Friday, July 31, 2020

SALAH MESSAGE: RAPE: EMULATE ISMAIL, LUQMAN: MURIC TELLS NIGERIANS

31st July, 2020

                    

SALAH MESSAGE:

RAPE: EMULATE ISMAIL, LUQMAN: MURIC TELLS NIGERIANS

 

Nigerians have been advised to emulate Prophets Ismail and Luqman in order to find a lasting solution to the problem of rape which has become rampant in modern societies, especially Nigeria.

 

 

The advice was offered by an Islamic human rights association, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) in its Salah message for this year’s Id al-Kabiir which is being marked today, Friday 31st July, 2020. MURIC’s message was signed by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

 

 

The group said, “We felicitate with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’d Abubakar, Nigerian Muslims as well as all Nigerians on the occasion of the 2020 Id al-Kabiir.

 

 

“The focus of our Salah message this year is the panacea to rape as one of the problems facing our society. One of the major reasons for the preponderance of the incidence of rape is the failure of parents to guide their children. In particular, many parents fail to teach their male children how to respect the other sex. They therefore grow up treating women and girls like underdogs.

 

 

“But rape will reduce in society if all parents teach their male children about the sanctity of womanhood. Most young boys commit rape without klnowing the implications. They need to be properly tutored to respect women and girls and to know the legal implication of rape.

 

 

“Nigerians should borrow a leaf from the lessons of Id al-Kabiir and from Islam in general. If all Nigerian parents tutor their children the way Prophet Luqman (peace be upon him) did in Qur’an 31:13 – 19, our youth will be better guided. Luqman told his son to ‘enjoin righteousness and forbid evil’. Rape is evil. It is an act of wickedness. It is barbaric.

 

 

“In the same vein, Prophet Ismail (peace be upon him) obeyed his father even when his father informed him that Allah had commanded him to sacrifice his son. He still told his father, ‘Do what you are told and you will see that I am one of those who are patient’ (Glorious Qur’an 37:102 - 103). That was the height of obedience. But this is exactly what children of today lack. The phenomenon of rape will be drastically reduced with the combination of parents who tutor their children properly like Prophet Luqman did and children who follow the instructions of their parents without asking questions just like Ismail obeyed his father.”

 

 

Professor Ishaq Akintola,

Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

 


Thursday, July 30, 2020

MURIC MOURNS YUSUF NWOHA, NSCIA DIRECTOR

30th July, 2020

                             

PRESS RELEASE:

MURIC MOURNS YUSUF NWOHA, NSCIA DIRECTOR

 

The Director of Administration at the office of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaj Yusuf Nwoha, died yesterday. He was involved in a ghastly motor accident at Okene, Kogi State while on his way to Owerri to mark the Id Al-Kabiir. Two other people lost their lives in the accident.

 

 

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has described Yusuf Nwoha’s death as shocking and debilitating. MURIC spoke through its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, in a statement circulated to the media on Thursday, 30th July, 2020.

 

 

“The death of our highly respected and much beloved brother, Alhaj Yusuf Nwoha, was announced yesterday. He died in a motor accident which occurred at Okene. It is shocking, debilitating. We are devastated.

 

 

“An indigene of Owerri in Imo State, Yusuf graduated from Bayero University, Kano. He embraced Islam in the early 80s and has since been very passionate about the faith. He was the Director of the Owerri-based Islamic Propagation Center before he joined the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He retired from INEC a few months ago. He was 60 years old.

 

 

“Yusuf’s sterling qualities of total commitment, efficiency and trustworthiness were so well known that the NSCIA quickly employed him as its Director of Administration immediately after his retirement. He was a humanist, very transparent and kind. The Ummah will miss him.

 

 

“MURIC condoles His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the NSCIA over this great loss. By the same token, we commiserate with the entire Nigerian Muslim community who have grown to love this sun that set at noon.

 

 

“We pray that Allah will forgive his trespasses and repose his gentle soul in Al-Jannah Firdaus. May Allah give his family and close friends the fortitude to bear the loss.”

 

 

Professor Ishaq Akintola,

Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

       

 

 


Friday, July 24, 2020

MAGU, NDDC PROBE AUTHENTICATE WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION - MURIC


25th July, 2020
                             
PRESS RELEASE:
MAGU, NDDC PROBE AUTHENTICATE WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION - MURIC

The Presidency is currently probing the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu. The Nigerian Senate is also currently probing the Niger Delta Development Commission.


Reacting to the probes, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has described the probes as confirmation of the genuineness of the war against corruption embarked upon by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. MURIC made this declaration in a press release issued by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola on Friday, 24th July, 2020.


The Islamic human rights organization said, “Critics and wailers were initially happy that Ibrahim Magu was facing a probe. They were exited when Magu’s security details were withdrawn and he was arrested. They expected a can of worms. They were disappointed. Although the probe is still going on, Magu has been released while his security details have been returned to him.


“Whichever way the cat jumps, the gem of the collection is that the Magu probe adds another feather to the hat of President Muhammadu Buhari as the unparalleled champion of the war against corruption and the unequalled symbol of integrity in the whole African continent. Buhari deserves commendation for allowing the probe to go ahead. This is so because many have seen Magu as the president’s man since the latter insisted on retaining him as EFCC boss despite the hostile stance of the immediate past National Assembly (NASS).


“On the contrary, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) fell like a pack of cards during the ongoing probe. The findings so far are shocking. NDDC has proved to be the epicenter of graft in this country. There is nothing to show for trillions of naira poured into the commission over the years. NDDC is a den of thieves.


“How can NDDC spend N1.5 billion for staff as ‘COVID-19 relief funds’?  Why should NDDC inflate contracts at will? N2.5 billion budgeted by NDDC for desilting and clearing of water hyacinths was inflated to N65billion. A particular contract was reawarded 55 times! The commission has 12,000 abandoned projects in the Niger DeltaFake photographs of completed jobs are submitted for NDDC payments and the same photographs are sometimes submitted for different projects. NDDC has the noun ‘thief’ and the verb ‘to steal’.


“MURIC hails President Muhammadu Buhari for allowing these two probes during his administration. It is a pity that Nigerians are yet to fully appreciate the Buhari phenomenon but we have no doubt that they will be praying for another Buhari in the next ten years. It was the same when he was military head of state (1983-85). He strove to instil discipline and a culture of transparency but corrupt elements mobilized gullible Nigerians against him at that time. However, it did not take long before they started wishing that he was back in power. Yet today, the same Nigerians have fallen victims of mass amnesia.


“Ex-governors Jolly Nyame and Joshua Dariye, both of the ruling party, are still in jail for corruption. Ngilari has tasted the bitter pill of the war against graft. The Magu and NDDC probes have also cemented the Federal Government’s sincerity regarding the war against corruption. Those who still doubt Buhari’s sincerity need to get their brains reset in a robot factory.


“By the same token, we commend the anti-corruption czar, Ibrahim Magu, for facing the ordeal with manly comportment. Unlike some certificated kleptomaniacs, Magu has refused to faint in the face of a Kilimanjaro-pile of allegations.”


Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


Sunday, July 19, 2020

SECURITY BREACH IN MURIC OFFICE


20th July, 2020                             
PRESS RELEASE:
SECURITY BREACH IN MURIC OFFICE

An Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has raised the alarm concerning security breach in its Lagos headquarters. MURIC called on the Nigerian security agencies to do everything within their power to protect its office, its director and staff.


MURIC raised the alarm in a press statement issued on Monday, 20th July, 2020. It was signed by the Special Assistant on Media to the Director of the organization, Dr. Siddiq Okanlawon Uthman.


According to Dr. Siddiq Uthman, “A surveillance car with two dark skinned men inside parked opposite MURIC’s headquarters for more than 15 minutes (from 1 pm to 1.15 pm) on Thursday 16th July, 2020. The ash-coloured Camry car had a Lagos plate registration number AA 6… LKM at the time it was sighted. The car zoomed off immediately an attempt was made to accost the occupants. The full registration number of the car will be given to security agents if they request for it in order to avoid embarrassing innocent people. Shadowy figures have also been noticed around our Director’s residence.


“This is very suspicious particularly since there have been open and veiled threats to the life of the Director of MURIC in recent time over the Amotekun affair. A twitter handler directed a death threat at our Director around the 21st of January 2020. He referred to the MURIC Director as a cobra and added, ‘This cobra needs to be killed’. A certain Tosin Elizabeth, A.K.A. ‘Hidee’ used telephone number 08163964812 to screenshoot the death threat from her whatshap status.


“At least two fake Islamic organisations have also emerged with statements calculated to blackmail and silence Professor Ishaq Akintola. But our Director has remained undaunted and focused on the mission to liberate Nigerian Muslims from the shackles of slavery, persecution and stigmatization.


“We hereby call on the security agencies to investigate the surveillance incident of last week as well as the death threats. We strongly believe that there is a connection between the incidents. They are not isolated. Neither are they circumstantial nor mere coincidence.


“We demand action from the security agencies. Waiting for a petition from MURIC after issuing this strongly worded press statement will be regarded as complacency and procrastination on the part of the security agencies. We are bona fide Nigerian citizens, law abiding and tax payers. We deserve to be protected.

“The security agencies should no longer claim that they are unaware that the life of our Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, is in danger. A proactive step will be in the interest of this great country because our Director is a public figure and a religious leader with millions of followers spread throughout the length and breadth of Nigeria. We hope the security agencies know the implications.


“Nonetheless, we have full confidence in the power of Almighty Allah to protect our Director and staff such that nothing planned by enemies of peace shall affect them. The Glorious Qur’an has assured us that ‘Allah is the best protector and the best Helper (3:150)’ and that ‘Allah is the best Guard…(12:64)’.


“We therefore appeal to Muslims all over the country to remain calm and law abiding while maintaining vigilance because eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. We assure them that our Director will not be forced to go into hiding. Neither will he succumb to threats and blackmail. We will never sell Allah-given fundamental human rights of Nigerian Muslims for a pot of porridge. Not for material gains or for the lure of political positions. No retreat, no surrender.”


Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)



REPLICATE OGUN BILL ON TRADITIONAL RITES: MURIC TELLS OTHER YORUBA STATES

17th July, 2020
                    
PRESS RELEASE:
REPLICATE OGUN BILL ON TRADITIONAL RITES: MURIC TELLS OTHER YORUBA STATES  

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called on lawmakers in Yoruba States of Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti to replicate the bill that will allow traditional rulers to be installed or buried after death according to their faiths instead of imposing traditional burial rites on Christian and Muslim rulers. 


It will be recalled that a similar bill was sponsored in the Ogun State House of Assembly by Hon Akeem Balogun from Ogun Waterside State Constituency.  The bill which is known as HB No 36/OG/2020- A Bill for a law to provide for the Preservation, Protection and Exercise by the traditional rulers of their fundamental Rights to be installed and buried according to their Religions or Beliefs and for other related matters has gone through the second reading.


The call was made by MURIC, in a press statement circulated to the media on Friday, 17th July, 2020 by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola. According to the human rights group, Yoruba lawmakers must rescue Yoruba kings and their subjects from the shackles of religious tyranny and the intolerance of traditionalists.


MURIC continued, “Ogun State lawmakers have belled the cat and lawmakers in other Yoruba states have no other choice than to take the cue. Obas in Yorubaland are suffering in silence. The Christians among them prefer Christian rites during their installation and burial after their death. Ditto for the Muslim Obas.


“It is the height of religious intolerance to force traditional religion alone on Christian and Muslim Obas. It smirks of religious extremism on the part of traditionalists to refuse to recognize the personal faith of whoever is made the Oba. This cannot be allowed to continue in a sane society. It stands in contradistinction to the letter and spirit of democracy.


“In the same vein, the imposition of curfews by traditionalists constitutes tyranny, dictatorship, selfishness and lawlessness. Such curfews make life difficult for people. It is traditional impunity. There must be consequences if people take the law into their hands by imposing illegal curfew. But more often than not, they are allowed to have their way. This must stop. Our understanding is that the phrase ‘and for other related matters’ is intended to take care of excesses like this.


“We therefore charge lawmakers in Yorubaland to stand up to be counted in the struggle to set Yoruba Obas and their subjects free. In particular, Lagos as the center of excellence and a cosmopolitan community cannot afford to lag behind in the quest for the emancipation of Obas from the totalitarian dictatorship of traditionalists. We therefore invite members of the Lagos State House of Assembly to be the first to embrace the Ogun initiative by initiating a similar bill.


“Lagos and Ogun must go a step further by adding severe punishment for unilateral, illegal and unlawful imposition of curfews by traditional worshippers of Oro. Most of the expatriates in Nigeria are known to reside in the two states and they must not be given the impression that the state governments condone lawlessness.


“This is where the law enforcement agents and the judiciary must play its own role effectively. Security agents who allow traditionalists to scare them have no business enrolling in the forces. They are square pegs in round holes. The principle of equality before the law presupposes that there must be no sacred cows. Our security agents must buckle up to make the proposed law effective.”


MURIC debunked the idea that some religions are foreign.

“There is nothing like a foreign religion. How can God be foreign in His land? It is traditionalists with their so called radical sympathisers and atheists who view Christianity and Islam as foreign religions. But it should be noted that the Supreme Creator can never be foreign anywhere on earth because He created the whole earth ab initio and human beings reach out to Him via different religions.


“Apart from the scriptures, these religions flow from human thoughts and thoughts should be as free as the wind. The human mind navigates both horizontally and vertically. Horizontally, he interfaces with homo sapiens like him and other creatures, the sea, the mountains and valleys, etc and wonders how they come about. Vertically, he ponders over the forces of heaven above.


“Therefore, if traditionalists prefer to interact horizontally with earthly objects which they can see physically, Christians and Muslims in Yorubaland should not be crucified for their choice of vertical telepathy with the unseen in their reasoning.


“As we draw the curtain, we call on lawmakers in Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti to take the cue from Ogun State lawmakers by replicating the Ogun State bill on the right of traditional rulers to be installed and buried according to their faiths. Yoruba lawmakers should also tighten the noose around Oro worshippers and their collaborators who impose illegal curfews. We charge security agents to crack down on traditionalists who restrict people’s movement. Finally, we urge traditionalists to simmer down, to open up their closed environment and to let some air into the choking chamber of tradition. Their attempt to impose an endogamous practice in Yoruba palaces is most likely to result in chaos.”


Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Sunday, July 12, 2020

MURIC TO SAHARA REPORTERS: PANTAMI DESERVES APOLOGY


13th July, 2020
                    
PRESS RELEASE:
MURIC TO SAHARA REPORTERS: PANTAMI DESERVES APOLOGY

Popular Nigerian tabloid, Sahara Reporters, recently published a story in which it alleged that the Minister of Communications, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, has purchased three houses within the period that he became a minister. The Minister last week denied the allegation with solid facts but nothing has been heard from the newspaper after the minister’s rebuttal.


Meanwhile an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has declared that the minister deserves an apology for the wrong accusation.


MURIC said, “Sahara Reporters recently accused Dr. Ali Isa Pantami of purchasing three houses within the period that he became a minister. This is a highly defamatory and malicious allegation. But the honourable minister has debunked the allegation with indubitable evidence. We are not aware of any other development in the matter to date.


“The Muslim Rights Concern is deeply concerned that Sahara Reporters has picked on an innocent Islamic scholar of international reputation for yellow journalism. Minister Pantami is a rare product of Islamic scholarship. We are proud of him and we frown at any attempt to stain his name.


“The fact that many Nigerians go into politics and hold public office for ulterior motives does not mean that all Nigerians are thieves. There are still a large number of honest Nigerians at home and in diaspora. We have no scinttila of doubt that Dr. Pantami stands tall among the latter group.


“We have remained quiet all this while hoping that Sahara Reporters would withdraw its statement particularly after the minister had successfully defended himself. Facts are known to be sacred in journalism and we expect the newspaper to restrict itself to facts only. We know that the press is powerful but no media house has the moral right to abuse that power.


“It is our honest belief that Minister Pantami has been wronged by Sahara Reporters. He deserves an apology. Therefore the newspaper should do the needful otherwise it will lose the respect of the general public.


“MURIC appeals to the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to take necessary steps towards ensuring that journalists uphold the ethics of the profession. Freedom from malicious damage is the fundamental right of every citizen and NUJ has a duty to protect innocent citizens from antagonistic journalism.”


Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)



Friday, July 10, 2020

PRESS RELEASE: MAKINDE’S RESPONSE TO MURIC IS ESCAPIST, DECEITFUL


10th July, 2020
                    
PRESS RELEASE:
MAKINDE’S RESPONSE TO MURIC IS ESCAPIST, DECEITFUL

The government of Oyo State yesterday reacted to the allegation of lopsidedness in appointments into governing councils made by an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC). Speaking yesterday (Thursday 9th July, 2020) through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, Governor Seyi Makinde denied sidelining Muslims of Oyo State. He said the Director of MURIC did not get his facts right before making the allegation.

But in a statement sent to media houses on Friday, 10th July, 2020, the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, fired back at the state government. He described the governor’s response as escapist and deceitful.


MURIC said, “We are greatly amused by Governor Makinde’s response which was issued yesterday. His reaction is, at best, escapist, deceitful and pedestrian. Makinde is not sincere with Oyo Muslims. Discerning Nigerians can see how he dodged the issue of appointment of chairmen raised by MURIC and went instead to membership razzmatazz.


“We accused him of appointing six chairmen among whom there is only one Muslim. The rest are Christians. Instead of addressing the issue of chairmen, he delved into the issue of board members. That is executive escapism. The real issue is how many chairmanship positions did he give the Muslims? How many did he give the Christians? Nigerians are not so na├»ve. They know who holds the ace. Is it the chairman or the ordinary member who is a mere spare tyre? Power lies with the chairman. He is tangential. The member is just on the periphery. Makinde is playing politics with the welfare of Oyo Muslims.


“He also sidestepped the issue of appointment of commissioners raised by MURIC. We alleged that the governor appointed fourteen (14) commissioners but he only deemed four (4) Muslims fit for that position. He gave the Christians ten (10). This is despite the fact that Muslims are the majority in the state. So why couldn’t Makinde say something about his commissioners in his response? The governor has been too clever by half.


“Seyi Makinde also evaded the issue of his extravagant jamboree during the Christmas of December 2019 without a corresponding recognition of the Muslim festival marked four months earlier. This is public money and tax payers have the right to ask questions, particularly when one religion is being treated as the official faith of the state. Is Makinde going the Wike way? Is Oyo State a Christian state too?   


“The fact that the governor came out to twist facts, distort history and accuse MURIC of failing to get its facts right before making allegations shows that Makinde is not remorseful. Yet nothing is worse than an unrepentant oppressor because he will do it again.

“For the purpose of microscopic clarity, we affirm that MURIC has nothing personal against Governor Makinde. Not even for being a Christian. We believe that a state like Oyo can be ruled either by a Muslim or a Christian. We are not allergic to a Christian ruling Nigeria. Whether a leader is a Christian or Muslim is immaterial. What is important is credibility, competence, integrity and equity.


“The Muslims of Oyo State are also sons and daughters of Oduduwa like their Christian counterparts. Something is wrong if they cannot get the same treatment like the Christians. Something is wrong if Yoruba female Muslim students in Oduduwaland suffer stigmatization. Something is not right if jobs are reserved for Christian applicants alone.


“It makes a mockery of the so called religious tolerance in Yorubaland and any mention of an Oduduwa Republic must send shivers of worse treatment for Muslims in an Oduduwa enclave. The governor of Oyo State can do better by treating the children of Oduduwa equally without favouring the Christians among them alone. That is when people in the region can speak with one voice.


“It is equally didactic that MURIC was not the only Muslim group that accused Makinde of marginalization. The Oyo State branch of the Political Awareness Group (PAG) also made the same allegation in a press release issued on the same day that MURIC’s statement was circulated. PAG’s statement which was dated 9th July, 2020 was signed by its state secretary, Honourable Abbas Ademola Busari. It is instructive that PAG is for good governance, equity and justice. The fact that the Oyo State branch spoke up shows that it is on ground and knows what is happening. So what else can Seyi Makinde say? Is PAG also day-dreaming like MURIC?


“Engineer Seyi Makinde is in dire need of re-engineering his administrative architecture. He has tilted too much to the Christian side. He should stop giving lame excuses. He can avoid a ding-dong between the Oyo State Government and MURIC. All he has to do is to address the real issues raised by us.


“Makinde can set his damage-control machinery in motion, for instance, by giving more Muslims chairmanship positions in other boards even without removing the Christians he has already appointed. He can also ensure that the post of commissioners are equally shared between adherents of the two faiths in his next cabinet reshuffle.


“Another example is the Id al-Kabiir (Ileya) that is just three weeks away. The governor can distribute Salah palliatives to the citizens two or three days before the Muslim festival to identify with the spirit of the Salah. We have no phobia for government celebrating Christian festivals but the same generous gesture should be extended to Muslim festivals as well in the interest of justice and fairplay. Have we asked for too much?


“Islam frowns on vindictiveness, therefore MURIC is not vengeful. We are in human rights with malice towards none, with charity for all. The well-being of our Christian neighbour is in our best interest for it takes nothing away from our own wellness. The sky is wide enough for all birds to fly. Our philosophy is live and let live. All we are after is a better Oyo State. We will continue to promote peaceful coexistence within the context of mutual respect. Let Engineer Seyi Makinde engineer Oyo State very well.”


Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)