Sunday, April 23, 2017

FAYOSE’S BULLDOZERS SURROUND EKITI MOSQUES



23rd April, 2017
PRESS RELEASE:
FAYOSE’S BULLDOZERS SURROUND EKITI MOSQUES


In spite of the truce reached at a parley between Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and Muslim leaders from the South West three weeks ago, members of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) in Ekiti State have sighted the governor’s bulldozers strategically stationed near the mosques under threat in Ado Ekiti yesterday, Saturday 22nd April, 2017.     


This move is not only irrational but also highly provocative. Governor Fayose is deliberately provoking Muslims in Ekiti State and, by inference, in Yorubaland and the country as a whole for his own personal agenda. For reasons best known to him, Fayose wants to set Nigeria on fire. He knows that his action is capable of causing a breach of the peace yet he appears determined to go ahead. We warn that nobody should blame Muslims for any breakdown of law and order if those mosques are demolished.


We are bewildered that the chief security officer of a state can be hell-bent on stoking religious riot in a country heavily beleaguered with religious conflicts. Fayose’s belligerence and open display of hostility towards his Muslim citizens belies the perceived atmosphere of peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims in South Western Nigeria.

Many people, including foreigners in the country, are under the impression that religious intolerance exists only in the northern part of the country. Nay, the truth of the matter is that Muslims in the region have been patiently bearing a long-drawn repression and denial of their Allah-given fundamental human rights.


Fayose’s latest exhibition of fascism and religious intolerance has just proved that the claim of peaceful coexistence among Yoruba Christians and Muslims is a myth, a mirage and a total illusion. There has been peace because the Muslims of the region have demonstrated extreme forbearance. The Muslims have continued to remain peaceful even in the face of gross provocations.  


We recall that the American Congress invited the former president of CAN, Ayo Oritsejafor, to address its members on the purported atrocities committed by Nigerian Muslims. He told the American lawmakers bundles of lies but, unfortunately, the US Congressmen are yet to grant Nigerian Muslims the right of response in the name of fair hearing.


The reality on ground is that while a handful of Christians may be amenable to the idea of religious tolerance, many others like Fayose have a phobia for Muslims and an allergy for seeing any Islamic monument in their neighbourhood. Fayose is determined to uproot every single Islamic landmark on Ekiti soil before his tenure expires in 2018.  


MURIC calls the attention of leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to Fayose’s aggression against Muslims. We appeal to Western diplomats in the country to spare a little time to study the religious landscape in Yorubaland. We charge leaders of the National Assembly, lawmakers from Ekiti State and all men of goodwill to make Fayose see reason. We invite notable traditional rulers in Yorubaland, particularly the much revered Ooni of Ife and the Alaafin of Oyo to intervene in the matter before it gets out of hand.


Finally, we warn that the fragile peace and one-sided religious ‘tolerance’ being enjoyed in the South West may come under severe threat if Fayose carries out his threat to destroy those mosques.


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


Thursday, April 20, 2017

MURIC COMMENDS FG ON MOVE TO RECRUIT 30,000 MORE POLICEMEN IN 2017



20th April, 2017
PRESS RELEASE:
MURIC COMMENDS FG ON MOVE TO RECRUIT 30,000 MORE POLICEMEN IN 2017


The Federal Government (FG) is set to recruit 30,000 more policemen before the end of this year 2017. This was disclosed by the Deputy Inspector General DIG in charge of north-west zone, Maigari Dikko in Birnin Kebbi yesterday when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Abubakar Bagudu.


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) lauds FG’s decision. It is bold, visionary and pragmatic. It is calculated to ensure security for all. This is one step towards moving the panacea to Nigeria’s security challenges along global best practices.
By this action, the Buhari administration has proved that it is not battling corruption alone, it is equally tackling the problem of general insecurity in the country.


This decision will boost efforts aimed at curtailing crimes in Nigeria. It is also commendable particularly against the backdrop of 10,000 cops recruited earlier in January this year. If it is allowed to become a fait accompli, it will bring the total number of policemen recruited this year alone to 40,000. It is another feather in the Federal Government’s cap.


We are excited by this development. It is one of the best things that have happened in Nigeria since the Annual Police Report of 2008 which put the total figure of Nigerian policemen at 310,177. There has been no mass recruitment since then in spite of the astronomical rise in the country’s civilian population. The December 2016 population estimate released by the National Population Commission in conjunction with the National Bureau of Statistics is 193 million.


Considering the United Nation’s recommendation of at least one policeman for every 448 civilians, it becomes clear that we do not have enough policemen for our teeming population. This explains why many criminals get away with their nefarious activities at will and many crimes remain unsolved. The acute shortage has also informed the wanton killings across the country.


We recall the frustrations of former National Security Adviser, General Andrew Azazi (rtd) when he lamented in December 2011 that it was impossible for the security agencies to police the entire country. It was a euphemism for acute shortage of manpower among the security agencies and we were shocked that nothing was done to address the shortage until the Buhari administration came on board. FG’s decision to embark on another mass recruitment this year, therefore, is not only timely but also belongs to the class of Solomonic wisdom.


Although cities are said to be conquered by numbers, the efficacy of modern technology must not be ignored. Criminals are also getting more sophisticated. This is why FG must pay urgent attention to the need for technological gadgets. In other climes, every policeman is equipped with a walkie-talkie and a pistol. Communication equipment makes it possible for the police to work as a team.


MURIC charges FG to go the whole hug by adopting a policy of ‘one-cop-one-walkie’ and ‘one-cop-one-gun’. Not only that, our police deserves better pay, improved health delivery system, good accommodation and credible life insurance policy. We are ashamed to see policemen in uniform pushing their faulty ram-shackle police vehicles. We are embarrassed each time our policemen pack themselves like sardine inside their vehicles. In Egypt, Libya and Saudi Arabia, it is one car to two policemen. Why should our own policemen be different?


Nonetheless, FG must not concentrate on the police alone for improvements. Other arms of the security agencies like the Department of State Services (DSS) whose numerical strength stands at 33,000 officers and men as at 2008 need government’s intervention.


Permit us to throw in a word of caution before we round up. Former Inspector General of Police, Sunday Ehindero once admitted that there are armed robbers in the police. Therefore Police authorities must not allow the euphoria of mass recruitment to becloud their alertness. Imbeciles, area boys, hoodlums, sworn alcoholics, armed robbers, etc, must be weeded out via rigorous screenings.  


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

Thursday, April 13, 2017

EASTER MESSAGE: LETS USE RELIGION TO FIGHT EVIL



13th April, 2017
EASTER MESSAGE:
LETS USE RELIGION TO FIGHT EVIL


Nigerian Christians will join their counterparts across the globe to observe Good Friday tomorrow 14th April, 2017 as part of the Easter celebrations. The Easter activities will be rounded up on Monday 17th April, 2017 when they will mark Easter Monday.


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) sends fraternal greetings to all Nigerian Christians on this august occasion. We love our Christian neighbours and we wish to coexist peacefully with them. Religion is love, not hatred. Religion is unity and togetherness, not division and rancor. Originally from the Greek word ‘religio’ meaning ‘to link’, or ‘to bind’ religion is expected to bring people together in peace and harmony.


 We call on the Nigerian body of Christ to consolidate the nation’s gains under the present administration by heightening its patriotism and its readiness to sacrifice.


We charge Nigerian churches to promote internal justice, equity and fairplay in all its dealings. We appeal to Christian leaders and clerics to guide the nation’s leaders both at state and national levels with scriptural wisdom, to redirect the focus of the youth from materialism to piety and to pay special attention to core family values which are now lacking in society.


In view of the fact that corruption has been identified as the major cancerous tumor afflicting the nation’s anatomy, MURIC urges Christian leaders to give full support to current efforts of the Federal Government aimed at energizing those vital cells in the Nigerian anatomy already affected by the cancer of corruption.

We remind our Christian neighbours that the impact of corruption in the areas of ignorance, disease, bad roads, poverty, poor power supply, technological backwardness, etc know no religion. It affects all of us whether we are Christians, Muslims or traditionalists. We are all victims. We must all stand together in a single file to fight this social cankerworm. No retreat, no surrender. We must speak with one voice and reject those who arrogate our commonwealth to themselves alone without caring whose faith is gored.


Both the church and the mosque have big roles to play in the fight against corruption because corruption begins from the home. It is also an open secret that the corrupt elements in our society are either Muslims or Christians. These anti-social elements also come to the church and the mosque. We therefore charge both the minbar and the altar to demonstrate the political will to stamp out corruption in every home. We must address their consciences. We must stop idolizing dubious characters. We must publicly appreciate hardworking and honest Nigerians and stop deriding them for their low financial status.  


Let us also come together in love and harmony to bring peace to our great nation once again. Christians and Muslims worshipping only one God must desist from seeing themselves as enemies. We are from one and the same God and unto him we shall return. Killing and maiming in the name of that same God is a huge dis-service to Him as our Creator. Let us use religion to fight evil, not ourselves. We all do not have to belong to the same religion as it is by chance that we were born in the South, East or Northern part of Nigeria. We could have been scattered in Siberia, Holland or Trinidad and Tobago.


Finally, we call on Christian clerics and prayer warriors to persistently pray for the survival of Nigeria, for peace and stability. We look forward to the day when our religious leaders will extend dinner invitations to each other and dine together while radio and television stations air the joyous event live. We have no doubt that such an incident will go a long way to promote love, forgiveness and peaceful co-existence. But who will bell the cat?


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

Monday, April 10, 2017

ABUJA-KADUNA ROUTE SECURITY ARRANGEMENT IS FOR THE RICH AND POWERFUL



11th April, 2017
PRESS RELEASE:
ABUJA-KADUNA ROUTE SECURITY ARRANGEMENT
IS FOR THE RICH AND POWERFUL


The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday appraised the ongoing face-lifting exercise at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and confirmed that 80% of the refurbishing has been done.


Meanwhile security agents virtually line up the road between Kaduna Airport and Kaduna town as police vans are stationed almost at every kilometer thus making the road absolutely impregnable. Added to this is the unassailable rail and road transportation network put in place to move travelers from Kaduna to Abuja. Battle-ready and fierce looking security agents and their vehicles can be seen every ten kilometers of the road while surveillance helicopters hover in the air.


To date, there has not been a single incident of robbery or kidnapping along Kaduna-Abuja road since the commencement of this security arrangement. It will be recalled that this same route was notorious for its lack of safety. It was a den of robbers and kidnappers.


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) commends the Federal Government (FG) for the water-tight security network which is now in place in that axis. It is simply fantastic and sophisticated. Yet we are constrained to describe it as cosmetic, bourgeois and a window-dressing rehearsal at best.


We must ask FG some pertinent questions. Why did it take FG so long to wake up to its responsibility? Is this security arrangement real or cosmetic? Is it for every rich or poor citizen or for the capitalist compradour bourgeoisie? Does any poor Nigerian travel by air within the country? Are we going to see more of this even in other parts of the country or is it a case of ‘the more you look the less you see’?


MURIC commends the Inspector General of Police and the heads of other security agencies for the civilized manner their men treated travelers along the Kaduna-Abuja road during this period. No vehicle was stopped on the highway. No motorist was asked to show his or her particulars. Every traveler was given red carpet treatment.


This has prompted us to ask: are these security agents who line up the Kaduna-Abuja route Nigerians or are they seconded to the country from one of the advanced democracies of Europe and the Americas? Or are they aliens from other planets?


The Nigerian system is fraudulent, exclusive and deceptive. Why did we allow robberies and kidnappings on our roads when our security agents are capable of making this type of arrangement? The basic responsibility of government is to ensure the safety of lives and properties but the reverse is the case in Nigeria. We are stupefied that this massive security network can be put together in a matter of days.


We know it is all in the interest of the rich and powerful. It is in the interest of the ministers, senators and lawmakers who cannot land their jets in Abuja while the repair work is still on. We are not deceived. How many poor Nigerians travel by air?

A state governor was recently reported to have more than 200 policemen around him alone. Some senators parade more than ten or fifteen policemen. That is why the poor man has no policeman to protect him. The IG should tell us how many senators have been kidnapped. How many lawmakers have been subjected to trauma by hoodlums?

The answer is ‘none’ simply because some powerful but selfish people have arrogated to themselves the limited number of policemen that are available. They have perfected the theory of the hegemony of the Nigerian political class by compartmentalizing Nigerians into ‘those who should be protected’ and ‘those who should not be protected’. Who allowed such frivolous luxury at the expense of the rest of us? Why should so many policemen surround a tiny cabal? Is it because they are powerful politicians? But should the rest of us continue to live in fear, abandoned to our fate?


Nigeria had 310,177 policemen with about 33,000 in the Department of State Security before Buhari came on board. Mr. President found this inadequate and an additional 10,000 policemen were recruited. This is commendable but it still falls short of the United Nation’s recommendation of a minimum of one policeman to every 448 citizens (police/citizen ratio 1.448).


With our current population of 193 million citizens as at January 2017, Nigeria has fallen below the 2007 rating of police/country population ratio of 1.538. Buhari’s target must be this global best practice of ratio 1.448. Nigeria needs to add at least another 100,000 policemen before the end of 2018 if we are going to take security very seriously. Buhari must ensure that this becomes a fait accompli.


MURIC charges President Muhammadu Buhari to allow the change mantra to manifest in the area of security. Nigeria’s security is presently for the rich and powerful. The poor are helpless. They are not safe. They are denied protection. They are denied justice. They are attacked by robbers in their homes and kidnapped when they dare to go outside. They are harassed by security agents on the roads. Buhari must put a stop to this.


Finally, we demand a replica (or something akin to it) of the Kaduna-Abuja route security scenario everywhere in Nigeria. Mr. President must direct the IG to withdraw excess policemen from governors, senators, lawmakers and the rest of our oppressors who have turned the poor into ordinary human shields. We the poor people of this great country wish to feel the impact of Buhari’s change in the area of security. We are not safe until this happens. Who feels it knows it.


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