18th December, 2022
The Osun State Chapter of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has demanded an investigation of the phone call put to its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola by persons who identified themselves as officers of the Oyo State D.S.S Office.
Akintola was summoned by the officers a few days after he accused Governor Seyi Makinde of “aiding and abetting Oyo State school authorities who are in the habit of forcing Muslim students and Muslim teachers to sing Christmas carol.”
Akintola had also said: “Under Seyi Makinde’s watch, Muslim students were herded like sheep to attend the crusade of a German Christian crusader, Evangelist Daniel Kolenda in November 2021. Oyo State public schools were used for the crusade during school hours. Again under Makinde’s watch, Muslim applicants attending a screening exercise for appointment were made to answer questions on the Bible in August 2020. Under Makinde’s watch, Muslim teachers were forced to attend a screening exercise on Salah day in July 2022. Yet these are schools using public funds and Muslims are the majority among tax-payers in the state.”
In another part, Akintola called on Muslims in Oyo not to vote for Makinde in 2023.
However, in reaction to the DSS invitation to Akintola, the Osun chapter of MURIC said the mode of invitation seems to raise more skepticism than conviction.
The State Chairman of MURIC in Osun, Dr. AbdulAzeez Ademokoya on Sunday, said;
“We seriously frown at the phone call put to our director, Professor Ishaq Akintola by unknown persons who simply identified themselves as officers of the Oyo State D.S.S Office, and inviting the director of MURIC to travel down to Ibadan, Oyo State for questioning within seven days as if same DSS office is not available in Lagos State.
“We are particularly, perturbed with the unofficial mode of the invitation and the lag threat of seven days issued on phone to Professor Akintola who is receiving medical treatment in Lagos. It is well known that a patient should rest for some days even after he has been treated.
“MURIC Osun finds it difficult to believe that such mode of invitation can be adopted by the D.S.S officers at this age of learning and therefore, demand investigations into this act noting the spate of insecurity bedeviling the nation.
“Moreover, Osun State chapter of MURIC is using this avenue to reach out to all the law enforcement agencies in Nigeria and to all concerned Muslims in all parts of the country about the phone calls put to Professor Akintola (by unknown men). We remind peace loving Nigerians that Professor Akintola’s life had been threatened in so many instances, and had also escaped assassinations just for fronting for the rights of Muslims and demanding for a fair play for all Nigerians irrespective of their religious inclinations.
“The Osun Chapter of MURIC has affirmed that its director and members are law abiding people and would not fall or succumb to informal antics used by individuals to intimidate its members.
“Osun Muric makes bold to say that nothing must happen to Professor Akintola for demanding for the inalienable rights of Muslims in Nigeria and therefore, calls the attention of the Director General of the DSS to this ugly development in which a defender of the rights of Nigerian Muslims who has never been involved in any act of violence, threat or blackmail and whose organization uses ‘Dialogue, No Violence’ as its motto is being subjected to such discomfort and harassment.
“Again, we are not soothsayers, but we hope the invitation (by the unidentified persons) has no nexus with the press release issued by MURIC on the 12th of December 2022 condemning the act of forcing Muslim students and Muslim teachers to join Christians to partake in the Christmas Carol inside a church situated opposite St. Annes.
“Do you expect Muslims to remain mute when you do not respect their faith and religious inclinations? Is that justice? Can Muslims force Christians to do same in any part of the country even in the far North? Why do you have hatred for Muslims and their religion?
“And why must Muslims (both students and teachers) be coerced to partake in a Christmas Carol? Why must you force your religious practices on others? Why should those who interrogate such illegal action by school authorities be harassed by security agents? All these questions keep begging for answers.
“On a final note, we smell foul play from the informal invitation made to our director by officers of the DSS Ibadan office and more importantly, for rejecting Akintola’s suggestion to report to their Lagos office. So, we ask whether you have other hidden agenda for our director for seeking the rights of Muslims in Oyo State?”