Tuesday, December 29, 2020



30th December, 2020






It appears the last has not been heard of the Kukah controversy as the Nigerian Islamic human rights body, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has called on Bishop Mathew Hasan Kukah to recuse himself from the General Abdul Salaam-led Peace Committee.



The call was made by the director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, in a press statement circulated on Wednesday, 30th December, 2020.


“It will be recalled that Bishop Mathew Hasan Kukah of the Sokoto Diocese indirectly called for a coup and referred to Islam as a violent religion about four days ago. We strongly believe that those pronouncements are inconsistent with the bishop’s status particularly as the secretary of Nigeria’s Peace Committee.



“How did such a belligerent combatant emerge as the secretary of Nigeria’s Peace Committee? What good can come from a man who is filled with hate and bias for a large section of the country? He calls for a coup against a democratically elected government. He stigmatized Islam as a violent religion. He derides the North. We demand that Kukah should honourably recuse himself from the Peace Committee. Failure to do so will have a devastating effect of discrediting that committee. It will mean that the committee was set up in the first place for a partisan purpose.



“This is because many see Bishop Kukah as the de facto leader of the Committee. The Peace Committee must clarify some issues surrounding its formation and modus operandi. Whose idea was the whole thing from the beginning? Where is the committee’s secretariat? Is it true that the whole committee was Kukah’s initiative ab initio? Is it also true that its secretariat is headed and managed by the director of the Kukah Center? If that is so, General Abdulsalam must have been persuaded to come on board and serve as the chairman just to give legitimacy and credibility to the idea.



“This Peace Committee has a credibility crisis on its hands unless it can remove Kukah as secretary and as a member if the bishop fails to recuse himself. Nigerian Muslims no longer have any confidence in the Peace Committee. It may as well disband while the members go home to sleep.



“This is the honourable thing for the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese to do in view of the humongous allegation levelled against him. A national peace committee needs wide acceptance from the general populace in order to function effectively. Unfortunately this does not appear to be the true situation on ground at present.



“There is no gainsaying the fact that the secretary of any organization is its livewire. He keeps their records and writes their reports. A man who is heavily biased against one faith cannot be trusted to prepare a fair report on interfaith issues. That position is too sensitive to be left in the office of a firebrand missionary known for his emotional outbursts.



“The silence of the Peace Committee since the Kukah controversy began is also disturbing. A peace committee whose secretary comes out with blazing guns firing from all cylinders at a section of the country and calls for a coup while its members keep mute gives cause for concern. It gives the impression that the secretary is holding members of the committee to ransom. He calls the shots. Afterall, any statement to be issued by the committee, ceteris paribus, is expected to be prepared by the same secretary. Here comes the hard nut.



“Nigerian Muslims have no confidence in the Peace Committee as long as Kukah remains its secretary and member. He has failed to remain neutral. His bias against Muslims has been openly displayed. Rev. Fr. Kukah should recuse himself, otherwise the committee has to disband.



“This has become necessary in view of the jaundiced position taken by the Catholic mission yesterday in an official statement. Nigerian Catholics declared their full backing of the preposterous pronouncements of Bishop Kukah. In that situation, it is no longer acceptable to leave the destiny of the Peace Committee in the hands of the Catholic Bishop.



“The question must be asked: who is the secretary of the Peace Committee? Kukah or the Catholic Diocese? A situation whereby Kukah issues a highly combustible statement and the Nigerian Catholic Mission backs him calls for caution.



“MURIC suggests immediate review of the composition and operation of the Peace Committee. The secretariat of the Peace Committee must be moved out of the Kukah Centre. A neutral place must be found. In addition, a neutral person who is not head or official of any religious group or a person known for making volatile statements must be made head of its secretariat. The Peace Committee may also consider coopting a co-chairman who must be a Christian since the current chairman is a Muslim. This will engender balance.



“We call on the Chairman and members of the Peace Committee to take these suggestions seriously in order to retain the respect it currently enjoys. A stitch in time saves nine. Immediate consultations and proper advice will save the committee from any embarrassment in future.”



Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)



Sunday, December 27, 2020



28th December, 2020





The Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev. Fr. Hasan Kukah, yesterday suggested that there would have been a coup had a Southerner occupied the Nigerian seat of power. He also referred to Islam as a violent religion. However, the Nigerian Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has described the bishop as a first class blackmailer.



This was made known to newsmen in a press statement issued on Monday, 27th December, 2020 by Professor Ishaq Akintola, director of the organization.



MURIC’s statement reads:


“We are shocked to our marrows by the vitriolic attack launched yesterday by Rev. Hasan Kukah against Islam as a religion. The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese referred to Islam as a violent religion. He also surreptitiously called for a coup against a democratically elected government of President Muhammadu Buhari whom he falsely accused of nepotism.


“According to him, ‘…There is no way any non-Northern Muslim President could have done a fraction of what President Buhari has done by his nepotism and gotten away with it. There would have been a military coup…In other words there could have been a coup if a non-Northerner had practised nepotism like Buhari.



“This is a most irresponsible pronouncement and we will not allow it to go unchallenged. Kukah’s statement is reckless, inflammatory and unguarded. It is the most egregious, luciferous, serpentine and diabolical statement of the year 2020. Hasan Mathew Kukah is ululating from the wrong side of the pulpit. Kukah is in the habit of demonizing and demarketing any president who happens to be a Muslim. In particular, we are most disappointed that such a heavily prejudiced and explosive statement is coming from the secretary of Nigeria’s Peace Committee. His behavior is consistently inconsistent with his status.



“Kukah referred to Islam as violent but his fellow faithful, Gana, has been training terrorists and killing Muslims in Benue for years. Kukah is fully aware of the creed of those who waylay travellers in the Plateau region, killing all Muslims among them and dumping them in the numerous ponds and wells of the Plateau landscape, never to be seen again. We would never have kno wn but for the General Alkali affair. How can those who train and arm cold-blooded killers turn around to call Islam a violent religion?



“Kukah lives in the heart of Islam and he has never been attacked. Kukah also knows how generous and charitable the people of Sokoto have been to him. Had it not been you had been good. This kind of allegation should have come from someone else, from somewhere else. Kukah has bitten the finger that fed him.



“But how dare you mock the North? Are you not part of that geographical entity? Is this the same man who claimed he wanted to rescue 10 million almajiris? Thank God we stopped your circus show. You deride the North but pretend you want to ‘rescue’ Northern children. You have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that you have a disabled sense of belonging.



“We can understand Kukah's frustration. Import duty waivers on every imported good, including private jets, are no longer available. Neither are billion naira contracts at the snap of a finger. A new Sheriff is in town. This is why Kukah has turned to a blackmailer nulli secundus.



“Kukah calls for a coup because blackmail is not working with Buhari. But is Kukah aware that it will be a Christian-inspired forceful change of government? What was the result of the first of such in the country? Even Nzeogwu will turn in his grave at the very thought of a church-motivated coup.



“It is unimaginable that such venom is being emited during Christmas when all are expected to give love. Nigerians can see what is happening. We send messages of love to Bishop Kukah at Christmas. He responds with pent-up anger, contempt and hate-filled emotion. Is this proper?



“Kukah’s allegation of nepotism against PMB holds no water. Buhari’s appointments by geo-political zone as published by a leading online newspaper has debunked Kukah’s verbal halitosis. The analysis showed that Buhari’s North West got 37 appointments, North East received 29, North Central secured 21, South West had 63, South East received 25 while South South got 24. South West benefited most. But is Buhari a Yoruba man? He gave the South West almost double what he gave his own North West. Is that nepotism? We challenge Kukah and his merchants of falsehood to provide their own data.  



“This means that the North as a whole which Kukah accused of hegemony and for which reason Buhari is being accused of nepotism, got 87 appointments while the South received 112. All the false propaganda and allegation of nepotism against Buhari fell like a pack of cards with this analysis. Kukah’s diatribe is therefore sheer tramadolised religiousity. His allegations are as unfounded as they are baseless.



“It further goes to prove that allegations of northern hegemony, caliphate domination, Islamisation and fulanisation are not more than a myth, a mirage, a phantom. They are mere slogans adopted by political shenanigans, ethnic charlatans and religious demagogues to deceive gullible Nigerians.



“Kukah knows those who engage in favouritism but he has chosen to be a pot calling the kettle black. Rev. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) inadvertently revealed the special favours rendered by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to Christians when he was president. The revelation was made at Orita Mefa Baptist Church, Ibadan, on Saturday, November 21, 2020 during the funeral service of Obasanjo’s two-term Pastor, Rev. S. T. Ola Akande.



“The CAN president poured encomiums on Obasanjo for favouring Christians during his regime. Among the special favours mentioned were the mass land allocation to the Baptist mission at Kubwa, Abuja; another land allocation to the Baptist in Festac town, Lagos; yet another land allocation to the church in Satellite town and another at highbrow Ikoyi, also for the church. No Muslim leader or Islamic organization has accused Obasanjo of favouritism to date. Perhaps Kukah thinks God was asleep during the regime of Obasanjo. But the garrulous bishop now has the temerity to remind Nigerians that God does not sleep.  



“Certain people are unhappy with a situation whereby they can no longer walk freely into Aso Rock for the low-hanging apples. They therefore want a forceful change of government. But rather than wait on the straight for the next election as democrats, they prefer to take the bend. #EndSARS has failed. They must blackmail the president into submission.



Kukah’s reference to a coup is a Satanic innuendo. We are aware that civilians have always been involved in coups in the past. Kukah’s interest is therefore not something new. But why is Kukah just inciting it? He should be man enough to spearehead it. Go ahead, Kukah, plan a coup. Who knows? You can be vice president. Dare to struggle. Dare to win.



Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


Thursday, December 24, 2020



25th December, 2020





Shaykh Dr. Justice Ahmad Lemu, a foremost Islamic scholar and leader, died yesterday, Thursday, 24th December, 2020. He was 91.



In a statement issued on Friday, 25th December, 2020, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) described him as a great scholar and visionary leader. The statement was signed by the director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola.


“We have every reason to mourn the demise of Shaykh Lemu. He was a great scholar and visionary leader. He was kind, transparent and dedicated to the cause of Islam. He was also a great teacher and a role model. Shaykh Lemu was the founder of the popular Islamic Education Trust (IET) and the Da’wah Coordination Council of Nigeria.



“His carreer as a versatile Islamic scholar saw him serving as Shar’ia judge at the Court of Appeals in Sokoto and Niger states (1976 – 1977) and later as Chief Shar’ia Judge at the Court of Appeals in Niger State (1976 – 1991). He had also contributed his quota to nation building. He was a member of the Nigerian Council of Religions, the Presidential Council for Youth Development and the Presidential Experts Committee for National Security.


“He was an energetic dawah worker. To his credit goes several educational achievements. He founded IET more than fifty years ago when he was the principal of Sokoto Arabic College. He pioneered the writing and publishing of Islamic books which became textbooks in primary and secondary schools. Today IET is the largest Islamic center in Nigeria with an Islamic propagation unit, a publishing company, a bookshop, a nursery, primary and secondary school both in Minna and Abuja as well as an Islamic training institute.



Nigerian Muslims will certainly miss Shaykh Lemu as he has left behind a yawning vacuum which may be difficult to fill for a very long time. May Allah grant him unconditional forgiveness, unlimited mercy and unrestricted access to one of the spacious palaces in al-Jannah. May Allah also give the family he left behind the fortitude to bear the loss.



Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)