The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) on Tuesday in Lagos tackles the West African Examination Council WAEC), asking the West African sub-regional examination body not to equate the situation in Ghana with Nigeria in the matter fixing writing of examination on Friday.
Prof. Ishaq Akintola, the Director of MURIC, made the remark in a statement issued on Tuesday in Lagos, against the backdrop of the May/June 2018 WASSCE examination in which some papers fixed for Friday afternoon when Muslims are expected to observe their Jumat prayer
The Public Relations Officer of the WAEC in Nigeria, Mr Demianus Ojijeogu had on Monday argued that Electronics and Social Studies, which the examination body fixed for the Jumat period on Fridays were not for Nigeria but Ghana.
MURIC contended that that argument was escapist, lame and, therefore, untenable.
“It is a weak after-thought and a poorly presented case of divide et impera.
“Is WAEC telling us that there are no Muslims in Ghana? As a regional examination body, WAEC is not expected to isolate any minority for persecution.
“But this is what WAEC is doing, using Ghana as an excuse has just exposed WAEC. WAEC just shot itself in the foot!
“Does WAEC expect MURIC to keep quiet when Muslim candidates in Ghana are being oppressed? For the avoidance of doubts, Ghana’s population, which was 28.21 million as at 2016 has 25 per cent as Muslims, Christians and are 41 per cent while traditionalists are 23 per cent and others being nine per cent.
“WAEC has just confirmed that it has been depriving the 25 per cent Muslim population in Ghana of its Allah-given fundamental human rights.
“The Muslim candidates are forced to write examination during Jumat period because nobody will fight for them,” Akintola stated.
MURIC condemns WAEC’s attempt to use divide and rule tactics.
“The Muslim candidates in Ghana are Muslims and we will resist any attempt by WAEC, or anyone for that matter, to isolate them from persecution.
“We do not see them as Ghanaians. We only see them as Muslims.
“WAEC should know that Muslims all over the world are one indivisible entity. We observe the same five daily prayers at the same time.
“We face the same Qiblah when praying. We have one and the same Qur’an. We all recognize only one Ka’abah. Islam knows no local government, state, geopolitical, national or regional boundaries.
“That is why the Qur’an says, “Verily indeed this your community is one and I am your Lord, therefore worship Me” (Qur’an 23:52),” he said.
Furthermore, information technology has reduced the world to a global village.
This makes it difficult for any tyrant to operate freely for too long. WAEC should note that like people of other faiths, Muslims also network and today there are Muslim groups in social media with membership spreading across Uganda, Ghana, Liberia and to Europe and other continents. Just like the golden fish, therefore, WAEC should realise that it has no hiding place.
“MURIC asserts clearly, emphatically and unequivocally that it is on a mission to liberate.
“Just as the Qur’an declares that the world’s Muslim Ummah is one so is our constituency global.
“We are therefore committed to the liberation of Muslims and all other oppressed people in any part of the world.
“Neither is our intellectual jihad restricted to the emancipation of Muslims alone. It extends to people of all faiths.
“Our vision of Nigeria is that of a nation where Muslims, Christians and Traditionalists live together in peace and harmony, a nation in which no one is oppressed on account of faith, class or ethnicity.
“We are middle-roaders and socio-intellectual jihadists fighting corruption and extravagance, seeking freedom of worship for all, emancipation for the oppressed, justice for the persecuted, food for the hungry, healing for the sick, clothing apparels for the naked and shelter for the homeless.
“In our concluding remarks, we charge WAEC to always look at the bigger picture, to think out of the box and to open its windows wide in order to accommodate candidates of all faiths without any discrimination.
“We urge the regional examination body to shun any situation capable of igniting a crisis in the forthcoming June/July 2018 examination.
“WAEC is, therefore, advised to properly adjust its timetable now since its examination is expected to start in two weeks time, from Tuesday, April 3,” MURIC stated.
Meanwhile, the council has bowed to pressure and amended the part of the timetable for the examination that clashed with the Friday Juma’at prayer.
The affected subject is Chemistry 1 and 2, which was originally slated for 2.00 p.m to 5.00 p.m. on Friday, April 20, 2018.
Ojijeogu confirmed the slight amendment following reactions from Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).
“For the sake of the people who will go to the mosque, the exam will be delayed till they come back.
“The paper will be delayed till 2.30 p.m. or 3.00 p.m when the Muslims will return from the mosque.” the board PRO said.