Wednesday, October 28, 2020

#ENDSARS: PRAY FOR THE NIGERIAN POLICE - MURIC

 

28th October, 2020

                             

PRESS RELEASE:

#ENDSARS: PRAY FOR THE NIGERIAN POLICE - MURIC

      

Sequel to the rage which attended #EndSARS protests and attacks on police stations and police personnel in the past two weeks, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has called on Nigerian Muslims to pray for the police and members of their families. The group also appealed to leaders of the Police Community Relations Committee to mobilise their members as well as people living around police stations to rise in defence of police buildings and personnel in order to prevent further attacks.  

 

 

The organisation’s plea was circulated on Wednesday 28th October, 2020 by its Director and Founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

 

 

The statement reads:

 

“Several police stations are now in ruins particularly in Lagos and other parts of the South West, South East and South South as a result of attacks by hoodlums who infiltrated the #EndSARS protests. In addition, a number of policemen were killed while arms and ammunition were carted away from the burning stations.

 

 

“MURIC calls the attention of Nigerians to this ugly event. We see it as a disservice not only to our country but also to ourselves. It is paradoxical that people who have for long complained about insecurity will embark on massive neutralisation of its police force. There is no gainsaying the fact that this will worsen the security situation especially in those areas where police stations have been destroyed.

 

 

“Besides, Nigerians have severely wounded the psyche of its police and it will take a long time before any healing can take place. The morale of our police has been badly battered and all of us need to start working towards rehabilitating them. The police needs our support now than ever.

 

 

“In view of the trauma which men of the Nigerian police went through in the past two weeks, MURIC calls on Muslims to pray in all mosques for the police and members of their families this Friday 30th October 2020. We urge Christians to do the same in their churches on Sunday, 1st November, 2020. Let the prayers be the beginning of national healing.

 

 

“Nigerians failed to realise that the motive of those who attacked police stations was different. They were made up of hoodlums and criminally minded people who intend to get the police out of the way in order to visit mayhem on innocent people later. They have succeeded to a large extent as communities where police stations were destroyed have started experiencing armed robbery attacks both day and night.

 

 

“However, there were some communities that exhibited solidarity with the police by rallying round and preventing attackers from reaching the stations. We give kudos to Ijora youths in Lagos and their counterparts in Agugu, Ibadan, in this regard. The youth in both areas trooped out in large numbers when hoodlums marched on those stations and attempted to loot them.

 

 

“MURIC invites leaders of the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) around the country to do the needful. They can mobilise people around them to do exactly what the youths of Ijora and Agugu did. We also appeal to Nigerians in general to wake up in this regard. We should not allow miscreants to expose us to danger by attacking police stations around us. It is well known that armed robbers are in the habit of demobilising police stations within the vicinity of banks targeted for robbery in order to render the banks helpless.

 

 

“This is exactly what those who attacked police stations did to us. We should realise that those who attack our police stations may come for us later and there will be no police to call for help. Any attack on a police station is therefore an attack on the community. We should never allow it to happen again. 

 

 

“Another dangerous angle is the issue of stolen police guns. We fear that those weapons have fallen into the hands of unpatriotic elements and criminals who are likely to start using them when they launch attacks on society. We urge Nigerians to give the security agencies useful information about the whereabouts of those weapons.”

 

 

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

 

Monday, October 26, 2020

#ENDSARS: MURIC SEEKS COMPENSATION FOR IGBO MUSLIM VICTIMS, TO REPORT WIKE TO ICC

 

26th October, 2020

                             

PRESS RELEASE:

#ENDSARS: MURIC SEEKS COMPENSATION FOR IGBO MUSLIM VICTIMS, TO REPORT WIKE TO ICC

      

The Nigerian Islamic human rights organization has berated the killing of 11 (eleven) Muslims of Igbo extraction in the South East and South South during the #EndSARS protests. The group also condemned the burning of Orlu Central Mosque as well as attacks on other mosques in the two sub-regions.

 

 

The condemnation was contained in a press statement circulated to pressmen on Monday, 26th October, 2020 by the Director and Founder of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

 

 

MURIC said, “We are shocked by news of mob attacks on Muslims of Igbo origin in the South East and South South during the #EndSARS demonstrations. At least 11 (eleven) Muslims were killed: 1 (one) in the South East and 10 (ten) in the South South. They were killed for no other reason than for being Muslims. Members of IPOB killed 10 Muslims in Port Harcourt. Seriki’s son was burnt beyond recognition. One Muslim was also killed in Imo State while four others were injured. Orlu Central Mosque was completely destroyed by arsonists while Hausa markets worth millions of naira were also destroyed.

 

 

“MURIC is in possession of two video clips that have gone viral. One was shot by renowned militant leader, Alhaji Mujahid Asari Dokubo. In the first video, Asari Dokubo berated the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its leadership for allowing IPOB to become a group that hates Muslims and one that hunts them to the point of death.

 

 

“In the second video, an unidentified Igbo woman in hijab who spoke Igbo language intermittently said, ‘I want to ask a question from my fellow Ibo brothers and sisters. Please, I want to know. Anything that happens in the East, you people will go after Ibo Muslims. You people will be chanting, ‘kill all the Ibo Muslims, Kill all the Ibo Muslims. Are we no longer your blood? What is it that we are looking for? All of us were protesting. We were chanting for good government. Ayin sonaa chummuo. At the middle, udon summa isin muomuo, diban unonpla. At the middle, you turn around. Have you seen what is happening?  Both of us were pursuing spirit. At the middle, almost to catch the spirit, you turn around and said ‘I am smelling spirit spirit (sic). Is it good? Please, please, you people should leave everybody to practice his own religion.’

 

 

“MURIC strongly condemns the killing of Muslims in Igboland. We believe that it is the climax of an undercurrent of persecution, intimidation and humiliation of Igbo Muslims by their fellow Igbo. Families of Igbo Christians who revert to Islam are boycotted and disowned. They are denied all rights and priviledges, including the right to inherit. State governments in the East and South South deprive Muslims of their Allah-given fundamental human rights. We have the details and these will be revealed in due course.

 

 

“In the same vein, we hold the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, responsible for the attack on Muslims in the South South. His ban on IPOB is mere lip-service. He personally hates Muslims and detests the sight of mosques. He was responsible for the destruction of the Trans Amadi Central Mosque in August 2019. Wike was severally quoted to have declared Rivers State a Christian State not too long ago. We have set the machinery in motion to report him to the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague for incitement and for crimes against humanity.

 

 

“We therefore hang the killing of Muslims in Port Harcourt on his neck. If the witch cried yesterday and the child dies today, do we need to start searching for the killer of that child? IPOB reasoned that there is no raison d’etre for Muslims to live in Rivers State since the state had been declared a Christian State by the governor. Wike gave IPOB the licence to kill Muslims.

 

 

“To our Muslim brothers in the South East and South South, we send fraternal sympathy. Our solidarity with you is forever. Our love for you cannot be dissolved by geographical boundaries. We feel your tribulation. Your pains hit our bones to the very marrows. We share your grief. Fear not, for you are not alone. Apart from Almighty Allah who is always with you, we, your brothers and sisters North and South West of Nigeria stand up to demand justice for you. Remain steadfast in your faith, Islam. Your lamentations shall not be in vain and we will not stop until justice is not only delivered but is seen to have been delivered.

 

 

“In order to calm frayed nerves, MURIC hereby demands the following: 

1.  The setting up of a judicial commission of inquiry into the killing of Muslims in the South-South as well as the burning of Orlu Central Mosque;

2.  The Rivers State Government must pay compensation to the families of the victims within a period not exceeding three months;

3.  Imo State Government must rebuild and re-equip Orlu Central Mosque within the same period;

4.  The hospital bills of all Muslims injured during the attacks must be paid by the state governments and

5.  All Muslims who lost properties due to attacks during the period must be compensated.

 

 

“We are in constant contact with the victims and the reparations will be closely monitored. Meanwhile we appeal to Muslims throughout Nigeria to refrain from seeking vengeance. There must be no reprisals of any kind. We urge Muslims to remain calm and watchful. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.”

 

 

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

 

Friday, October 23, 2020

#ENDSARS: MURIC SYMPATHISES WITH THE MEDIA

 

24th October, 2020

                             

PRESS RELEASE:

#ENDSARS: MURIC SYMPATHISES WITH THE MEDIA

      

Some media houses were looted in the melee which occurred during the ongoing #EndSARS saga, notably The Nation and Television Continental (TVC) which were looted on Wednesday, 21st October, 2020.       

 

 

Meanwhile the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has expressed sympathy with The Nation newspaper, TVC, LTV and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ). MURIC’s message to the media came via a press statement issued by its Director and Founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Saturday, 24th October, 2020.

 

 

The statement reads:

 

“We have confirmed reports of attacks on some media houses. The Nation newspaper was looted. Continental Television (TVC) was partly burned. Unconfirmed report said Lagos Television (LTV 8) was also attacked. All these attacks were attributed to hoodlums who infiltrated peaceful protesters.

 

 

“We are deeply disturbed by these attacks on media houses. We as a non-governmental organization (NGO) rely on the press to reach out to the public. The press in general has contributed immensely to the ability of various organisations to interact and there is no gainsaying the fact that the media is the voice of the voiceless. Any attack on the media is therefore an attack on the downtrodden masses.

 

 

“It is on this bases that we conclude that the hoodlums who attacked these media houses acted in ignorance. They have attacked those who have been promoting their interests. Besides, hundreds could be rendered jobless by attacking media houses.

 

 

“It is in this respect that we strongly denounce the attacks. How can we blame government and private entrepreneurs for lack of jobs when we senselessly use our hands to destroy workplaces where hundreds of fellow Nigerians earn their living? Salaries may not be fully paid or may not be paid at all for months as the employers struggle to replace vehicles and equipment burnt or carted away.  

 

 

“MURIC hereby expresses heartfelt sympathy with the Nation newspaper, TVC, LTV, the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and all those affected by the attacks, particularly the owners of the media houses and the non-journalist staff. We pray that Allah will replenish their sources of income to enable them replace, rebuild and recover all losses suffered during the attack.

 

 

“We remind Nigerians that attacks on businesses tend to vindicate some Nigerians in the diaspora who refuse to come back home to set up businesses. Yet millions of Nigerians are looking for jobs. We are simply cutting our noses to spite our faces. Burning and looting are attacks on civilization. They are counter-productive. We may think we are only punishing some individuals but we are setting a very dangerous precedent. Such attacks discourage Nigerian businessmen from establishing businesses within the country and providing jobs for Nigerians. Attacks on business concerns also lead to capital flight.

 

 

 

“Finally, we appeal to Nigerians to have an attitudinal change. While we agree that protest is an Allah-given fundamental human right, protesters must respect decorum by focusing only on the expression of grievances and never derailing towards the tendency to destroy. We are simply demolishing our common patrimony and we may have to whistle for our dinner when night falls.”  

 

 

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

 

 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

#ENDSARS: MURIC APPEALS FOR CALM

 

22nd October, 2020

                             

PRESS RELEASE:

#ENDSARS: MURIC APPEALS FOR CALM

        

Nigeria’s #EndSARS crisis which escalated in the last 48 hours has led to the loss of lives and properties particularly in Lagos. Soldiers and mobile policemen were also drafted to hot spots. Meanwhile many well-meaning individuals and organisations have appealed to the protesters to allow peace to reign. Among the organisations which have issued appeals is the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).  

 

 

In a statement issued on Thursday, 22nd October, 2020, the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, appealed for calm. MURIC hailed young Nigerians for demanding an end to harassment and intimidation in the hands of men of the Special Armed Robbery Squad (SARS). However, the Islamic human rights group reminded the young protesters that they should step back after making their points to allow the government to actualize their demands.

 

 

“Nigerian youths have demonstrated the ability to articulate their grievances”, MURIC said. “They showed ingenuity in the coordination of the welfare of fellow protesters thereby lending credence to the ‘not too young to rule’ mantra.

 

 

“However, we are saddened by the carnage which attended the protests in the last 48 hours. The level of destruction and its geographical locations convince us that it was not the handiwork of the youths who started the demonstrations. There are also strong indications that the attacks on prisons where hardened criminals were set free was not carried out by our young ones. Neither was it part of their plan.

 

 

“Fifth columnists have infiltrated the rank and file of the protesters. The Lagos scenario is another cup of tea entirely. We are inclined to believe that the only logical explanation for the carnage in Lagos is the involvement of non-indigenes. This is because the targets chosen for attack depicted an inordinate desire for a pound of flesh, especially the attack on the hallowed palace of the Oba of Lagos while that of TVC, the Nation newspaper office and the house of the mother of Lagos Governor may have been a combination of deliberate misquotation and political motivation. We condemn this wanton destruction.

 

 

“We appeal for calm on all sides. We call on the security agencies to spare our young ones. Nigeria cannot afford to exterminate its young generation which constitutes about 60% of its population. They have shown the potentials for leadership. It is the criminals who infiltrated the demonstrators who must be identified. The security agencies must separate the wheat from the chaff. We also suggest the use of non-lethal tools like water cannons and teargas instead of bullets to disperse demonstrators.

 

 

“We appeal to protesters to respect the curfew imposed on nine Nigerian states:  Lagos, Osun, Rivers, Abia, Edo, Plateau, Ondo, Ekiti and Imo. Dare to struggle, dare to win. Our young ones have struggled and won. This is the time to fall back to be able to assess the level of success. No general will keep advancing ad infinitum. He must stop to fortify his rear and also for reconnaissance exercise. Reconnaissance on the part of current protesters will involve sending feelers to know the thinking of government and what they have done so far in terms of promise of reform. Every war stops at the negotiation table.

 

 

“It will be na├»ve to expect a change of government through demonstrations. This is a democratically elected government and we must wait for the next election which is just around the corner. Those who attempt violent change always throw society into anarchy. The guns are still booming in Libya. Iraq is bleeding. Let us learn from the mistakes of others.”

 

 

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

Monday, October 19, 2020

#ENDSARS: MURIC CONDEMNS ATTACK ON GOV OYETOLA

 

20th October, 2020

                             

PRESS RELEASE:

#ENDSARS: MURIC CONDEMNS ATTACK ON GOV OYETOLA

        

The Nigerian Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has condemned the assassination attempt on the governor of Osun State, Alhaji Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola. The sad incident occurred on Saturday, 17th October, 2020 around Olaiya junction.

 

 

MURIC’s condemnation came through its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Tuesday, 20th October, 2020.

 

 

“Governor Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola was viciously attacked in Oshogbo on Saturday 17th October, 2020. It was a clear assassination attempt. The attackers used guns, axes and cutlasses. An axe thrown at his car got stuck in the door. His aides and others in his convoy were also targeted. The screens of many vehicles in his convoy got smashed.

 

 

“MURIC strongly condemns this attack. It was more than a protest. Things have gotten out of hands. #EndSARS protest has been hijacked by merchants of death, hoodlums and disgruntled politicians. What are people doing with guns, axes, cutlasses and stones in a protest ostensibly planned and labelled to be peaceful.

 

 

“To add salt to injury, the governor’s enemies started spreading the rumour that his convoy killed two people during the attack. That is a lie from the pit of Jahannam. The two deaths which occurred that day did not happen anywhere near the governor’s convoy. The timings confirm that. One occurred around 12.30 pm. The governor’s convoy was nowhere near the protesters at that time. The other by 4.30 pm. The governor was already back in the Government House by 4.05 pm. One was due to a motor cycle accident while the other was shot about 4.8 kilometers away from where the governor was. So how can any sane person accuse the governor of killing either of the two?

 

 

“Besides, Oyetola is an easy-going governor. He is not given to recklessness or executive impunity. He cannot hurt a fly. This is a governor who tried all he could to identify with young Nigerians who are protesting. Apart from releasing a strong statement in support of the protesters, he has attended the protest grounds about three times since the beginning of #EndSARS.

 

 

“In fact, the assassination attempt occurred during one of his solidarity marches with the protesters. He was actually there in their midst. He deliberately came out of his car in Alekuwodo and trekked with the protesters to Olaiya Junction. That was where the hoodlums started shooting at him. He got into his car, drove towards Abere and back to Government House. They intensified the attack as his convoy drove away. An axe stuck to his car door, bullet holes littered the vehicles in his convoy and screens were shattered. It was a close shave.

 

 

“We of the Muslim Rights Concern strongly condemns the assassination attempt on Governor Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola. The attempt has all the hallmarks of premeditation. They knew the governor had been attending the rallies and that he would soon arrive. So a bloody reception was planned for him.

 

 

“The attempt on Oyetola’s life amplifies our position that the protest has been hijacked. This is no longer #EndSARS. The young Nigerians who started it may have meant well but they are no longer in the driving seat. They are not even the conductors or motorboys mobilizing passengers. Hoodlums and politicians have taken over.

 

 

“We appeal to the Federal Government to take actions capable of protecting government officials and innocent citizens.”

 

 

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