The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has refuted claims that it collected the sum of $200,000 from a terrorist group, Islamic State for West Africa Province (ISWAP) for recruitment of militia for the murderous group.
The Islamic human rights advocacy group explained that viral nature of the claims and response it had generated from Nigerians owing to MURIC popularity had necessitated the clarification, adding that the allegations were in a bid to silence the group from uncovering evil machinations and protecting Muslim from persecution in the country.
It would be recalled that a former Intelligence Chief in Mali, San Louis Keita, had while addressing a press conference held in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast, on Friday, 7th August 2020, reportedly alleged that MURIC signed a recruitment agreement with the terrorist group to recruit young Fulani men living in the South West.
Following the allegation, a member of the Sahara Strategy Group (SSG) had allegedly asked the Federal Government to probe reports that the MURIC collected the sum of $200,000 from the terrorist group.
But, reacting to the reports, MURIC Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, described the allegations as an attempt to bring the advocacy group to disrepute and stifle its voice which has been vocal against injustice and Muslim persecution.
Akintola, through a statement released to newsmen on Tuesday, said that it was surprising that MURIC which has never been known to engage in any violent protest or attack since its establishment in 1994 would meet and signed recruitment deal with murderous group killing people from all religious divide.
According to him, it is most diabolical to accuse a group that has pursued peaceful advocacy for twenty-six years of having any connection with a terrorist group.
“Our attention has been drawn to a rumour making the rounds in mainstream and social media circles that MURIC received $200,000 from ISWAP. It is a wicked concoction and a lie from the pit of Jahannam. We declare clearly, categorically and unequivocally that we have never had any contact with ISWAP or any other terrorist group.
“It is an attempt to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. Those who have been persecuting Nigerian Muslims are behind the false allegation. They have been used to oppressing Muslims and spreading false propaganda without anybody stopping them until MURIC began to use superior logic to confront them.
“They scampered to safety with their tails between their legs like frightened dogs. They became jittery. They are scared of MURIC and they think the only way to continue their anti-Muslim activities is to first get MURIC out of the way using foul means, including the threat of assassination and wicked lies like this.
“Envious enemies of Islam are just becoming scared. These lies are now being spewed in order to stop us. They are feeling the heat of our advocacy. They have threatened to kill us but we did not bother. They are desperate. Now they are using the name of an intelligence chief in far away Mali to tell this wicked lie. We strongly suspect that it is fake news.
“We have no connection with ISWAP, ISIS or Al-Qaedah. We have always condemned terrorism and violence. We have also organised several programmes on the subject. It is impossible. The terrorists know their friends. They can never offer any money to MURIC. Our ways are not their ways. We hate violence. They love it. We respect women and adore children. They kidnap women and abuse them. We promote education and civilization. Terrorists destroy schools and cities. It is paradoxical that anybody can link us with such groups.
Akintola, however, appealed to the Federal Government to investigate the source of recruitment allegation, stressing that the advocacy group has never been involved in any international activity.