Friday, September 11, 2015

PLEASE RELEASE SHAYKH IDOKO



11th September, 2015
PRESS RELEASE:
PLEASE RELEASE SHAYKH IDOKO

Shaykh Adam Idoko, a prominent Muslim leader in the South East, Deputy Secretary-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and the Chief Imam of the University of Nsukka, was kidnapped today in his home village, Ogrute Enugu-Ezike in Nssukka, Enugu State by unknown armed men.  

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is shocked by this ugly incident. This is one kidnap too many. We strongly condemn this act of brigandage. We appeal to the Federal Government (FG) to take urgent steps towards finding him alive. We also urge the security agencies to do everything humanly possible to secure his release.   

But the rising waive of kidnapping and armed robbery needs to be urgently addressed, particularly the case of South East Nigeria. Why is the South East so porous? Why must innocent and law-abiding people in the sub-region live in palpable fear all through their lives?  

While the security agencies have been doing their best, it appears they need FG’s urgent intervention. The security data at our disposal shows that Nigeria is still lagging behind in the fight against crime, particularly in terms of the numerical strength of the security agencies.

It is well known that cities are conquered by numbers. But Nigeria does not have the required number to fight, prevent and control crime. FG currently relies on 310,177 policemen, 33,000 State Security Services (SSS) personnel and about 100,000 troops to protect a geometrically rising civilian population conservatively put at 180 million.

This grossly falls short of the recommendation of the United Nations (UN) that there should be a minimum of one policeman for every 448 civilians. In 2006, the UN further recommended a minimum of 222 policemen to every civilian population of 100,000.

For every 100,000 civilians, America currently has 360 policemen, Britain has 227, Germany parades 296 while France controls 356. Nearer home on the African continent, Algeria commands the highest number with 413 to every 100,00 civilians, followed by Zimbabwe’s 401, South Africa’s 317 and Gambia’s 280. But Nigeria parades a paltry 205!  

This comparative analysis explains why our security agents are unable to enforce law and order. Every policeman in those countries has a pistol and a walkie-talkie. What do we have in Nigeria? A good car is allocated to two policemen in those countries but in Nigeria our policemen are deprived of these mandatory equipment. They are immobile most of the time or, at best, in rickety old jalopies which we often see them pushing on the roads! What a way to fight crime!

While we commend President Muhammadu Buhari for recently ordering the recruitment of 10,000 more police officers, we are constrained to say this is not enough. We urge Mr. President to declare an emergency in the security sector in the South East. The high wave of kidnapping necessitates it. Sophisticated equipment should be provided for the police. More men should be recruited.  

We are aware of efforts being made by some state governments to punish kidnappers. Some have made kidnapping a capital offence while others have imposed life sentence on offenders. Yet these harsh punishments have not yielded the desired result as the spate of kidnappings continues to rise unabated. We therefore recommend the provision of jobs for the army of unemployed youths roaming the streets. The idle mind is the devil’s workshop.

In conclusion, MURIC appeals to the kidnappers to treat Shaykh Idoko with respect and to release him unhurt immediately. Idoko is a man of peace. He cannot hurt a fly. His huge frame belies his compassionate mien. Idoko is easy-going and does not belong to the class of oppressors.

We remind those behind this dastardly act to desist from carrying out attacks on religious leaders to avoid the wrath of the Supreme Creator. We urge Muslims nationwide to pray fervently for the safe return of Shaykh Idoko. In addition, we charge Nigerians to be more security conscious and to resist divulging information about their movements to questionable characters. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

DON’T KILL CORRUPT POLITICIANS



10th September, 2015
PRESS RELEASE:
DON’T KILL CORRUPT POLITICIANS

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have advocated capital punishment for corrupt officials as obtained in China and India. The call was made at a joint news conference held in Abuja yesterday.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) commends both the NLC and TUC for drumming support for the war against corruption in Nigeria. But we throw in a caveat.

We warn against the killing of corrupt politicians. It is not in Nigeria’s law books. It is therefore unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional. It is not only barbaric but also Bohemian.

President Muhammadu Buhari is advised to weigh the call by the trade unions very carefully against the backdrop of attempts already being made by enemies of progress to blackmail him.

A Jerry Rawlings treatment for looters can only be possible under military rule but the latter has become an anachronism in modern day Africa. Getting Nigerian legislators who are already neck-deep in corruption to change the books in favour of capital punishment for treasury looters is a tall dream.  

We remind Mr. President that only yesterday opposition governors called him a dictator and alleged that Nigeria was sliding into a dictatorship. Although discerning Nigerians know better, the gullible majority are easily deceived by sugar-coated rhetoric.  Buhari must avoid this trap.

What became of the attempt by the Buhari-Idiagbon duo to wipe out the drug business in the 80s? Who was there to defend the ascetic Buhari when the chips were down? Some mean critics still use the incident to spite Mr. President up till today. Buhari must therefore look before he leaps.

MURIC sends a strong solidarity message to the trade unions as they embark on the mass rally in Abuja today. We know they mean well for Nigeria. Our members in the Abuja chapter are hereby directed to join the rally in the spirit of camaraderie.

In conclusion, we call on Nigerians from all walks of life to rise up in support of the Federal Government as it counters the evil forces of corruption.  

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

FAYOSE’S APPOINTMENTS: LOPSIDED, PAROCHIAL



9th September, 2015
PRESS RELEASE:
FAYOSE’S APPOINTMENTS: LOPSIDED, PAROCHIAL


The Ekiti State chapter of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) recently issued a damning statement on the appointments made so far by the state governor, Ayodele Fayose. The document revealed unprecedented monopoly of political appointments by Christians in the state to the disadvantage of their Muslim counterparts.


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is shocked that a governor who revels in throwing tantrums at President Muhammadu Buhari’s perceived ‘injustice’ in governance can be caught in such na├»ve, infantile and sectional administrative behavior.


We are nonplussed by Fayose’s open bigotry and untethered hatred for Muslims. It is the convention in most states of Nigeria, particularly where no religion is heavily predominant, that the deputy governor is always picked from a religion different from that of the governor.

Ekiti State from time immemorial has always had Muslims as deputy governors. What explanation does Fayose have for abandoning this path of tolerance and integration?    How can Fayose form an all-Christian cabinet and still criticize Buhari whose appointments are a mixed grill?


With a Christian deputy governor, a Christian speaker, a Christian deputy speaker and a Christian Chief of Staff, Fayose’s hypocrisy becomes crystal clear. To crown Fayose’s edifice of administrative misadventure, the Secretary to the state government is also a Christian. All the judges in the state are Christians. All the fourteen (14) commissioners in the state are Christians. All the special advisers except one are Christians. All the twenty six (26) permanent secretaries are Christians.


Yet that is not all. This man who has the temerity to cast aspersion on the globally revered person of President Buhari appointed Christians only into the 13-member body of executive secretaries in his own state. His state’s 5-member boards are all Christians including Ekiti State University (EKSU) except one which has a Muslim member. The 7-member boards of colleges of education and that of health technology are all Christians. All the sixteen (16) education secretaries are Christians while all the sixteen (16) local government caretaker chairmen except one are Christians.
  

No wonder Nigerians are asking why Fayose always manifests the Orubebe virus when commenting on national issues.


A man who cannot maintain justice and equity in his small domain cranes his neck from his infinitesimally small microcosm to spite another man whose integrity is universally acknowledged. Nigerians should not make the mistake of giving people like Fayose the chance to rule this country. He cannot forge unity. Neither can he inspire patriotism. What else can we expect from a self-confessed danfo driver whose nuisance value lies only in his ‘bolekaja’ mentality?


MURIC advises Fayose to concentrate on governance in his own state. His undue interference in the affairs of others has made him to derail. One major proof that he has lost focus is his recent appointment of an illiterate 72 year old carpenter as chairman of a local government caretaker committee. That particular appointment is targeted at exploiting that local government and sentencing the inhabitants to abject penury. Fayose is a mediocre in the art of governance.


Finally, we challenge Fayose to answer the questions posed by Jesus (peace and blessings be upon him) when he asked in Mathew 7:3 – 5, Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’, when there is a log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye”


Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)