnant and nauseating.  

“We advise NBA not to pursue vested interest. Nigerians see the Onnoghen affair as a struggle between those who fight corruption, those who despise it, those who embrace it and those who benefit from it. If NBA will not stand up to be counted among those in the first group, it must not be seen to identify with the third and fourth camps. The second rank is a safer ground for the purpose of posterity.

“We appeal to the NBA not to resume its boycott of courts soon after the two days. This is because it is poor Nigerians who suffer each time there is a boycott of courts. The legal profession is sine qua non to the dispensation of justice anywhere in the world and that is why lawyers are respected by all.    

“Resumption of boycott is unnecessary because Justice Onnoghen himself in a separate case in 2013 acknowledged the special powers of the CCT. In the case of AHMED V AHMED & ORS (2013) LPELR – 21143 (SC) delivered on 12th July, 2013, the ex-CJN held that, ‘The CCT has exclusive jurisdiction to deal with all violations contravening any of the provisions of the Code of Conduct Bureau’ and that ‘the provisions expressly ousted the powers of ordinary regular courts in respect of such violations’. He further concluded that ‘Any allegation that a public officer has committed a breach of or has not complied with the provisions of this Code shall be made to the Code of Conduct Bureau’.  

“As we rise from this session, we remind honourable members of the NBA that law is a noble profession and a good number of our lawyers, both senior and junior ones, are men and women of integrity. This profession is for the bold, the assertive and the man of decency and candour. We advise NBA to think outside the box. Onnoghen appears to have dragged its name in the mud. What NBA should do to reclaim its good name is to step aside and allow the ex-CJN to defend himself at the tribunal.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Saturday, January 26, 2019


26th January, 2019


A human rights group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has reacted to the expression of concern by the United States of America and Britain over the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen. The group’s reaction was contained in a press statement issued on Saturday, 26th January, 2019. 

According to Professor Ishaq Akintola who signed on behalf of the group, America and Britain should not look at the suspension in isolation but consider the gravity of the offence committed by the CJN.
“Western countries should not just jump to conclusions. They should not just make it look as if the CJN is being suspended to clear the way for some undemocratic practices. Neither the US nor Britain will allow a judge to accumulate wealth illegally because it is dangerous for the judicial system. Heavy cash lodgements in both foreign and local currencies were allegedly found in the former CJN’s accounts. No responsible government will ignore that.
“While we appreciate the interest of US and UK in evolving healthy democracies around the world, particularly in Nigeria, we will appreciate it more if these countries show equal concern for Nigeria’s war against corruption, particularly in the judiciary and in the repatriation of Nigeria’s looted funds in those two countries. Advanced democracies are not under any special obligation to listen only to the opposition and echo its propaganda. They also owe it a moral duty to hear the government’s side before making policy statements.
“To this end, we expect that both the US and UK will equally show interest in the allegation bordering on corruption made against the former CJN as they have expressed concern over his suspension. This ought to be done against the backdrop of the reputation of Nigeria which a former British prime minister described as ‘fantastically corrupt’ but which the present regime of President Muhammadu Buhari is trying hard to turn around.
“It is a known fact that no war against corruption can succeed if the judiciary is corrupt. It is the robust judicial system which both the US and UK enjoy today that allows a conducive atmosphere for democratic principles of rule of law, liberty and justice. 

“We seek no less in our country, Nigeria. We find the alleged involvement of the CJN in financial misdemeanor sickening, repulsive and outrageous. A civil society group who could summon the courage demanded his sack. We no longer have any confidence in his leadership of this country’s judiciary. 

“MURIC appeals to Western countries to allow the Nigerian government to clean its judiciary. It is the last hope of the common man. The filth in our judiciary will be better understood when we remember how James Ononefe Ibori of Delta State mesmerized the Nigerian judiciary for years without being punished. But he was caught in Britain and sentenced to 13 years imprisonment because the British judiciary will not take rubbish. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha of Bayelsa State also ran foul of the British judiciary before he jumped bail in 2005. This is one major reason the Nigerian government must be allowed to clean its judiciary.
“We must ask Britain if it can tolerate what is happening in Nigeria today on her own soil. For instance, the current British Lord Chief Justice, Sir John Thomas, earns £240,000 per annum. Will Theresa May, the Prime Minister, keep mum if he receives a report that his Lord Chief Justice has five bank accounts with more than $500,000 in each? Can his American counterpart, the US Chief Judge, John Glover Roberts Jnr, do the same and get away with it under Donald Trump’s watch? You show concern for Onnoghen’s suspension but not for the big sums of money he was practically caught with and which he admitted to. It hurts our sensibilities and you need to make amends.
“This is exactly what we are saying: leave our government alone if you cannot allow it to happen in your own countries. It has been happening here for long and now we have a solution to it via a democratically elected president. We have tons of confidence in Muhammadu Buhari. He sits on our treasury. He does not steal and he will not allow thieves to steal our common patrimony. We are satisfied with him as the guardian over our wealth. We do not care whether he is ‘lifeless’, ‘weak’, or ‘incompetent’. We never had it so good.

“Before we take a break, we appeal to the US and Britain to turn more attention to the repatriation of funds looted from Nigeria. The two countries will earn our respect more if this is done. We need the West’s cooperation in our war against corruption more than we need it in political demagoguery. Fairness demands that the US which expressed concern over the CJN’s suspension follows it up with a statement cautioning judges from getting enmeshed in graft and politicians from getting involved in money politics. 

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


26th January, 2019


A tornado of reactions has followed the suspension of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen. Among such reactions was the suspension of campaigns by the People’s Democratic Party, the purported shutdown of the National Assembly (NASS), as well as the threat of public demonstrations and boycott of the courts by lawyers. 

However, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has described the reactions as superfluous, hasty and suspicious. MURIC submitted its opinion in a press statement issued on Saturday 26th January, 2019. The statement was signed by its director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

“We frown at those over-reactions. Is this the first time a judge will be suspended? What did the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) do when ex-president Goodluck Jonathan suspended and eventually removed Justice Ayo Salami who was then president of the Court of Appeal? 

“Isn’t it the norm for the National Judicial Council (NJC) to suspend any judge who is facing investigation? Can the NBA explain the alleged inability of the NJC to meet for some time now due to postponements by the former CJN? Why would the CJN keep postponing meetings of the NJC? Was he trying to avoid suspension? 
We are all witnesses to astounding cases of miscarriage of justice in this country. Where was the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) when Kazeem Sani spent ten years (2006 – 2016) in Kirikiri without trial for stealing only one phone? 22 years old Rabiu Sani was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment in September 2016 by a Kano High Court for stealing a pair of slippers. Where was the NBA?

“Laywet Kelap, 40, was jailed 2 years in Pankshin, Plateau State in July 2017 for stealing only one goat. What did any political party do to assist him? An Ibadan court sentenced four men to death in March 2017 for stealing 4 phones. We did not hear even a whimper from any political party. In Lagos, a JSS student was docked in October 2016 for stealing his classmate’s N200 and Sylvester Livinus was jailed 4 months in December 2016 for stealing ten fishes.

“These cases were found to be highhanded and arbitrary by ordinary Nigerians. No senior lawyer spoke against these astounding judicial pronouncements. Was it because the suspects were sons of nobodys? Was the NASS on indefinite sabbatical when those erratic judgements were delivered? Must heaven now fall because a most senior colleague has been suspended? Should anybody be above the law even if he is the chief justice? We are living in strange times indeed.

“Or is it the fear of the possibility of the booty being traced to some people? Why is the NBA ignoring the allegation of corruption and the CJN’s strange admission that those cash lodgements were actually made but he ‘forgot’ to mention them. We are shocked to our marrows. It is tyranny of the judiciary and hypocrisy of the highest order to turn your eyes away from the CJN’s misdeeds and start harassing the executive. The Nigerian people are saying no to judicial intimidation.  

“PDP’s threat to suspend campaigns because a CJN was suspended over allegations of non-declaration of assets and suspicious cash lodgements raises eyebrows. This is because the party itself was flushed out by Nigerians because its leadership engaged in massive corruption. The last time we checked, this same party apologized to Nigerians and vowed to change its ways. Is closing its eyes to suspicious cash payments into a judge’s bank account the best way to change its ways? Isn’t the leopard back in its true colours?

“By the way, was PDP in a kind of ‘understanding’ with the former CJN? Is there something between the political party and the man in the eye of the storm? We recall that PDP has repeatedly and aggressively accused the ruling party and Nigeria’s electoral body of plots to rig the election. Was PDP actually preparing the ground for a conspiratorial electoral litigation after the 2019 polls relying on the ‘understanding’? Is the PDP suspending its presidential campaigns because that hope or ‘understanding’ has been dashed?   
“Apart from the late Gani Fawehinmi, we are not aware of any senior lawyer who showed sympathy to the cause of any poor man who has a case in a Nigerian court. We have not seen the high caliber lawyers caring for poor Nigerians who received severe punishments for trivial offences.

“MURIC contends that Nigeria will not become an egalitarian, decent and sane society until the son of a nobody is certain of getting redress when he is oppressed by the rich and powerful in society. Nigeria will not become a just society until the rich and powerful are punished the same way that the poor masses are made to face the full wrath of the law.

“We therefore urge the NBA to desist from creating oligarchy of the judiciary. It will never work. Our learned men should stop seeing Nigeria as an animal farm where the rich are sacred cows and judges are above the law. We must put an end to dictatorship of the judiciary. We appeal to all men of goodwill to intervene before it is too late. We charge the poor masses to rise to the defense of their government. The general citizenry who are the real victims of corruption and the dictatorship of the judiciary must not allow a judicial onslaught on democracy”.     

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Friday, January 25, 2019


25th January, 2019


President Muhammadu Buhari suspended Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) two hours ago. He has equally sworn in Justice Muhammed Tanko as the Acting CJN. This followed an exparte motion granted by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Wednesday 23rd January, 2019.

Reacting barely two hours after the suspension of the former CJN, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) described the suspension as timely and necessary in order to safeguard democracy. MURIC’s reaction was contained in a terse statement issued and signed by the director of the human rights organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Friday 25th January, 2019.

According to MURIC, “The former CJN has lost the confidence of Nigerians. He has seriously tarnished the image of the judiciary. No serious government can retain such a character at the helm of its judicial system. Those who sit on the bench must choose between being gold merchants or agents of the bureau de change and being lords temporal.

“It is too dangerous to approach a general election with a character like the former CJN breathing down the neck of Nigerian judges. A man who is in love with bales of foreign currencies and wads of naira cannot have the courage to look away if tempted again. Onnoghen can only benefit corrupt candidates, opposition parties who have benefited and are still benefiting most from corruption as well as unscrupulous litigants who are hoping to get crooked court decisions.

“We therefore give his suspension full backing and unreserved support. Mr. President has acted in the interest of Nigeria and to preserve the good name of the judiciary. Whoever thinks otherwise should have a good explanation of where those strange lodgements into Onnoghen’s accounts came from. The fate of the former CJN should serve as a lesson for Nigerian judges. The judiciary must be fully integrated into the war against corruption if this country is going to be rid of corruption”.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Monday, January 21, 2019


22nd January, 2019


The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has been called upon to postpone its planned 15th National Biennial Conference billed to hold at IBB Square, Makurdi, Benue State from 5th to 8th February, 2019.

The appeal was made by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) in a press release circulated on Tuesday, 22nd January, 2019. The Islamic human rights organization hinged the appeal on the dangers inherent in holding a national conference which will attract members from all over the federation in the heat of political campaigns and agitations characterized by violence.

According to Professor Ishaq Akintola, the director and founder of the organization, “We urge the leadership of PFN to postpone its planned 15th National Biennial Conference billed to hold at IBB Square, Makurdi, Benue State from 5th to 8th February, 2019 because of the dangers inherent in holding such a programme at such a sensitive period.

“We are all aware that 2019 general elections will start on 16th February 2019 while the PFN conference is scheduled to take place between the 5th and 8th February. That is just eight days to the commencement of elections. We also know that Nigerian security agencies have been issuing warnings and pieces of advice to members of the public regarding safety measures to be taken during this electioneering period.

“Unfortunately too, the political campaigns which began some weeks ago have been marred by violence and some people have been killed in the process. The violence has been widespread across the country. In particular, Benue state which is the venue of the proposed conference has been the hotbed of clashes between herders and farmers while militia activity has been rife there. In addition, political parties have been accusing one another of amassing weapons. Meanwhile Nigeria holds her breath and trembles.

“Another factor is the state government and its level of readiness. The state government of the host city of such conferences is usually the host. Incidentally the same state government and all its officials who should be involved in the logistics and render assistance where necessary already have their hands full with the political campaigns and preparations for the coming election.  

“A programme of this magnitude should not take place just one week to the general elections. It should be noted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) issued the time table of the general elections more than a year ago and all public and private institutions and organizations are expected to have taken note of it and adjusted their own schedules.   

“This is where we are expressing concern about the dates picked by the organizers of the PFN biennial conference. We know that people are free to plan their programmes but it must be within reason. The lives of innocent citizens must not be endangered by any programme. Members of the PFN who will attend the programme are expected to travel from different parts of the country. This is not good enough just one week to elections.

“We warn that the PFN biennial conference planned to come up barely one week to the 2019 general elections constitutes serious threat to the security of lives of members of PFN. In the same manner, it poses serious danger to the public as any untoward incident during the event is capable of ricocheting across the country.

“We therefore appeal to the Federal Government (FG) and the security agencies in particular to prevail upon the organizers to postpone the conference in the interest of peace, law and order. We charge FG to quickly act on this and save members of PFN from the aforementioned danger. A stitch in time saves nine. Article 14 Section 2(b) of the1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states that ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government’.

“Our concern for the security implication is based on the perceived inability of our security agencies to effectively cope with additional challenges. They are already overstressed. They are preoccupied with providing security for candidates of about 91 political parties. We also have 109 senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives for whom the police provide aides. This becomes highly herculean when viewed against the background of security challenges across Nigeria, particularly the Middle Belt region, the South East and the North East. 

“Finally, in view of the gargantuan challenges facing the Nigerian Police and other security agencies, we call on the organisers of the PFN biennial conference to postpone the programme until after the general elections when there will be less stress on the Nigerian Police. We also appeal to the Federal Government, the Benue State government and the Nigerian security agencies to persuade the organizers of the conference and ensure that the event does not hold barely one week to the commencement of the general elections.         

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


21st January, 2019


A message trending on social media alerting Christians not to attend a crusade tagged ‘We Are One’ because Muslims planned the crusade with the intention of bombing the venue in order to kill all Christians in Nigeria has been debunked by an Islamic human rights organization.

In a press statement issued on Monday 21st January, 2019, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) described the message as fake news and advised Nigerian Christians to ignore it. The statement was signed by the director and founder of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

“We are aware of a message now trending among Christians on social media. The message which was meant for Nigerian Christians only was leaked to MURIC through a patriotic and true Christian, reads:
To all Christians: please tell all the Christians brethren (sic) around
You not to attend the crusade with the title *we are one*. It's said that
the crusade is planned by Muslim leaders and it will be holding in all
the states in Nigeria at the same day and time. They will use a popular
and well respected pastor in a state as a guest speaker in the crusade in
other (sic) to gather people. Their intention is to bomb all Christians at
ones (sic) in other for them to archive (sic) their Islamisation agenda.
One of the elder (name withheld for security) who is not in support of
the plan has just made this known to the head of ... (name of Christian
mission deleted by us). Please pass this info to at least 20 people in your
contact as the crusade is just few weeks away. The Lord will hold you
responsible for any life lost through this evil attack if you refuse to share
this info’.

“This is a blatant, wicked and diabolical lie. We assure Christians in Nigeria that there is no such plan. It exists only in the figment of imagination of the devilish authors. It is the handiwork of enemies of Nigeria. We cannot rule out disgruntled politicians, particularly looters who are afraid of being exposed. They are looking for all means of causing pandemonium so that the authorities will be too preoccupied with searching for peace to have time for bringing them to book.

“In the same vein, we urge Nigerians to ignore another rumour concerning the hijab. Fake news mongers claim that Muslims in the South West are advocating for the use of hijab by their women and female school children because Muslims plan to launch terrorist attacks. They said the hijab would serve as special identity for Muslims so that the attackers would not attack them.

“This is atrocious. It is far from the truth. It is also illogical, false, baseless and unfounded. Nigerians should not allow themselves to be hoodwinked by rumour mongers. How is this possible? If the hijab is to serve the purpose of identifying Muslim women in the event of a terrorist attack, what of the Muslim men? If the attack is to happen in schools, what of the male Muslim students? How will the terrorists identify Muslim male students so as not to attack them? It is sheer bunkum, balderdash and poppycock twaddle.

“We urge both Christians and Muslims in the country to go about their businesses without any fear. This is the time to come together putting our heads under the same thinking cap for the sake of our country. Election period is a sensitive time and we should do everything we can to avoid anything capable of undermining the security of the nation.

“Nigerians should ignore baseless information particularly those that have security implication around this time. Any information which cannot be verified should be ignored. Adherents of the two major religions should follow the teachings of their faith regarding fake news. The Qur’an commands Muslims to investigate information before taking any action so that innocent people will not be hurt (Qur’an 49:6). The Bible also urges Christians to ‘Investigate all matters and hold on to the truth’ (II Corinthians 5:19 -20).

“We share the same destiny in this country and we should stick together in the interest of peace and progress. Where are the peddlers of hate and animosity today? Where are those who said we should not vote for Muslims? Where are those who said we should not vote for Fulanis? They should hide their faces in shame. The last time we checked, the candidates of the two major parties (APC and PDP) are still Muslims. Fulani blood also flows in their veins.

“Those agent provocateur ended up in a cul de sac because both President Muhammadu Buhari and former vice president Atiku Abubakar are Muslims and full-blooded Fulanis. It goes to prove further the folly in acrobatic religiousity and articulated ethnicity. We should allow merit to decide who will rule us. The criteria should not be religion. Neither should it be tribe. We should seek noble criteria like integrity, credibility, antecedence, etc.

On a last note, we charge Nigerian Christians to ignore rumours of Muslims planning a grand crusade with the intention of killing all Christians in Nigeria. The rumour of Muslim women using hijab for protection in case of a terrorist attack is also fake news. Nigerian Muslims love their neighbours and they wish to coexist peacefully with all regardless of creed or tribe.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)