Sunday , June 16 2024

OPINION: IT IS AKINTOLA PHOBIA

By HASSAN SANI INDABAWA

“All Democrats are insane, but not one of them knows it; none but the Republicans and Mugwumps know it. All the Republicans are insane, but only the Democrats and Mugwumps can perceive it. The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.” – Mark Twain

The American writer and humorist, Mark Twain, might also have some religious zealots in his mind while making the above quoted remarks. For such characters, they do consider others, especially those who do not share their world view, or challenge the banality of their sobriety, as their mortal enemies. They always perceived those who provide an alternative narrative, as misfits, or even extremists.

That is exactly what a certain Dr Bolaji Akinyemi betrayed in his unmitigated caustic attack on MURIC and its irrepressible director, Professor Ishaq Akintola. In a display of a clearly agitated mind, the man resorted to character assassination by targeting Professor Akintola with intent to insolently malign and denigrate MURIC by claiming that the group is non-existing, “MURIC is Ishaq Akintola, he is all to it and all about it!”, he said.

Well, what he and his fellow mischief makers failed to understand is that, Professor Akintola has through a dint of hard work, cultivated formidable friends, associates and social networks across all the sections of Nigeria. Professor Akintola has successfully become a household name across the country by his consistent and powerful counter narrative to the displeasure of bigots and irredentists exemplified by the likes of Dr Akinyemi. Some divisive elements like Akinyemi find it very difficult to conceal their complex and envy in reacting to superior logic of Akintola.

It is common knowledge that the emergence of MURIC, with Professor Akintola as the group’s founder and leader, has put the brakes to the insane suppression and oppression of Muslims, especially in the South West, where albeit, the Yoruba Muslims formed the majority. The hypocrisy of some groups like CAN and Afenifere is being exposed with the counter narrative provided by MURIC. The consistency and the well-articulated proficiency of MURIC’s series of press releases have evidently irritated the warped minds of the likes of Akinyemi. Instead of them to counter Akintola’s interventions with logic, they rather resorted to insults and name calling.

We all know how uncomfortable many Yoruba Christian elite become with the constant expose by MURIC. When Amotekun, a supposedly Pan-Yoruba security outfit was conceived and formed, Professor Akintola challenged the Yoruba leadership on why Yoruba Muslims were ostracized and not considered to be members of the regional security outfit. He also boldly stated the position of Yoruba Muslims by distancing themselves from the baseless agitation of the so-called Oduduwa Republic. MURIC similarly challenged the Afenifere on why no notable Yoruba Muslim figure was ever considered to be appointed as the group’s leader. Professor Akintola has equally spearheaded an advocacy for the emergence of a Yoruba Muslim as the next president of Nigeria.

These and other timely interventions by MURIC is obviously what made many bigots to become wild in their verbal attacks and smear campaign against the person of Professor Ishaq Akintola.

They failed to recognize the valour and candour of an irrepressible fighter whose third name is ‘fearless’. They cannot fathom the fact that, Professor Akintola is a rare gem endowed with exceptional leadership qualities who cannot be intimidated into silence by their pedestrian engagements. Professor Akintola has succeeded in forging South-North Muslim solidarity; a rare feat achieved by extremely few Yoruba leaders.

With active MURIC presence in 27 states of Nigeria, it is only an ignorant or an insane man who would proclaim the group as a “one man Group.” With quality leadership provided by Professor Akintola, MURIC would continue to expose and challenge the hypocrisy inherent in some public engagements with mischievous groups like CAN and Afenifere. The casual bigotry of the Yoruba Christian establishment against their brothers is going to be dismantled by the constant demand from MURIC and the rest of Nigerian Muslims.

The likes of Dr Bolaji Akinyemi would do good to themselves if they can eschew chauvinism, Islamophobia and hate mongering by learning from Professor Akintola who started as a “One Man Group” but ended up forming unarguably one of the most active and vibrant Muslim organizations with formidable membership in almost all sections of Nigeria. It takes considerable sacrifice, doggedness and above all, sincerity of purpose to attain such an enviable feat without any support, unlike what the MURIC traducers thought that MURIC got its support from some imaginary sources. The group finances its activities through self-contributions by its members. But the haters cannot understand this simple truth. What they perceive is that which their hearts harbour, whether they are this or that; or whether they may even pretend to be playing Mugwumps!

Hassan Sani Indabawa is the State Chairman, MURIC , Kano State.

About Ayinla Muritala

Agbede is a seasoned Journalist with more than a decade experience as the fourth estate of the realm. He is a graduate of Mass Communication from the Univeristy of Ilorin and currently freelance with few of the Nigerian Dailies.

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