An unconfirmed list of successful candidates for the 2020/2021 Federal Government scholarship has gone viral on social media thereby generating tension. The list is allegedly attached to a letter written by a prominent Nigerian citizen in the diaspora to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu. The author complained that the list is an embarrassment to the entire North.
The Nigerian Muslim rights group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has intervened in the controversy by tasking the Federal Government to confirm or deny the authenticity of the controversial list. MURIC’s intervention came through a statement signed by the director of the human rights organisation, Professor Ishaq Akintola on Wednesday, 2nd September, 2020.
MURIC said, “It had better not be true. The entire nineteen (19) Northern states have just twenty-one (21) successful candidates while the seventeen (17) Southern states have seventy candidates (70). This list has greatly short-changed the North. What criteria was used to generate this anti-North list?
“Worse still, there is only one Muslim among the 13 successful candidates from North Central. This is unacceptable. Such an exercise can only be designed for the purpose of Christianising the North. It is as diabolical as it is Islamophobic. If confirmed, it means another cunny move to Christianise Nigeria has just been uncovered.
“Although we suspect that this list may be another fake news and the handiwork of enemies of peace, yet the Federal Government must speak up on it before it causes further damage to the already thin veneer of mutual confidence in the North-South dichotomy as well as the fragile Christian/Muslim relationship in the country.
“Not only that, it has been used as a tool for playing tortuous religious politics particularly the preference for picking minority Christians from predominantly Muslim areas. This could only have been intended to further deepen ignorance and poverty among the Muslims while the infinitesimally small Christian group in the North is unjustly lifted into the circle of elites and the bourgeoisie.
“It is rather unfortunate that while we consistently lay emphasis on the need for fair distribution of the dividends of democracy among all groups, some unpatriotic elements are determined to continue exhibiting gymnastic religiousity in their official capacities.
“In spite of recent attempts to smear our image in order to blackmail us into silence, MURIC will not keep quiet in the face of elite tyranny. We will not kowtow to the poohpooh of shenanigans masquerading as regional heroes. We will never accept discrimination against any tribe. We will continue to stand for justice, fairness and equity no matter whose ox is gored. Stability, peace and prosperity in every part of Nigeria is the major concern of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)