Monday, September 30, 2019


30th September, 2019


Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Dr. Ali Isa Pantami, was mobbed on Monday, 23rd September, 2019. The incident occurred at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano. The minister was in Kano for a condolence visit over the death of Ibrahim Liman Sharada, father of a member of the House of Representatives representing Kano Municipal, Shaaban Sharada when hoodlums of the Kwankwasiyyah movement began to boo him. One of the thugs even attempted to remove the minister’s cap.
Reacting to the ugly incident, an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) described the attack as unruly, uncultured, puerile and barbaric. MURIC spoke through its leader, Professor Ishaq Akintola in a press statement issued on Monday, 30th September, 2019.
“The harassment of Dr. Isa Ali Pantami at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport is repugnant, detestable and provocative. It is most unruly, highly uncultured, totally puerile and categorically barbaric. Nigeria should be above this. At 59, Nigerians still engage in bolekaja politics. It is a big shame. Our post-independence political culture is still characterised with violence, bitterness, intimidation and coercion. Our politics is laced with heavy doses of intolerance. Ours is politics of retrogression. It is unacceptable.
“We commend Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso for visiting the minister and for offering an apology for the excesses of his followers. Nonetheless, the fact that his political party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) is yet to show remorse leaves much to be desired.
“In saner climes, the political party would have issued a statement dissociating itself from any unethical behavior and apologizing for same. We therefore call on PDP Kano chapter to do the needful. Anything short of a public apology over this infantile and highly embarrassing incident is an assault on civilized political decorum. Nigeria must move from Stone Age political gangsterism.
“MURIC appeals to the ruling party in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC), to take the incident with equanimity. APC Kano must manifest political maturity by resisting the temptation to revenge. The fact that Senator Kwankwaso has established rapour with the minister should serve as a soothing balm for members of the APC in Kano State.
“Dr. Ali Isa Pantami deserves tons of respect from every Nigerian. He is one of the few citizens who have engraved Nigeria’s name in letters of gold on the sands of time. His rich and intimidating curriculum vitae stands him out from the crowd of political shenanigans and opportunistic parasites. Nigeria desperately needs people like him. It is therefore a great disservice to maltreat such a cerebral gem.
“As we draw the curtain, we charge Nigerian politicians to shun thuggery and hooliganism. We must draw lessons from the incidents which led to military coups in the past. Politicians must remember that what goes round comes around. Respect begets respect but this golden rule will no longer apply if we allow the era of political violence to return.”  
Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Sunday, September 29, 2019


29th September, 2019


The governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has been hailed for enrolling his son in a public school. It will be recalled that Mallam El-Rufai took his son, Abubakar Al-Siddique El-Rufai, to the Kaduna Capital School on Monday, 23rd September, 2019.

Making this commendation was an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC). The group described the governor’s move as bold, daring and highly commendable. This was contained in a press statement issued on Sunday, 29th September, 2019 by the organisation’s arrow-head, Ishaq Akintola, a professor of Islamic Studies at the Lagos State University (LASU).

“This is good news. It is unheard of in the history of this country that a state governor identifies with the masses by enrolling his biological son or daughter in a public school. El-Rufai is an uncommon political leader. MURIC is proud of him.

“We are particularly interested in what El-Rufai has done because MURIC had long been advocating that public officers should enroll their children in public schools up to tertiary level. We are therefore excited that at least one sitting governor has hearkened to our tiding.

“El-Rufai’s action signifies exemplary leadership and good governance. It is also a fulfilment of promise because he promised in 2017 to enroll his son in a public school. He said, ‘I will by personal example ensure that my son that will be six years of age in 2019 is enrolled in a public school in Kaduna State, by God’s grace’.

“MURIC salutes El-Rufai for walking his talk. Come to think of it: how many of our leaders of today keep their promises? On the contrary, they double-speak, cheat and lie without batting an eyelid. Whereas El-Rufai has identified with the Kaduna people, other political leaders have held tightly to a mentality of class compartmentalisation of the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’, the poor jamahiir and the capitalist comprador bourgeouisie.

“If we put ethnic, religious and political sentiments aside, we will see that El-Rufai has done what we all thought was impossible in our lifetime. It is the hallmark of good governance. Change is definitely here. The mantra of change introduced by the Buhari regime is now a reality.

MURIC highlighted the advantages of the enrolment of children of public office holders in public schools.

“There are many advantages in the enrolment of children of public office holders in public schools. For instance, it boosts public confidence in the education system. It also ensures that leaders become active stakeholders in the affairs of public schools. There is no gainsaying that political leaders may not pay proper attention to public schools unless their own children enroll in them. This may attract the much needed infrastructural facilities and improved teachers’ welfare to public schools.  

“To cap the edifice, we call on other governors and political leaders to emulate Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. In particular, we appeal to Nigerians in general to take their destiny in their own hands by refusing to vote for politicians who distance themselves from the masses.”

Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Thursday, September 26, 2019


27th September, 2019

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has insisted that former Ekiti State governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, must be held accountable for alleged stolen funds in Ekiti State.   
This was contained in a press statement issued on Friday, 27th September, 2019 by Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC). The Islamic human rights organization chided the former governor for attempting to intimidate Ekiti State House of Assembly which has initiated the process of investigating his administration.
“Fayose lives in a dream world. He has forgotten that power is transient. He has forgotten that permanent power belongs to the Supreme Creator. He still imagines that he has immunity. Ekiti State Assembly should call Fayose’s bluff. His days of impunity are definitely over.
“Imagine this ex-governor invading the state’s House of Assembly for ‘daring’ to initiate investigations into financial dealings in the state under him. We condemn that invasion. Fayose’s behavior is undemocratic, unparliamentary and therefore unacceptable. He should follow due process and respect the rule of law.
“Fayose was just showing his true colour anyway. He never had any respect for decorum. Was it not Fayose who invaded a high court in Ekiti and allegedly slapped a judge? Was it not Fayose who prevented operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from accosting Fani Kayode’s wife? Was it not Fayose who invaded a bank in Ekiti to compel illegal, unlawful and illegitimate payment to Fani Kayode’s wife?
“Fayose’s cup of impunity, illegalities and excesses is full beyond its brim. It is already spilling. His invasion of the Ekiti House of Assembly on 29th August, 2019 was an attempt to mop up. That attempt has failed. Fayose must account for the people’s money.”
MURIC likens Fayose to the proverbial vegetable seller for invading Ekiti State House of Assembly before an invitation could be extended to him.
“There is no other logical explanation for Fayose’s invasion of Ekiti Assembly than an attempt to foreclose investigations into his poor handling of the financial affairs of Ekiti State during his tenure as governor. Our people say ‘When a vegetable hawker is called but he responds by claiming that his vegetable is not from the dumpsite (even before he is accused), we must know that something is fishing’.
“Fayose can be likened to this proverbial vegetable seller. Haba! The House has merely deliberated over extending an invitation to him. That invitation has not reached him but as soon as he heard about it, he called the speaker to ask him if the report was true. That phone call itself was a dishonourable act. It was an attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of Ekiti State House of Assembly. It was most demeaning and highly condescending. The ex-governor acted far below his status.”
MURIC hailed the Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly for standing firm on the House’s resolution to probe Fayose.
“We doff our hats for the Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, the Rt. Hon. Afuye, for refusing to be intimidated by the ex-governor. The sanctity of parliamentary resolutions is unassailable and must remain so otherwise democracy will become a political farce.
“We call upon honourable members of Ekiti House of Assembly to remain steadfast. It is not Ekiti citizens alone who are watching. Nigerians, nay, the whole world, are curious to know whether or not they will succumb to Fayose’s blackmail, accept his bribe or honourably insist on protecting the integrity of the House by standing on their resolution to probe Fayose.
“We remind the former iron ruler of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose that the game is up. Dictators can run but they cannot hide. If Fayose runs to the sea, the sea will be boiling. If he runs to the mountains, the mountains will crumble. There will be no hiding place for him. The long arm of the law will eventually catch him. The Pharaoh of Ekiti should therefore simply allow the law to run its normal course. The die is cast.
“In our closing remarks, we charge Ekiti lawmakers to be resolute. They must not put their tails between their legs and run just because Fayose barks. This is a battle they must fight to its logical conclusion for the sake of Ekiti citizens who entered Fayose’s ‘one chance’.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC

Tuesday, September 24, 2019


24th September, 2019


The Federal Government (FG) has been applauded for closing Nigeria’s borders. In a press statement issued on Tuesday, 24th September, 2019 by Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), the Islamic human rights organization lauded FG for taking a decision capable of protecting Nigeria’s economic interest.
MURIC added, “This decision is long overdue. Nigeria should not continue to be the economic fall guy of her neighbours. Anyone familiar with recent happenings in the global community will know that governments all over the world are taking economic decisions to protect their citizens. Britain’s Brexit saga and the United State’s border conflict with Mexico are good instances. The same America is engaged in cut-throat trade war with China.
“The fact that tiny Benin Republic, Nigeria’s closest neighbour to the West whose population is just 11.8 million imports 936,522 tons of rice which its population does not need is astounding. How can Benin Republic be the sixth largest importer of rice in the world? Is it not at Nigeria’s expense? Yet it is not Benin Republic alone. Burkina Faso, Chad, Cameroon, Mali and Niger are all milking Nigeria.
“It is also not about rice alone. Our porous borders have been hurting other products. Petrol is a good example. The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA recently revealed that Nigeria was using 61 million liters daily before the closure but this has reduced to 50.22 since Nigeria closed its borders. This implies that daily supply of petrol for local consumption has drastically reduced by 10,078,000 liters. This reduction is a vehement testimony to the wisdom in FG’s decision to close Nigeria’s borders.  

“It is in this light that MURIC commends FG for its foresight. We charge Nigerians to unite in their support for the programmes of the government. We have all seen that President Muhammadu Buhari means well for the country. He is honest, transparent and pragmatic. His Spartan way of life despite the fact that he has had so many opportunities to enrich himself in the past and even now is enough proof that he has no plan to enrich himself or his friends.

“Before we go on break, we implore Nigerians who are involved one way or the other in economic sabotage to seek other noble ways of survival and to sieze one of the several windows of opportunities opened by this administration for self-employment. We invite opposition figures and other critics to join hands with FG in strengthening the country’s economy. We can survive without politics but no nation can survive without a stable and virile economy.”

Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Monday, September 16, 2019


17th September, 2019


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has complained about the prolonged delay in the dispensation of justice in Nigeria. The Islamic human rights organization therefore called on the Federal Government to expedite action on the long expected reform of the Nigerian judiciary.
The call was made in a press statement issued by the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Tuesday, 17th September, 2019.
The organization lamented delays in the criminal justice system which allows criminals who have confessed to still continue to maradonise law enforcement agents and judges years after their arrest.
MURIC continued, “How can a notorious kidnapper like Chukwudi Dumeme Onuamadike, popularly known as Evans still be appearing in court years after his celebrated arrest. It is sheer gymnastic procrastination. A lot of things are wrong with our judicial system. Evans was arrested on 11th June, 2017. This is September 2019. It is past two years now for crying out loud and he may still be in court for the next six years.
“This is a man who confessed to several high profile abductions, including murder. What is he still doing shuttling between courts and detention? Evans house is worth N130 million. He has two houses in Magodo, Lagos and another two duplexes in Ghana worth N15 million each. Evans’ wristwatch costs 170 thousand dollars and his net worth is estimated at N2.2 billion.
“Like Evans, the Taraba State kidnap kingpin Hamisu Bala, also known as Wadume may face trial ad infinitum if care is not taken. Wadume, whose first arrest on 6th August, 2019, caused the unfortunate death of three policemen due to an inter-agency betrayal, was rearrested on 20th August, 2019. Another big fish in the kidnapping profession, 40-year-old Bello Audu A.K.A. ‘Commander Yellow’ who was arrested on 12th September, 2019 is also expected to enjoy the luxury of prolonged hearing if the poor showing of the courts is anything to go by. This delay is nauseating.  
“The same goes for corrupt politicians where cases drag on for years. Is it not a shame that the cases of 16 former governors still linger in court since 2007? That is a whopping 12 years! To make matters worse, some of them have contested two or three times and won senate seats while their cases drag on in the courts. Equally worrisome is the fact that almost all of them claim one ailment or the other and request for treatment abroad.
“This makes a mockery of not only the judicial system but also the war against corruption. Watching these ex-governors defy the courts encourages other politicians to steal public money.
“Although MURIC does not deny that suspects and criminals have certain rights, we contend that it is counter-productive for the judicial system to dignify self-confessed criminals with prolonged and ‘executive’ cases. Delays in judgement emboldens criminals. Both criminals and corrupt politicians exploit the various loopholes in the system to their own advantage and hide behind legal technicalities thereby creating the impression of ineptitude on the part of the judiciary.

“It is also a pity that Nigeria suffers from a desertification of lawyers of conscience. The alacrity with which our lawyers jump at defending criminals constitutes a taint on the integrity of that noble profession. The speed with which they grab cases of persons of extremely low morality is quite disturbing. It is a major impediment to the elimination of criminality in the Nigerian society.

“The nonchalance of past regimes to job creation, particularly the Jonathanian ideology of ‘stealing is not corruption’ has created an economic mess which cannot be cleaned up in a hurry. Jonathan turned the institution of national honours to a jamboree for international rogues and ‘fantastically corrupt’ politicians. This is worsened by the phenomenon of religious challatanism whereby licenced thieves, acknowledged armed robbers, established kleptomaniacs and registered kidnappers are given front row seats in churches and turbaned in the mosques.

“MURIC is aware that the Buhari administration has introduced several economic measures to reduce poverty. Nonetheless, we believe that the puritanic regime of President Muhammadu Buhari can still do more to stem the tide of criminality. Fewer young people will be tempted to commit crime if government can reduce hunger in the land.  

“We will conclude this intervention on an optimistic note. If police stations can be closed during weekends in Sweden because crime has been reduced to the barest minimum; if shops can be left open in Saudi Arabia at prayer times with no one to watch for the owners, Nigeria can also become a good point of reference in crime-free environments in a not too distant future. However, the panacea lies in a well planned, focused and effective reform of the judiciary.”

Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


11th September, 2019


The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja today dismissed the petition filed by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the People’s Democtatic Party (PDP). The court ruled that President Muhammadu Buhari was duly elected as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during the presidential election held on 23rd February, 2019.       
The tribunal ruled that electronic transfer of results which was the crux of the opposition’s petition did not take place at any level. The court also held that President Buhari was not only qualified but eminently qualified to stand for election based on his educational records. In addition, the tribunal dismissed the allegations of electoral malpractices and that there was no evidence of partiality on the part of security agents, nor was there didespread violence on election day.

In a reaction circulated to the media immediately after the petition was dismissed, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on his victory at the election tribunal. The reaction was circulated by Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director and Founder of the organization, on the evening of Wednesday, 11th September, 2019.

“We felicitate with President Muhammadu Buhari. It is a victory well-deserved. We dedicate this victory to the war against corruption. It is a victory for integrity, a victory for level-headedness and a triumph for democracy. We congratulate the Nigerian people for voting right. We commend the Nigerian proletariat for refusing to sell this country to the highest bidder.”

MURIC also commended the judiciary and appealed to the opposition to accept the judgement in good faith.

“But above all, we salute the Nigerian judiciary for coming out boldly and loudly to proclaim victory for conscience. We pay tribute to the temple of justice for refusing to engage in trade by batter.

“As we raise the curtain, we appeal to the opposition candidate who lost at the tribunal as well as his party to bury the hatchet and allow the Federal Government to settle down. This is not only the wisest thing to do at this stage but also in the interest of our great country, Nigeria.”  

Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Monday, September 9, 2019


10th September, 2019

Ogun State Police Command has arrested nine Oro worshippers who attacked Muslims after imposing an illegal curfew. The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi identified the suspects as Dondo Sunday, Nurudeen Lawal, Idowu Desu, Monday Akinlolu, Dele Dada, Raimi Jacob, Abiola Azeez, Olarewaju Akerele and Tetede Jamiu.

It will be recalled that the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), an Islamic human rights organization had called for the arrest and prosecution of Oro worshippers in its press statement issued last week (4th September, 2019) for invading a mosque, injuring the Muslim worshippers and damaging mosque properties.
Commenting on the arrests on Tuesday, 10th September, 2019, MURIC hailed the police for arresting the culprits.
The Director of the group said, “We commend Ogun State Police Command for making these arrests. It is long overdue. Oro worshippers have for long exhibited reckless impunity. They had become the Alpha and the Omega in Ipokia. They gave adherents of other religions no peace.
“How can they be declaring curfew at will and usurping the authority of both the local and state governments? How can they be attacking and maiming people of other faiths and even destroying properties without anyone calling them to order. This arrest serves them right but it must not end there. They must be made to pay for damaged mosque properties.
“They must also appear in court. This case must not end at the police station. They have serious cases to answer: breaking and entering, premeditated damage, occasioning grievous harm and contempt of court.  Ignorance and religious bigotry are their major problems and they must be taught a lesson.  
“The way the police handles this case will determine whether or not there will be a lasting solution to the problem. Oro worshippers must be made to realize that there is a constitution in this country. In particular, the traditional ruler of the community must be told in black and white that he is not the absolute ruler in the land and that he himself must submit to the authority of the local, state and federal governments. Gone are the days when traditional rulers brandished unlimited power and feudal tyranny.
“Above all, both the traditional ruler and the Oro worshippers must submit to the supremacy of the law.  In this regard, they must obey subsisting court ruling on the modus operandi of their Oro by restricting their operations to the hours between 12 am and 4 am or risk going to jail.
“MURIC calls on police formations in the South West to borrow a leaf from their Ogun state counterparts because the imposition of illegal curfews by Oro worshippers is not restricted to Ipokia alone. It is very rampant in the sub-region. Ikorodu in Lagos State has also been the hotbed of acrobatic extremism and gymnastic criminality on the part of Oro worshippers. What the police needs to do in order to subdue Oro worshippers and their hooliganism is to manifest gallantry and professionalism.
“In our closing remarks, we commend Ogun Police Command for effecting the arrest of Oro culprits. We strongly demand their arraignment in a court of proper jurisdiction. We urge other police formations in the South West to deal with violent and recalcitrant worshippers of Oro in their domain in like manner.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

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Sunday, September 8, 2019


9th September, 2019


Christians in Kiagbodo community, the hometown of elder statesmen, Senator Edwin Clark, in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, have partly destroyed a mosque being built by an indigene, Mallam Abubakar Korokeme. The mosque was attacked overnight last Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has slammed Chief Edwin Clark for speareheading an anti-Muslim campaign in the community. The Islamic human rights organization put the lion’s share of the blame on the elder statesman. This was contained in a press statement released by the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Monday, 9th September, 2019.

“The buck stops at Chief Edwin Clark’s table. He is respected in the area and in the whole state and his opinion holds sway. Edwin Clark is well educated and widely exposed. He is a former senator. He is supposed to know better. How can he argue that a mosque could not be allowed in his community because it is a predominantly Christian environment? Is that what the Nigerian Constitution says? Is Clark telling us that even as an ex-senator, he does not know that there is freedom of religion?

“Senator Edwin Clark has disappointed us. There is no continent in the world that Clark has not visited. He saw mosques in Texas. He saw mosques in Toronto. He has been to Britain and the latter has different types of mosques. Yet these are Christian countries. You can see the dilemma facing Nigeria. It is the literati who are misleading ordinary folks.

“Come to think of it, Abubakar Korokeme is an indigene of the community. Yet his people will not allow him to build a mosque. The mosque is not just on the street but right inside Abubakar’s private compound. Yet elders in the community led by Chief Edwin Clark goaded Christian youths to anger against an innocent man just because he is a Muslim. We know how this game is played. The elders should stop blaming the youth. Chief Edwin Clark should take a look at the mirror. What he sees is a Muslim-hater.

“MURIC is not unaware that more than 80% of the churches in the North are built by nonindigenes. Yet Christians in Delta State will not allow a mosque being constructed by an indigene to stand. They pulled down a section of the mosque hiding under the excuse that it might be used by herdsmen as a base in the community. That excuse is most laughable, most mischievous and highly untenable.

“We call on the whole world to see how Muslims are being treated in their own country and on their own land in Delta State. Even in Rivers State, Islamophobia is the norm. We charge all world organisations to note who is manifesting religious fanaticism.

“Just last week, a whole governor supervised the demolition of Trans-Amadi Central Mosque in Port Harcourt. Then he took journalists there by himself to stage a hocus pocus of a press briefing in which he claimed no mosque ever existed at the spot. Well, Asari Dokubo’s video clip has exposed all that as sheer executive abracadabra.

“History does not forget because today was born from the wombs of yesterday. We are placing it on record that Nigerian Christians were the first to start demolishing mosques, first in Port Harcourt in Rivers State and then in Kiagbodo, Delta State.

“We have appealed to Muslims particularly in Northern Nigeria to resist the temptation to retaliate and they have listened to us. We repeat our appeal today. Leave the churches alone. Touch no Christian. Those who demolished our mosques are not true believers in the Almighty God. They are haters of their fellow men.

“We urge Governor Ifeanyi Okonwa of Delta State to give adequate protection to Muslims in the state as it is already clear that they are living in the midst of foes. The world is watching.

“We assure the minority Muslim families in Delta, Rivers and other places that we are with them in these trying moments. They should continue to uphold the integrity of Islam, to remain strong in faith, persevering and patriotic. We ask them to ponder over the words of Allah, ‘So do not lose heart. Do not fall into despair because you will triumph if indeed you are Muminuun (faithful Qur'an 3:139)’.

“By the same token, we charge the Commissioner of Police to do the needful. Muslims in the state have become endangered species. They need protection and the police must rise to the occasion. They are tax-payers too and they have Allah-given fundamental human rights which are now being trampled upon with impunity. We demand police action. Those who destroyed part of the mosque must be arrested and charged to court for trespass, wilful damage and acts capable of causing breach of the peace.

“We have a message for the American Congress. You have invited Christian leaders and clerics from Nigeria to address Congress after making false allegations about Christians being killed in our country. When will you give Muslim leaders and Imams the same opportunity to state their own side of the story. Or is that not the way fairness and equity go? Is democracy about partiality and exclusivity? Or is the American Congress allergic to the presence of Muslim clerics?

“As we rise from this session, we appeal to Muslims nationwide to exercise utmost patience. They should remain calm and law-abiding. We must not allow any form of violence to erupt because Nigeria needs peace to develop. The programmes of the present administration cannot succeed in a turbulent atmosphere. Those who are engineering hatred for Muslims and fanning the embers of religious war wish to see Nigeria go up in flames. They are waiting to see Muslims retaliate so they can launch another bloodletting crusade. We must disappoint them.”

Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

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Tuesday, September 3, 2019


4th September, 2019


An illegal round-the-clock curfew has been imposed on Idiroko, Agosasa, Ilase, Ajegunle and some other communities in Ipokia Local Government of Ogun State since yesterday, Tuesday, September 3, 2019 by Oro cultists. The curfew has paralysed commercial activities in the whole area as shops and markets are under lock and key. Women and strangers are not allowed to move about and schools are already affected.     

This was disclosed in a press statement issued by the Director of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Wednesday, 4th September, 2019.

According to Akintola, the Oro worshippers who signed an agreement with Christians and Muslims at a religious stakeholders’ meeting held at the Conference Room of Ipokia Local Government Secretariat on 21st August 2019 have reneged on their promise barely one week later.

He continued, “The meeting was presided over by the Head of Local Government Administration (HOLGA) in Ipokia, Engr Babatunde Odunlami. Representatives of Christians and Muslims were in attendance. Security agents were also there. They all signed an agreement restricting the celebration of Oro festival to midnight from 12 am to 4 am. The signed document also indicated that there should be no restriction of any form to non-members of Oro cult within the period.”

MURIC provided more insight into the agreement.

“It was agreed that Christians and Muslims must conduct their services inside churches and mosques respectively. Outside procession with loudspeakers are also forbidden during Oro festivals while no religious group should, in their preaching or songs, call traditional worshippers derogatory names and no one should infringe on the fundamental human rights of citizens as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution. In addition, any religious group that intends to organise a festival must inform the local government, police and other security agencies in writing beforehand.
“The agreement was signed on behalf of Muslims by the Imam of Idi Iroko, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris and two others: Faruq Tiamiyu and Yahya Ajibola. Christians were represented by Joseph Arogunyo, John Jayeola and Adesina Sunday while Ojo Alade, Gafar Waidi and Suuru Adeyemi signed on behalf of Oro worshippers.
"The DPO of Idiroko police station, CSP Opebiyi Sunday signed as a witness while the DPO of Ipokia was represented by CSP Oluku Sunday. Also, the Department of State Services (DSS) was represented by B. E. Bassey, while the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) was represented by DRC Garba Dare.

MURIC lamented the failure of leaders of Oro cult to abide by the agreement.  

“It is highly regrettable that these people failed to abide by the agreement they signed under the full glare of security agents. We are grossly disappointed.”

The group called on security agents to arrest Oro cult leaders and prosecute them.

“We call on the security agents to do the needful. Oro cult leaders must be arrested, detained and prosecuted for declaring this curfew. They have usurped the powers of the state governor and the chairman of the local government who are the only authorities conferred with the power to impose curfews. Their action is illegal, illegitimate, unlawful and unconstitutional.

“Besides, the illegal declaration of curfew on the area is an indubitable contravention of Section 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which says inter alia, ‘Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria…’

“Security agents have a duty to uphold the rule of law. The action of Oro cultists is capable of causing a breech of the peace because they have infringed upon the freedom of movement of Ipokia citizens. Oro cult leaders must therefore be held accountable. It is also important to note that this curfew was declared in contempt of court because there is a subsisting court ruling on this by an Ipokia High Court made earlier this year.

“As we wind up, we charge the Ogun State Police Command and the Ogun State chapter of the Department of State Security Services (DSS) to spring to action. Nigerians will hold security agents responsible if there is any breakdown of law and order in Ogun State over the illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional declaration of curfew by Oro cultists. Security agents must summon the will to nip this threat to peace in the bud. Oro cultists must no longer be allowed to arrogate executive power to themselves anywhere in the South West. Enough is enough.  

Professor Ishaq Akintola,    
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

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