MURIC debunks Apostolic Akinyemi’s claim, considers Akintola as champion of justice
The Chairman of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Taraba State branch, Professor Mustapha Baba Ibbi, has debunked statement accredited to Dr. Bolaji Akinyemi of the Christian Apostolic group, referring director of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Professor Ishaq Akintola and members of his group as ‘imaginary followers.’
The chairman said the group is miffed that someone who holds a doctorate degree will join dreamers who dismiss human rights organisation like MURIC, to make such utterances.
In a statement made available to The Guardian, the Taraba State branch chairman of the group said it is very clear that oppressors of Muslims are feeling the heat of MURIC’s advocacy.
He said: “Our interventions are hitting them hard like solid rock thrown at their faces. They are feeling the heat and think the only way to stop us is by hitting below the belt. Blackmail has always been the weapon of falsehood, but it will not work with MURIC. Our skin is thick,” the statement noted.
According to the statement, Bolaji Akinyemi and his co-travellers have occupied the space for so long, doing whatever they like, including intimidating, coercing and insulting Muslim leaders and their followers at will.
The statement reads in part: “Our director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, is now being painted in bad colours by them. They call him all sorts of names: fundamentalist, terrorist, fanatic, extremist, bigot, among others. They accuse him of inciting Muslims in Taraba State, the South West and, indeed, the whole of Nigeria just because he speaks for Nigerian Muslims. It is an open secret that oppressors always hate those who try to liberate the oppressed.
“In particular, Nigerian Christians who are subjecting Muslims to political marginalisation and socio-economic suppression always call those who try to stop them unprintable names. They are also known to hypocritically call on the security agencies to arrest anyone who tries to defend their unfortunate victims. Fortunately, the security agencies are not fools. They know the difference between advocacy and violent acts.”
Saying the motto of the group to show that MURIC is a non-violence one’, Prof. Ibbi disclosed that MURIC, which has been in existence since 1994 is in the forefront of advocacy.
“For example, we in Taraba State are surprised that false analysts can be so bigoted and biased as to go on television to accuse Akintola of inciting violence in our state (Taraba) when in actual fact the man used his MURIC to cry out against tyranny, marginalisation and oppression against Taraba Muslims.”
The statement added that those who label Akintola as a terrorist did not see him as champion of justice and the symbol of Muslim resistance to Christian tyranny in Nigeria today. They said: “We Muslims see him as the voice of the voiceless and the hope for the hopeless. What is the crime of a man who asks for the restoration of the fundamental human rights of Muslims in Taraba State? What is wrong if a man condemns those who lock out innocent female Muslim students in the South West for wearing a harmless scarf called hijab?”
The statement stated further, “Nigeria is a society of double standard. A Muslim is labelled a bigot and an extremist when he demands for the fundamental human rights of his fellow Muslims. But when a Christian goes on social media and asks Christians to vote out Muslims in power he is termed a human rights activist.
“A Christian governor is free to declare his state a Christian state contrary to what the constitution stipulates, but woe betide a Muslim governor who attempts to practice Shariah or introduce Islamic banking even though the Constitution allows it. All hell will break loose and media hype will worsen the situation.”
Professor Ibbi said his group is not surprised that Akinyemi has turned a staged drama to real life episode, disclosing that both the lady in hijab and the man who offered her N20, 000 are members of a drama group, noting that they have traced the dramatis personae behind the drama and they have tendered apologies.
Ibbi described the stage drama as a mischief, saying honest Nigerians know materialist religionists, those who preach prosperity, clerics who cruise around in Lambogini and the latest cars and most importantly those who fly in private jets.
He challenged Akinyemi to mention one Islamic scholar among materialist religionists, saying Muslim women who wear hijab do not behave like the lady in the video clip. Saying Muslim women are enveloped in air of self-satisfaction and chaste, he queried the degree of blind hatred and make-belief that could have led Akinyemi to refer members of MURIC as ‘imaginary followers.’
Describing Bolaji as joker of the century, the Taraba State branch chairman said MURIC and its members are real, adding that it has branches in all the states. He said: “Is it because Professor Akintola is the only one who signs our statements that made you to think MURIC is a one-man show? Can we say that the Apostolic group is imaginary because he is the only one speaking? Can we say your Apostolic group is also a one-man show? How many of you are speaking for the Apostolic?
“Two of the states where MURIC has branches are headed by professors (Taraba: Professor Mustapha Abba Ibbi and Zamfara: Professor Ahmad Galadima), while six are headed by holders of doctorate degrees (Oyo: Dr. Nurudeen Oloso; Osun: Dr. Abdul Azeez Ademokoya; Ekiti: Dr. Kamaldeen Sulaiman; Gombe: Dr. Garba Abubakar Bajoga; Kebbi: Dr. Salihu Ibrahim Kwaifa; and Niger: Dr. Mukaila El-Hussain).
Ibbi urged the Apostolic Church to call Bolaji Akinyemi to order, saying the first generation churches have never been known to be militant in their approach and that Akinyemi should not be allowed to drag the name of the church in the mud with his belligerent attitude.