Wednesday, February 8, 2017

LAGOS HIJAB JUDGEMENT: ALLOW THE LAW TO TAKE ITS DUE COURSE



8th February, 2017
PRESS RELEASE:
LAGOS HIJAB JUDGEMENT:
ALLOW THE LAW TO TAKE ITS DUE COURSE

The Lagos Appeal Court yesterday struck out the stay of execution order sought by the Lagos State Government on the right of female Muslim students to use hijab with their school uniforms.     


Asiyat Abdul Kareem (through her father), Moriam Oyeniyi and the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria had won appeal of case CA/L/135/15 against the Lagos State Government on 21st July, 2016 when all the five judges of the Lagos Appeal Court approved the use of hijab in Lagos public schools. The state government immediately approached the Supreme Court to appeal the case and also sought a stay of the execution at the Appeal Court.


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) hails the rejection of the stay of execution sought by the Lagos Government. It is bold, convincing and reassuring. It cements our faith in the judiciary as the last hope of the common man.


MURIC appeals to the state government to allow sleeping dogs to lie. There is a limit even for official ego. There must come a time when government scoops to allow the general will to prevail. But the law is on the side of the general will this time. A government installed via democratic process cannot afford to disrespect a court judgement. This latest decision is legally binding and Lagos has no choice. Afterall, it is the center of excellence.


The honourable path is for the center of excellence to walk its talk. The state government must instruct the Ministry of Education to tell school principals to allow female Muslim children to use hijab in public schools.


Without being immodest, we assure all and sundry that we know our rights. Any school authority who disallows female Muslim students or pupils from using hijab risks being jailed for contempt of court. We have been patient enough. Our children have listened to us. They eschewed violence. They obeyed the rules of decorum. Now the die is cast.


Muslims have been accused severally of resorting to spontaneous violence even though they have always been provoked. But the case is different this time around. Lagos Muslims went to court instead of going violent and the courts have decided. Lagos government must allow the law to take its due course.   


Finally, Nigerians and indeed the rest of the world must see this as a test case for democracy and the rule of law in Lagos State. We want to know how democratic are our democrats? To be or not to be? That is the question. Whether Lagos will respect the courts and allow the students to use hijab as ordered by the court or whether the grandstanding, the stigmatization, the oppression and persecution will continue is left to be seen. The world is watching.


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

Monday, February 6, 2017

MURIC CONDOLES DG DSS, POLICE IG



7h February, 2017
PRESS RELEASE:
MURIC CONDOLES DG DSS, POLICE IG

The Kano State Director of the Department of State Security (DSS), Abdullahi Chiranchi, died two days ago after a brief illness.


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) commiserates with the Director General of the DSS, Alhaji Lawal Musa Daura, The Kano State Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and the entire DSS Kano formation on the sudden death of Alhaji Chiranchi.


May Allah forgive him and repose his soul in Al-Jannah Firdaus. May Allah in His Infinite Mercy also fill the vacuum left behind by his death and cushion the economic effect on the family.


Similarly, the Cross Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Francis Mobolaji Odesanya, died on January 31, 2017 in far away India where he had gone for treatment. He was 58 years old.    


We express our deepest sympathy to the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Kpotum Idris and the Governor of Cross Rivers State, Benedict Ayade, on this irreparable loss. May Allah give the family and friends the strength to bear the loss.


In view of the circumstances leading to the death of Abdullahi Chiranchi in particular, MURIC advocates that the Federal and State governments should put less stress on the heads of security agencies. Governments should also provide adequate measures for frequent health checks and facilities for security officers who bear huge responsibilities. Provision should also be made for leave opportunities for top security officers at regular intervals.


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


Saturday, February 4, 2017

TUFACE RALLY: A RALLY FOR ANOTHER FERRARI



5th February, 2017
PRESS RELEASE:
TUFACE RALLY: A RALLY FOR ANOTHER FERRARI

Renowned musician, Innocent Ujah Idibia, aka Tuface Idibia, has reportedly called off a protest he was organizing against the Buhari-led administration. The protest which was earlier billed for 6th February, 2017, was called off early today. Tuface allegedly hinged the call-off on security concerns.    


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) rejects Tuface’s cancelled protest and any other planned rally against the Buhari administration on grounds of immorality, irrationality and bad timing. Such planned rallies can only spring from bad faith, malice, greed and avarice. It is inexplicable to protest against a good government.


If Tuface has truly called off his planned rally, what happens to his partners in anger? What happens to some civil society groups that have identified with his rally? Are they also backing out or going ahead. Tuface merely cited security concerns but said nothing about his accomplices. He made no appeal to them to stay action. What of the governor who vowed to join Tuface in the protest?    



Whether they are backing off or not, the fact is that the proposed rally is immoral because there is ample evidence that Tuface had benefitted from the financial impropriety of the immediate past administration.



Is it true or not that Tuface wedding in Dubai was bankrolled by Governor Godswill Akpabio? Is it true that the same governor gave Tuface two SUV cars? Is it also true that the governor sponsored twenty nine (29) people from Akwa Ibom to accompany Tuface to the wedding? Is it equally true that a leading senator from the opposition party bought a Ferrari worth N47 million naira for Tuface?


If the answers to the above questions are positive, then Nigerians are being taken for a ride. Tuface has benefitted immensely from the immediate past but recklessly corrupt government and the proposed protest is nothing but a payback. We can trace Tuface’s anger to the fact that the source of free and easy money has dried up. The fact that a state governor who is seldom rational has shown interest in Tuface’s rally reveals where Tuface is coming from.


The proposed rally is irrational because there is palpable change already. For instance, it is no longer business as usual for corrupt public officials. The Buhari administration is holding people accountable. Leakages are being plugged. Loots are being recovered. Government is no longer spending recklessly.


We admit that times are very hard for Nigerians but the present administration cannot be blamed for Nigeria’s current economic woes. It was caused by the past administration. Have Nigerians forgotten how ex-President Goodluck Jonathan encouraged the stealing of public funds? Have we forgotten his lackadaisical attitude to corruption? Jonathan’s landmark declaration that ‘stealing is not corruption’ is still fresh in our memory.


The fall in the price of crude oil from $110.48 to as low as $27.57 immediately Buhari took over also worsened the economy. Neither did the sponsored sabotage of oil pipes help matters.    


Tuface’s proposed rally is also badly timed. It is being mentored by impatient godfathers. The allies of Tuface should rescind their decision to join him. Neither should they proceed now that he has put his protest vehicle in the reverse gear. This administration made it clear to Nigerians that it met an empty treasury and that it would take some time for the economy to come afloat. It is not up to two years that the Buhari regime came on board. Why can’t we be patient?


A nation in recession needs time to recover. Records have shown that recessions usually last at least three years, not less. It may be more, depending on its management. The worldwide recession of 1930 lasted till 1933. That of 1973 lasted till 1976. There were two others from 1979 to 1983 and from 1990 to 1993. The ricochets of the economic meltdown of 2008 are still being felt in some European countries like Greece and Italy.


But there is hope for Nigerians because whereas the immediate past administration lacked accountability and rollicked with shady characters, the present Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari is enthroning financial prudence and good governance. The price of crude oil is also rising steadily and stands at $53.83 as at yesterday. Oil has also been found in commercial quantity outside its troubled traditional enclave.


Tuface’s planned protest is therefore a protest against good governance, a protest against virtue, a protest against transparency, probity and accountability. It doesn’t really add up. Only those who benefitted from the corrupt enrichment of the past and those who want corruption to continue ad infinitum can join such a protest.


In conclusion, MURIC appeals to Nigerians to be patient with the Buhari administration and to massively boycott any rally by Tuface or any of his allies. It is a rally for another Ferrari. No more no less. Only irrational people protest against a good government.


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


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

HATE SPEECH: SECURITY AGENTS MUST DO THE NEEDFUL



25th January, 2017  
PRESS RELEASE:
HATE SPEECH: SECURITY AGENTS MUST DO THE NEEDFUL

The founder of Omega Fire Ministries, Johnson Suleman, recently instructed members of his church to kill Fulanis. An attempt by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) to arrest him in Ado Ekiti yesterday was foiled by Governor Ayodele Fayose.


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) strongly condemns Pastor Johnson Suleman’s vituperations. It is provocative, irresponsible and unpatriotic. In the same vein, we are nonplussed by Governor Fayose’s penchant for preventing security agents from performing their lawful duties. By shielding such a high profile suspect, Fayose has manifested blatant disregard for the rule of law, encouraged lawlessness and exhibited executive brigandage.


Pastor Johnson Suleman wants to make the country unsafe for Muslims and law abiding Fulanis. It is not in our character to issue threats. We are mature enough to control our emotions. Yet it is not out of cowardice that we prefer to tow the path of peaceful coexistence. Muslims have never been known to fear death or to compromise their faith. But we do not want to join issues with belligerent people who are always bullying Muslims and Fulanis by telling lies and issuing threats. Neither do we want to heat up the polity.


What will ordinary Muslims do when we exchange banters with firebrand Christian extremists like Johnson? Why should religious leaders speak as if they have stocked heaps of weapons in hiding? Why should spiritual guides incite their followers to kill and maim? What do religious leaders gain from goading their followers to shed blood?


The victims are usually the poor masses who are hypnotized by the rhetoric and mesmerized by the oratorical skills of their fanatical leaders. This is why leaders must weigh every word they utter. Leaders are models. They must live by example and teach their followers to learn how to love, to tolerate, to forgive and to peacefully coexist.


MURIC charges Nigerians to objectively and critically examine the Fulani herdsmen phenomenon.  They should not allow some misguided spiritual leaders who have hidden agenda to becloud their sense of assessment. Fulanis have been coming to Nigeria before the 1914 amalgamation. Their nomadic and pastoral flow has never waned since the first Fulanis came from Futa Toro in Senegal in the 11th century. We should therefore not be surprised that the criminal elements among the herdsmen are not even Nigerians. They are Senegalese and Malians.


It is therefore unwise of us as Nigerians to allow a few lawless foreigners to cause religious or ethnic war in our land. Let us separate criminals from their tribe or religion. We should resist the temptation to stigmatise Fulanis or Muslims because a few herdsmen take the law into their hands. For the avoidance of doubts, we denounce the criminal activities of these herdsmen but we should mind where we point accusing fingers.


Are Nigerians unaware that the same Fulani herdsmen have are also been attacking and killing Muslims in Zamfara, Niger, Kano, Bauchi and other Northern states? Why have we been ignoring this angle if we are sincere? Has the status of a herdsman changed when he attacks a Northern farmer or a Muslim and steals his cattle?  Let us be objective. Let us stop criminalizing Fulanis and demonizing Muslims. It is the height of hypocrisy and absolute lack of patriotism to give the criminal activities a religious or ethnic colouration.


We therefore call on the Nigerian security agencies to do the needful. Nobody is above the law. Fayose or no Fayose, Pastor Johnson Suleman must still be questioned and cautioned for his vituperations and provocative statements. He cannot remain tied to Fayose’s apron string forever.


Even Fayose should be told point blank that his days as a free man are numbered. He must answer for his executive rascality and lawlessness. No governor in the history of Nigeria has abused his office like Fayose has done. His cup of executive recklessness has been filled to the brim. The people of Ekiti State have indeed entered a ‘one chance’ bus. Or what do we say about a state governor who is seldom sober? We do not need a micro-biologist to tell us whether or not Fayose has the ‘area boy’ syndrome virus.


We charge the Nigerian security agencies to spare no effort in dealing decisively with the notorious herdsmen who have brought untold hardship to Nigerian farmers. The full wrath of the law must be unleashed on them for killing innocent farmers and destroying their farms. We appeal to Muslims to go about their lawful duties and to remain calm and law abiding. We invite religious leaders to douse tension in their areas of influence in order to allow peace to reign.

As we round up, we remind the United Nations Organisation, the European Union and the African Union to take note of the hate speeches emanating from Nigeria and their authors for the day when the come will come to become.


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