This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
The past one week has witnessed reckless violence in Southern
Kaduna. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Catholic Archdiocese
of Kafanchan have claimed that about 808 people have been killed so far in 53
The Muslim Rights
Concern (MURIC) condemns these killings. We hate violence. We detest the sight
of blood. Human life is sacred and nobody has the right to take the life of a
fellow human being.
Nonetheless, we call for caution. We remind all stakeholders
that both the Qur’an and the Bible enjoin caution in cases like this. The two
scriptures ask mankind to investigate all cases before jumping to conclusions
(Qur’an 49:6; 1st Thessalonians 5:21).
Both the press and the security agencies have questions to
answer on the pogrom going on in Southern Kaduna: the press for giving the
Nigerian public only one side of the story and the security agencies for
allowing the killings to continue unabated. We remind the Federal Government
(FG) that the primary duty of government is to protect the citizens’ lives and
properties. Article 14 Section 2(b) of
the 1999 Constitution states that “the security and welfare of the people shall
be the primary purpose of government”.
MURIC is concerned that the public has been fed with only the
Christian side of the story. Justice and fair hearing demands that we hear from
the other side. What happened to professionalism on the part of the press? Is
hearing from the other side also not part of investigative journalism? Are
there no Islamic organizations in Southern Kaduna? What of the Muslim Youth
Foundation of Southern Kaduna (MYFOSKA)? Why haven’t they been interviewed?
The Nigerian press should not be asymmetrical. Parochial
reportage is an ill wind that will blow nobody any good. We can only know the
beginning of a crisis. Nobody can predict its end. Those who fan the embers of
violence may end up as victims. MURIC feels concerned whenever there is
violence in Nigeria. What this country needs for economic recovery and
political stability is peace.
MURIC is in possession
of documents which prove that Muslims were the first victims of attacks in
Southern Kaduna and the attacks which targeted Muslim business premises, homes
and families had begun since October 2016. But we will not release the
documents yet so that the conflict will not exacerbate. Suffice it to note that
security agents have caught some Christians with arms in the area since the
conflict began some days ago.
We therefore take CAN’s allegation of official endorsement of
the killings with a pinch of salt. It is subtle blackmail. Why must CAN’s
handling of every crisis be clouded in religious profiling? It is high time we started
to see our leaders as Nigerians and not as belonging to any particular tribe or
faith. Criminals also must be seen from the point of view of their actions and
not necessarily associated with their religion or ethnic group. Herdsmen must therefore
be called herdsmen and not necessarily tied to the aprons of Muslims or
Finally, we charge the Federal Government to flood Southern Kaduna
with security personnel. We welcome the Senate’s decision to probe the Southern
Kaduna crisis. We call on Muslims in Southern Kaduna to remain calm and law
abiding, to refrain from issuing inflammatory statements and to cooperate with
security agents posted to the area. We appeal to CAN and the Catholic
archdiocese of Kafanchan to douse tension among Christians in Southern Kaduna.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
counterparts all over the world, Nigerians will usher in the new year on Sunday
1st January, 2017. Already, Nigerians from all walks of life,
businessmen, politicians, academicians, civil servants, farmers, artisans, etc
are imagining what to expect and what should be in place come 2017.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) does not prophesy. We are
advocates of non-violence, transparency, accountability and good governance.
MURIC wants Nigerians to kill corruption in 2017. We must intensify and prioritise
the war against corruption if we as a people really want to take our destiny in
our own hands. It is the only way to stop the sufferings of Nigerians.
Secondly, Nigerians must come together and speak with one voice regardless of their
political, religious or ethnic backgrounds.
This country has been
robbed silly. Diezani Alison Madueke vanished with $20 billion. Patrick
Akpolobemi helped himself to $12 billion from NIMASA coffers. Sambo Dasuki messed
up $2.1 billion arms fund. N40 billion developed wings and flew into thin air
under former customs boss Abdullahi Dikko. The list is endless.
Instead of condemning these
thieves, some Nigerians started accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of being
motivated by vendetta. Some claimed he was only targeting opposition members.
Strangely enough, they still remained recalcitrant even after members of the
ruling party including a personal friend of the president and a chieftain of
the ruling party were arrested for corruption and dealt with.
We can imagine what the huge amounts stolen by these
shameless kleptomaniacs could have done for the nation. How much do we really
need to equip our health facilities with the most sophisticated machines in
order to stop unnecessary medical trips abroad? How much do we need to turn the
dilapidated death traps which we call roads to macadam standard? Why can’t a Nigerian
university be one of the best 10 in the world? Why couldn’t we beat Ghana to
celebrate 10 years of uninterrupted power supply?
But we are on the right
plane with Buhari as our pilot. His doggedness is yielding positive results.
Change is already surfacing. Nobody ever asked those thieves any question
before Buhari came on board. But now some of them are in jail. Corrupt judges
are not being spared. Some of them have started vomiting what they swallowed.
Jafaru Isa who was
accused of stealing N170 million returned N70m just one week ago. He had
earlier returned N100 million before he was released from custody. That means
he has returned the whole loot. Abdullahi Dikko paid back N1 billion before
bail was allowed. Only those who are blinded by partisanship or ethnic jingoism
will refuse to accept this as the real change.
No Nigerian government
had ever achieved this feat in the past. The Federal Government (FG) also
reported the recovery of huge amounts of cash: N78,325,354,631.82, $185,119,584.61, £3,508,355.46 and €11,
250 between May 29, 2015 and May 25, 2016. Also released were recoveries under
interim forfeiture, which were a combination of cash and assets, during the
same period: N126,563,481,095.43, $9,090,243,920.15, £2,484,447.55 and
Anticipated repatriation from foreign countries totaled:
$321,316,726.1, £6,900,000 and €11,826.11. The non-cash recoveries are –
farmlands, plots of land, uncompleted buildings, completed buildings, vehicles
and maritime vessels. This feat is what Nigerians should be celebrating instead
of holding parties in a state capital to celebrate the release of a thief from
a London prison. Corruption has indeed robbed some Nigerians of their norms and
We must stop sending divisive signals. Muslims are among
these shameless thieves. Christians are among them. We have Northerners there
just as there are Southerners. So why are we deceiving ourselves? A thief is a
thief whether he is a Muslim or a Christian. A thief is a thief whether he is a
Yorubaman or Kanuri. Corruption is faith-blind. Poverty knows no tribe. We are
all victims of the thieves’ greed and avarice. So why should we allow them to
use religion or tribe to blindfold us?
MURIC looks towards a
2017 in which Nigerians appreciate honesty and integrity. We must place
accountability above licenciousness in the coming year. Muslims and Christians
must pull down the barrier of hatred. They must appreciate one another.
For instance, some
Muslims condemn fellow Muslims who wish Christians Merry Christmas. That is one
of the signs of extremism. Muslims should ignore such people among them. We
should boldly and sincerely wish Christians Merry Christmas. MURIC has been
doing this since its establishment in 1994 and we will continue to do so. We
will not allow any distraction in our intellectual jihad. It is the path of love, the path of peace. We
must not listen to extremist Muslims among us who feed fat on spreading hatred.
Christians must also wish Muslims Barka de Salah as usual.
Those who discourage
such goodwill messages are hallucinating agents of Shaytan. They are not ready
to face reality. Christmas and Salah will always come whether anybody likes it
or not. Why don’t they reject the holidays that are declared for such festivals
if indeed they are serious? Why don’t they go to work on that day if anyone
will open the office doors for them? Or why don’t they go to the school on such
holidays if teachers will come to teach them? Those festivals are realities
which can only be ignored by dreamers and the fact that holidays have been
officially declared for them proves that they are real and an integral part of
us as a people.
Finally, MURIC urges
Nigerians to kill corruption. We urge Nigerians to come together. Let us fling
open all doors to welcome fellow citizens of other faiths. Open all the windows
to allow in free air from all faiths and ethnicities. Nigerians must join hands
to claim their rightful destiny. We must defeat the political and ethnic
shenanigans with their divide et impera gimmicks.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
death has been announced of the mother of Prompt News publisher, Mrs. Sariyu
Oyetunji. Mrs. Oyetuniji passed away yesterday, Thursday 29th
December, 2016, around 11 am at her residence in Ologuneru, Ibadan, Oyo State.
She was 72.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) commiserates with Prompt News’ publisher, the
Prompt News staff, the rest of the deceased’s family, her friends and
associates over this irreparable loss.
pray that Almighty Allah will forgive Mrs. Sariyu Oyetunji, repose her soul in
Al-Jannah Firdaus and grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Finally, we charge the publisher
of Prompt News and his team not to allow this sad incident to dissipate the
zeal with which they have been serving Nigerians on the platform of the online
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Nigerian Christians will join their counterparts all over the
world to celebrate Christmas tomorrow, Sunday 25th December, 2016.
The Muslim Rights
Concern (MURIC) wishes Nigerian Christians a peaceful and happy celebration.
As we send our goodwill message, we find it necessary to tell
ourselves some hard truths. While every Nigerian wishes to enjoy the Christmas
holidays in a peaceful and crime-free environment, we must deliberately work
towards creating a conducive atmosphere for peaceful celebration.
In this regard, we
call attention to the terrifying fireworks phenomenon which always characterizes
yuletide and its implications for crime and peaceful celebration of Christmas.
Our observations are devoid of any religious prejudice. They are borne out of
sincere concern for the safety of Nigerians, particularly for a successful and
peaceful Christmas celebration.
Firecrackers often cause real fire outbreaks leading to loss of
lives and properties. They also cause injuries to the users and their
neighbours. Fireworks also aid crime. This is why the Nigerian Police always warns
citizens to avoid using it. Although this warning is always repeated
particularly around yuletide, it has remained unheeded up till now.
We are surprised that churches have remained silent over this
potent threat for a long time. We remind Christian leaders that church-goers
are also possible victims of violent crime. It is therefore high time Christian
clerics showed interest and speak out against the use of fireworks during
yuletide. There is likely to be a change of attitude if churches speak out
against it. This is how religious leaders can help in combating crime in
We all want to enjoy peace in our homes. This can only be
possible if the rate of crime is reduced. But the police cannot fight crime
alone. They need information from citizens. Unfortunately the use of knockouts
For instance, robberies
can be nipped in the bud if neighbours hear the sound of gunshots and call the
police. But this becomes almost impossible in communities where knockouts are
used indiscriminately. This is so because knockouts sound exactly like gunshots
and people mistake real gunshots for knockouts. Therefore nobody will call the
police and criminals get away with their loot. Even policemen on patrol also
find it difficult to distinguish between real gunshots and knockouts. This is
how knockouts militate against quick response by the security agencies.
Armed robbery and kidnapping are the most common and most
devastating crimes in the Nigerian society today. Therefore something should be
done if we can identify the use of knockouts as a social cankerworm which aids
and abets these two deadly crimes in a particular season.
We note with serious concern that both adults and children
indulge in this pastime. Parents even give their children money to purchase
firecrackers. This is not only infantile but runs contrary to all known
principles of loco parentis. We appeal to Nigerian parents to behave
responsibly and to guide their children towards productive habits.
Petty traders are advised to divert their capital to productive
merchandise and desist from trading in goods capable of facilitating armed
robbery, killing, maiming and kidnapping. The next victim may be members of the
The security agencies should also be more proactive by fishing
out distributors and sellers of fireworks and prosecuting them. This will act
as deterrent for others.
While this may be seen as tackling the symptoms and not the disease,
we need to go to the root of the matter. Where do the fireworks products come
from? Who manufactures them? How do they enter this country? This is where our
customs men at the nation’s sea ports and land boarders must come in. Bundles
of fireworks which are later sold on the streets do not descend from the sky.
They remain illegal goods and should not be allowed to come in through our
The Federal Government has a role to play here because the buck
stops at its table. Somebody must pay and must really be seen to have paid for
any laxity on this matter. It is about the life of Nigerians and it should be
taken seriously. Heads must roll at the customs if banned products still find
their way into the country.
On a final note,
we call for more cordial relationship between Christians and Muslims in
Nigeria. Religion without love is sheer cultism. We must learn to peacefully
coexist, to love, to tolerate and to forgive one another.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)