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Islamic Group, MURIC, Kicks Against Invitation Of Its Leader, Akintola By DSS

The Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria’s security police, invited its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, to Oyo State. An organization that promotes Islamic rights, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has expressed concern about the invitation.

A statement titled: “MURIC Abuja To Oyo DSS: Is Muslim Rights Activism A Crime?” which was jointly signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the Abuja Chapter of the group, Ustaz Yunus Salahudeen and Dr. Muhammad Ahmad Ghali respectively, said it was risky to invite Akintola, to come from Lagos to Ibadan for questioning.

The statement said Akintola was invited because he spoke against a school principal who forced Muslim students to sing Christmas carols and criticised the state governor, Seyi Makinde, for doing nothing about the alleged repression of Muslim students in the state.

The group said though it recognised the role of the DSS in ensuring security in the country, inviting their director to Ibadan when “people are being kidnapped on Lagos-Ibadan expressway and the city of Ibadan itself is under siege from political thugs, hooligans and hoodlums most of whom enjoy the patronage of the state government whose governor MURIC criticised,” is unwise.

“It, therefore, becomes double risk for our director to honour the invitation from such a distance without proper investigation. Our director has no bodyguards. What if he is attacked by political thugs at Ibadan toll gate? Some people are not comfortable with the role played by MURIC during elections and they may want him out of circulation, at least for the period of the elections only to be released after the election is over?

“What if such people arrange for him to be ambushed and kidnapped? Will DSS Ibadan office admit that they were the ones who invited him to Ibadan?

“The fact that the invitation came through a phone call makes it more risky because we are still not sure if indeed it was the DSS Ibadan office that called him in the first place. Kidnappers play many tricks these days. It would have been better if the DSS had brought a written invitation.”

It makes it more worrisome that the Osun State chapter of MURIC demanded a written invitation from the DSS and the secret police ignored that request, adding that it “makes us doubt the origin of that invitation”.

“Our director, Professor. Ishaq Akintola has no relationship with either Boko Haram or ISWAP. Rather, he founded a peaceful Islamic human rights organization whose motto is ‘Dialogue, No Violence’ and the group has remained loyal to its avowed motto to date.”

The statement partly read, “That is why Professor Ishaq Akintola and his Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has never been associated with any crime, act of violence or immorality up till today. We are therefore surprised that the DSS of Oyo State has invited this peace-loving Muslim rights activist simply because he questioned the forceful involvement of Muslim students in singing Christmas carol. We are asking ‘Is that a Crime?’

“Why then has the DSS Oyo State invited our director? Or is it because he said Muslims should vote out Governor Makinde of Oyo State for condoning the repression of Muslim students in the state’s public schools? How many pastors has the DSS, Oyo State invited for their provocative statements?”

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