Wednesday, April 28, 2021



29th April, 2021 




The Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, recently gave the best graduating student of the Lagos State University (LASU), Oladimeji Shotunde, an indigene of the state, a two-bedroom bundgalow and N2 million cash on behalf of the state goverment. The gifts were presented at a ceremony in which the state government celebrated twenty three (23) outstanding teachers and learners of the state tagged ‘Ogun Academic Laureates 2021’.



Meanwhile an Islamic human rights advocacy group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has commended the governor for this action. The group spoke on Thursday 19th April, 2021 through its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.



“This is quite laudable. Governor Abiodun is giving priority to academic pursuits. He is fully aware that no nation can rise without education. He is therefore giving recognition to scholars and teachers. We need such encouragement at a time like this when the young ones are taking the fast road to wealth through rituals, Yahoo Yahoo, gambling, etc.



“Academics is hardwork and many of our youth are not ready to burn candles. They think nobody will recognise them in the education field. But Governor Dapo Abiodun has come out boldly to give credit to whom it is due. Thus, he has ignited a fress desire for educational pursuits and hardwork in the hearts of our young ones. The governor deserves encomiums for this.



“He has made up for the shortfall which we pointed out last year when on 7th October, 2020, the governor gave a bungalow and N5 million cash gifts to the winner of Big Brother Naija, Moshood Olamilekan Agbeleshebioba. He also appointed him the Ambassador of the Youth in Ogun State.


“MURIC lauds the latest action of the governor. We must not continue to live in the past. Besides, if we are quick to criticise our leaders when they take false steps, we must not hesitate to notice them when they perform well. Only thus can we balance our interventions in public space. We must also admit that those who take correctional steps in governance demonstrate immense courage.



“The governor’s recognition of academics and learners is worthy of emulation by other leaders. We charge the Nigerian youth to see wisdom in educational pursuit, hardwork and honesty. Oladimeji Shotunde has suddenly become the proud owner of a house and plenty of cash today due to his persistence in education and hardwork. We urge every young Nigerian to eschew cultism, materialism and dishonesty”



Professor Ishaq Akintola,


Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) 


Monday, April 26, 2021



27th April, 2021 




Sequel to the furore over past pronouncements of the Minister of Communications and Digital Planning, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami and the confidence-imbuing statement issued on him by the presidency, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called on Nigerians to allow the country to move on.



The call was made on Tuesday 27th April, 2021 by MURIC’s director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, in a statement circulated to the media.


MURIC said:


“In a tweet dispatched yesterday 26th April, 2021, Dr. Ben Gbenro (@bengbenro) opened another vista to the Pantami discourse. He disclosed how he was trained in martial arts and weapon handling for the church in the past but that he no longer subscribes to the idea. ‘I was once an impressionable young man. I was a member of CAN brigade trained in martial arts and weapon handling to fight for d Church in late 80s & early 90s, I was a strong advocate of Nigeria's break up in mid 90s, today, I no longer subscribe to any of these ideologies.’ (



“This is a very honest disclosure of one’s past which no longer has any influence on the speaker. We expect Dr. Pantami’s critics to have a better understanding of the Pantami affair if they can juxtapose his own case with that of Dr. Ben Gbenro who sent the above tweet.


“Although today was born from the wombs of yesterday, it can still effectively sustain an independent life and character which is completely different from the previous day. History is a continuum. It has a remote past, an immediate past and a present. You cannot amputate the remote past for use as parameter on the actions of today without considering the immediate past and the present. Otherwise you would have mutilated history and done tons of injustice to homo sapien.  



“What the minister’s critics tried to do was to hold on tenaciously to his remote past of twenty five (25) or more years ago and to cut off his immediate past and the present. The radical statements were uttered in the remote past when he was still easily impressionable. He made up for these more than ten (10) years ago by condemning violence and terrorism. He also challenged the tgerrorista to debates at that time, and actually engaged them. At present, he is into a project that is expected to debilitate terrorism and criminality (NIN) and the terrorists themselves have threatened to kill him because of it.




 “It is not healthy for our country to find that a large chunk of his critics come from one part of the country and from a particular faith while his supporters come mainly from another part of the country and from the other religion. It does not portray us as people who are objective.



“The desperate attempts to nail him made by critics who go as far as circulating fake documents are ludicrous. How far can we go to ensure that we implicate an innocent man? When will Nigerians learn to allow meritocracy? When shall we stop sacrificing excellence on the altar of mediocrity? Who did this to Nigeria?



“We call on Nigerians to allow the country to move forward. We have dissipated too much energy on this debate. It is time to move on. In the words of Richard Paul Evans, ‘I think the secret to a happy life is a selective memory. Remember what you are most grateful for and quickly forget what you are not.’ According to Raquel Cepeda, ‘For some, excavating the past isn’t an adventure, it’s more akin to tearing a Band-Aid off an open wound.’



“MURIC commends the presidency for its bold statement on the matter. We can watch open debates and listen to criticism without feeling hurt. But there comes a time when the leadership must demonstrate indisputable clairvoyance and guide the citizenry to objectivity and what is best for the nation.”



Professor Ishaq Akintola,


Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) 



Thursday, April 22, 2021



23rd April, 2021 




An Islamic human rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has advised the Department of State Services (DSS) to call Dennis Amachree to order. Amachree, a former assistant director of the DSS, recently averred that the DSS warned the Federal Government (FG) before the Minister of Communications and Digital Planning, Dr. Isa Pantami, was appointed minister.



MURIC’s advice was contained in a press release issued by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Friday, 23rd April, 2021.



The statement reads:


“Mr. Dennis Amachree, a former assistant director of the DSS, recently revealed that the DSS warned the Federal Government before the Minister of Communications and Digital Planning, Dr. Isa Pantami, was appointed minister. He didn’t stop there. He went ahead to disclose the process of screening prospective government appointees by the DSS (



“We believe that Amachree spoke too much and revealed too much. He may not know it, but he has given future nominees tips on the need to cover their tracks.  A trained security officer does not behave like this. He must be reserved. He must protect official secrets if indeed he has one. But Amachree allowed his emotions to run wild. His religious sentiment must have beclouded his sense of discipline and made him to forget the need for him to protect his former employer, the DSS. Amachree simply played to the gallery.



“The danger here is that some of the unnecessary information about the modus operandi of the DSS can be used by smart Alecs to beat the system in future. This constitutes a threat to national security. We believe that security officers should be cautious about the kind of information they release in and out of office.



“Therefore, there is need for the DSS to call Amachree to order otherwise others in his shoes may do worse in future. These officers have access to sensitive materials and personal secrets of important personalities. Imagine a DSS officer attached to a governor revealing steps taken on a daily basis to ensure the safety of his principal. Such an officer has not only exposed his principal to danger but has opened a floodgate of security threats to other governors.



“Besides, Amachree was excessively flambouyant. He even attempted to speak for the US Embassy and the US security agencies when he said, Now, people are talking about him and that has come to the attention of the United States Embassy in Nigeria already. Now, they will do a deeper dive into his background. They will catalogue him and now they will start watching him and if it comes to a very critical level, they will place him on a no-fly zone.’



“Must he go this far? Does a ‘shadow’ allow his target to know he has a ‘tail’? He was simply teaching criminals how to go underground and how to beat international security agencies at the game. On second thought, he may be sending a coded message to international security agencies. But we will like Amachree to know that innocent and law-abiding citizens can never be scared by this gimmick. It is too raw, too kindergarten.



“Although it is reassuring that the DSS has issued an official statement disowning Amachree’s position, the Department should go further to advise him on a safer, more professional and more mature way of handling such matters. It is not enough to just distance the DSS from his utterances. He needs to be cautioned.



“A situation like this is also a wake-up call. The need to overhaul the security agencies is long overdue. FG should ensure that no arm of the security agencies is dominated by a particular ethnic group or religion. Focus in this area should be on the DSS and the mobile police.”



Professor Ishaq Akintola,


Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) 


Wednesday, April 21, 2021



22nd April, 2021 




The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has accused critics of the embattled Minister of Communications and Digital Planning, Dr. Isa Pantami, of nursing an afterthought and dissipating energy on a belated issue.



This was contained in a press statement circulated to the media on Thursday, 22nd April, 2021 by the group’s director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.



MURIC said, “The call for the resignation of the Minister of Communications and Digital Planning, Dr. Isa Pantami, over remarks made as a teenager and long before he became a minister is quite worrisome. The question we are asking is ‘Why now’? Why were those radical remarks not mentioned before now?



“This man is not new in government. He headed a federal agency for four good years and he has been a minister for another two years. Where were those critics when he was appointed as Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) six years ago? Where were they when his status was upgraded and he became a minister?



“Both appointments require screening by Senate. This means he has been screened twice. Anyone who had anything on him at that time could have blown the whistle but nobody did. He was screened and cleared after satisfying all righteousness.



“Another important thing to note is that none of the nouveau critics who are yelling today has mentioned any official misdemeanour committed by Dr. Pantami while in office as DG of NITDA or since he started serving as minister. The call for his resignation is therefore an afterthought. It is belated and it should be ignored by patriotic Nigerians.



“It is our contention that the brilliant initiative of NIN which is capable of exposing rogues and criminals is behind the attacks on him and calls for his resignation. They saw the NIN as a threat to their nefarious activities. That is why out of the blues we started hearing that he had expressed radical views as a teenager and in his undergraduate days. It is sheer afterthought. This is balderdash.



“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore the rantings of Pantami’s critics. We advise Mr. President to read between the lines. The idea is to rubbish the best communication minister Nigeria ever had. But it is more than that. They want to score a cheap political point with their demand for Pantami’s resignation. It is also a ploy to weaken this administration. The NIN initiative which came from Pantami is giving unscrupulous elements sleepless nights and their desire is to stop it. They want our state of insecurity to continue. Mr. President must not allow enemies of Nigeria to have their way. Pantami is not the real target. President Buhari is the ultimate.”



Professor Ishaq Akintola,


Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) 




21st April, 2021 





Mr. Olayemi Koiki, the media aide to Sunday Adeyemo (a.k.a. Igboho), has been quoted as saying that Muslims will be allowed to practise their religion if Oduduwa Republic becomes a reality (



Koiki was responding to a statement by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) in which the human rights group demanded to know what those agitating for Oduduwa Republic have in stock for issues concerning the rights of Yoruba Muslims like hijab and Shariah. Speaking in an interview with a leading online newspaper on Friday, 16th April, 2021, Koiki said the Yoruba nation would respect the rights of adherents of the various religions. 



But in MURIC’s response to Igboho’s aide, the group said it would like to hear from Yoruba socio-cultural groups like Afenifere, Yoruba World Congress (YWC), Federation of Yoruba Consciousness and Culture (FYCC), Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), etc, to know the next line of action.



MURIC’s statement was issued on Wednesday, 21st April, 2021 by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.



The statement reads:


“Our attention has been drawn to the response to the demands of Yoruba Muslims from the agitators for Yoruba Republic. The media aide to Sunday Adeyemo (a.k.a. Igboho), Mr. Olayemi Koiki, has been quoted as saying that Muslims will be allowed to practise their religion if Oduduwa Republic becomes a reality.



“However, there are too many grey areas in his response. For instance, nowhere in his interview did he mention hijab. He was not even categorical on the issue of Shariah. What he said was ‘whether you want to practise Sharia, it's entirely up to you’. He did not say, ‘it is allowed’ or ‘We will support the use of shariah’. That response may be a mere diplomatic stunt.  


He also spoke out of context as he made reference to incidents in the North. According to him, ‘In 2018, Christians were killed in Benue because the people who killed them believe they own the land. If you look at the Southern part of the country, even as a Muslim, your religion seems different from that of someone from the North because the Northern Muslims believe you must adhere to a particular dress code’


“Everyone can see transferred aggression in that statement. The issue is Yorubaland and what the agitators for Oduduwa Republic think of the demands of Yoruba Muslims. So the outpouring of bitter feelings against the North should not come up here at all. For example, he said, ‘If I wanted to live with my wife in Kano and insist she must wear a jean (sic), that is not tolerated in Kano. Yet, they will accept money accrued from sales of alcohol and use it to develop Kano.’


“Whether he spoke the truth or not is not the issue. But it is very glaring that he has mixed up things there. He is using Kano parameter to determine what to do with Muslims in Yorubaland. That is part of what Yoruba Muslims have been complaining about. Female Muslims in Yorubaland are often told ‘This is not Kano. You can’t use hijab here’. The question is, how prepared are the agitators for the full integration of their fellow Yorubas who are Muslims?


“Incidentally Muslims in Yorubaland cannot be referred to as inconsequential, at least in terms of numbers. Muslims are in the majority in four of the six Yoruba states (Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Osun). They also have at least 30% in Ekiti and Ondo states. Afterall democracy is about numbers. It is also about inclusiveness. So what kind of democratic setting should we expect in the event of the oduduwisation of Yorubaland? What fate lies ahead for the teeming Muslim population in the region? These are the questions which Muslims in the region have been asking MURIC.


“The response of Igboho’s aide remains vague. According to him, the issue of Shariah will be up to the Muslims (whatever that means). He also did not mention the hijab which has been causing crisis in the region recently. There is also the possibility of denial of any promise to grant Islamic civil rights in future since it was not Igboho himself or any known Yoruba leader who spoke.



“It is because of this glaring lacuna in the response of Igboho’s aide that MURIC must seek further clarification from well-known Yoruba socio-cultural groups like Afenifere, Yoruba World Congress (YWC), Federation of Yoruba Consciousness and Culture (FYCC), Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE). Yoruba Muslims will equally like to hear from the Yoruba Welfare Group (YWG) though the group has been telling Yoruba leaders to tread cautiously.  



“We are therefore calling on the leaders of these groups to speak up for all Nigerians and the rest of the world to know how well the agitators are prepared to tolerate freedom of religion, free speech, free movement, equal participation, equal representation, justice, fairness and equity in the proposed Oduduwa Republic. This is important for posterity. It is important for the records. Unborn children of Yoruba Muslims are going to read all these and they will know that their progenitors sought to guarantee their safety, their freedom and the dignity of their human persons.



“It is our contention that if Igboho could hear MURIC’s demands (which made him respond), Yoruba leaders also heard them. It is on record that MURIC had based its objection to the idea of an Oduduwa Republic because of the open marginalization, oppression and persecution of Yoruba Muslims in the region. The group is of the opinion that unless there are guarantees from Yoruba leaders, Oduduwa Republic would be hell on earth for Muslims as the repression of Muslims is most likely to get worse.


“The statement made by Chief Femi Fani-Kayode in which he said he knew where to keep Muslims like Akintola after the actualization of Oduduwa Republic is a major reference point. There are other cases in reference and examples of the violation of the civil rights of Muslims in Yorubaland. Muslim female teachers who went for a promotion interview in Abeokuta last week (Thursday 15th April, 2021) were told that they must remove their hijab before they could be interviewed. The Muslim girl-child is being stigmatized in the school and sometimes locked out of the classroom on account of an ordinary headscarf.


“The hijab of the Muslim girl-child is yanked off her head by Christian teachers who are also Yorubas. Muslim girls are beaten up and sent back home. Muslim parents suffer this humiliation on a daily basisin Yorubaland. Muslim males are forced to remove their caps and turbans. Some are forced to shave their beards before being attended to by government civil servants who are also Yorubas. Court cases which bother on the infringement of Allah-given fundamental human rights of Yoruba Muslims litter courts in the region.


“Political appointments are reserved mainly for Christians while Muslims who constitute the majority are ignored. There are only four Muslims among the fourteen (14) commissioners in Oyo and Ogun states where the governors are Christians. All the board chairmen in the two states are Christians except the Muslim Pilgrims Board and the governors have ignored the complaints of Muslims. In Ekiti State, Fayose ran an all-Christian cabinet. In Oyo State, the hijrah holiday which was declared by a former Muslim governor, Isiaka Ajimobi, has been annulled by Seyi Makinde, a Christian governor.


“Muslims are also totally marginalized in the education sector. Christians are in charge in the ministries of education in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti and Ondo. All the teaching service commissions TESCOM) are headed by Christians. Some of the heads are even church clerics. A pastor is the chairman of Ogun State TESCOM while an evangelist heads the Ogun State commission. We believe this is a deliberate and strategic ploy to perpetuate Christian hegemony in the education sector in Yorubaland. This is the machinery of oppression and it has served in the repression of hijab-wearing female Muslim students and teachers. The perpetrators persecute Muslims with impunity since they are assured of official protection up to the office of the commissioner of education.


 “Yoruba Muslims are also asking why no Yoruba Muslim has emerged as president since independence. Why? Earnest Shonekan was an interim head of state (around1995). Mathew Obasanjo has been president twice: once as a military head of state (1976 – 79) and as a civilian president (1999 -2007). Today we still have a Yoruba Vice President who is also a Christian (Professor Yemi Osinbajo). Former President Goodluck Jonathan (2011 – 2015) appointed six (6) ministers from Yorubaland and all of them were Christians.


“We are nonplussed that Afenifere has never commented on the above maltreatment of Muslims that has lasted decades (since independence) in its domain but it revels in joining Ohaneze of the South East and the Middle Belt Forum in complaining about marginalisation, nepotism and Islamisation which they claim began six years ago.



“We call on Afenifere to put its house in order first. He who comes to equity must come with clean hands. For now Yoruba Muslims see no difference between Afenifere and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). In fact, the former looks more like the political wing of the latter in the South West. We are waiting earnestly to know which way the cat will jump as regards Afenifere and the Muslim 2023 presidential candidate.  


“These are issues we want Afenifere and the Yoruba leaders to address in their response. Their silence will mean they have a hidden agenda. It will mean they are determined to continue oppressing their fellow Yorubas who are Muslims after the oduduwisation of Yorubaland.


“Let us make it clear that the type of Sharia which the Muslims want is not the one which involves the cutting of hands. That has been the false propaganda of detrators. The type of shariah which Yoruba Muslims want is civil shariah. It will only enable Muslims to settle marriage cases among themselves and to share the inheritance of deceased Muslims according to the teachings of the Qur’an.



“We must also put the Shariah matter in its proper perspective. This was the kind of Shariah that Yoruba Muslims have been practising even before the advent of Christianity (which arrived in Nigeria in 1842 while Islam arrived in 1085). The British Christian colonialists met Shariah in Yorubaland but they abrogated it totally and replaced it with common law. This act of tyranny against Yoruba Muslims should have been reviewed after independence in 1960.



“The fact that the British imperialists totally annulled shariah in Yorubaland but merely curtailed it to civil shariah in the North exposes the hypocrisy of the colonialists. If they could allow civil shariah in the North (which they did), why didn’t they leave it in the South West? That is British divide et impera for you. The British laid mines on the Nigerian soil for Nigerians to step on and blow themselves up. Unfortunately that is exactly what we are doing today instead of coming together, sitting down and angaging in constructive dialogue.



“Coming along the lanes of history, shariah was practiced in Ede under Oba Abibu Olagunju (Habeeb, a Muslim name) and the Ede Shariah Court operated up till 1913 at Agbeni area of the town. It was moved to Agbongbon area in 1914. Shariah was applied in Iwo under Oba Momodu Lamuye (Muhammad Lamuye) who died in 1906. Even the seventh Akirun of Ikirun, Oba Aliyu Oyewole (died 1912), instituted Shariah in Ikirun in 1910. These are just examples of the existence and spread of Shariah in Yorubaland.



“We are not asking for something new. We are demanding the restoration of a right and a religious practice unjustly halted and denied by the Christian colonial master, Britain.





“The way forward is for leaders of the agitation to respond to this statement by making pronouncements on their position on the hijab affair and civil shariah. That is the first step. Next, they should engage Muslim leaders in Yorubaland in genuine dialogue. The record of the discussions and the names of those involved must be made public in order to avoid a repeat of the Aburi Accord fiasco.



“Thirdly, all threats and blackmail against those who speak against secession or against the breakup of Nigeria should stop. That will signal goodwill and readiness to accommodate all Yorubasons and daughters regardless of their religious background or ideological leaning. In particular, the attempt to blackmail MURIC by falsely alleging that the leader collected $200,000 from terrorists was a bad omen of what Muslims should expect in Yorubaland if the Yoruba Republic agenda succeeds.



“Contrary to the claim being made by Oduduwa Republic ideologues, MURIC seeks peace in Yorubaland. We are not out for mischief. MURIC has never been known for violence. Our motto is ‘Dialogue, No Violence’. Many of our members are Yorubas and they cannot betray their font et origo. Finally, Yoruba Muslims do not want war with any part of Nigeria. They prefer a peaceful and negotiated arrangement either way.”



Professor Ishaq Akintola,


Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)