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'
APOLOGY FOR DISSOLVING GOVERNING COUNCILS: A STRONG TRAIT OF DEMOCRACY
Buhari (PMB) last week apologized for dissolving the governing councils of some
universities. The dissolution which occurred about two months ago was
criticized by many on the basis of illegality as the tenure of some of the
councils had not expired.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) lauds PMB’s
decision to eat the humble pie. It is a strong indication that the new
administration is determined to tow the path of democracy.
This apology is
quite significant as cynics had insisted during the 2015 presidential campaign
that PMB planned to return with the same military dictatorship that he was
known when he served as military head of state between 1983 and 1985. PMB has
proved critics wrong with this apology.
MURIC urges all government officials at Federal,
state and local government levels to emulate this democratic feature in PMB’s
administration. Impunity and arrogance in matters of public concern ignite
tension among citizens and stoke the fires of rebellion whereas humility and
transparency repose confidence in government and encourage the people to
support government’s policies.
The Glorious Qur’an
warns against insolence, “Swell not thy cheek at the people. Nor walk
arrogantly on earth; for Allah does not love the arrogant boaster. Be moderate
in your pace, lower your voice; for certainly the harshest sound is the braying
of the ass” (Qur’an 31:18 – 19)
This advocacy for
humility in office can benefit Nigerians from all walks of life: from directors
of agencies to school administrators; from directors in ministries to heads of
departments; from large scale entrepreneurs to small scale company directors;
from the ordinary class teacher to the university lecturer and from the artisan
to the husband at home.
We must all learn
to be humble. We must know when to say ‘sorry’. Humility in the leadership is
an essential ingredient for smooth administration, industrial harmony and higher
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Nigerian Christians are currently celebrating Easter with their
counterparts throughout the world. This year’s Easter festival began yesterday,
Friday 25th March 2016 and will end on Monday 28th March,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) felicitates with Nigerian Christians on this
We charge our Christian neighbours to spend the period in sober reflections
on the current situation in the country. Nigeria, a nation blessed with
abundant human and material resources, the numero
uno producer of crude oil in Africa, cannot supply enough for its citizens.
Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa (about 180 million people)
with vast arable land, cannot feed its population. Nigeria, the ‘giant’ of
Africa and a country that has helped other nations in Africa to quell disturbances,
is today ravaged by a 5-year insurgency which has claimed thousands of lives
while smaller and weaker countries now rally to save it from going under.
many Nigerian politicians are committed to a culture of waste and a dogma of
ego. Only a few are altruistic. How else can we explain a single politician who
has 170 aides; a top military officer who stores $1 million in a septic tank in
his home; another who fraudulently collects N554 million monthly while $2.1
billion meant for purchase of arms to fight insurgency is shared among
These are issues we must reflect on. We must seek to build this country.
We must not destroy it. Religious leaders must preach love. We must be models
in tolerance and forgiveness. We must eschew hate speeches and all acts capable
of inciting our followers. We must avoid extravagant and flamboyant life in
order to teach our followers simplicity and the need to avoid greed and
avarice. These are the things we must do to get out of the doldrums.
Look at where the greed of a ‘tiny cabal’ has led this country. Nigeria, a
nation that became independent 56 years ago is still crawling like a 2-year old
baby. There is darkness in the land, stomachs are empty and the youths are
roaming around the cities.
4,500 pregnant women die in pregnancy yearly in this country. 52,000 Nigerian
women die in childbirth annually. 11 million Nigerians are malnourished. 55
million Nigerians lack access to education. Nigerian roads are a collective
apology. Nigeria is the 26th poorest and 20th hungriest
nation in the world.
Unfortunately, just at the time we found a forthright leader, the economy
was hit by an unprecedented downturn and oil, the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy
which used to sell at $93.61 per barrel, crashed to less than $28!
all hope is not lost. Stolen funds are being recovered. Hitherto sacred cows
are being made to vomit their loot. Transparency, probity and accountability
are on the front burner once again. The price of oil has started rising and
governments at both federal and state levels are tightening their belts. There
is cause to believe that Nigeria will rise again.
therefore calls on Nigerians to be patient with the present administration. The
essence of Easter is patience, fortitude and tolerance and these are the
expected take-aways from Easter.
Finally, we invite Nigerians to compare President Muhammadu Buhari’s
impeccable character, his frugality and his unbeatable pedigree to the greed, recklessness
and selfishness of past leaders. Whereas a past leader insisted that stealing
is not corruption and that there was nothing wrong if a goat eats yam, Buhari
has zero tolerance for stealing. This is the barometer we should use when
taking our decision. Let us all imbibe the lessons of Easter, namely, patience,
fortitude and tolerance.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
The Christian Elders Forum, an arm of the Christian Association of Nigeria
(CAN) yesterday at a press conference alleged that the Federal Government (FG)
was planning to impose Shari’ah law on every state of the federation. The Forum
based its allegation mainly on recent reports that Nigeria had joined the
32-nation Saudi-led Islamic military coalition.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) strongly rejects this allegation.It is baseless, unfounded and mischievous.
The Christian Elders Forum and CAN are merely heating up the polity and crying
wolf where there is none.
We remind Nigerians that MURIC had raised objection to Nigeria’s
membership of the Islamic military coalition even before it was announced.
Although we have not shifted our position in principle, we now have a clearer
understanding of the picture after FG explained its raison d’etre. We are not unaware that blind opposition to issues
even after new facts have surfaced is a mark of fanaticism
had made it clear that there is nothing religious about the coalition and that
the motive is purely security concern. As a nation battling terrorism,
Nigeria stands to benefit more from being a member of a coalition created for
the sole purpose of fighting terrorism than remaining outside it.
We do not have to be soldiers or trained for security considerations to
understand the implications of joining the coalition. By being a member,
Nigeria does not need to contribute its military personnel to fight anywhere.
But the country stands to gain a lot from sharing information with other
members of the coalition and enjoying their cooperation in the area of
For instance, Nigeria can successfully put pressure on Saudi Arabia to
repatriate a Boko Haram suspect who attempts to hibernate in that country if we
are part of the coalition whereas we may not be able to do so if vice versa.
How time has changed! There was a time CAN was accusing Muslim leaders
that they were not doing enough to fight Boko Haram. Muslim leaders responded
that only a properly constituted authority like the FG could fight insurgents.
Why is the same CAN spitting fire when FG has taken steps to cut the wings of
Boko Haram by taking the battle to an international level? Is CAN being
What could Muslim leaders have used to fight Boko Haram? Any attempt by
them to form an all-Muslim resistance group would have ended in a disaster. The
same CAN would have accused them of planning to use the group to attack
churches and Christian leaders. The security agencies also would have had to
descend on the new Muslim group in the ensuing confusion and the latter would
have been branded ‘second insurgent group’. Pandemonium would have reigned
supreme and the country would have gone asunder.
salutes the Nigerian Muslim leadership for remaining level-headed and quietly
taking all the vituperations from CAN leadership at the time.CAN accused Muslim leaders of sponsoring
Boko Haram. It also threatened reprisals. Yet it was glaring that Boko Haram
was attacking both Christian and Muslim targets and, to date, the insurgents
have killed more Islamic scholars and ordinary Muslims than Christian clerics
We call on CAN to stop heating the polity. Those who occupy the house of
God should not play the role of agent
provocateur. The umbrella body should join hands with the FG to create an
enabling environment for religious understanding and peaceful coexistence. We
urge Nigerian Muslims to remain calm, law-abiding and to ignore CAN’s
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
The 2016 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) of the Joint
Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) which ended last week was greeted
with a tornado of criticisms. The marks scored by thousands of candidates were
too low and many of them disowned the results.
Of the 1,546,633 candidates who sat for the 2016 UTME, 145,704 had issues
of multiple results. A good example is that of a 17-year-old girl in Ejigbo, Lagos State, who
scored 156 in the first result but got 196 in another result that was later
issued. This is an incontrovertible proof of JAMB’s inconsistency, ineptitude
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
therefore declares the 2016 UTME exercise as a colossal fiasco, a monumental
scandal and a national embarrassment.
In particular, we denounce
the timing of examinations as candidates were forced to start in examination
centers from 6.30 am in compliance with JAMB time table.This arbitrary timing is also responsible for the
absence of a whopping 23,577 candidates on the day of the examination.
In a country where power
supply is epileptic and security of lives and properties cannot be guaranteed,
this is strange, shocking, callous, insensitive and irrational. The
examination body unnecessarily exposed our young ones and our future leaders to
danger. Some candidates allegedly lost
their belongings when they were attacked by hoodlums on their way to the
While we commend JAMB for the
quick release of results, we affirm that this was the examination body’s only
achievement this year. The exercise was an abysmal failure in every other area.
The fact that the House of Representatives has already condemned the exercise
reveals the grave and nationwide concern it has generated.
rescheduling of examination for 59,000 candidates in 15 states, which the board
announced yesterday, is an admission of its gross inefficiency. The board said
it relocated 59,000 candidates in 15 states because of problems in some of the
centres. This excuse does not hold any water. Neither can it extenuate JAMB’s
culpability in the fiasco.
We are constrained to reject the exclusion of those who were absent on the
day of the examination from the rescheduled seating. We contend that JAMB caused
the ‘absence’ of such a large number of candidates due to its arbitrary timingas it made it very difficult for candidates to reach the center at such an
unholy hour. Also, some parents and wards were likely to have restrained their children
from leaving their homes at that dangerous time.
addition, it has come to our knowledge that many hijab-wearing female Muslim
candidates were either turned back at the examination centers or forced to remove
their hijab before being allowed to enter.
We opine that even those allowed into the examination halls after being so
harassed had been made to lose their orientation. Thus they were not in the
right frame of mind to take an examination. Non-Muslim religious extremists
usually do this to female Muslims to give adherents of their own faith an
advantage over Muslims in the area of education.
For example, a religiously fanatical policewoman on official duty
forcefully removed the hijab from the head of a 16-year old Muslim girl at the
JAMB examination center located at the Ogun State Institute of Technology, Igbesa,
Ogun State, flung the hijab on the dirty floor and warned her not to dare pick
it up! How could the little girl perform well in the examination after such an
This barbaric attack on an innocent girl occurred during the examination
slated for 6.30 am on Saturday, 12th March, 2016. The poor girl had
travelled all the way from her home in Festac, Lagos, the previous day, slept somewhere
in Igbesa (more than fifty kilometers from home), only to be intimidated by a
bully policewoman who should also be a mother of some kids somewhere. It is
didactic that the JAMB result of the poor girl (an hitherto brilliant student)
came out woeful as she scored below 200.
JAMB’s poor conduct of this
year’s examination has also sparked off demonstrations in Lagos as thousands of
candidates who sat for the exercise converged on the Lagos State House of
Assembly four days ago (Tuesday 15th March, 2016).
It has never been this bad and since
the whole exercise exemplifies an aptitude test for JAMB itself, the national
examination body can only be said, in all fairness, to have scored F9.
Going down history lane, we recall the decision of Nigerian
universities to start conducting their own independent post-JAMB examinations.
This decition was informed by public loss of confidence in the UTME exercise, JAMB’s
inadequacies, its flawed examination policies, alleged corrupt practices among
both its permanent and ad hoc staff and
its arbitrary award of marks. JAMB’s word had become law until the universities
decided to cut its wings. The rest is history today.
that JAMB is amenable to correction. This is March and there is still time for the examination
board to make amends before the demonstrations spread and before activists
start getting the idea to #OccupyJAMB. Nigerian legislators are also waiting in
the wings to put the final nail in JAMB’s coffin.
Cancelling the last exercise will certainly come with heavy
financial implication. The examination body may not be able to afford this. We
therefore suggest as follows:
1.JAMB should consider giving extra 25
points each to all candidates across the board in view of the fact that undermarking
is the major flaw in the last exercise.
2.Future examinations conducted by
JAMB should take the safety of candidates into consideration by starting around
9 am at the earliest.
3.Candidates should be given the
option of taking computer-based or written tests using paper and pen.
4.Ad-hoc staff must be properly
briefed and must not stop religious profiling of hijab-wearing female Muslim
5.JAMB results should be valid for
6.The examination body should coopt
security experts to its planning committees when preparing for examinations.
In view of the abysmal failure of this year’s UTME, we urge
universities within the country to lower their cut-off points and rely more on
their internally conducted post-JAMB examinations for admitting students into
their various programmes.
In the event of JAMB turning deaf ears to this public
outcry, we appeal to the Ministry of Education to wade into the matter, scrap
the examination body and allow individual universities to admit students based
on internally conducted entrance examinations, interviews, West African
Examination Council (WAEC), General Certificate of Education (GCE) and other
Finally, we charge the Inspector General of
Police to investigate, fish out and punish the erring policewoman who
maltreated the hijab-wearing female Muslim candidate at Igbesa. This should not
be too difficult as the time and place of occurrence can be used to identify
the police team which was on duty at that point in time. The oppressed female
candidate has further described the policewoman who attacked her as tall, huge
and dark in complexion.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)