*say Akintola is not a trouble-maker
By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Fifteen Muslim groups under the aegis of Alliance for the Protection of Yoruba Muslims (APYM) have declared total support for the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), vowing not to allow any enemy of Islam hurt Professor Ishaq Akintola, MURIC’s Director.
They expressed this in a statement they jointly signed and made available on Monday March 9, 2020.
“Our attention has been drawn to a press statement which was published on 29th January, 2020 and credited to a self-styled National Coordinator of a faceless Coalition of Progressive Yoruba Islamic Groups in which one Mukhtar described our brother, Prof. Ishaq Akintola as “an extremist and a sadist”
“We are abashed by the gargantuan ignorance of Mukhtar Okunade who was not only beclouded by ethnic sentimentality but also writing a script for some faceless groups in defaming the character and personality of a renowned Professor of Islamic Studies.
“We categorically disown this statement. We know Akintola as an erudite Islamic scholar, Professor of Islamic Studies, a human rights activist and Director of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC). We call the attention of Nigerians to the anomalies in the statement issued by the fake coalition.
“Firstly, only one person issued the statement because the name of only one person was mentioned (one faceless and unknown Mukhtar Okunade). How can only one person write for a coalition of organisations? Who are the other Muslims in the group and which Islamic organisations are in the coalition? We contend that even the so called ‘Mukhtar Okunade’ may not exist. If he really exists, we challenge him to walk into the secretariat of the Muslim Ummah of South Western Nigeria (MUSWEN) and simply introduce himself.
“Secondly, although the writer claimed he was writing on behalf of the so called Coalition of Progressive Yoruba Islamic Groups, he failed to mention the names of the Islamic groups who formed the ‘coalition’. He could not even mention a single Islamic organization in the coalition.
“This is very strange and it raises serious doubts about the genuineness of the allegations made against Professor Akintola. To that extent, therefore, the ‘coalition’ is a fraud used by fraudsters to attack and discredit a reputable international scholar and a social crusader of the caliber of Professor Ishaq Akintola.
“If this fake ‘coalition’ has no members and they cannot come out in the open to mention the Islamic organisations that form the group, we hereby mention the names of Islamic organisations that are in our own Alliance for the Protection of Yoruba Muslims (APYM).
“Our alliance includes the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations (NACOMYO), Federation of Muslim Women Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN), Muslim Students Sociaty of Nigeria (MSSN), The Muslim Congress (TMC), Muslims in National Development (MIND), Muslim Public Affairs Center (MPAC), Markaz al-Dawah, Risalatul Haq Dawah Society International, Association of Muslim Crosscheckers of Nigeria, Jama’at Taawunil Muslimeen, Federation of Ahlu Sunna of Nigeria, etc.
“We are fifteen (15) different Islamic organisations and we are all well known in South West Nigeria. Also, we are all Yoruba indigenes. In addition, the names of the leaders of all the fifteen organisations are mentioned below as signatories to this press statement.
“The difference will be very clear if this statement of ours is compared to the one issued by the fake coalition which attacked Professor Akintola. Fifteen credible and well-known Muslim leaders signed this statement whereas only one name is mentioned in the statement of the fake coalition.
“Again, the names of the fifteen Islamic organisations that formed this alliance are mentioned here whereas the names of the Islamic organisations who formed the fake anti-Akintola coalition were not mentioned. Who is lying then? Who is engaging in fraud?
“We stand in solidarity with MURIC and its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola. We are also aware of threats to assassinate Professor Akintola. We are not violent people but we will ensure that anybody who attacks Akintola faces the full wrath of the law because we are not going to sit down idly watching enemies of Islam attack a true defender of our faith.
“We are watching the situation. We appeal to the law enforcement agencies to do everything within their power in maintaining law and order. Nothing must happen to Akintola or any of his aides.
“The allegation made by the fake coalition that Akintola wanted to destabilize Yorubaland and cause crisis in Nigeria is baseless and unfounded. It is well known that the motto of MURIC is “Dialogue, Not Violence”. Also, the group has never engaged in any violent act, instead, it has always worked for a better Nigeria since its inception in 1994. MURIC has always promoted a united Nigeria.
“The human rights organization has also been consistent in its support for the war against corruption and indiscipline. More importantly, it is on record that Professor Akintola and MURIC have vehemently condemned Boko Haram, terrorism and all forms of violence in press statements which are still available online. The fake coalition’s allegation against him is therefore very wicked, crude and a distortion of facts.
“It is equally worthy of note that MURIC’s stand on Amotekun was deliberately twisted. The group spoke in support of security. It only rejected religious bias as manifested in the request for birth certificate from churches before being recruited into the security outfit.
“We observe that the so called ‘Mukhtar’ and his fake coalition are more concerned with “liberation of Yoruba, Igbo & South-south” from what he called “Fulani’s stranglehold”.
“As well-known Islamic organizations under the canopy of “Alliance for the Protection of Yoruba Muslims” (APYM), we are concerned with the unity of the country and the oneness of Muslims which transcend state and regional boundaries. Finally, we assert that we are with MURIC and Akintola is not a trouble-maker.
Alliance for the Protection of Yoruba Muslims (APYM)
1. Barrister Abdul Fatah Muheeb
For National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations (NACOMYO),
2. Barrister Mutiat Orolu-Balogun
For the Federation of Muslim Women Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN),
3. Dr. Saeed Ashafa
For the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN),
4. Dr. Luqman Raheem
for The Muslim Congress (TMC),
5. Abdul Hameed Danmole
for Muslims in National Development (MIND),
6. Disu Kamor
For Muslim Public Affairs Center (MPAC),
7. Amir Qamardeen Ajala Jimoh
For Markaz al-Dawah,
8. Ustadh Jamiu Adegunwa
for Risalatul Haq Dawah Society International,
9. Alhaji Muhammad Ali Bolaji Akewukewe
And Alhaji Ishaq Ayandiran
for Association of Muslim Crosscheckers of Nigeria
10. Shaykh Tajudeen Al-Adabiy and Yusuf Moruf Olabanji
For Federation of Ahlu Sunna of Nigeria
11. Imam Sulaiman Ibraheem
For Jamaatu Izalat al-Bid’ah wa Iqamatus-Sunnah (Lagos State Branch)
12. Shaykh Daood Imran Molasan
For Jama’at Taawunil Muslimeen, Nigeria
13. Engr. Luqman Balogun
For Conference of Islamic Organisations
14. Barrister Hibbatullahi Salako
For Nurudeen Society of Nigeria
15. Barrister Isqil Lawal
For Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (Lagos Chapter)”