Connect with us

BIG STORY

‘Christians Enjoy More Holidays In Nigeria Than Muslims’ —- MURIC Sends Fresh Demands To Buhari

Gbemileke Ajayi

Published

on

As Nigerian Christians join their counterparts throughout the world to celebrate the New Year on Wednesday, 1st January 2020, the Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has alleged lopsidedness, partiality and persecution of Muslims in the manner the Nigerian government dishes out its holidays.

Rising from an emergency meeting where it deliberated on the latest allegation of persecution by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), MURIC insisted that the last public holiday, which was declared by the Federal Government on 1st January 2020, has exposed CAN as a body which enjoys shedding crocodile tears.

MURIC’s stand was contained in a press statement released on Friday, signed by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

MURIC said in the statement, “CAN claims it is being persecuted but fails to substantiate its allegation in concrete terms. However, the last holiday of Wednesday, 1st January 2020 which is an annual event has exposed CAN. Nigerian Christians enjoy the New Year holiday on the 1st of January every year even without asking for it because that was the arrangement made by the British colonial master. But CAN still claims ‘persecution’ even though it is placed at an advantaged position.

“Nigerian Christians have 1st January to enjoy their first day of the year. Nobody can deny that this happened two days ago. But when the Muslims’ first day of the year comes (1st Muharram), there will be no holiday. When will CAN put itself in the Muslims’ shoes? Or rather when, indeed, will the Nigerian government give the Muslims what the colonial master denied them but gave the Christians? When will the Muslims get justice in this country? Here is a persecution of Muslims that even CAN cannot deny. It happened just two days ago and we all saw it? Or is the granting of a holiday for a Christian occasion and the denial of the same to Muslims another form of persecution of CAN?

“Christians have five out of the eight holidays enjoyed by Nigerians. Muslims have three only. Yet CAN claims persecution. Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year Day, Easter Monday and Good Friday are all for Christians. We dare CAN to deny it. Are these not concrete privileges enjoyed by Christians? Are the five holidays we mention here mere fallacies? Muslims only have three, namely, Id al-Kabir, Id al-Fitr and Maulud an-Nabiyy. Is there any mathematical inexactitude in our calculation? Should CAN be complaining at all with this kind of setting?

“We make bold to say that CAN knows what it is doing. The Christian body knows that it has an edge over the Muslims as it enjoys everything it needs and even more. CAN knows that it is the Muslims who are denied certain fundamental human rights but it is determined to maintain the status quo. The modus operandi adopted by CAN to ensure that Muslims never get their rights is to perpetually cry out with claims of persecution and also to oppose every attempt to give Muslims their rights.

“This game played itself out when Shariah was introduced in some Northern states from 1979 onwards. They claimed it was an attempt to Islamise Nigeria. Shariah was introduced and nobody changed the country’s nomenclature to the ‘Islamic Republic of Nigeria’. CAN did the same thing when Islamic banking was about to be introduced. Cries of Islamisation rented the air. Islamic banking arrived but we are yet to see how it has Islamised anyone. This was repeated on the issue of Sukuk (Islamic bonds) and both Christians and Muslims are benefiting from the Islamic Sukuk today.

“MURIC will not be deterred from pursuing Islamic liberation theology to a logical conclusion in Nigeria. We assert clearly, categorically and unequivocally that Muslims are in bondage in this country. Why should one group get all the honey in the land while the other is ignored? We demand equal rights and justice. We demand parity, particularly on the issue of holidays. Christian 1st January is just 24 hours and the Muslim 1st Muharram is no less. Why should the Federal Government recognize one and deny the other?

“Just two days ago, we joined other Nigerians in sending goodwill messages to our Christian neighbours. Governments at federal and state levels felicitated with Nigerians on that occasion. Parastatals and important dignitaries also congratulated Nigerians. MURIC also issued a statement greeting Christians in Nigeria. We do this every year despite the fact that our own 1st Muharram is not recognized. But nobody will remember Muslims on 1st Muharram. Is this fair?

“‘When beggars die, there are no comets seen. The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes…’ William Shakespeare was right when he put those words on the lips of Calpunia, the wife of Julius Caeser as she begged her husband not to venture out on the ides of March. Isn’t this very germane to the issue on ground? The drums are rolled out by the government on 1st January. But they are conspiratorially silent on 1st Muharram. Is this justice? Are we really working for enduring peace in this country? What have the Muslims done to deserve this treatment?

“It is important to note that even the three holidays enjoyed by Muslims were reluctantly given after several years of post-independence. There were no holidays for Islamic festivals in colonial days. It was that bad.

“To add salt to injury, the Federal Government has never responded in spite of a deluge of petitions received from Muslims. MURIC has been demanding the 1st Muharram holiday since its formation in 1994 (26 years). It is highly provocative. It is a dereliction of duty on the part of the government. A father who gives preferential treatment to its children is not uniting the family. Is government waiting until the demand snowballs into another struggle? MURIC will not partake in that. But what does it cost the government to take a bold stand on this matter? It is not about the Buhari government per se. Successive administrations have failed to address the issue.

“Already, some state governments have recognized 1st Muharram, mostly from the North. Osun under Rauf Aregbesola (current Minister of Internal Affairs) and Oyo under Isiaka Ajimobi also did and heaven did not fall. So what stops the Federal Government from taking the cue? By the way, Muslims in those two states of the South West have written the names of those two former governors in letters of gold.

“The question now is: how does President Muhammadu Buhari want to be remembered by Nigerian Muslims? Can the declaration of 1st Muharram as a public holiday be a drift towards Islamisation? Predictably, yes, particularly by CAN. But we can take the wind out of their sail by placing 1st January and 1st Muharram parri passu. The public no longer takes CAN serious anyway.

“MURIC wishes to put the Federal Government on notice. The next 1st Muharram will fall on Thursday, 20th August 2020. The government has a whole eight months to plan and prepare its mind. It also has an extra three days in the third week in August to declare Thursday a holiday in recognition of 1st Muharram. To be or not to be? That is the question. MURIC does not issue an ultimatum. Neither is a threat in our character. We are a dialogue-loving body. But the government’s body language will tell Nigerian Muslims what to do and whoever thinks the Muslims of Nigeria are still the same as they were five years ago will be making a gross miscalculation.

“As we sign out, we remind the Federal Government that it is high time it listened to the Muslims’ demand for the declaration of 1st Muharram as a public holiday in parity with 1st January public holiday. CAN has no moral right to claim persecution as Nigerian Christians enjoy five holidays while their Muslim counterparts have three only. FG should promote unity and patriotism by treating all equally. Neither should the government allow one group to lord it over the other.”

BIG STORY

Man Dies After Taking Sex Enhancement Drugs To Satisfy Lady In Onitsha Hotel

Gbemileke Ajayi

Published

on

Barely two weeks after a married man was found dead in Lagos, while lodging with a prostitute; another middle-aged man, Paul Okwudili, was confirmed dead Monday morning, after having sex with a lady in Onitsha, Anambra State.

According to a statement by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Anambra Command, SP Haruna Mohammed, Mr. Okwudili’s cause of death may not be unconnected to an overdose of sex enhancement drugs taken to satisfy the lady.

The statement reads in part: “On the 24/2/2020, at about 0:3am, the manager of Plus View hotel in Onitsha reported at Central Police Station, Onitsha that one Paul Okwudili ‘m’ aged about 40years of Ogboliolosi, off Awka Road, Inland town, Onitsha, allegedly took a lady to the hotel and lodged.

“Minutes later, the lady came out shouting for help and the hotel management who went to the room and discovered the man gasping for breath took him to St Charles Boromeo hospital Onitsha for medical attention where the victim was later confirmed dead by a medical doctor on duty.

“Meanwhile, the scene was visited by Police detectives attached to CPS Onitsha and photograph of the victim obtained. No marks of violence on the deceased body but some drugs were discovered in the hotel room reasonably suspected to be enhancement drugs”.

The Police spokesman said, the corpse has been deposited at the hospital mortuary for autopsy, while the lady was arrested for further investigation to ascertain circumstances surrounding the incident.

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

North Has No Justification To Remain In Power, Presidency Should Go To The South After Buhari —- El-Rufai

Avatar

Published

on

The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has insisted that the North has no justification to remain in power after the expiration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second tenure.

El-Rufai maintained that the Presidency should rightly return to the Southern part of Nigeria.

He said though the constitution of the All Progressives Congress, APC, does not make provision for rotation but in the interest of justice, equity, and fair play, Presidency should go to other regions of the country.

Vanguard quoted him as saying: “The general political consensus in Nigeria is that the Presidency should rotate between the North and the South. It is not written but everyone understands it.

“In some of the parties, like the PDP, it is even written down in their constitution but it was breached in 2015. I think that every politician of honour should understand and abide by that consensus except there is an extenuating circumstance compelling it to be set aside. What could this be?

“President Yar’Adua died in office and it was compulsory for Jonathan to continue but when 2011 election came, there were many people who insisted that Jonathan should step aside for a northerner to complete the tenure of Yar’Adua but I opposed it because I didn’t think it was proper for an incumbent that got there not by his own design should be stopped from contesting when the constitution has not barred him from running.

“In the APC, we deliberately omitted rotational Presidency in our constitution and the emergence of a presidential candidate does not take into account zoning and that was why in 2015, Rochas Okorocha from the East contested, Sam Nda-Isaiah contested, Buhari, Kwankwaso and others contested.”

El-Rufai a chieftain of APC, added that presidential candidates are chosen on the basis of merit and general acceptance.

“I can say that as distinct from the PDP, APC has no rotational Presidency but candidates are selected strictly on the basis of political merit and the general acceptability of the candidate.

“I want to say that those of us from Northern Nigeria honour agreements. We do not violate unwritten political agreements and I will be the last person to lead in violating that agreement. I may have a personal view but that should be the basis. I don’t care where you come from but I look for merit.

“But as a group, the Northern APC will have to sit down and endorse someone, most likely someone from the South, because after eight years of Buhari, I don’t think the Presidency should remain in the north unless there is some extenuating circumstances. But all things being equal, we will honour our agreement and we keep our words,” he said.

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

Woman, 3 Others Jailed 160 Years Over Fake Naira Notes

Avatar

Published

on

A woman, Hadiza Bello, and three other accomplices have been sentenced to 160 years in prison by a Federal High Court, sitting in Yola, Adamawa State, for dealing in fake naira notes.

The convicts were dragged before the court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission after they were caught at a checkpoint along Girei-Yola Road.

A statement from the ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said five suspects — Hadiza, Mohammed Dauda, Bello Salisu, Ali Adamu and Hassan Bello, were involved in a deal to exchange the sum of N5m counterfeit notes for N1m real notes, adding that Hassan, a native doctor, could not be sentenced because of his death before conviction.

The statement said, “A Federal High Court sitting in Yola, Adamawa State, has sentenced four persons, including a woman, to 160 years’ imprisonment on a multiple-count charge of conspiracy and possession of counterfeit banknotes.

“Justice Abdulazeez Anka, who handed down the sentences to the convicts in the case brought by the ICPC, ruled that they would spend 10 years in prison on each of the four counts preferred against them.

“Three of the convicts, Hadiza Bello, Mohammed Dauda and Bello Salisu, had in March 2017, left Kaduna and were joined by the fourth convict, Ali Adamu, from Kano, to meet a native doctor, Hassan Bello, who was a counterfeiter at Wamdeo Uba, Borno State, with the intention to procure about N5m counterfeit banknotes to exchange for about N1m genuine banknotes from a customs officer.

“The deal with the customs officer did not go through for undisclosed reasons. However, as they made their way back, they were caught at a checkpoint on Girei-Yola Road, with counterfeit N1000 banknotes to the value of N5, 504,000 by soldiers on duty and subsequently handed over to the ICPC.”

The anti-graft body said an investigation launched by its officers led to the residence of the native doctor at Wamdeo Uba, where he was arrested.

“A search conducted on the premises revealed more counterfeit N1000 bank notes reading the same serial number to the value of N26,000.

“At the conclusion of investigations, except for Bello Salisu, who was charged with abetment to commit an offense of possession of counterfeit banknotes, the other four suspects, including the native doctor counterfeiter, were arraigned on four counts of being in possession of counterfeit banknotes, which is an offense contrary to sections 5(1) (b) and 6(2) (b), and punishable under Section 5(1) (c) of the Counterfeit Currency (Special Provisions) Act, cap. C35, LFN 2004,” the statement added.

In his ruling, Justice Anka found the accused persons guilty on each of the four counts and sentenced them to cumulative 40 years’ imprisonment each, although the sentences would run concurrently.

Continue Reading

Most Popular