MURIC BLASTS MUSLIMS WHO DARED
The Muslim Rights
Concern (MURIC) has condemned Muslim groups who defied government’s directives and
admonitions from the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA)
concerning social distancing until COVID-19 comes to an end. This was sequel to
reports of lack of compliance in some parts of the country, particularly in
Kusada, Katsina State, Kaduna and Abeokuta, Ogun State.
circulated to the media by the director of the human rights organization, Professor
Ishaq Akintola, described the action as grossly irresponsible, highly despicable
and certainly unIslamic. The statement was dated Monday, 31st March,
“We have received reports
that on Friday, 28th March, 2020, Muslims observed Jumu’ah prayer in
large numbers in three places around the country: Kusada, Kusada Local
Government of Katsina State, Kaduna in Kaduna State and in Abeokuta, Ogun
“In the Kusada
episode, the Imam who led the prayer, Mallam Hassan, was arrested. This sparked
a riot the next day. One person was killed. Kusada police station was burnt
down and the official quarters of the Divisional Police Officer was razed down
along with seven vehicles and ten motorcycles (https://www.kanyidaily.com/2020/03/coronavirus-muslim-youths-burn-police-station-in-katsina-for-stopping-their-prayer.html). We strongly condemn this act of brigandage and we demand that the
leaders of the uprising be brought to book. Islam is about justice. People
should be held accountable for their actions otherwise there will be no peace
in the society.
“In Kaduna, two
Imams were arrested for flouting the state’s public health preventive measures.
Mallam Aminu Umar Usman and Mallam Umar Shangel led Jumu‘ah prayers in Malali
and Ungwan Kanawa in Kaduna North Local Government Area (https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/03/covid-19-el-rufai-arrests-2-imams-for-conducting-jumaat-prayers/).
“In Abeokuta, Ogun
State, a mosque belonging to the National Joint Muslim Organisations (NAJOMO)
situated at Car Wash, Adatan, was raided by security agents for conducting Jumu’ah
prayer last Friday. Although the Imam, Barrister Moshood Taiwo, was not
detained, the jumu’ah prayer was disrupted.
“We strongly condemn
the actions of these groups. Their actions are grossly irresponsible, highly reprehensible
and certainly unIslamic. It is a manifestation of acrobatic religiousity, gymnastic
spirituality, articulated piety and tramadolised God-consciousness. These
groups are misled. They are simply giving credence to the words of Karl Marx
who described religion as the opium of the people. But it can only be so among
those who fail to follow the true tenets of Islam.
“Our reaction is
based on the fact that those Muslims cannot claim to be unaware of the massive
information outlets used by the various state governments to sensitize the
citizens on the danger in crowding during this COVID-19 pandemic.
“Worse still, their action showed gross disobedience, recalcitrance,
rebellion and irredentism in the face of the declaration of the NSCIA which is
the recognized umbrella organization for all Islamic groups in the country. We
are particularly disappointed by the attitude of the NAJOMO group in Ogun State
because NAJOMO was founded by Late Dr. Abdul Lateef Adegbite who was the former
secretary general of the NSCIA.
“The energetic and
dynamic former secretary general demonstrated total commitment to the unity of
all Nigerian Muslims. It is a disservice to the memory of the late NSCIA scribe
for NAJOMO group to disobey NSCIA’s assembly advisory. We advise the group to
apologise to the Ogun State branch of the NSCIA for embarrassing the state’s
Muslim Ummah and the entire Muslim community of Nigeria.
“In the same vein, the Muslim dissident groups in Katsina, Kaduna
and Ogun states should apologise to their respective state governors for endangering
the lives of residents of the state through their effrontery in organizing jumu’ah
prayers which is capable of aiding the spread of the dreaded Corona virus. In
addition, the three Imams should submit themselves for testing. The state
governments should test them to know their COVID-19 status as soon as possible.
If any of them tests positive, all those who prayed behind them should be
traced and quarantined with members of their families in order to curtail
further spread. Unless this is done, Nigeria is still playing Jekyll and Hyde
with COVID-19 pandemic.
“MURIC will stand by
the course of justice without bias or sentiment. We will not condone extremism.
Neither shall we pat Muslims who do wrong on the back. We will defend Muslims
against stigmatization, oppression and persecution, but we will not support Muslims
who do wrong.
“Our stand is based on the hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him)
in which he said, ‘Help your brother whether he is the oppressor or he is the
oppressed. The Prophet was asked, ‘But how can we help him when he is the
wrong-doer?’ He replied, ‘Hold his hand (to prevent him from committing wrong).’
Therefore, we have a duty to discourage fellow Muslims from doing wrong and we
will not abdicate this responsibility. If we make noise when non-Muslims wrong
us, we must not keep quiet when fellow Muslims wrong the rest of society. That,
to us, is justice and fairplay.
“We must admit that
government has been fair to all in this matter. Mosques are not the only target.
Security agents stormed churches in Ogun State last Sunday 22nd
March, 2020 (https://thenationonlineng.net/police-storms-churches-in-ogun-disperse-worshippers/). If any Muslim complains that Imams are being arrested, he should
be reminded that pastors have also been arrested for holding church services
during this Corona virus crisis.
“Police last week
invaded the Apostolic Faith Church in Shagamu, Ogun State and arrested the pastor
(https://www.today.ng/coronavirus/police-storm-ogun-church-defying-restriction-order-287273). Pastor U Uden, overseer of the Apo-based Jesus Reigns Family
Church was also arrested in Abuja for conducting church service on Sunday, 29th
March, 2020 (https://punchng.com/covid-19-abuja-pastor-arrested-for-holding-sunday-service/).
“To cut a long story
short, we denounce the defiance of government’s no- assemblies directive by
some mosques and commend the large majority of Imams who complied with the instruction.
We affirm that MURIC will not compromise Islamic ethical standards. We urge
erring Imams to retrace their steps and apologise to the authorities.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
SUPPORTS BUHARI’S BAN ON MOVEMENT
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has
thrown its weight behind the ban on movement in Abuja FCT, Lagos and Ogun
states. President Muhammadu Buhari in a nationwide broadcast yesterday ordered
residents of Lagos, Abuja and Ogun states to stay at home for fourteen days
from Monday 30th March, 2020. While some Nigerians have criticized the
directive, MURIC has described it as the wisest decision in the present
“Restriction of movement in Abuja
FCT, Lagos and Ogun has become sine qua non in the battle against further
spread of Covid-19. The president made the wisest decision in the present
circumstances. We wonder what those who criticized the announcement really want
for Nigeria. These are the same people who claimed that the president had been
infected with the Corona virus and challenged him to show his face. They
demanded action but when action was eventually taken, they have taken offence
again. We urge Nigerians to ignore hypocrites and parasites whose pathological
hatred for Buhari and what he stands for have beclouded their sense of
“The death toll in Italy for yesterday
alone rose to 890 because the citizens did not take stay-at-home advice
seriously when they were told to do so. Corona virus cases in Italy was only 21
by 21st February, 2020. But it rose sharply to 86,498 on 27th
March, 2020. It could not have become so bad if they had hearkened to advice.
“It is the same story for many other countries
currently facing shocking rise in corona tolls. America had just 16 cases of
corona by 21st February but it rose to 100,037 by 27th
March. From 18 cases on 26th February, France rose to 32,964 on 27th
March. Within the same period, Spain skyrocketed from 25 cases to 64,059 while
Iran snowballed from 5 cases to 32,332.
“These are advanced countries with state of
the art medical facilities. What chance do we have? Is there still any Nigerian
who doubts the capacity of the average Nigerian to tow the path of indiscipline
without enforcement? We know ourselves. It is only those who want to see more
bodybags on the streets who are trying to mislead the public. Therefore, this
ban is in order.
“MURIC advises residents of Abuja,
Lagos and Ogun states to comply with the restriction. It is only for a limited
period of two weeks and it is all in our own interest. In addition, we urge
people in other states to self-isolate and resist the urge to mingle. Avoid social
events and meetings. Postpone earlier schedules and appointments. What is
important for now is your life. Keep a safe distance of at least one meter (3
feet) from one another, wash your hands frequently and obey other instructions
from health officials and the authorities.”
Rights Concern (MURIC)
CORONA VIRUS: PRAY FOR ABBA KYARI, EL-RUFAI
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has urged Nigerians to pray
for Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Buhari and the governor of
Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. It will be recalled that Abba Kyari
reportedly tested positive to the novel corona virus two days ago while Mallam
El-Rufai announced his status yesterday evening.
The appeal was contained in a statement distributed to the media
on Sunday, 29th March, 2020 by Professor Ishaq Akintola, director of
the human rights organization.
MURIC said, “Both Abba Kyari and Governor Nasir El-Rufai deserve
prayers from Nigerians. They are both tested and trusted. Both of them are the
embodiments of loyalty, trust, dedication and service to humanity. Abba Kyari
has served Nigeria with all his strength. He proved a most loyal and dedicated aide
to President Muhammadu Buhari particularly during the latter’s prolonged illness.
El-Rufai has exhibited exemplary leadership, uncommon courage and immense love for
the citizens of Kaduna State.
“We call on Nigerians to pray for their quick recovery. Let us
remember them in our supplications every hour of the day. To the duo of Abba
Kyari and El-Rufai, we say, ‘Though you are in isolation we are with you in
spirit. You are not alone. The good people of Kaduna and Nigerians in general
are with you. We are confident that Almighty Allah, the great healer, will heal
you and you will emerge from isolation to continue your good work.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
BACKS AREGBESOLA ON PRISON DECONGESTION
The media yesterday widely reported the
Minister of Internal Affairs, Rauf Aregbesola, as calling for decongestion of
correctional centres in order to prevent the dreaded Covid-19 from spreading
into them. The minister’s call has been backed by an Islamic human rights
group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC). This was revealed in a statement
circulated to pressmen by the director of the organization, Professor Ishaq
Akintola, on Saturday, 28th March, 2020.
According to MURIC, “Inmates of
correctional centers are complete human beings and Allah gave them fundamental
human rights. They have the right to live, except those that have been
condemned to death. Therefore the Nigerian government has no moral right to
keep them in correctional centers where they are gravely exposed to Corona
“In the face of Covid-19’s palpable
threat, the Federal Government will be running foul of Section 33 (1) of the
1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which guarantees right to
life if it fails to free inmates who have not been sentenced to death.
“We all know what is happening around the
world today regarding the devastating power of this virus. It is killing people
in their thousands on a daily basis. The United States now has more than
100,000 cases as at Saturday 28th March, 2020. Death toll in Italy
is now 9,134. There are now 579,892 infections in the world with 26,504 deaths.
We also know the poor state of our correctional centres. They are not conducive
to human habitation. They are over-congested. Is it right to continue to keep
people in jail in such a situation?
“In particular, there are 54 Nigerian
soldiers serving a ten-year sentence in some of the centres. These 54 gallant
soldiers were ordered to confront Boko Haram fighters who were armed to the
teeth. But our soldiers had very poor weapons. They asked for better equipment
and for that they were promptly rounded up, prosecuted and sentenced to death. Their
death sentence was later commuted to ten years in jail. Yet it was their demand
for better weapons which exposed the $2.1 billion armsgate.
“MURIC regards this as a miscarriage of
justice. We have made several appeals on the issue of the 54 soldiers to
President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and even the present
Minister of Internal Affairs, Rauf Aregbesola. Last month, we sent a petition to
the National Assembly for the intervention of our lawmakers. We are still
waiting for the Senate president and the Speaker of the House of
Representatives to act on the petition.
“The interest shown by Aregbesola raises
our hope. Inmates do not deserve to die like chicken inside correctional
centres over this marauding virus, Covid-19. Something must be done urgently. We
urge governors, chief judges, etc to pay urgent visits to correctional centres
with a view to releasing inmates in large numbers before this virus invades
their poorly equipped abodes.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to
exercise his prerogative of mercy to free all Nigerian prisoners except those on
the death row. Nigeria has 74,927 inmates in 244 centres spread around the
country. They are Nigerians and they have the right to live. Covid-19 is death
sentence for them because they have little or no access to testing equipment or
any form of medication.
“Already, 19 prisoners in 10 prisons have
tested positive in British jails. We do not know exactly if the virus is
already in our jails because we do not have the capacity to test our inmates
yet. Nigeria must emulate other countries of the world which have taken
proactive measures to combat the spread of Covid-19 by decongesting their
“New York is already warming up to
release hundreds of inmates for fear of the virus spreading among them. Iran took
the lead a few days ago by setting 80,000 prisoners free. Poland freed 12,000 inmates
yesterday. Nigeria should act now before it is too late. Let my people go. Set
the 54 soldiers free.
“If Iran can loosen the chains around the
waists of 80,000 prisoners, if Poland can free 12,000 inmates, Nigeria should
allow its 74,297 to go home instead of tying them up for corona virus to
swallow them (except those who have been sentenced to death). The time to act
is now. It is dreadful already to be in any Nigerian jail. But it becomes worse
when subjected to thanatophobia courtesy of the dreaded Covid-19. Nigerian
inmates were coping with the horror of poor jail conditions but now it is
compounded by the fear of Corona virus. It is capable of resulting in riots in
our correctional centres.”
Rights Concern (MURIC)
VIRUS: TIME TO COME TOGETHER
As the dreaded global pandemic, corona
virus, debilitates populations worldwide, an Islamic human rights outfit, the
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has reminded Nigerians of different callings that
there is no better time to come together. MURIC revealed this in a statement
issued on Friday, 27th March, 2020 by its director, Professor Ishaq
“The latest toll from Corona Virus,
also known as Covid-19, is alarming. As at today, Friday 27th March,
2020, this dreaded virus has taken the lives of 24,071 people around the world.
According to Worldometer, there are also 531,799 confirmed cases of infections.
With the number of deaths now at 1,000, the United States now leads in the area
“Nigerians should not lose
sight of the hidden message in this global tragedy. The most important message
is that despite belonging to different faiths, races, colour, etc, the whole of
mankind is woven together in fate. We should therefore seek to sink our
differences. We should put all human heads under the same thinking cap and
eliminate stigma, racism and all forms of discrimination. Our watchword should
be humanity first.
“Nigerians should not allow this
opportunity to slip by without taking a giant leap across the yawning abyss.
Nigerians are too divided over primordial, infinitesimal and inconsequential
things. It is either over creed, ethnicity or politics. Yet there are still
divisions within every issue at stake.
“Although Muslims and Christians tear
at each other’s throats in this country, Muslims still have differences within
Islamdom and ditto for Christians. Again, while the Igbo rave at Hausa-Fulani,
both groups still nurse deep-seated intra-ethnic grievances. The Egba/Ijebu and
Modakeke/Ife rivalry is well known among the Yoruba. Inter-party bitterness in
Nigeria may be condemnable but the intra-party intolerance is most despicable.
“Yet right now a common enemy
in the name of Corona Virus is on the prowl. America’s nuclear bomb and the
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) are useless against it. No alliance
is being contemplated by the West to fight the common foe. This makes mockery
of man’s inhumanity to man. We marshalled the most dangerous weapons against
fellow homo sapiens but failed to prepare to defend humanity against corona
“MURIC charges leaders of different
religions and ethnic groups in Nigeria to create new bridges at this particular
period. Let us make new compromises towards resolving seeming intractable
problems. Let us be persuaded by the phenomenon of Covid-19 which knows no
colour, no race, no political party or ethnicity. It does not discriminate
between a Muslim, a Christian or the adherents of any other religion. This is
the time for all of us to sink our differences. What matters is our dear
country, Nigeria. What matters is humanity.”
Rights Concern (MURIC)
CORONA VIRUS: MURIC
PRAYS FOR ATIKU’S SON, OTHERS
Media reports yesterday confirmed that a
son of former Vice-President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has tested
positive to Covid-19. The young man reportedly arrived from a foreign country
one week ago.
Reacting to the development, an Islamic
human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has called on its
members throughout the country to pray for the young man. This was revealed in
a statement issued by the director of the organization, Professor Ishaq
Akintola, on Tuesday, 24th March, 2020.
“We are already in prayer sessions for the
quick recovery of one of the sons of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar. No
young Nigerian deserves to go through this trauma, least of all the case under
study. We urge all our members and indeed all Nigerians to pray for his early
“The young man is our brother in faith. We
feel his pain. Our sympathy goes to him, his father the former Vice-President
of Nigeria and the entire Atiku Abubakar family. We pray that Almighty Allah will
touch the young man with His special healing. Allah has said none can heal
except Him (mon dhaa ladhii yashfa‘u ‘indahu ilaa bi idhnihi Glorious Qur’an
2:255). Medical doctors and nurses can only care. Healing is in the hands of
“Our special request to Muslims is that they
should combine Aayat al-kursiyy with laqad jaaakunm (Qur’an 9:128
– 129) in prayer for him. In particular, we urge individual Muslims to recite these
two powerful prayers morning and night to invoke Allah’s mercy on all Nigerians
infected with Covid-19 and on our country Nigeria in this trying period.
“We counsel against the politicization of
the illness of the son of the former Vice-President. We do not know those who
will survive this pandemic. Covid-19 knows no political party or ethnicity. It
knows no race, no colour. More importantly, it does not discriminate between a
Muslim, a Christian or the adherents of any other religion. This is the time
for all of us to forget our differences. Covid-19 is teaching us to come
together to find solutions to our common challenges.
Rights Concern (MURIC)
COVID-19: DON’T BE MORE MUSLIM THAN
Amidst reports that
a few Muslims still insist on conducting congregational prayers, particularly
the weekly Friday Jumu‘ah prayer despite the ravaging Corona Virus in all parts
of the globe, an Islamic human rights group has warned Muslims to eschew
extreme positions in matters of religion.
This was stated in a
press statement issued by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) on Monday, 23rd
March, 2020. The statement was signed by the director of the group, Professor
“We are nonplussed
by the lethargy manifested by some Muslims towards the danger posed by
Covid-19. In spite of government’s efforts at sensitizing the general public on
the need to shun gatherings, many Muslims are still calling our office asking
us to speak against the ban on public gatherings so that they could observe
“Let us make our position clear on this. MURIC will not support
any Muslim group or individual found contravening the ban on public assembly
because the ban is in the best interest of citizens. It is not targeted at any
Arabia cancelled all Jumu‘ah prayers. It also suspended ‘Umrah. For the first
time in history, nobody is performing tawaaf at the Haram. In Kuwait, adhan (call
to prayer) has been changed from ‘Come for prayer’ (haya ala al-salat)
to ‘Pray in your houses (soluu fii buyuutikunm). But here in Nigeria we
still find a handful of Muslims who insist on conducting Jumu’ah service. Do we
want to be more Muslim than Muhammad (peace be upon him)?
“MURIC warns against extremist
propensities. We all can see where Boko Haram has taken us. It started from little
excesses like this. Islam is a religion of moderation. It is dangerous phenomena
like Corona Virus that the Glorious Qur’an warned us against when it said ‘Do
not make your hands contribute to your own destruction, but do good for Allah
loves those who do good (Wa laa tulquu biaydiikunm ila al-tahlukah, Qur’an
“Prophet Muhammad said, ‘We (Muslims)
are a nation of middle-roaders’. He also said on another occasion, ‘The curse
of Allah is upon extremists’. He taught us to be wary of harm, i.e. we should
not endanger our lives unnecessarily : This he did by saying, ‘Where there is a tangible
harm, it ought to be removed.’
“We therefore warn fellow Muslims against tramadolised
religiousity and articulated spirituality. The former manifests when Muslims
insist on observing Jumu’ah in this corona-infested atmosphere while the latter
is exhibited when they insist on conducting asalatu sessions in this
“MURIC salutes the umbrella Islamic organisation
in Nigeria, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) for
enlightening Muslims in the country on the need for obeying government’s
instructions on Covid-19. NSCIA’s statement on the epidemic was scholarly,
comprehensive and insightful. We also commend the efforts of other Islamic
organisations which issued public statements announcing the stoppage of all
gatherings of their followers for either prayers, meetings or social events
like naming, marriage and funeral ceremonies until the Corona Virus crisis is
“We urge other
groups to follow suit. All Islamic organisations should emulate the NSCIA by
obeying government’s directives. The Glorious Qur’an directed Muslims to obey those
in position of authority (Qur’an 4:59). Based on this, MURIC will not entertain
any complaints brought by recalcitrant elements. We base our actions on
rationality and credibility. We have no apologies for those whose requests were
rejected by us when they sought our backing to conduct Jumu’ah prayer at a time
that the whole world is battling Covid-19. We urge them to go back to the true
teachings of Islam on such matters.
“Furthermore, we call the attention of such
cynics to the gravity of the situation. Germany yesterday banned any gathering that
is more than two people (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/22/world/europe/germany-coronavirus-budget.html). Italy is under total lockdown as the number of fatalities rose to 4,825 by yesterday. Lagos initially limited
the number of people allowed in any gathering to 50 but this was later reduced
to 20 and it is all in our interest as the number of infections in Nigeria rose
to 27 yesterday.
“We Muslims must face reality. The manner of congregational salat
inside the mosque has all the likelihoods of infection. We stand shoulder to
shoulder and feet to feet. There must be no gap between a worshipper and the
man standing next to him. On the contrary, health experts recommend at least
one meter between persons in social interaction in order to prevent infection.
“MURIC urges all Muslims to see government’s instructions on
Covid-19 as necessary and beneficial to them. It is therefore in their best
interest to cooperate. Zuhr prayers should be offered at home in place of Jumu’ah.
The same may be done with the five congregational prayers where the number of
those in the mosque is more than 20. However, we strongly advise praying daily
salat at home with members of the family as domestic jama’ah.
“We call on Muslims to supplicate individually for Nigeria to
overcome this humongous health challenge within a short time. Individual
Muslims are also urged to seek forgiveness from Allah for the interruptions in
our pattern of worship. We remind Nigerian Muslims that Islam teaches
moderation, not extremism. We therefore advise against gymnastic exhibition of piety.
There is no point trying to be more Muslim than Muhammad (SAW).
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
QUIT NOTICE TO HAUSA-FULANI IN YOURUBALAND
The ‘leader’ of the Amotekun security outfit has allegedly asked
all Hausa/Fulani citizens resident in the South West to quit within seven days.
An online media house (https://www.naijagist.com.ng/all-hausa-fulani-should-leave-lagos-state-within-7days/?fbclid=IwAR2KI2IrJj726E_Jqqhs3oTu2wUqdLlM41pLOCn-tQuw1sFhdf-mnTM_LxE) quoted the Amotekun leader as
saying that the pipeline explosion which occurred last week at Abule Ado in
Lagos State was an act of terror perpetrated by the Hausa/Fulani.
But an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights
Concern (MURIC), has rejected the report. MURIC described it as fake news and asked
Nigerians to ignore the story. This was contained in a press statement issued
by Dr. Sidiq Okanlawon Uthman media aide to the director of the organization,
Professor Ishaq Akintola.
“It is fake news. We call
on Nigerians to ignore the report. There is no such thing. How can anybody
attribute an obvious accident along the pipelines to innocent citizens? It doesn’t
add up. It is laughable, ludicrous and comical. The Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation (NNPC) gave a graphic picture of what happened exactly. According
to the NNPC, a truck hit gas cylinders which exploded and oil pipelines later
caught fire. How does that resemble terrorism?
“NNPC has all the tools for the
investigation and we stand by NNPC’s story. It is credible. The allegation of
an act of terrorism by the Hausa/Fulani resident in Lagos is false, baseless
and unacceptable. Where is their proof? We also have a strong doubt about the
authenticity of the statement credited to the Amotekun leader.
“Why was the leader’s name not
mentioned? Who actually made the allegation? We urge Nigerians, especially
Lagosians to go about their legitimate businesses without any fear. Amotekun
leaders know the consequences of such a quit notice. Apart from being illegal,
it will definitely elicit backlashes in form of retaliation against Yoruba
citizens in the North. At worst, it is sheer grandstanding. Note that a similar
quit notice was given to the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, last
week as he was asked to leave Lagos.
“We have no scintilla of doubt
that Yoruba Muslims have no hand in such acts of hostility against Hausa/Fulani,
Igbo or any other tribe who reside in the South West. Islam recognizes the
unity of all mankind. We therefore urge the various ethnic groups living in the
South West to eschew bitterness towards one another.
“In particular, we urge the various Islamic organisations in the South
West to speak up on the threats being issued against the Hausa/Fulani by
Amotekun handlers. This is important in view of the fact that Muslims form a
majority of the population in the sub-region. Silence over the threats and
intimidation is tantamount to endorsement. It is time for Islamic organisations
in Yorubaland to speak out.
“By the way, is this part of the
hidden agenda in the Amotekun scheme? We said so earlier. There is more to the
Amotekun project than meet the eye. Unfortunately governors in the region have not
given enough thought to the idea before plunging headlong into it. There must
be a rethink now that Amotekun ideologues have started revealing their real
“MURIC appeals to the press to
maintain the ethics of the profession. This particular story has all the
paraphernalia of fake news. A volatile statement is attributed to a faceless
Amotekun leader. His name is not mentioned. That is sensationalisation. It is
designed to create panic.
“We charge the security agencies
to be more proactive. We urge more vigilance around all non-indigenes because
every Nigerian citizen has the right to live or do business anywhere in the
Dr. Sidiq Okanlawon Uthman
Media Aide to the Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
CHANGE AMOTEKUN’S NAME TO
‘ODUDUWA GUARDS’ - MURIC
An Islamic human rights organization has urged the governors of the South
West to change the name of the Amotekun security outfit to ‘Oduduwa Guards’.
The governors recently launched the Amotekun security network and gave it legal
backing by signing bills on the initiative into laws.
The suggestion to change the name was made in a press statement issued
on Friday 20th March, 2020 by the director of the organization, Professor
The group said, “People who oppose an idea must suggest the alternative.
We are not comfortable with the nomenclature. But the only reason advanced for
that was that the name was rooted in a biblical verse. But there are other
reasons and there is an alternative name. Amotekun is an animal but those who
will protect citizens in the region are complete human beings. So why not give
the outfit a human face by giving it the name of a human being, especially the
name of the ancestor of all Yoruba people?
“We therefore call for a
change of nomenclature. Amotekun as the name of the security outfit does not
really reflect Yoruba heritage. A name like ‘Oduduwa Guards’ sounds perfect for
the project. Oduduwa is the indisputable progenitor of the Yorubas and this is
acknowledged by all historians. The Yorubas are not sons and daughters of an
‘amotekun’ (a leopard) which is an animal. Unless the alleged hidden agenda
against Muslims is real, the organisers should adopt ‘Oduduwa Guards’ as the
alternate name for Amotekun.
For instance, at the inception of the Amotekun operation, when an
amotekun operative in uniform approaches a citizen or speaks to him, is it an
animal that is standing before him or a compos mentis homo sapien? Is it
an animal that is speaking or a full-fledged son of Oduduwa? The Yoruba must
not commit an eternal error of giving other groups the chance to ridicule them.
“Changing ‘Amotekun’ to
‘Oduduwa Guards’ is more honourable, more dignifying and more glamourous. The
adoption of ‘Oduduwa Guards’ as the new name of the South West security outfit
will further immortalise their great ancestor. The children of Oduduwa are not
“In conclusion, the name of the South West security outfit should
be changed to ‘Oduduwa Guards’ to give the security outfit a human face and as
a mark of honour for Oduduwa, the great ancestor of the Yoruba.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)