Thursday, January 28, 2021



29th January, 2021





The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has received a pat in the back from the Nigerian Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC). The human rights organization commended the minister for his recent innovations which are aimed at making life easier for Nigerians.


MURIC issued the commendation in a message distributed to the media on Friday, 29th January, 2021. The message was signed by the group’s director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.



According to MURIC, “We are greatly impressed by the performance of the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami. He has proved himself as an uncommon federal minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. His ministry is always on one activity or another and most of such programmes and projects are designed to take Nigeria to the next level in a highly competitive digital world.



“Notable among such achievements of his ministry are the 112 toll-free number commissioned on 19th March, 2020 and the virtual federal executive council meeting of 13th May, 2020. A few weeks ago, the ministry introduced a mobile application designed to link the National Identity Number (NIN) to the SIM. This is a great step forward particularly in the fight against crime as it will assist security agencies in identifying criminals at a faster pace.



“Equally noteworthy is the recent permission which Pantami’s ministry gave network providers to register Nigerians for NIN. This is seen as a way of bringing smiles to the faces of Nigerians who have been experiencing difficulties in their efforts to obtain NIN. Many Nigerians have had to spend up to three nights sleeping somewhere close to the NIN registration centres across the country just to obtain the elusive national identity number. There is no doubt that the long queues at the NIN registration centres will soon disappear. Thus Pantami has directly and positively impacted the lives of Nigerians.



“The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy must therefore be celebrated for responding to the needs of the people and for digitalizing the economy at a fast pace. No wonder, therefore, Pantami was declared IT Man of the Year 2019. He has taken Nigeria to higher heights in communications and digital economy.



“It is our considered opinion that while individual citizens and groups reserve the right to interrogate the activities of public officials, such interrogation must be fair, constructive and balanced. It must not be thrashing and bashing all the way. There must be occasions when we take a look at the bright side of the performance of government officials and applaud them when they perform creditably well. This will bring out the best in them on the job. It will also enable them to know that the people appreciate their sacrifices and the tough times they face most of the time.



“MURIC charges critics to give their negative comments a human face. Observations should not be a one way affair all the time. A pianist can use the white keys some of the time and the black keys at other times. But for harmony he must combine both the white and black keys.”



Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


Monday, January 25, 2021



26th January, 2021





The Nigerian Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has lauded all the stakeholders in the resolution of the crisis between the Hausa/Fulani community of Igangan, in Ibarapa, Oyo State and their Yoruba hosts. The group called for the extension of the same direct dialogue to Ondo State. MURIC also urged the Yoruba race to jettison separatist tendencies and ethnic hostilities for the quest for central power in 2023.



MURIC disclosed this in a press release signed by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola on Tuesday, 26th January, 2023.



MURIC said:


“Yorubaland has been soaked with tension in the past few days over quit notices issued to the Hausa/Fulani in Oyo and Ondo States. However, relative peace has returned following peaceful moves made by various patriotic citizens. We give kudos to all the stakeholders involved in the resolution of the crisis between the Hausa/Fulani community of Igangan, in Ibarapa, Oyo State and their Yoruba hosts.



“MURIC calls on the governor of Ondo State and the state’s commissioner of police to take similar steps in order to facilitate a peaceful resolution of the crisis in the state. We charge all stakeholders in the state to expedite action on bringing all parties to a roundtable. We remind them that peace is sine qua non to progress and no society can achieve its developmental goals in a turbulent atmosphere.



“Equally germane to the crisis at hand is the need for the Yoruba race to jettison separatist tendencies and ethnic hostilities at this crucial time for the quest for central power in 2023. Any group that fails to get its acts together early enough should kiss Aso Rock goodbye in the next general elections.



It is on record that the Yoruba have complained bitterly about marginalization. This has resulted in the emergence of separatist groups calling for the establishment of Oduduwa Republic. However, the reality staring the Yoruba in the face today is the complex nature of the process of separation vis a vis the proximity of a big opportunity of gaining political power in 2023 through an already well known democratic process.



“Fortunately the Yoruba do not have to search too far as a former governor of Lagos State and leader of the ruling party has shown interest. Here is a candidate that brandishes impeccable pedigree. Nobody can deny his political dexterity. He is known to have fought and won several political battles. The best the Yoruba people can do for the region is to rally behind this candidate and ensure that he clinches power in 2023.



“But they have to drop all irredentist, insurrectionist and belligerent propensities in order to be able to focus fully on their presidential ambition. The tribe seeking to rule must be seen to be accommodating, tolerant and resilient.



“Power shift to the South has become mandatory as President Muhammadu Buhari would have spent eight complete years by 2023 and all eyes are presently on the South West. Therefore the region cannot afford to lose the opportunity due to restlessness, recklessness, unnecessary protests, issuance of quit notices to other ethnicities and a general lack of stability.



“MURIC invites all the socio-cultural groups including Afenifere, Yoruba World Congress, Yoruba Welfare Group, Agbekoya Reformed Society, Reformed Oodua People’s Congress, etc, to come together and speak with one voice in a bid to realize the Yoruba presidential ambition. It is needless to reiterate that the Yoruba stand a better chance of occupying Aso Rock come 2023 with a candidate that is well known, fully prepared, full of experience and one that has already spread his political tentacles to all parts of the country.”



Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


Saturday, January 23, 2021



24th January, 2021





A Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo Igboho who gave quit notice to the Hausa-Fulani in Igangan, Oke Ogun area of Oyo State, led indigenes of the area to attack the Hausa-Fulani community on Friday, 22nd January, 2021. The incident allegedly resulted in the destruction of houses and vehicles. In its reaction to the incident, the Nigerian Islamic human rights organization, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called for dialogue and wider consultation. MURIC advised the Federal Government to apply caution in handling the fragile situation.



This was contained in a statement issued by the director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola on Sunday, 24th January, 2021.



According to MURIC, “The Igangan incident must be condemned by all lovers of peace. But at the same time, we cannot close our eyes to the pain and suffering of farmers and indigenes of the area whom criminals see as soft targets for kidnapping, armed robbery, etc. It is however crystal clear that it is not a religious matter, though some have been misled into labeling it an Hausa-Fulani affair. Our focus must be the criminals, not any tribe.  



“While we do not endorse violence, we opine that people whose farms have been destroyed have the right to express indignation. In the same manner, those whose relations or friends have fallen victims to criminal activities like kidnapping and armed robbery are justified to speak up. The only difference here is that no single tribe should be held responsible for all the crimes.



“This is because criminals abound in all faiths and tribes everywhere in the world, not only in Nigeria. We should therefore address crime and criminals. We should target kidnappers and armed robbers, not any particular ethnicity. Those who make the mistake of profiling people of certain tribes will end up hurting decent elements within that tribe and this is against the law of natural justice.


“With particular reference to the Oyo and Ondo State incidents and the quit notices, MURIC reminds people of the South West that the crisis cuts across ethnicities. The same herdsmen are involved in several states. Benue, Kaduna, Adamawa, Taraba, Enugu, Onitsha, PortHarcourt, etc, are facing the same problem of herdsmen versus farmers. In essence, the phenomenon is general and not targeted at the Yoruba per se.



“Almost all the northern states face the herdsmen versus farmers conflict, banditry and kidnapping. People of the South West must consider the fate of thousands of their kinsmen from Ogbomosho, Offa, Iwo, Ibadan, etc who have resided in the North for more than a hundred years before insisting on a general expulsion of Northerners.



“Truth is bitter, but the earlier we say it the better. Herdsmen have no right to destroy crops. This is where people have genuine grievances against herdsmen. But indigenes should not label all herdsmen as kidnappers because there are law abiding citizens among them. Yet the most disturbing thing is that many of the criminals are foreigners. Our suggestion is that it is these criminals and foreigners that the security agencies (including amotekun) should go after.



“Instead of applying the big stick, MURIC advises the Federal Government to consult widely with elders from all the states of the federation concerning the issue of herdsmen versus farmers with a view to finding a comprehensive solution. FG should also seek advice from other African countries where the same crisis has been on the front burner at one time or the other since this conflict is not restricted to Nigeria alone. It is national, continental and universal in dimension.



“To douse tension immediately, both FG and the Oyo State government should undertake to speedily and adequately compensate victims of the latest conflict in Igangan, Oyo State. FG in particular should take greater responsibility because it is the nationwide lacuna in security matters that has been responsible for the breakdown in law and order.  



“Instead of issuing threats and counter-threats, we appeal to the various ethnicities in the country to understand the nature of the conflict. Herders and farmers crisis is not a Nigerian problem alone, it is universal. Nigeria needs to seek an enduring panacea to its own peculiar problems instead of aggravating the conflict. We must learn from the war in Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, etc and the attendant humanitarian disasters. This is still avoidable in Nigeria.



“MURIC’s avowed motto is ‘Dialogue, Not Violence’. We therefore advocate wide scale dialogue in the present circumstances. MURIC advises the FG to apply caution in handling the fragile situation. FG should take responsibility, compensate victims of the attack in Oyo State and engage all stakeholders in dialogue. We call on governors in affected states to consult traditional rulers on the best solution to the crisis. All forms of confrontation and muscle-flexing should stop in the interest of peace.”



Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


Thursday, January 21, 2021



22nd January, 2021





The Nigerian Islamic human rights organization, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has declared that the National Peace Committee (NPC) as Kukah’s initiative has lost credibility among Nigerians. MURIC spoke on the heels of the revelation by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) that NPC is a personal initiative of Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah.



MURIC’s statement which was circulated to the media on Friday, 22nd January, 2021 was signed by the director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.



The statement reads:


“We received the information supplied yesterday by the Vice Chairman (Northern Region) of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. John Hayab, with great relief. The CAN Vice Chairman revealed that the National Peace Committee (NPC) is a non-governmental group convened by Bishop Kukah himself.



“This information is hidden from the public as NPC website merely says, ‘The National Peace Committee is an initiative conceptualized in 2014 in response to emerging threats occasioned by the 2015 general elections. It is an initiative made up of eminent elder statesmen who undertake efforts to support free, fair and credible elections as well as intervene in critical issues of national concern through high-level mediated and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms…’



“The fact that the author of the ‘initiative’ is hidden from the public in its website here shows lack of transparency and possession of a hidden agenda. The joker card is in Kukah’s pocket. This can be gleaned from the composition of the membership of the committee which has fifteen (15) members.



“They are : Abdul Salami Abubakar, Mathew Hassan Kukah, Okoh Ebute Ukiwe, Dame Priscilla Kuye, HRH Sa’d Abubakar III the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Aliko Dangote GCON, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Mr. Brown Ade, Mr. Sam Amuka, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Professor Amezi Gobadiya, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Dr. Supo Ayokunle (CAN President), Justice Rose Ikeji



“These are eminent personalities whom we respect. But that should not be all. We must look further and ask, ‘How ‘national’ is the National Peace Committee? This must be done particularly because the brain behind it is also a social critic. A man who interrogates others must know that his actions will equally be interrogated. So how ‘national’ is the National Peace Committee?



“From the above list of members of Kuka’s committee we can see ten (10) Christians and five (5) Muslims only. There are also nine Southerners as against six (6) Northerners only. Can you now see what we mean? A man who always complains about marginalization and accuses others of nepotism cannot even raise a committee of fifteen without falling foul of his own allegations against others.



“Bishop Kukah, sir, permit us to borrow a question for you from your Bible: ‘Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?...’ (Mathew 7:3-5).



“Bishop Kukah turned a personal initiative to ‘national’ and Nigerians fell for it. With due respect to the distinguished leaders who are members of the committee. We believe that they merely keyed into the scheme as patriotic citizens without any intention to deceive Nigerians. But not Kukah. He was playing a card and he knew what he was doing all along.



“Pity Rev. Hayab let the cat out of the bag. Hear him: ‘How on earth will you say a man should be removed from the house he builds?’ Did you hear that? So NPC is a house built by Kukah. Sounds interesting. Too discourteous, overzealous perhaps? It happens sometimes. Kukah will have to forgive his brother in the Lord for being less tactical.



“But why call the NPC ‘national’ if it is just a single man’s initiative. What is national about it? Is it the ratio 10:5 Christian-Muslim membership or the 9:6 Southern-Northern margin? By Nigerian standard and practice, anything ‘national’ is established by the government. So why dub a committee started by a single man ‘national’?



“This presupposes that there was, ab initio, an intention to pull the wool over the face of Nigerians. NPC was to be used against somebody (a political foe?) or a group of people (most likely Muslims?) in the near future. It is highly deceitful, misleading and perfidious. Had it been christened Kukah Peace Committee had been good. But now the wind has blown. We have seen the ruff of the hen. Kukah elected to call his committee ‘National’ to hoodwink Nigerians. We reject this nomenclature. It is bogus, mischievous and opportunistic.



“For the avoidance of doubts, we did not ask the Federal Government (FG) to expel Bishop Kukah from the NPC, we knew all along that NPC is an NGO. What we cautioned FG about was the obsession of successive governments in appointing Kukah into mediation committees.



“It is our humble opinion that a Muslim hater like Kukah should not be allowed to sit in judgement or in mediation on issues affecting Muslims or matters affecting the North. FG is free to appoint him as minister and give him six portfolios at a time if it so desires but never again as a mediator. Appoint him to any federal post but not to committees and councils that will mediate between the North and the South or between Christians and Muslims. He can never be fair or objective. His mind is fixated on one thing and we already know what that thing is.



“Whereas the core values of the National Peace Committee as stated on its website include neutrality, integrity and transparency, Bishop Kukah showed undue interest in the affairs of a leading opposition party, flew in a candidate’s private jet and hobnobbed with the founding father of a political party to bring them together against another political party. That intervention tantamounts to partisan interference and it depicts Kukah as having particular interest in one of the political parties. So why is he deceiving us by calling his committee as National Peace Committee? It is sheer hocus-pocus.”



Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)