Muslim groups condemn threat to life of MURIC director Akintola
Concerned Muslims groups have bemoan the recent threat to life of the Director, Muslims Rights Concern (MURIC), Dr. Ishaq Akintola, urging the Federal Government to investigate the matter and sanction the official accordingly. A Deputy registrar in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Henry S. A. Osidehinde allegedly issued a threat against Akintola during a WAEC seminar for teachers held at the council’s headquarters in Ogba, Ikeja, on Thursday, 14th March, 2019.
The audio, which has gone viral on social media sparked concerns on the safety of the Muslims activist.Amir (President), The Muslim Congress, Lukman AbdurRaheem, in a chart with The Guardian, said: “Its very unfortunate for a public official to make that particular statement. Public servants are people who work for the society and when we feel that our interest is not being well represented, we have right to complain. Besides, the person who is making the threat is just a public officer acting on behalf of government agency (WAEC). We are the consumers, if we feel that we have been shortchanged we have right to complain and that is the standard everywhere. It is his responsibility to note our complain, investigate and feed us back, not to threaten us.
“If a public officer threatens members of the public, it shows that the officer is not truly a public servant. He should be queried by government and publicly handed over to the necessary disciplinary committee. And if he is found to be culpable of whatever allegation, then the sanctions recommended in the public service rules should be meted out to him,” AbdurRaheem stated.
Executive Chairman, Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC), Disu Kamor said: “This is not just a reckless and unguarded statement uttered in the heat of the moment. It’s a deliberate and frenzied attack on a citizen that was fully justified in his demand. It is also an open threat and potentially, a coded call for the esteemed professor to be ‘disappeared’.” He further call for probe of the officer. “The WAEC official should be interrogated on how law-abiding citizens can ‘disappear without trace’. The mindset that produced such a threat should be dismantled and repaired. It is as abhorrent as it is condemnable.”
The WAEC official allegedly said: “Even in Nigeria we are becoming over-religious. We are becoming more holier (sic) than Pope and more holier (sic) than the man in Saudi Arabia, that someone like Professor Ishaq Akintola will now be going to schools and disrupting places because of free time. We need to stop this.
“I mention this because it is getting too much and I expect the Lagos State Government to take proper action against Professor Ishaq Akintola. He went to a school and disrupted the registration exercise there. I have the video here. No, you don’t threaten an institution that belongs to the government.
“The government can take anybody out and you may not see the person again and nothing will happen. Nothing. Not that they will kill the person. They will just take that person out of circulation and keep him somewhere”.
However, MURIC, in a statement jointly signed by its General Secretary, Alhaji Yakeen Williams, and the Public Relations Officer, Shafiu Ayorinde, expressed shock at the threat issued by the WAEC official.
The group said: “This is nauseating. A Christian reverend holding a high post in such a sensitive institution nurses such pernicious ideas against a fellow human being? Where is his Christlikeness? It is sad that there are many like him in the civil service.“This Muslim-hater forgot that we are in an IT world. Things have changed. Hardly can you say anything nowadays and get away with it. There are records everywhere today. Even walls now have ears. We are waiting for him to deny it. We have the audio clip. Just let him try to deny it.
“We cannot take Osidehinde’s threat against our Director lightly. It is outrageous. How can a whole deputy registrar in WAEC office talk like that? He has simply proved that he is a Christian fanatic. How can you wish a fellow Nigerian should disappear permanently? He must explain all these to the authorities.
“The deputy registrar complained that Akintola was threatening an institution (i.e. WAEC) that belongs to the government. But we will like to ask the reverend/deputy registrar if it is right to use an institution that belongs to government to persecute Muslims,” it stated.MURIC denied the claim made by Osidehinde in the audio that Akintola or MURIC threatened WAEC.
It therefore charged the Inspector-General of Police to take necessary steps capable of ensuring Akintola’s safety. It also called on WAEC to immediately institute investigations into the matter.