By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), an Islamic human rights organization, has urged the Buhari administration to disregard the claim made by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the visiting Turkish leader.
Erdogan reportedly told the Nigerian media that Turkish terrorist organizations attempting to depose him were present in Nigeria, according to the media reports.
In a statement issued by its national director, Ishaq Akintola, MURIC recommended Buhari to focus on the pragmatic benefits of Erdogan’s visit rather than wasting energy on a wild goose chase.
According to MURIC, the groups Erdogan has labeled as terrorists have been operating in Nigeria for more than 20 years, constructing primary and secondary schools, universities, and hospitals, providing humanitarian aid, and assisting poor Muslims in fulfilling religious obligations such as hajj and sacrificial animals.
“We warmly applaud Nigeria and Turkey’s bilateral agreements, which have the potential to improve both countries’ economic and military progress,” MURIC added.
“However, we take the Turkish president’s claim that Turkish terrorists are operating in Nigeria with a grain of salt. It is untrue, without foundation, and of little consequence.
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“We are aware that Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists operate in the country, but we reject any attempt to designate innocent Turkish people as terrorists simply because they disagree with their president on political issues.”
“He got off track when he went off on a tangent about opposition members from his own nation living in Nigeria. He should not have paid attention to them.
“Erdogan’s colossal Muslim hero image will not obscure or reduce MURIC’s commitment to safeguarding Allah-given fundamental human rights of Muslims in Nigeria, whether individual or collective.” This is where the issue of HIzmet members’ rights in Nigeria comes into play.
“Or is it terrorism to construct hospitals and schools?” Boko Haram, the terrorist group that we are familiar with, blows up schools and hospitals. Is digging boreholes for public schools terrorism? Is assisting Nigerians on the hajj and with sacrifice animals terrorism? Erdogan is a hero to us as an Islamist protector, but his claim of terrorism against these folks is completely false.
“All we know about them is that they construct basic and secondary schools, universities, and hospitals,” says the author. They also provide humanitarian aid to underprivileged Muslims, supporting them in fulfilling religious responsibilities such as hajj and sacrificial animals.
“They’ve been in our country for almost 20 years (even before Erdogan became Prime Minister), and some of the institutions they’ve established in Nigeria are already two decades old.” The fact that a coup took place in Turkey five years ago while these folks were still in Nigeria should not be held against them.
“Unfortunately, they are already being punished for what happened while they were away, as they have been barred from returning to Turkey since the coup. Members of their families who are in Turkey (spouse, husbands, children, etc.) are not permitted to join them.
“We understand the feelings of any Muslim who considers Erdogan to be a hero.
“However, FG should be commended for winning eight bilateral accords with Turkey. Security, energy, mining, and hydrocarbons are among the agreements.
“Rather than wasting efforts on a wild goose chase, we urge FG to focus on the visit’s practical benefits. Erdogan has no proof to back up his claim, hence the FG should dismiss it. It is erroneous, without foundation, and of no consequence.”it added.
MURIC had on 6th May attacked Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Robert Clarke over call for military takeover, described the call made by a for President Muhammadu Buhari to hand over Nigerian government to the military as outright balderdash.
Recall that Clarke had recently suggested that Buhari should delegate his executive powers to the Chief of Defence Staff who should thereafter declare a state of emergency in all the 36 states of the federation.
Clarke said that a temporary military rule would bring the state of insecurity to a halt and balance the economy.
However, the Defence Headquarters had discarded the call for military takeover and pledged to remain loyal to a constitutional authority and remain apolitical.
MURIC in a statement made available to DAILY POST on Thursday, signed by its director, Professor Ishaq, said Chief Clarke should perish such thought
According to MURIC, Nigerians will rather be free men in their graves than live like puppets and slaves, calling on the people to reject such suggestions vehemently.
“Chief Robert Clarke’s recent suggestion is, to say the least, nauseating, preposterous and egregious. It is outright balderdash,” MURIC’s statement said.
“We are grossly disappointed that a learned fellow of timber, caliber and caterpillar, a SAN, would offer such an outrageous suggestion.
“It may have been 22 years away since 1999 when the military ceded power to civilians, but we have not forgotten the woes visited on this country by the military. The travails of Nigeria today can be traced to military misadventure in politics.
“Chief Clarke should bury the thought. Neither should the Nigerian Army swallow the bait because no decent Nigerian will buy military rule for 10 kobo.
“We wish to reiterate the fact that military involvement in politics is out of fashion, toxic and anachronistic.
“Nigerians will rather be free men in their graves than live like puppets and slaves. We say ‘No’ to another banana republic.
“It may not be perfect yet, but Chief Clarke should respect Nigeria’s democracy,” the group said.