Tuesday, August 27, 2019


28th August, 2019

The governor of Rivers State, Nyesome Wike, has claimed that no mosque was demolished in Port Harcourt. This claim is coming in the wake of the allegation by Muslim leaders in Port Harcourt that the governor had sent bulldozers aided by thugs and mobile policemen to pull down the Trans-Amadi Central Mosque on Tuesday 20th August, 2019.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), an Islamic human rights organisation which condemned the demolition exercise has reacted to Wike’s denial. The group revealed its reaction to pressmen in a statement issued by its Director on Wednesday, 28th August, 2019.

The group said, “Wike is a pathological liar. He denied pulling down Trans-Amadi mosque. That is a lie from the pit of Jahannam. So what happened to Trans-Amadi mosque? Was it knocked down by invading elephants? Was there a cyclone in Port Harcourt? Wike can say that to the marines. Nigerians have seen a manifestation of the five evils Chamberlain spoke about in Rivers State: brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution.

“Wike should have known the implications of his outbursts. Just two months ago (June 2019), he said, ‘Rivers State is a Christian state and I have no apologies for saying that.’ A cleric from the South West who was in the gathering commended him for making such a declaration. Any reasonable person will tie the two incidents together. We are constrained to congratulate Wike for walking his talk. It was like, ‘I told you people that this state is a Christian state and you are still building a new mosque. Boys! Go and pull it down!’

“His latest words, ‘I did not demolish any mosque’ are therefore coming too late. They are afterthoughts and sheer play on semantics. He admitted pulling down ‘an illegal structure’. But how can a building whose plan was approved by the state government before you came into office become illegal? For the avoidance of doubt, the survey plan number of the building is AI/RV2009/D13 and the building plan number is RTP/09/617. Both were approved by the state government since 2009.

“As far as Nigerians are concerned, those two documents are vital and a mosque is a mosque, whether it is a completed structure, half or quarter completed. Muslims congregate there and worship. There are uncompleted mosques all over Nigeria where Muslims worship daily. The case of Trans-Amadi Mosque cannot be isolated.

“Mosques take years to finish in Nigeria these days for several reasons but it is common to see Muslims using them even as they are under construction. Funds come in trickles because mosques collect no tithes and foreign aid has been strangulated by United States embargo on aid from Arab countries whereas foreign aid continues to flow into churches, mostly from the same US.

“Just yesterday, a church leader boasted that it planted 65,000 churches in six months. He has our best wishes but no state governor has the right to demolish our mosques no matter how poor they may appear. We cherish the devotion of Muslim worshippers and the serenity of our poor mosques more than any outward embellishment. Didn’t the Bible say ‘God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth? (John 4:24)

“Your Excellency, pictures do not lie. Neither do video clips, unless they are doctored. We watched three video clips where you declared that Rivers State is a Christian state. Can you deny that? We raw the rubble where there used to be a mosque structure. But you are now denying that you demolished a mosque. Who does not understand semantics?

“Oh, we can see clearly. It became illegal because it is a mosque and it must go down because no new mosque must emerge after the ‘almighty’ governor has declared the state as a Christian state. A la l’etat c’est moi, n’est c’est pas? It had better not be. Even Louis XIV to whom that infamous declaration is attributed regretted his feudal absolutism on his deathbed when he said, ‘Je m’en vais, mais l’Etat demeurera toujours’, i.e. ‘I depart, but the State shall always remain’.

“We remind Governor Wike that there are rules of engagement in every decent society and he must respect those rules. Wike is governor today but like the French king, Louis, he must go one day. Wike’s declaration of the state as a Christian state stands in contradistinction to Section 10 of the Nigerian Constitution. It is therefore unconstitutional and his demolition of the mosque is ultra vires.

“Wike is definitely not the only Christian governor in a Christian-dominated state. Ten other states in the sub-region have very large Christian population: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, and Imo. But Wike is the only one who declared his state a Christian state. Wike wants to be more Christian than Jesus. What of the other governors? Are they not Christians as well? Who did this to Rivers State?

“The executive governor of Rivers State is now running from pillar to post in order to cover his tracks. But it is too late. Words are like eggs, they break into fragments once they are allowed to drop. Again, we must note that he repeated those words on three different occasions and in the presence of journalists.  Once is happenstance, twice is a coincidence. The third time is enemy action. True to his words, Wike took a wicked decision, viz, to pull down the house of God.

“It is now clear to all and sundry that Wike does not look before he leaps. He acts on impulse. He should have known the implication of pulling down a mosque two months after declaring his state a Christian state. That is the question. That is the crux of the problem. They say action speaks louder than voice. This demolition is even worse than Wike’s unconstitutional declaration. We have no scintilla of doubt that Wike’s wicked action is a followup to his declaration.

“Our message to Governor Wike is this: Your Excellency sir, verily indeed we say unto you, you have bulldozers, we have Allah. You may bring down our mosque. You cannot remove iman (faith) and piety (taqwah) from our hearts. Islam is in our lives and a million bulldozers cannot extirpate it.

“To deceive Nigerians after demolishing a mosque, Wike argued that there were other mosques still standing in Port Harcourt. We reject Wike’s warped thinking. Those mosques he refered to were built before he came to power. They were built during the reign of governors who were not boastful, arrogant, belligerent and power drunk.

“It will be in Wike’s best interest to invite the management of Trans-Amadi Mosque which he pulled down wilfully, consciously and deliberately. That action is illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional in view of a court declaration that the property belongs to the Muslims.

“Wike is advised to undo what he has done by engaging the management of that mosque in dialogue. Wike must refund the total cost of what he caused to demolish and allow construction work to resume at the site. Only this can douse the tension generated by Wike’s wicked act. In addition, the Roi Soleil of Rivers State is advised to, in his remaining days in office, engage in tactical withdrawal of his inflammatory, unguarded and unconstitutional statement about his state being a Christian state.

“Meanwhile, we implore Nigerian Muslims to remain calm and law abiding. There should be no tit for tat. Not all Christian governors are like the governor of Rivers State and definitely not all Christians are as bellicose, militant, boastful, arrogant and mischievious as Nyesome.

“Wike’s wickedness may surpass that of Herod but thousands of Nigerian Christians are kind-hearted, warm and friendly. We therefore advise against any revenge action by any Muslim governor against any church building. Neither should any Muslim individual or group attack any individual Christian or group of Christians in any part of the country.

“We invite Nigerians to love one another regardless of religion and ethnicity. We urge peace-loving Christians to ignore the divisive, autocratic and self-righteous antics of Wike. This man cannot be the ambassador of Nigerian Christians. We need peace to build a prosperous Nigeria. We are therefore willing to live in peace with our Christian neighbours.

“In summary, we assert that Wike is a pathological liar for denying his role in the demolition of Trans-Amadi Mosque in PortHarcourt. We demand adequate compensation for the destroyed mosque and the right to resume construction at the site with immediate effect. Finally, we extend our hand of fellowship to peace-loving and law-abiding Christians throughout Nigeria.”

Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

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Sunday, August 25, 2019


26th August, 2019

Trans-Amadi Central Mosque in Port Harcourt, Rivers State was on Tuesday 20th August, 2019 demolished by the Rivers State government. The demolition exercise has however been denounced by the Islamic human rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).
According to MURIC, the demolition is the most odious and insidious attack on an Islamic landmark in that part of the country in recent times. This was made known to the media in a statement issued by the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Monday, 26th August, 2019.

MURIC said, “This demolition exercise is illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional. It is an exhibition of gross, undiluted Islamophobia and the most odious and insidious attack on an Islamic landmark in that part of the country in recent times. It is another evidence showing that established thugs have seized the reins of power in certain government houses in Nigeria.

“Both the Chief Imam of Trans-Amadi Central Mosque, Alhaji Haroon Muhammed and the Secretary, Alhaji Aliyu Sadiq have provided evidence proving that due process was followed in purchasing the land. Yet the state government has been harassing the mosque management for years. The mosque has been demolished twice in the past.

“The Muslims had no option than to approach the court. Two cases were instituted at the State High court. One was to restrain the government from taking over the land and the other was for compensation for the loss incurred by the Muslims for the damages done to their properties (the building that was demolished and the properties in the mosque damaged as a result of the demolition).

“The Muslims won both cases. The court judgement in favour of the Muslims was given on 2nd November, 2017. Though the government appealed against the second case which is about compensation for damages and the case is still ongoing at the Appeal Court, it did not appeal the one restraining it from taking over the land. The Muslims of Rivers State are therefore the bona fide owners of that land.

“It proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the demolition of Tuesday 20th August 2019 was done in contempt of court. A mosque is demolished while there is a case on it at an appellate court. The level of impunity manifested by Governor Nyesom Wike has confirmed the fear expressed by Lord Acton in his 1887 letter addressed to Bishop Mandell Creighton that ‘Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely’.  

“Or how do we explain a situation whereby a state governor ignores all legal process and proceeds to send thugs and fake mobile policemen to destroy a mosque? It is interesting to note that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of that area challenged the task force on the ground that he was not aware of any demolition order.

“They replied that the order was from the State House but they had to withdraw because they could not produce a written order when the DPO requested for it. This happened twice: 29th July and 16th August, 2019 before they eventually came for the demolition on 20th August when they returned yesterday with more touts, fake mobile policemen and bulldozers.

“This demolition was executed without any formal notice despite the fact that the mosque has an approved building plan. The only thing that was heard was that the papers had not been revalidated whereas the mosque management made several moves to revalidate ownership. They even paid a visit to the permanent secretary to complain when officials in the Ministry of Lands and Housing refused to attend to them.

“This illegal demolition has deprived more than 10,000 worshippers of a place of worship. Members of the armed forces, oil company workers and other residents who are Muslims attend the mosque. This exercise smarks of religious fanaticism, intolerance and administrative impunity.

“The witch cried yesterday and the child died today. Do we still need to waste time on an autopsy? Contrary to Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which says, ‘The Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State religion’ Wike has declared on three different occassions that Rivers State is a Christian State and no one has deemed it fit to caution him, not the state assembly, nor the Senate.

“Wike does not want any mosque in the state. Neither does he want to see any Muslim around him. Paradoxically, Rivers State citizens are everywhere in the country, particularly in Muslim-controlled parts of Northern Nigeria as well as Muslim-majority parts of the South West. Wike’s ability for independent and logical reasoning is highly in doubt.

“We alert Nigerians to the characteristics of Wike’s administration, namely:  wikedisation of religion, acrobatic religiousity, gymnastic impunity, political violence and administrative rascality. Wike has no respect for any type of decorum. He is a threat to peaceful coexistence anywhere in this country.

“This man must never be allowed to go beyond Rivers State in his political career. Neither should any president give him a federal appointment. Nigerian Muslims will definitely rise against him if he ever aspires for a federal position anytime in the future or if any presidential candidate picks him as his running mate. Wike is bad news. Muslims are not safe in his hands. He is not capable of rational thinking. Neither can he ever dispense justice with fairness.

“To the Muslims of Rivers State, we send to you this strong message of solidarity. ‘Believers are all brothers’ (Qur’an 49:10 Inamal muminuun ikhwah). We assure you that you are not alone. We feel the heat as you pray under the burning sun. We share the cold and wetness when you pray in the rain. The Fir‘awn of Rivers State cannot do worse to you than Abu Lahab and Abu Jahl did to the early Muslims. How did the duo end up? What was the end of Fir‘awn the oppressor? We therefore charge Muslims in Rivers State to remain steadfast in faith and in resolution.

“While we caution against taking the law into their hands, we warn that they must not kowtow to Wike’s poohpooh. They must resolutely pursue the legal angle to a logical conclusion. We also advise that they continue to observe their weekly Jumu’ah service on the ruins of the multi-million naira mosque to the chagrin of Wike and his agents of destruction. Afterall, Wike cannot have the luxury of a third term. His days are numbered but every term is Allah’s term. He reigns forever.  

“The National Assembly (NASS) is advised to enact a law compelling any Nigerian who aspires to a political post to undergo mental examination. This will save the country from the embarrassment of irrational and Bohemian behavior on the part of holders of political offices.

“In conclusion, we appeal to the NASS to call Wike to order. His actions are capable of setting Nigeria on fire. The declaration of Rivers State as a Christian state constitutes a major infringement on Section 10 of the Nigerian constitution which he swore to defend. Neither should the NASS close its eyes to the war being waged by Wike against Muslims in the state.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Thursday, August 22, 2019


23rd August, 2019


The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) yesterday criticised the appointment of Muslims as ministers of Interior and Defence by President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has tackled HURIWA for its stand. MURIC described HURIWA’s comment as divisive, subjective, emotion-driven and therefore unacceptable. This was made known to newsmen in a press statement issued on Friday, 23rd August, 2019 by Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director and Founder of MURIC.

Continuing, MURIC said, “HURIWA is whipping up religious sentiment and this is least expected of a ‘secular’ human rights organization. This kind of statement is capable of dividing HURIWA itself unless the body is telling us that it is an all-Christian and anti-Muslim organization.

“Human rights groups and individuals within civil society need to weigh their words. You cannot afford to be one-sided in matters of religion and ethnicity particularly in a charged atmosphere like Nigeria. We take serious objection to the stereotyping of Muslim ministers by HURIWA. Or is the group telling us that Muslims do not deserve human rights?

“The last time we checked, there was no single record of HURIWA seeing anything good in Muslims. HURIWA and the rest of the Nigerian civil society clapped by the ringside each time the elites stigmatised and persecuted Muslims. Pray, what did HURIWA say when a whole law graduate was disallowed from being called to bar over a ridiculous excuse?

“What has HURIWA or any member of civil society said concerning the denial of education for innocent Muslim school girls over an ordinary headscarf? Is it not a manifestation of double standard for a civil society that looks the other way as Muslims face daily persecution to raise hell and brimstone because Muslims get what is their right?

“When did we adopt religious leaning as the standard for picking ministers for a particular portfolio? When will Nigerians grow up? Merit should be the criterion, not the church, mosque or shrine.

“We appeal to Nigerians to allow this government to settle down. The same Buhari who was accused of being too slow has come up with a ministerial cabinet when about twenty governors are yet to appoint their commissioners. We also have a #Revolutionnow group clamouring for forceful change of government when even that government has not settled down. What yardstick can you use to deny a student promotion to the next class when no teaching or examination has taken place? People are just coming up with all sorts of preconceived ideas.

“Our problem in this country is perception. We urge Nigerians to get rid of retrogressive perceptions, negative thoughts, ill-will and bad faith. Activism must not be allergic to appreciation of performance and good governance. To be taken seriously, members of civil society must not concentrate on fault-finding alone, we must also find time to commend government when it does something right.

“Unfortunately the reverse is the case in this clime. We find it very easy to criticize and condemn but find it too difficult to appreciate good work. We assert that It is unrealistic for us to ignore the good works of the Buhari administration in its first term in spite of the challenges and restrictions.

“We have ignored the beautiful flowers which surround the house, the superb architectural design and the marvelous interior decoration to pay attention to the folded piece of paper lying carelessly on the centre-stool and for this we condemn the whole house as ‘filthy’.

“Is it realistic to ignore the modern rail system which is already working in Abuja and Kaduna while work is nearing completion in several other places? Is it fair to turn the blind eye on projects like the Second Niger Bridge? What of the massive infrastructural works like those on federal roads in the East, West and North? Are they sheer mirage?

“Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, once remarked that ‘The greatest weapon is truth’ while Shaykh Usman Dan Fodio said ‘Conscience is an open wound, only truth can heal it’. Heroes and real men do not shy away from recognizing good work and speaking the truth to a mischievious, belligerent and war-mongering opposition.

“To cap the edifice, MURIC invites civil society to allow the Buhari administration to settle down. Human rights groups in particular should speak out only in good conscience. Dancing to the gallery will compel civil society to hide the truth. They must realize that they are not under any obligation to please any opposition. We advise HURIWA not to fall into the temptation of Islam-bashing as this will only earn the organization the distrust of Muslims throughout the country. Finally, we charge Nigerians to discountenance perception and to make merit the standard for the occupation of public office, not religious persuasion.”  

Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Sunday, August 18, 2019


19th August, 2019


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has hailed the management of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for shifting the examination slated for the Jumu’ah period last Friday, 16th August, 2019, in order to allow Muslim candidates to attend the mosque.

NDLEA had fixed DDR examination for 1130 to 1330 hours (i.e. 11.30 am to 1.30 pm) on that Friday. However, MURIC in a followup statement dated 15th August, 2019, appealed to the drug enforcement agency to consider the plight of Muslim candidates who should be in the mosque at that period.

In a dramatic twist last Friday, NDLEA announced a shift in the timing of the examination which eventually began by 3 pm on that day after the Muslim candidates had returned from the mosques. The shift was effective in all NDLEA’s examination centres throughout Nigeria.

In a statement signed by its Director and Founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Monday, 19th August, 2019, MURIC expressed its delight with the NDLEA authorities for shifting the examination.

“We commend NDLEA authorities for shifting the examination billed for the Jumu‘ah period. This agency has exhibited administrative competence, maturity in industrial relations and religious tolerance. This is the kind of attitude we need in Nigeria to foster peace and tranquility. We salute NDLEA.

The human rights organization seized the opportunity to disabuse the minds of Nigerians about its methods of operation.

“Permit us to seize this opportunity to disabuse the minds of Nigerians concerning our modus operandis. Those who regard MURIC as an extremist group have missed the point. Of course we are aware that many Nigerians know the truth about us. But some just want to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. This NDLEA affair has shown the whole world that we do not mind going the extra mile to make our stand known through dialogue. We kept making appeals to the NDLEA management until they became convinced that we have good intention. We made no threats. We flexed no muscles. It is not in our character.

“We just continued to explain the plight of those Muslim candidates to the NDLEA authorities until they understood our point of view. This indicates that those who oppress Muslims sometimes do so due to lack of understanding of the Muslim viewpoint or due to communication gap. It is this gap that MURIC seeks to fill from time to time in order to douse tension and to create an atmosphere which is conducive to peaceful coexistence.

We therefore urge Nigerians to see MURIC in its true character: a pacific organization, peace-loving, law-abiding and dialogue-prone. We detest violence and this is why our motto is: ‘Dialogue, Not Violence’. As a major mechanism in our operations, we open dialogue with institutions, employers and agencies in order to intervene on behalf of aggrieved Muslims. We believe that this is better than resorting to spontaneous violence. Ours is therefore a re-engineering effort.

We are middle-roaders and socio-intellectual jihadists seeking freedom for the oppressed, food for hungry Nigerians, healing for the sick, clothing apparels for the naked and shelter for the homeless. We are non-violent jihadists fighting corruption and extravagance, seeking freedom of worship for all and justice for the persecuted.”

“MURIC’s vision of Nigeria is that of a nation where people live together in peace and harmony, a nation in which no one is oppressed, a nation where merit takes priority, a nation where people of all faiths and ethnicities peacefully coexist, a nation where every citizen enjoys Allah-given fundamental human rights regardless of class, creed, or ethnicity.

“We invite Nigerian Muslims to this paradigm shift. Nigeria has witnessed too many religious crises. It is time to build a strong bridge across the cultures. We should approach the authorities to table our grudges whenever there are issues. Our evidence of dialogue or attempted dialogue will become a powerful weapon against the oppressor when the chips are down.

This is what Muslims do in civilized communities like Britain, Germany, the United States, etc and the authorities listen to them. Muslims must make superior arguments their most potent weapon, not spontaneous violence. It is time to build Nigeria.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Saturday, August 17, 2019


18th August, 2019


The Chairman of Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and former Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN) lost his mother, Alhaja Sarat Abiola Banire, on the night of Friday 16th August, 2019. The late Alhaja Sarat was buried at the Ebony Vault, Ikoyi on Saturday afternoon. She was 92.           

Meanwhile the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has expressed sadness over the death of the matriarch. This was made known in a statement distributed to the media by the Director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Sunday, 18th August, 2019.

“We in MURIC commiserate with Dr. Muiz Banire on the demise of his mother. Although we are well aware of the inevitability of death (Qur’an 3:185), the human nature in us compels us to share these solemn moments with an exemplary, iconic and cerebral Muslim leader.

“We witnessed the grand celebration of the 90th birthday anniversary of Banire’s mother two years ago. It was celebrated with Islamic prayers and attended by all mainstream Islamic organisations and scholars of repute. We were emotionally touched by the thanksgiving event but today, the woman we all celebrated is no more. We are mourning.

“However, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN) has taught Nigerians vital lessons in piety, humility and consciousness of our responsibilities towards our parents. The way he took care of his mother and honoured her is a practical demonstration of Qur’anic injunctions on goodness to parents. Banire is an expert technician in a spiritual laboratory.

“While Qur’an 17:23 instructs children to be kind to both parents, Qur’an 31:14 reminds man how his mother ‘carried him in travail upon travail (wahnan ‘ala wahnin) and weaned him after two years’. The pains of pregnancy and the trauma of labour are sufferings that only women go through while breastfeeding for two whole years is also a feat performed only by women.

“The same verse (31:14) went ahead to enjoin Muslims to show gratitude to Allah and to their parents. There is no doubt that the best way to show gratitude to parents is by taking good care of them particularly their feeding, accommodation, clothing, medication and regular attention.

“MURIC therefore salutes womanhood. We call special attention to the great concern which the Qur’an shows towards womanhood. This attention debunks the false claim of our detractors that Islam is a religion which debases women. The high pedestal which Dr. Banire placed his mother has proved beyond any reasonable doubt that Muslims give women a lofty position in the dignity of the human person.

“It is also on record that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) commanded Muslims to respect and honour their mothers three times before doing same for their fathers (‘Ummuka, thumma ummuka, thumma ummuka, thumma abuuka’ i.e. ‘Your mother, your mother, your mother, then your father’). This is indubitable evidence of the pride of place which Islam gives women.

“At this juncture, we charge Nigerian men to love and honour their wives. We condemn violence against women in all its ramifications and call on those who indulge in this barbaric act to desist forthwith. In like manner, we decry paedophilic practices against children and underaged girls. It is repulsive, preposterous and reprehensible.  

“MURIC urges Nigerians to take good care of their parents while the latter are still alive instead of ignoring parents until they die. We denounce the common practice of ignoring parents in their old age and wasting money on extravagant funerals characterized by drinking, singing and dancing. It is inhuman, wasteful and paradoxical.

“How can we lose our loved ones and still sing, dance and spray naira? How can homo sapien compos mentis lose his father or mother and still go ahead, in good conscience, to lose his money? It is irrational, illogical and inexplicable. We are dancing on our parents’ graves!  
“We pray that Almighty Allah reposes the soul of Alhaja Sarat Banire in al-Jannah firdaus. We put all those left behind by her under Allah’s divine and universal umbrella: Dr. Banire, Alhaja Raimot Ajoke Banire, Mr Ajibola Banire, Dr Rasheed Oki and Mr. Ayoola Oki.
“As we draw the curtain, we call on Nigerians especially Muslims to emulate Dr. Muiz Banire by taking good care of their parents while the latter are still alive. We urge Nigerians to eschew wasteful spendings during funerals and other ceremonies. We aver without any fear of contradiction that the Muslim Umma in the South West will make great progress if we have just one more Muslim politician like Muiz Banire.We therefore invite Muslim politicians in Yorubaland to close the yawning lacuna between them and Islamic scholars from the sub-region.”

Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Wednesday, August 14, 2019


15th August, 2019


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has thanked the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for finding a solution to one of the issues raised by the human rights organization.

It will be recalled that MURIC in a press statement dated 6th August, 2019 entitled ‘NDLEA 2019 Promotion Exam is Anti-Muslim’ had berated NDLEA for fixing its 2019 promotion examination between 15th and 21st August 2019 thereby making it impossible for Muslim officers who are currently on hajj to participate.

In an apparent reaction to the concern raised by MURIC, NDLEA announced via a memo dated 13th August, 2019, reference NDLEA/FIN/88/VOL. VII/227 that ‘Candidates of all examinations slated for 15th – 21st shall be given the opportunity to write a makeup exam at a date to be communicated’. The memo specifically identified ‘personnel granted permission/approval to travel for 2019 hajj’ as the first of the four categories of staff who will enjoy the makeup examination opportunity.

In a press statement issued by the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, the organisation appreciated the management of NDLEA for addressing one of the two concerns raised by it.

“We appreciate NDLEA for taking prompt action on the issue of Muslim staff who would have missed the promotion examination had the makeup examination window not been offered. We thank NDLEA for this.

We must be honest with ourselves. Nigeria will be a better place if all government agencies and ministries address genuine complaints of citizens. Most religious and ethnic conflicts would also have been nipped in the bud.  While it is the duty of MURIC as a human rights group to complain when there is injustice, the organisation will not hesitate to express gratitude when such an issue is addressed. In addition, we will always leave the door of dialogue open.

“In this respect, we remind NDLEA management that we still have a pending request, namely, the issue of clash on the promotion examination timetable between one of the subjects, DDR (Drug Demand Reduction) and Jumu’ah prayer. DDR is scheduled for 1130 to 1330 hours (i.e. 11.30 am to 1.30 pm) on Friday 16th August, 2019. This clash was the subject of our second press statement on NDLEA dated 9th August, 2019 under the caption, ‘NDLEA’s Promotion Exam Clashes With Jumu‘ah Prayer’.

“We seek the management’s wise intervention on this clash. It is oppressive, traumatizing and dehumanizing for Muslims to sit for an examination when they should be in the mosque praying. Man is body, soul and spirit. Muslims may not be able to fully concentrate on such an examination thereby putting them at a disadvantage. We urge NDLEA not to allow such a blemish in its records because it will go into the archives as an act of religious intolerance on the part of NDLEA management once it is allowed. The timetable can still be adjusted even at the last minute.

As we take a break, we reaffirm our deep appreciation of NDLEA’s offer of makeup examination for Muslim staffers who are still in Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless, we reiterate our complaint over the clash between another examination paper (DDR) slated for the Jumu‘ah period (11.30 am – 1.30 pm) on Friday 16th August, 2019. We appeal for a review of the timetable to avoid this clash in the interest of justice, fairplay, religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)