Sunday, February 28, 2021



1st March, 2021





The Kwara State Government officially approved the use of hijab in public schools and grant-aided missionary schools in the state. This was announced on Thursday, 25th February, 2021 by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mamma Sabah Jibril. (



According to the statement, the decision was reached by the state government after considering submissions of all major interest groups, the education law of Kwara State, the prevailing court judgments and current global trends of multiculturalism.



Meanwhile the Nigerian Islamic human rights group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has applauded the decision. In a statement captioned ‘MURIC lauds Kwara Gov For Approving Hijab’, the organization described the decision of the state government as bold, forthright and far-reaching.



The Muslim rights advocacy group also advised Christian groups in the state to accept the state government’s decision, respect the rule of law and eschew actions capable of causing any breakdown of law and order. MURIC’s statement which was issued on Monday, 1st March, 2021, was signed by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.



The statement reads:


“We of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) welcome the decision of the Kwara State Government to approve the use of hijab in all public schools. It is a step in the right direction. This approval will cement the course of justice. It is bold, forthright and far-reaching.



“In particular, we commend the State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, for having the courage to call a spade a spade, for standing up for the truth and for giving due recognition to the rule of law. Just like in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice (1596), but without the malicious and satirical twist of Shylock, this is, indeed, ‘a Daniel come to judgement, yea! A Daniel!’ A wise governor, ‘how we do honour thee’.



“Nonetheless, MURIC is appalled by the response of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Kwara Chapter to the state government’s statement. CAN argued that approval of hijab in schools would ‘allow terrorists to easily identify our children and wards’. How naïve and shallow! If the hijab can allow terrorists to identify Christian children, does it also help in identifying Muslim boys? This line of thinking is kindergarten, insipid, infantile and pedestrian.



“Equally egregious, audacious and despicable is the call by CAN on Christians in the state to occupy schools. In the words of CAN, ‘Christ faithfuls should occupy all grant-aided schools’. This can only be compared to the failed attempt by CAN Osun State chapter to frustrate the decision of the state high court when the latter approved the use of hijab in February 2014.



“In a most laughable, unwise and Bohemian decision, CAN Osun chapter directed Christian children to wear masquerade and church choir dresses to school! Of course they failed because although Christian children obeyed CAN, the hocus pocus did not last since it was abnormal. Female Muslim children continued using hijab with their school uniform to date because it is their daily practice. For how long can anyone continue wearing masquerade garb and church choir dresses around town?



“In like manner, we must ask CAN Kwara chapter, for how long will you occupy grant-aided schools? What kind of example are you giving your children when you know that such a step means confrontation with the state government and rejection of the pronouncement of the courts? Are you aware that you are inciting your followers to lawlessness? Are you aware that you are encouraging your followers to disobey constituted authority contrary to the teachings of the Bible?



“Whereas the Bible says, ‘Render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s’ (Mark 12:17), CAN is determined to engage in a wrestling match with Ceasar. Again in his letter to the Romans, Paul the Apostle says, ‘Let everyone be in subjection to the authorities’ (Romans 13:1), CAN Kwara chapter says, ‘Disobey the authorities’.



“Even CAN sounds incoherent and uncoordinated in its response. The same CAN that orders its followers to occupy grant-aided schools is the same group that pledges interaction and dialogue, ‘We shall continue to interact and dialogue with the State Government…’ It is the height of hypocrisy.



“This CAN leadership is capable of anything. The state government must therefore be on the lookout. CAN leadership in Kwara State may be planning to import hoodlums into the state to implement its #occupygrantaidedschools agenda. The same hired hooligans may unleash mayhem on the state when the planned occupation fails.



“MURIC advises other state governments in the South West to emulate Kwara and Osun states by declaring the approval of hijab in public schools. It is the path of honour. It is also the only way towards respecting the rule of law and upholding the sanctity of the Nigerian Constitution.



“We advise CAN to accept the state government’s decision in good faith, respect the rule of law and eschew actions capable of causing any breakdown of law and order. We urge Muslims in the state to ignore all forms of provocations and to remain calm and law abiding.”



Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


Thursday, February 25, 2021



23rd February, 2021





The Nigerian Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has thrown a question at the Nigerian political elite, particularly Yoruba leaders. The Islamic human rights body wants to know why no single Yoruba Muslim has ever occupied Aso Rock from independence to date. MURIC argued that all Yoruba heads of state have been Christians all along. To this end, the group has tabled a request for a Yoruba Muslim president come 2023.



In a statement issued on Friday, 26th February, 2021, the director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, contended that Yoruba Muslims have been at the receiving end of political and religious persecution for too long. He therefore opined that the time is ripe for a Yoruba Muslim president to emerge in Nigeria in the interest of fairness and equity.



The statement reads:


“Yoruba Muslims have been at the receiving end of political and religious persecution for a very long time. Muslim job seekers are asked to bring letters of recommendation from churches. Vacancies are shared in the churches to the detriment of Muslim job seekers. Yoruba Muslims are marginalised in political appointments both at the state and federal levels.



“For instance, a cursory look at the distribution of political posts in South Western states today will reveal heavy lop-sidedness in favour of Yoruba Christians. Only four of the fourteen commissioners in Oyo and Ogun States are Muslims. Ondo and Ekiti states are worse. Governor Fayemi gave Muslims only two commissioners out of fourteen. There were only two Muslim commissioners in Governor Akeredolu’s cabinet before he dissolved it two days ago.



“At the ministerial level, let us cite the example of ex-President Jonathan’s period. All the six ministers appointed by Jonathan from the South West were Christians. This lop-sidedness made the Muslims visit the ex-president in Aso Rock where he promised to address the issue. This led to him giving Muslims two ministers out of six before the end of his term.



“But why must we always go cap in hand to beg for crumbs from the table? Are Yoruba Muslims third class or second class citizens? Are we not equal before the law? Are the dividends of democracy not supposed to go round? Must political leadership be the special property of Yoruba people of a particular faith? It should not be so. It is our strong belief that the narrative will only change when a Yoruba Muslim occupies Aso Rock. Who feels it knows it.



“As at today only one state in Yorubaland gives clearly defined official recognition to female Muslim students and that is Osun State. Lagos allows it without an official statement backing the permission but at least it checks overzealous school teachers who persecute users of hijab. Muslims are on their own in other states as they face persistent intimidation, oppression and persecution in the schools.



“Although the Nigerian constitution gives Muslims the legal backing for use of hijab (Section 38 (i) (ii), Abuja continues to play the ostrich as Yoruba Muslims face religious persecution. We believe the centre will pay some attention if a Yoruba Muslim gets to Aso Rock.



“But when will that be? Have Yoruba people not tasted power at the center before? The answer is in the affirmative. Yorubas have been heads of state, president and vice president but all those who got there have always been Christians.


“Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a Yoruba Christian, was military head of state for four years (1975 – 79). Chief Earnest Shonekan, also a Christian, was interim head of state for a short period. Obasanjo returned as a civilian president in 1999 to 2007. Professor Yemi Osinbajo, a Yoruba Christian pastor, is presently the vice president.



“So we have had three Christians of Yoruba extraction in Aso Rock at different times. It is therefore natural to ask why there hasn’t been any Yoruba Muslim politician in Aso Rock all these years, particularly from 1979 to date? President Buhari’s tenure ends in 2023 and the South West is already warming up. Will it still be fair for another Christian from the South West to occupy Aso Rock come 2023?



“MURIC is asking the political elites from the region to speak up. They have been grossly unjust to Muslims in the region. It is also a clarion call for Yoruba Muslims to wake up from their slumber, particularly the politicians. Those who are capable should come forward. We are not talking about any particular party. Muslim politicians should come out from their hiding in the ruling party, the leading opposition party and other political parties. Young Muslims should also declare their aspirations. We want to hear them declare their intentions to contest for the highest position in the land.



“MURIC will not lean towards any political party. It is a level playing field. All we want is for Muslim politicians to come out and rub shoulders with other candidates. We will cross the bridge when we get there. We are not unaware of allegation of political interest being levelled at us and we are not bothered.



“We will continue to sensitise Muslims to show interest in politics. We believe that apolitical Muslims will be ruled by politicians who hate Muslims. Simply put, Muslims who hate politics and who refuse to show interest in politics will be ruled by politicians who hate Muslims. Therefore, it is mandatory for Muslims to show interest in politics. For us, it is ‘partake or perish’.



“Islam is a complete way of life. It involves science, education, history, mathematics, economics, health, politics, etc. You cannot separate Islam from politics. Yoruba Muslims should listen to the voice of truth. It is their lackadaisical attitude to politics that has allowed others to control their destiny. It is now time for them to take their destiny in their own hands.



“Our message to all political parties is loud and clear. Yoruba Muslims will not support any non-Muslim presidential candidate put forward by any political party. To our brothers in the North, we call for solidarity for a Yoruba Muslim presidential candidate from any political party.”



Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)



Monday, February 22, 2021



23rd February, 2021





The Nigerian Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has waded into the hijab imbroglio in Kwara State. Some public school teachers had recently forced female Muslim students to remove their hijab within the school premises. This has generated controversy across the state leading to the closure of ten schools by the state government.



In its own contribution to the debate, MURIC has vowed to take all necessary constitutional measures to stop the oppression of innocent female Muslim pupils across Kwara State. This was contained in a public statement issued by the director of the Muslim rights advocacy group, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Tuesday, 23rd February, 2021.



According to MURIC, “What is happening in Kwara State today regarding use of hijab in schools is exactly the manifestation of the five evils which Neville Chamberlain spoke about: namely, brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution. On our own part, we will not allow those five evils to prevail in Kwara as they did in some states in the South West on the issue of hijab.



“The authorities of those ten missionary schools should be ashamed of behaving like oppressors and slave masters. They are making a mountain out of an ordinary molehill. A mere headscarf! Britain allows hijab in its schools. The United States also allows it. Who are those Kwara teachers trying to emulate? It is anachronistic, myopic and parochial. The world has moved on but they have chosen to be stagnant. It is an exhibition of colonial mentality and gymnastic religiousity. It must stop.


“Missionary schools that insist on stripping Muslim children of their Islamic identity should be ashamed of themselves. Perhaps they are not aware of the impression they are trying to create. ‘It is our school so anybody who comes here must conform with Christian dressing style, Christian way of life, Christian faith…’



“That was exactly what the colonial master did in those days and that is why we accuse them of displaying colonial mentality. The colonialists would not allow any Muslim to attend their schools without changing his or her name to a Christian name. Rasheed became Richard. Ishaq became Isaac and Mikail became Michael. The Muslims bore the persecution with patience and perseverance until the colonialists left in 1960. But are we still in pre-independence Nigeria? Even apartheid has collapsed in South Africa. How then can we stomach religious apartheid in a predominantly Muslim state?



“Yes. We say it boldly, loudly and clearly. Kwara is a predominantly Muslim state. It is absolutely absurd for any group to think it can subject Muslim children to oppression in such a place. Infra dignitatem. Take your missionary schools to Rivers State if you want to change the identity of Muslim children by force. Nyesom Wike is waiting with open arms to accept you. Afterwards he has illegally declared his state a Christian state in violation of and to the chagrin of Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.



“But not in Kwara State. It is an abomination to deny Muslims their Allah-given and fundamental human rights in a state where they enjoy a comfortable majority status. Muslim leaders and Islamic scholars in the state have to wake up. Female Muslim children are being stripped of their hijab in Ilorin, the city of Alfas? It is incredible. It had better not be.



“Are the schools not grant-aided? So you want to use public money to persecute Muslim children until they submit to forceful conversion? Even if they are missionary schools, must they force female Muslim students to strip? We are not surprised because it is part of their old way of forceful conversion. Nigerian Christians should desist from using Muslim children to subject their parents to psychological trauma. We will not go back to slavery. Enough is enough.



“MURIC advises Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq not to provoke Kwara Muslims by making illegal, illegitimate and unconstitutional compromises to the persecutors of Muslim children. The Nigerian Constitution is the font et origo of all byelaws, rules and regulations in the land and Section 38 (i) (ii) not only guarantees freedom of religion but also its ‘manifestation’ which is the role hijab stands to play.



“We may need to be reminded of earlier court judgements in favour of the use of hijab and anything to the contrary can only be contempt of court. Exempli gratia, in the case of Provost Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin vs Basirat Saliu Suit No. CA/IL/49/2009, the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Judicial Division held thus: ‘The use of veil (hijab) by female Muslims qualifies as a fundamental right under section 38 of the Constitution.’



“Also in the case of Abidemi Rasaq & 3Ors Vs Commissioner for Health Lagos State & 2 Ors, Suit No. ID/424M/2004, the Lagos High Court declared unconstitutional a circular issued by Lagos School of Health Technology banning the students from wearing hijab. 



“The landmark declaration of the Court of Appeal in Lagos State v Miss Ashiat Abdkareem CA/L/135/15 is equally didactic. In his lead judgment, Justice Gumel held that the use of hijab was an Islamic injunction and also an act of worship hence it would constitute a violation of the appellants’ rights to stop them from wearing the hijab in public schools.



“We are shocked to our marrows that at a time when the whole world is laying emphasis on girl-child education, missionary schools are depriving the girl-child of access to education on account of religion. Article 14 of the United Nations Convention on the rights of children guarantees freedom of thought, conscience and religion. It says inter alia, ‘Children have the right to think and believe what they want and to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights.’  



“The people of Kwara must learn how to coexist peacefully. Those children have been using hijab in those schools all these years. Why the sudden déjà vu? What has changed? Who incited them against their Muslim neighbours so much so that they are taking it out on innocent school children? This new face is an exhibition of deep-seated hatred.



“The only way we can interprete it now is that they are opposing hijab because it reminds them of Islam and Muslims. It is those who hate Muslims who cannot stand the sight of hijab. They know that hijab is the symbol of Islam and they have developed a phobia for it, nay, they have gone paranoid.



“The use of hijab by so many Muslim girls in those schools gives them a sense of failure because their cardinal aim is to convert all Muslim students to Christianity. Usually, too, the use of hijab in schools also proves the large size of Muslim population. They love to pretend and lie that they are the majority, that they had taken over the whole of Nigeria. But it is all lies concocted to attract foreign funds and to deceive the Western world. And what do they use the foreign funds for? They buy private jets. Or has anyone seen any Islamic scholar in Nigeria who has a private jet?



“Kwara State Government should be careful not to run foul of the constitution. Government must be bold, truthful and pragmatic. The Kwara Muslim community must reject this attempt to deprive their children the right to education without duress.



Furthermore, we believe that the change of a child’s faith begins by changing her face. You are addressed by the way you dress. Any policy that allows the proprietors of faith-based schools to determine the mode of dressing in their respective schools is another attempt to undress female Muslim students in public and to supplant their Muslim identity with a Christian entity. This is deception, greed, selfishness and child-stealing by style on the part of such proprietors. It is wicked, tortuous, unlawful, illegal, illegitimate and unconstitutional.



“In loco parentis, the parents must guide and protect their children from being coerced into compromising their faith. This is a duty which parents must not abdicate. The children may have to blame the parents in future if they fail to stand up for the kids now. Islamic scholars in the state must not sell the children’s rights for a pot of porridge. Posterity will judge all of us.



“There are no two ways to it. Female Muslim students in Kwara must use the hijab. It is their Allah-given fundamental human right. MURIC will not hesitate to take all necessary constitutional steps to ensure that the students use hijab. No retreat. No surrender”.



Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)