Saturday, December 25, 2010

BOMB BLASTS IN JOS, NIGERIA

25th December, 2010



PRESS RELEASE:
JOS BOMB BLASTS: A NATIONAL TRAGEDY
Three coordinated bomb blasts reportedly occurred in Jos, Plateau State yesterday killing twenty people and injuring many others. Jos has been engulfed in religious and tribal crises in recent times resulting in heavy tolls.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is deeply disturbed by this national tragedy. We strongly condemn the use of terrorist tactics like bomb explosions to settle scores. This is a dastardly act. It is barbaric, inhuman and insane. The perpetrators are unpatriotic and unscrupulous elements bent on turning Nigeria into a wide battle field.
MURIC is particularly saddened by the timing of the blasts coming on Christmas eve. Some Nigerians are yet to come to grips with the factor of fate which brought Muslims and Christians as well as different tribes together in the same country.


We charge the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators and make them face the full wrath of the law. We appeal to religious and tribal leaders in the affected area to call their followers to order. Everything necessary must be done to avoid further bloodshed.

We also appeal to Nigerians nationwide not to allow this unfortunate incident to destroy the atmosphere of peaceful coexistence which the rest of the country has been enjoying for decades. We urge leaders of all sectors to refrain from making inflammatory statements. The youth are advised to remain calm and law abiding.


Finally, MURIC prays that Allah grants the families of the victims of the bomb blasts the strength to bear the loss.


Dr. Is-haq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
234-818-211-9714

Friday, December 24, 2010

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM MUSLIM RIGHTS

24th December, 2010


CHRISTMAS MESSAGE:
CALL ON POLITICIANS TO EMULATE JESUS CHRIST
 Nigerian Christians will tomorrow join the rest of the global body of Christ to celebrate this year’s Christmas. We of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) felicitate with our Christian brothers and sisters and wish them a fruitful season.
This is definitely a season that necessitates sober reflection. Jesus is revered throughout the world today because of his selflessness, his readiness to sacrifice and his consistent transparency. These virtues are what Nigerian politicians and leaders lack. It is the absence of these golden values that has brought Nigeria to its current state of sleep-walking.
Nigerians pick food from the dustbin in spite of the immense natural wealth which God has endowed this country. Hundreds of people are unable to get good medical attention. Many Nigerians sleep under the bridge. Our educational institutions can only be compared to lepers’ islands. Nigerian roads are fit only for suicide drivers. Workers are over-worked, under-paid and over-taxed. Too many people have nothing. Too few have too much.
Ironically, politicians are pampered with too much largesse from the people’s sweat. The National Assembly takes 25% of the nation’s overhead budget. The executive has arrogated 50% of same to its self, leaving a meager 25% for the jamaheer (masses). To make the matter worse, the Federal Government is contemplating taking more than $3.5 billion from the World Bank. Like the biblical prodigal son, Nigerian leaders are on a mission to waste our resources. Nigeria borrowed $5 billion only by 1985. We paid up to $19 billion between 1986 and 1999 only to be told that we were still owing $32 billion! Yet another tragedy is manifested in the materialistic mentality of ordinary Nigerians.


MURIC calls on Nigerian leaders to emulate Jesus Christ and follow his leadership example. We charge religious clerics to drum the lessons inherent in the life and death of Jesus Christ into the ears of Nigerians. The average Nigerian must be sincerely God-fearing and shun the mad rush for the accumulation of wealth.


The Federal Government of Nigeria must desist from negotiating loans from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or any other international financial agency that represents Western capitalism. Western interest on loans is designed to keep the Third World underdeveloped and dependent for ever.

Dr. Is-haq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
234-818-211-9714



Sunday, December 5, 2010

JUMBO PAY FOR NIGERIAN LAWMAKERS

5th December, 2010
PRESS RELEASE:
NASS JUMBO PAY: NIGERIANS FACE DICTATORSHIP OF THE LEGISLATURE The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Lamido Sanusi, revealed last week that the National Assembly (NASS) consumes 25% of Nigeria’s annual total overhead cost. Many others had earlier disclosed that colossal amounts are being spent on the same NASS. The CBN governor has also been invited by the Senate to defend his position.
 The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) finds these developments curious and disheartening. The people’s representatives are portraying themselves as insensitive to the plight of the jamaheer (masses). The legislature is busy arrogating to itself all the milk and honey in the land while the people ransack dustbins for leftovers before they can eat. The proletariat is toiling day and night but it is being denied adequate pay for its sweat. Labour’s demand for a survival minimum wage of N18,000 was ignored until a national strike had to be called and until lives were lost over the demand. Yet members of the NASS felt no qualms allocating jumbo pay to themselves.

What we find most disturbing is the harassment of the CBN governor by Senate when he was invited to defend his revelations on Wednesday. The questions hauled at him by members of Senate were nothing short of tactics in blackmail, coercion and intimidation. Otherwise why should any senator ask the CBN governor if he was still interested in his job? It reminds us of the manner Senate gagged Professor Attahiru Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) when he alerted the nation about delays in the Electoral Act. Senate promptly invited him and he was told, “You talk too much”.

We find this phenomenon quite disturbing. We cannot have a free and fair election if the man at the helm of affairs of the highest electoral body is not free to pass comments. MURIC is therefore asking the question: How independent is the ‘Independent’ National Electoral Commission? The NASS is fast becoming dictatorial. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Whereas democracy entails freedom of speech, our NASS is suppressing free speech. Also, whereas democracy necessitates separation of powers whereby each component is independent of the other, the NASS seeks to strangulate other arms of governance.


MURIC rejects the dictatorial proclivities of the NASS. This august body is fast eroding the powers of other arms. It has also constituted itself into a threat to free speech, justice and fair play. It is turning the theory of the separation of powers into sheer illusion. The NASS has not demonstrated any readiness to make sacrifices, rather it has become an Oliver Twist, asking for more and more while the jamaheer are hungry, naked and homeless.


True leaders of the people are expected to make sacrifices which the people can emulate. The whole anatomy of the Nigerian nation lies prostrate on a sick bed with members of the NASS as bedbugs sucking its blood dry. The attitude of members of the NASS seems to tell us that many of them came in through the backdoor. The recent court pronouncements on election cases are didactic in this regard. MURIC is obligated to ask again: are these the true representatives of the people? Did these people win free and fair elections?


We call on civil society to act quickly and save the jamaheer from the totalitarian tendencies of the NASS before it becomes a hydra-headed monster with jaws wide open to swallow up the social order.


Dr. Is-haq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
234-818-211-9714









Saturday, November 27, 2010

COURT SACKS ANOTHER GOVERNOR IN NIGERIA

27th November, 2010



PRESS RELEASE:
OSHUN GUBER JUDGEMENT: MANY RIVERS TO CROSS


The Court of Appeal in Ibadan yesterday ruled in favour of Rauf Aregbesola in the gubernatorial case between him and former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola. Aregbesola will be sworn in any moment from now. It will be recalled that similar cases of judicial defeat have occurred in Edo, Ekiti, Ondo, etc.

What is disturbing, however, is the length of time spent in power by usurpers and electoral kleptomaniacs. Adams Oshiomole, Fayemi, Aregbesola et al were all illegally kept out of the Edo government house for periods ranging between one year and three and a half years.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) considers this anomaly as preposterous, outrageous and therefore unacceptable. MURIC proposes a radical amendment of the electoral reform that will ensure that all electoral disputes are disposed of before alleged winners are sworn in. The present arrangement allows political armed robbers to enjoy their illegal loots to the chagrin of legitimate winners of elections.
We recall the attempts of the Oshun State government to manipulate the situation. Aregbesola, the legitimate winner, was hounded from pillar to post. With the connivance of the police, a fraudulent case of forgery was slammed on him. He was even declared wanted at a stage. The question is: what is the next step now that the Appeal Court has declared him winner? Should his oppressors who are the real fraud go scott free?
MURIC is of the humble opinion that the time has come to make vote thieves accountable, including those who collude with them. This is necessary in order to serve as deterrent. Oyinlola must cough out every illegal earning he received while illegally occupying another citizen’s seat.
The judiciary has helped Nigerians to identify the real enemies of the people. This latest judgements against sitting governors have exposed the cogs in the wheel of progress in our dear country. Democracy is good but it is easy to turn into tyranny in the hands of political terrorists. Now Nigerians must know why there is no steady power supply; why there are no drugs in the hospitals; why education in Nigeria has turned into nightmare and why Nigerian roads are the best death traps in the whole world. It is simply because the real candidates voted for by majority of Nigerians are often cheated. The thin fa├žade on the faces of the cheats are now being removed by the judiciary.
Yesterday’s judgement is unique in a special way. It is a case study in military/civilian confrontation in the political arena. Those who thought only retired soldiers possess the tactical know-how to wade through the mine-laden political field of Nigeria have been proved wrong afterall. MURIC lauds the doggedness of Rauf Aregbesola, the civilian strategist who cubbed the excesses of retired army general Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
Dr. Is-haq Akintola,
Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
234-818-211-9714

Monday, November 22, 2010

IDENTIFYING TRUE LEADERS IN NIGERIA


IDENTIFY LEADERS WHO ARE READY TO SACRIFICE


As Muslims worldwide prepare to celebrate the Id al-Kabir, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) felicitates with all Nigerians who are witnessing this monumental occasion. Although a major aspect of the festival is the sacrifice of rams, the lessons go beyond ordinary pecuniary expenses incurred in the purchase of the sacrificial animal.

Individual devotees who have stressed themselves financially to ensure that they also bought rams to be slaughtered on Salah day are simply emulating Prophet Ibrahim who obediently offered his own son (Ismail) as sacrifice to Allah and almost slaughtered him before the son was replaced with a ram. This great service is what has inspired Muslims on an annual basis to offer rams as sacrifice.


The great lesson here for Nigerian politicians is that the leader’s altruistic proclivities ignited in the followers a readiness to make sacrifices. Prophet Ibrahim’s readiness to surrender even his own son for sacrifice has encouraged his followers to emulate him by sacrificing animals on Salah day.


MURIC therefore charges Nigeria’s leaders to be prepared to make sacrifices. We have no doubt that if the citizens see that the leaders are making sacrifices, they too will follow suit. Things continue to fall apart in this country today because the leadership lacks this vital sense of sacrifice. The centre cannot hold in Nigeria today because Nigerians hear and read reports about the greed and licenciousness of their leaders. The falcon cannot hear the falconer in Nigeria today because Nigerians watch their leaders wasting the wealth of the nation while the citizenry languish in abject poverty.


The recent jumbo pay announced for past leaders is a case in point. That decision is reckless, ridiculous and preposterous. Coming at a time when the minimum wage still remains N7,500 and labour’s demand for an increase of this to N18,000 has been rejected by the Federal Government, the announcement exposes the hypocrisy of our leaders. It is grossly immoral. The wise decision is to reward past leaders whose records remain clean and whose progenies appear in dire need of financial help. It is most provoking to dream of jumbo pay for a military dictator like Abacha whose stolen loot is capable of buying up the Central Bank itself. MURIC urges the National Assembly to revise its decision on jumbo pay for past leaders.


We affirm that Nigeria’s problems will persist until the citizens identify and follow those who are ready to make sacrifices. The leaders’ sacrifices will inspire the rest of us. Only thus can we build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.


Finally, MURIC calls on Nigerians to make ‘sacrifice’ the keyword in the 2011 elections. The electorate must finger selfless leaders and vote for them. We must reject leaders who want to rule Nigeria while their own children are in cosy environments in Europe and America. Nigerians must rebuff candidates who jet out of the country to treat the slightest headache. Such candidates cannot be interested in revamping our ailing health sector.


Dr. Is-haq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
234-818-211-9714

Monday, October 25, 2010

NIGERIA GENERAL ELECTIONS: FEMALE MUSLIM CANDIDATES

25th October, 2010


PRESS RELEASE:
MUSLIM WOMEN AND 2011 ELECTIONS


The Nigerian nation is making preparations for the next general elections which are expected to take place in the year 2011. Already, new political parties are being formed and registered while candidates are emerging across the country for the presidential, gubernatorial, the National Assembly as well as local government councils. Notable among the emerging candidates are Muslim women.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) wishes to make it clear that Islam permits Muslims to engage in politics, to vote and be voted for, to exercise their civic rights and to fulfill their civic responsibilities. Homo sapiens are seen in Islam as vicegerents of Allah. According to the Glorious Qur’an, sovereignty belongs to Allah (Qur’an 2:107, 3:26, 189; 5:17, 40; etc).

All rulers, from the president of Nigeria to the chairmen of local governments are proxies of Allah (Qur’an 6:165; 10:14, 73; 35:39; 7:69; etc). Islam holds that leaders will be held accountable for their deeds and misdeeds Yaom al-Qiyamah (the Day of Judgement).
It therefore behoves Muslim politicians to play the game according to the dictates of their faith, not according to their whims and caprices. In this regard, MURIC urges Muslim women not to shy away from politics. Female Muslim aspirants should pursue their legitimate and Islam-compliant dreams with vigour. We call on the husbands of such aspirants to support their wives morally and financially.
 
However, MURIC wishes to remind female Muslim aspirants of an important proviso in their engagement in politics, namely, that a Muslim woman is not permitted to aspire to be president of Nigeria or governor of a state. She is free to contest for the posts of vice president or deputy governor. The wrong impression must not be created that Muslim women are second class citizens. Nay, they are special creatures. Women are to be honoured. They are the mothers of society. Allah made them mothers, not fathers.

Fathers are heads of families. Just as fathers cannot become mothers, the mothers must not seek to play the role of fathers. Muslim women are the protectors of mankind and sustainers of nobility. The emergence of women who seek to turn the natural order is responsible for the present turmoil in society: high rate of crime, lack of respect for human life, loss of compassion among mankind, greed of unimaginable proportion, broken marriages, child abuse, etc. The only solution to the confusion in the world today is for the woman to go back to her traditional role of a true mother of the society.

We therefore appeal to female Muslim aspirants who are eyeing the highest political posts in the country or in their states to reconsider their stands and respect their faith. Failure to step down from such high aspiration tantamounts to aggression against Allah and arrogance before their creator. Refusal to abide by this Islamic tradition will be regarded as a belligerent confrontation of Muslim voters and the outcome can only be overwhelming defeat. MURIC will mobilize Muslim voters against female Muslim aspirants who transgress the limit. We will ensure that they lose with ignominy.

Finally, we warn the various political parties in the country to resist the temptation of fielding Muslim women for the highest posts at both the presidential and governorship levels. Any political party that ignores this warning stands the risk of losing the votes of Muslims to other parties.

Dr. Is-haq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
234-818-211-9714

Monday, October 18, 2010

APPEAL COURT RULING ON EKITI GOVERNORSHIP

18th October, 2010

PRESS RELEASE:


EKITI GOVERNORSHIP JUDGEMENT: WE RUN A DEFECTIVE LEGAL SYSTEM

The Court of Appeal in its latest judgement on Friday ruled that the Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN) candidate Dr. Kayode Fayemi on the largest number of votes in the 2007 gubernatorial election in the state. Fayemi was therefore sworn in as Ekiti governor on Saturday. It will be recalled that similar court judgements on elections had taken place in other states of the federation in the past.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) salutes the judiciary for this bold pronouncement. The fact that the judgement is unanimous among the five judges is a serious indictment on the system which perpetuated this illegality. We congratulate the newly sworn-in governor on his well-deserved victory and laud his steadfastness in the struggle for justice.


MURIC is however deeply disturbed by the paradox of Nigeria’s electoral laws which make it possible for a loser to retain a stolen mandate for as long as three and a half years out of a four-year tenure. Justice delayed is justice denied. It is a sad commentary on Nigeria’s party-politics. It is alarming that the definition of our own democracy is now seen as ‘government of the loser by the rigger for the tiny cabal’. This is contrary to the dream of the founders of the Nigerian nation. It is also a sharp contradiction of the generally accepted meaning of democracy everywhere in the world. Nigeria’s democracy is a sham.


This judgement and the attendant revelations and implications have once again exposed the National Assembly and its procrastination tactics on the amendment of the Electoral Act. Nigerians must put their representatives to task. Now we know why the chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, raised an alarm on the issue of the Electoral Act. The status quo is designed to benefit political charlatans and recycled tyrants to retain stolen mandates ad infinitum.


MURIC challenges the National Assembly to publish within seven days facts and reasons delaying the amendment of the Electoral Act or be declared ‘accessories after the fact’. It is our humble opinion that the rigging of the 2011 elections may well have started and the principle of ‘one man one vote’ may remain a dream in Nigeria for a very long time.


Dr. Is-haq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
234-803-346-4974

NEW BOMB THREAT IN ABUJA, NIGERIA

15th October, 2010



PRESS RELEASE:


NEW MEND BOMB THREAT: AN ILL WIND

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) allegedly issued another bomb threat yesterday, Friday 15th October, 2010. According to the militant group, another bomb would soon explode in Abuja. It however promised to issue a thirty minute warning before the explosion to allow evacuation.


We sympathize with the people of the Niger Delta and identify with their legitimate demands. Successive governments of this country have exploited the region to enrich an infinitesimally small group of capitalist comprador bourgeoisie. The reckless rape committed on the resources of the region coupled with acts of dehumanization, oppression and persecution of activists from the region resulted in the militarization of Niger Delta youths to the level that we are witnessing today.

Nonetheless, we condemn acts of violence aimed at nonmilitary targets. MEND should reappraise its attack strategies. Exploding bombs capable of endangering innocent civilians is totally unacceptable. Indiscriminate use of explosives is capable of robbing MEND of the moral support which it enjoys among members of the civil society as well as the generality of Nigerians as a whole.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) reaffirms its avowed stand against violence. It will only lead to the death of innocent people and the destruction of properties belonging to ordinary citizens. All but a few vehicles destroyed in the October 1 blasts belonged to ordinary citizens who may not be able to replace them for some time. Violence leads to a vicious cycle of further violence. It is an ill wind that blows no one any good.


We advise MEND leaders to sheath their sword so that the ongoing amnesty programme may take proper shape. We call on the Federal Government to expedite action on the Niger Delta question in the interest of peace, justice and progress. We assert that addressing the grudges of the Niger Delta people is the road to justice and fair play. Bold steps must be taken by government to show its seriousness. Those who want peace and security must not play with the future of people. Justice is the soul of peace.


Dr. Is-haq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
234-803-346-4974

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

THREAT TO FREE AND FAIR ELECTION IN NIGERIA

                                                                                            5th October, 2010



PRESS RELEASE:

ARREST OF DOKPESI: THREAT TO FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA 





Nigerian security agents have confirmed the arrest of nine suspects for their alleged roles in the bomb blasts which occurred in Abuja on October 1, 2010, the nation’s independence day. The explosions killed eight people instantly and injured many others. Two of those critically injured have reportedly died in the hospital. Another twist in the ongoing investigation into the terror attack is the alleged arrest of Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Chairman of the Ibrahim Babangida Campaign Committee. Dokpesi was invited by security agents on Sunday 3rd October.






The alleged arrest and subsequent detention of Dokpesi must attract the attention of the Nigerian civil society in view of his current position as a key figure in the opposition camp flying the campaign flag of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (rtd), a former Nigerian military head of state. Babangida is one of the presidential aspirants challenging the incumbent, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, in the 2011 presidential election.






This arrest is capable of throwing fear into the hearts of opposition figures, leaving a clear field for the incumbent. Such a development constitutes blatant rape of democracy since a free and fair election can no longer be guaranteed. The Nigerian government is already double-speaking. Jonathan exonerates the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), which issued a warning thirty minutes before the blast and also made a post-explosion claim of responsibility. Yet the same government gave the green light to the South African authorities to arrest, detain and charge MEND leader, Henry Okha to court for the blasts.






The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) charges the Nigerian government to eschew political vendetta and witch-hunting. Government must avoid strong-arm tactics in dealing with the opposition. Throwing the opposition campaign team into disarray is an old trick used by those who will not brook opposition and intolerance of opposition is the hallmark of dictatorship. The Nigerian security agencies must not be turned into an African Gestapo if the dream of true reform of the Nigerian society is to be realized. The arrest of Dokpesi has sent wrong signals not only to Nigerians at home and in the diaspora but also to the international society.






We call the attention of African states and Western powers to the fact that the five evil things of which Chamberlain spoke are rearing their ugly heads in Nigeria: brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution.






MURIC reminds the security agency holding Chief Dokpesi of the need to respect the rule of law as well as his Allah-given and fundamental human rights. The suspect must be charged to court and not detained ad infinitum. We call on civil society, well-meaning Nigerians and the international community to speak up now before it is too late.






Finally, MURIC affirms that Dokpesi’s arrest has robbed the electioneering process of its credibility. He must therefore be set free. It is also capable of throwing spanners in the works of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and discourage intellectuals and men of goodwill hoping to cooperate with the agency. Nigerian men and women of conscience may not want to touch politics and electioneering matters with a long pole if the opposition continues to be silenced.






Dr. Is-haq Akintola,


Director,


Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


234-803-346-4974





THREAT TO FREE AND FAIR ELECTION IN NIGERIA

5th October, 2010


PRESS RELEASE:

ARREST OF DOKPESI: THREAT TO FREE AND FAIR ELECTION



Nigerian security agents have confirmed the arrest of nine suspects for their alleged roles in the bomb blasts which occurred in Abuja on October 1, 2010, the nation’s independence day. The explosions killed eight people instantly and injured many others. Two of those critically injured have reportedly died in the hospital. Another twist in the ongoing investigation into the terror attack is the alleged arrest of Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Chairman of the Ibrahim Babangida Campaign Committee. Dokpesi was invited by security agents on Sunday 3rd October.



The alleged arrest and subsequent detention of Dokpesi must attract the attention of the Nigerian civil society in view of his current position as a key figure in the opposition camp flying the campaign flag of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (rtd), a former Nigerian military head of state. Babangida is one of the presidential aspirants challenging the incumbent, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, in the 2011 presidential election.



This arrest is capable of throwing fear into the hearts of opposition figures, leaving a clear field for the incumbent. Such a development constitutes blatant rape of democracy since a free and fair election can no longer be guaranteed. The Nigerian government is already double-speaking. Jonathan exonerates the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), which issued a warning thirty minutes before the blast and also made a post-explosion claim of responsibility. Yet the same government gave the green light to the South African authorities to arrest, detain and charge MEND leader, Henry Okha to court for the blasts.



The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) charges the Nigerian government to eschew political vendetta and witch-hunting. Government must avoid strong-arm tactics in dealing with the opposition. Throwing the opposition campaign team into disarray is an old trick used by those who will not brook opposition and intolerance of opposition is the hallmark of dictatorship. The Nigerian security agencies must not be turned into an African Gestapo if the dream of true reform of the Nigerian society is to be realized. The arrest of Dokpesi has sent wrong signals not only to Nigerians at home and in the diaspora but also to the international society.



We call the attention of African states and Western powers to the fact that the five evil things of which Chamberlain spoke are rearing their ugly heads in Nigeria: brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution.



MURIC reminds the security agency holding Chief Dokpesi of the need to respect the rule of law as well as his Allah-given and fundamental human rights. The suspect must be charged to court and not detained ad infinitum. We call on civil society, well-meaning Nigerians and the international community to speak up now before it is too late.



Finally, MURIC affirms that Dokpesi’s arrest has robbed the electioneering process of its credibility. He must therefore be set free. It is also capable of throwing spanners in the works of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and discourage intellectuals and men of goodwill hoping to cooperate with the agency. Nigerian men and women of conscience may not want to touch politics and electioneering matters with a long pole if the opposition continues to be silenced.



Dr. Is-haq Akintola,

Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

234-803-346-4974

Saturday, September 4, 2010

TONY BLAIR FACES NEMESIS

Serves Tony Blair right. He was pelted today with shoes and eggs for war crimes. What goes round comes round. Don't you think so?

MURIC WELCOMES SPEECH BY PRESIDENT JONATHAN

We welcome the speech made today by President Jonathan of Nigeria. He wants Nigerians to have confidence in free elections. We congratulate Mr. President for choosing a tested team to handle Nigeria's 2011 elections and urge Nigerians to share in our optimism. Change can only be effected by Nigerians themselves and this is the time to begin to have faith. There can be no hope without faith.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

MURIC DEMANDS SALAH BONUS FOR MUSLIMS

CHRISTMAS BONUS: MURIC DEMANDS SALAH BONUS FOR MUSLIM WORKERS

 

Nigerian workers have since colonial days enjoyed Christmas bonus both in the public and private sectors. This has always been helpful as it puts smiles on workers faces during the Christmas season. It is also a mark of appreciation and a reward for hardwork. Boosting workers' purchasing power improves standard of living as well as their families' general welfare.

 

We of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) regard Christmas Bonus as sine qua non to high spirit among the proletariat and commend governments at both the federal and state levels as well as a large section of the private sector for being consistent with its payment.

 

 

Nonetheless, MURIC wishes to call attention to the need to create a level playing ground for workers of different religious backgrounds in the dispensation of such largesse. No matter what is shared out as incentive to workers, Christmas remains, essentially, a Christian festival. Dishing out largesse only during the festival of a particular religion is capable of depicting government and employers generally as being partisan.

 

Muslim workers lack this motivation during Salah. Christmas is therefore made glamorous whereas Salah does not enjoy this dividend. Salah period is rendered dull and Muslim workers have to fend for themselves. The idea of giving bonus to both Christian and Muslim workers during Christmas is narrow, ill-defined and parochial. It seeks to bury the identity of Muslim workers in the Christmas season. This must change if Nigeria is trully democratic.

 

MURIC is calling for parity in the way governments and other employers of labour favour Christmas at the expense of Salah. What is good for the goose is also good for the gander.Since Christians and Muslims are all tax-payers and in the name of fairplay, MURIC urges employers of labour, particularly the federal and state governments, to share the bonus between the Christmas season and Id al-Kabir in such a way that Christians can receive their Christmas bonus during Christmas while Muslims collect Id al-Kabir bonus during Id al-Kabir.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Is-haq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
234-803-346-4974


Be just Justice is the soul of peace
No one can deny one and have the other
Neither can violence or naked force bring lasting peace

Thursday, August 12, 2010

MURIC DIALOGUES WITH PRESIDENT JONATHAN, DEMANDS PARITY

Thank you Mr. President. You have a listening ear and we appreciate it. Muslims demand parity and to be respected for what they are and not coerced to go along with colonial settings. Could Mr. President grant Nigerian Muslims two things? 1. Share the Christmas bonus into two for workers to receive half during Christmas and the other half during Id al-Kabir. 2. Declare 1st Muharram a holiday like 1st January. Thank you Mr. President for listening.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

 

RAMADAN OF UNITY

 
Nigerian Muslims started Ramadan fasting today Wednesday 11th August, 2010 after the Sultan announced the sighting of the moon in several northern states of the country.
 
The moon was also reportedly sighted outside Nigeria in Saudi, Egypt, Qatar, Yemen, Kuwait, Libya, Jordan, Algeria, Malaysia, etc. This development has facilitated a united approach to fasting this year. Alhamdulilah.
 
We call on Nigerian Muslims in particular to rally behind Sultan Abubakar whose leadership style has been dynamic, purposeful and focussed.
 
We urge Muslims around the globe to see this as a unique opportunity to sink their differences and speak with one voice. MURIC advocates the unification of all elements in Islam. Let us follow Islam, not Sunnism. Let us cherish the Glorious Qur'an, not Shiism. We are Muslims, not Sunnis. We are believers in Allah, not Shiites. Let us do away with all vestiges of compartmentalisation which have stood as insurmountable barriers between us and our fellow Muslims. 
 
It is shameful seeing Sunnis and Shiites slaughtering each other in Iraq and Pakistan We call on Muslims all over the world to address this issue very urgently
Dr. Is-haq Akintola
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Be just Justice is the soul of peace
No one can deny one and have the other
Neither can violence or naked force bring lasting peace

Sunday, July 18, 2010

KIDNAPPED NIGERIAN JOURNALISTS RELEASED

MURIC welcomes the release of the kidnapped Nigerian journalists. We urge Nigerians to stop paying ransom to kidnappers as this is capable of encouraging more abductions. Kidnappers are terrorists and they must be treated as such. The currently thriving kidnapping industry in Nigeria must be driven aground by every means necessary. Above all, the Nigerian police must wake up from its deep slumber to protect the citizens.

MURIC is of the opinion that there is more to incidents of kidnapping in South-Eastern Nigeria than meets the eye. The Nigerian government must therefore set up a powerful committee to investigate the immediate and remote causes.

MURIC rejoices with the members of the families of the freed journalists.

Dr. Is-haq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
234-803-346-4974

WHERE IS RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE?

The vicious cycle of religious violence claimed more lives in Taraba State, Nigeria, during the last week. We of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) frown upon religious intolerance, destruction of places of worship and shedding the blood of fellow homo sapien. Religion is love. It should forge unity of mankind.

The latest disturbance was sparked off by an attack by Christian youths on a mosque. The youths reportedly claimed that they did not want to see any mosque in the area. Interestingly, citizens of Tennessee, USA, also protested against the construction of a new mosque in the town. Like the Taraba Christian youths, they too did not want to see a mosque in their neighbourhood. Somewhere in Europe, minarets have been banned. In France, the Muslim female hijab is now outlawed.

Are we to infer from these incidents and conclude that Muslims have become endangered species?

WHO STARTED TERRORISM IN NIGERIA?

We must always seek to put the records straight. Nigerian Muslims have hitherto not been involved in terrorist acts within the country. Kidnapping for ransom or for any other purpose is terrorism and those involved in it in Nigeria today are from the South-East of the country. They are not Muslims. The first person to attempt to blow up a plane loaded with passengers in Nigeria was a Christian.

It is our hope and prayer in the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) that Nigerian Muslims will not engage in terrorist acts either against fellow Nigerians or against foreigners. Terrorism is shooting at a cluster of birds with the eyes closed. The bird you hit is not the bird you had in mind. The end of terrorism does not justify the means.

Muslims must therefore always seek to settle rifts through dialogue.

Friday, July 16, 2010

MURIC BLAMES OSHUN POLICE COMMAND FOR HARASSING JOURNALIST

                                                          16th July, 2010

PRESS RELEASE:

MALTREATMENT OF PUNCH JOURNALIST: OSHUN STATE POLICE COMMAND BLAMEWORTHY

 

Mr. Tunde Odesola, a correspondent of the Punch newspaper, was on Wednesday rough-handled at a checkpoint in Ibokun, Oshun State, by a policeman, Corporal Ijede Emmanuel. The corporal reportedly threatened to shoot Odesola. He made attempts to pull the latter out of the driver's seat. As if he had gone berserk, he also threatened to open fire on other journalists who later arrived at the scene. They were saved by a timely call to the state's Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Clement Akinola.    

 

We of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) lay the blame squarely at the feet of the Oshun State Police Command. Nigerians are not safe in the hands of a policeman who behaves more like a thug than a normal homo sapien. Both the rifle and the bullets in Corporal Ijede's hands were procured with tax payers' money, including that of the victim of his unprovoked assault, Mr. Tunde Odesola. We strongly condemn this Gestapo tactics.

 

MURIC calls on the Nigerian Police to retrain its men. There are too many unscrupulous elements in police uniform. This is not acceptable. A former Minister of Police Affairs once told Nigerians that our policemen could not shoot properly. Only yesterday (Thursday 15th July, 2010), both the former Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Kanu Agabi and the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mrs. Farida Waziri, were quoted as describing Nigerian policemen as 'ill-trained'. 

 

Oshun State Police Command must fish out this Bohemian of a cop and parade him before journalists the same way criminals in police net are paraded. This will teach others like him a lesson. Corporal Ijede must face orderly room trial if the State Command is truly prepared to instill discipline in its rank and file. The fact that too many Nigerians have been shot by the police in the past, particularly at roadblocks, makes this incident an eye-opener. We now know how many of those cases of stray bullets hit their victims. Had Odesola been an ordinary citizen without access to the media or to the PPRO, a carnage would have occurred at that checkpoint.

 

Finally, we remind the Commissioner of Police, Oshun State, that the buck stops at his table this time around. Apart from trying gun-totting, trigger-happy Corporal Ejedi Emmanuel, the Command must apologize to the Oshun State Chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists over this incident.

 

Dr. Is-haq Akintola

Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Tel. 234-803-346-4974

 

Be just Justice is the soul of peace
No one can deny one and have the other
Neither can violence or naked force bring lasting peace

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

THE PRICE OF MATERIALISM

The abduction of five journalists in Abia State on Sunday 11th July, 2010 x-rays the fallout of our materialistic society. Our governments at all levels were the first to use money as a bait to trap our youths. They introduced lottery. 'He fit be you!' Soon Nigerians were tricked with 'Win a car per day'. Today the telephone network providers invade our privacy with unthinkable offers turning all of us into gamblers! Now we are all dreamers, from Aso Rock to Ajegunle Jungle City. Those who cannot win and whose appetites have been wet are kidnapping the poor and the rich. We all cried foul when Islamic clerics called for a ban on gambling of all shades.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

MURIC CONDEMNS ABDUCTION OF JOURNALISTS

                                                          13th July, 2010

PRESS RELEASE:

ABDUCTION OF JOURNALISTS: A NATIONAL CALAMITY

 

The chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Wahab Oba, was kidnapped on Sunday alongside four other officials of the union in Abia State. The kidnappers have demanded two hundred and fifty million naira (N250,000,000.00) as ransom.       

 

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) condemns this criminal act in very strong terms and appeals to their abductors to release them unconditionally. We call on those who carried out this dastardly act to realize that they have picked the wrong persons this time around. While it may be true that lack of employment, inflation, hunger and other socio-economic factors were responsible for anti-social behaviours, picking on journalists is a gross miscalculation on the part of the abductors.

 

This is so because the Fourth Estate of the Realm is an unbiased umpire who is, more often than not, on the side of those at the bottom of the pyramid of deprivation. Journalists are not part of the problem. They are active spectators who report the injustice in society and seek to balance the social equilibrium. Instead of attacking them like one of the oppressors, they should be seen for what they are, namely, friends and associates of the downtrodden.

 

It is in this light that we want the kidnappers to see their new guests and on this note, we strongly appeal for their unconditional release.

 

This ugly incident must be viewed against the background of the current rush for material possessions which has gripped the Nigerian nation by the jugular. We have all abdicated our responsibilities and the youth are drifting. We turned the attention of our young ones to money-making ventures alone to the detriment of our national values. Both the Federal and State Governments threw caution to the winds by seeking revenue by all means, fair and foul. The Federal, State and local governments advertised lotteries and gambled away the future of this country.

 

This is the moment of truth. MURIC charges all stakeholders to retrace their steps. All relics of gambling and attractions towards material gains must be banned if we want to reform this society. The telephone network providers and others who offer salivating prizes and make the youth yearn and build castles in the air must be called to order. They are simply destroying the spirit of hard work in our young ones. The National Assembly has a crucial role to play in this regard.

 

Dr. Is-haq Akintola

Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Tel. 234-803-346-4974

Be just Justice is the soul of peace
No one can deny one and have the other
Neither can violence or naked force bring lasting peace

Friday, July 9, 2010

MURIC APPEALS TO LAGOS GOVT ON TAXATION OF PILGRIMS

 

                                                                             9th July, 2010

PRESS RELEASE:

TAXATION OF PILGRIMS IS UNJUSTIFIABLE

 

Reports reaching our office indicate that the Lagos State Government has set in motion the machinery for collecting the sum of N50,000.00 as tax from every intending pilgrim registered with the state's Pilgrims' Board.

 

While we like to assume that this cannot be true and that it still remains a rumour, we owe it a duty to our teeming members across the state who have complained to us to seek clarification from the state government.

 

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), true to our avowed commitment to dialogue and the maintenance of social equilibrium, call on the government of Lagos State to make a statement on the issue. Such a statement will debunk the rumour if it is not true and render asunder attempts by spoilers to cause disaffection between the state government and the Muslim population.

 

Nonetheless, if it is true, the government must explain to the citizens of the state why it is so. Did the authorities consult the stakeholders before introducing such a measure? We call the attention of the Lagos State Government to the socio-economic quagmire facing Nigerians in general and the people of Lagos in particular. This situation turns any taxation of pilgrims into an unjustifiable affliction.

 

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is therefore a religious duty and not a business trip which can attract extra income for the state government. On the contrary, the Lagos State government is expected to add its own input into measures calculated to make the exercise easy for the pilgrims.

 

MURIC therefore appeals to the Lagos State Government to rescind its decision if it is true that intending pilgrims are being taxed.    

 

MURIC also wishes to remind the state Pilgrims Board of the need to appreciate the excruciating pains which pilgrims go through before completing the processes of hajj. There is therefore an urgent need to simplify the exercise.

 

Dr. Is-haq Akintola

Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Tel. 234-803-346-4974

 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

NAPTIP ON YERIMA

The National Agency For Prohibition of Traffick in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP) announced Monday it has no case against Ahmad Sani for marrying a 13 year old Egyptian girl due to insufficient evidence. NAPTIP leaves the matter in the hands of the Attorney General of the Federation to file charges against Yerima.
 
We of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) believe that NAPTIP is not only wasting its time but also throwing hard-earned tax-payers' money into the Atlantic. The real human trafickers are well known to NAPTIP. It is the height of deceit and gross manifestation of professional ineptitude for the agency to turn its searchlight on Muslim marriages in its infantile bid to catch human and child trafickers.
 
The Nigerian Government should call NAPTIP to order. This is not the time to court the anger of Muslims. NAPTIP's latest exercise is seen by Muslims as an attempt to persecute Yerima and ridicule Islam. Islamic scholars have ratified Yerima's marriage as absolutely Islamic. Egypt does not practice Islamic law neither is that country seen as a model by Muslims all over the world having succumbed to Western imperialism.
 
We advise the authorities, particularly the Federal Government, the National Assembly and NAPTIP to always seek the opinions of Islamic scholars on issues relating to Islam. This is what NAPTIP should have done in the first place before singing war songs. It is not enough to consult ordinary Muslims who are not Islamic scholars as such people are capable of misleading the authorities.
 
Nigeria needs a peaceful environment to attain technological growth. Laws which erode the religious freedom of any group should not be promulgated as they are capable of heating up the polity, provoking large sections of the population and causing religious crisis.
 
Dr. Is-haq Akintola
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Tel. 234-803-346-4974


 
Be just Justice is the soul of peace
No one can deny one and have the other
Neither can violence or naked force bring lasting peace

STOP WASTING NIGERIA'S MONEY

                                                                           23rd June, 2010

PRESS RELEASE:

STOP WASTING NIGERIA'S MONEY    

 

The signals reaching the Nigerian public concerning the carefree attitude of the Nigerian government and the lawmakers to tax-payers' hard-earned money is quite disturbing. While the Federal Government is planning to spend ten billion naira (N10 billion) on activities marking the fiftieth independence anniversary of Nigeria, the nation's lawmakers are hell bent on emptying the treasury.

 

The Nigerian government has no justification for earmarking such a huge sum for the celebration of this year's independence. There is no end in sight yet for the nation's problems. Where are the roads? What is our GDP? What is our per capita income? Where is electricity? More factories are being shut down all over the country. An army of unemployed youths roam Nigerian streets. Our hospitals are glorified cemeteries. The education sector is in a laughable state. What is there to celebrate?

 

To add salt to injury, our lawmakers have demonstrated enough evidence to show that they have totally lost focus. Their concern is how much of looted funds go to the National Assembly. Otherwise how can they demand N30 million monthly when the average Nigerian lives on less than one dollar per day. Other very critical sectors are being deprived of 'survival income' but our leaders are cocooning in unimaginable luxury.

 

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) condemns this trend in very strong terms. It is gross irresponsibility on the part of government to even think of spending half of what it has earmarked. A sensitive administration would plan a low-key celebration. This is what we advise Jonathan's government to do.

 

Islam frowns upon extravagance. The Qur'an compares spendthrifts to friends of Shaytan (Ikhwan ush-Shaytan) and calls Shaytan an ingrate unto his Lord (Qur'an 17:26-27).

 

MURIC affirms that Nigerians will have no confidence in the Jonathan administration and the National Assembly until it demonstrates the will to curb public office of the noun 'thief' and the verb 'to steal'.

 

 

Dr. Is-haq Akintola

Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

08033464974

Is-haq Akintola (Ph.D),
Associate Professor of Islamic Studies,
Lagos State University,
P.O. Box 10211,
LASU Post Office,
HO 102 101,
Ojo, Lagos,
Nigeria.
Tel. 234-803-346-4974
 
I remain oppressed untill the hungry are fed, the naked clothed,
the sick healed and the homeless sheltered

Monday, July 5, 2010

WELCOME TO MURIC BLOG

Dear All,
As-Salaam Alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Welcome to the Blog Site of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).

MURIC is a Lagos-Nigeria based Muslim human rights organization committed to the promotion of justice through dialogue, tolerance and mutual understanding leading to the elimination of violence and terrorism.

MISSION:
To protect, project, and promote the rights of Muslims and others as well as to reengineer the mindset of Muslims towards the preference for dialogue and the rejection of violence.

VISION:
We envision an anti-violence and dialogue-loving Muslim, enjoying equal Allah-given rights and justice, like all men, in a world free from terror.

MURIC e-mail address : muslimrightsconcern@yahoo.co.uk
muslimrights@gmail.com

MURIC WEBSITE: www.muric.net

MURIC YAHOO GROUP: groups.yahoo.com/groups/muslimrights

MURIC ADDRESS: Teledawah Plaza,
Zone 'E', GRA,
Iba Estate,
Iba, Lagos State.

MURIC POSTAL ADDRESS:
P. O. Box 10211,
LASU Post Office,
HO 102 101
Ojo, Lagos State,
Nigeria.
Tel. 234-803-346-4974
234-805-422-8421
234-709-086-5339