NIGERIA: Stop blackmailing Muslims of South West for demanding their rights, Prof Tajudeen Yusuf warns


Combined photos: From Left: Chairman, Lagos State Chapter, MURIC, Dr. Busari Jamiu Muhammad; Founder and Executive Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola; and Guest Lecturer, Professor Tajudeen Olalekan Yusuf, during the maiden Annual Ramadan Lecture of Lagos State Chapter of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), held at Rahmat Islamiyya Hall, Ikeja, Lagos, on Saturday 30th March 2024.

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*Says 2023 election already proves Muslim higher population correct

*Expresses disappointment non-Muslims can’t help Muslims until they convert them

*Recalls how several Muslims were forced to convert to be admitted into Western oriented schools in Yoruba Land

*‘But when we have power we help them without forcing them into Islam’

*What Muslims call for is ‘Let’s get our equal, fair share rights – UNILAG Don

* Says Muslims don’t discriminate because Allah created them to be good

*I formed MURIC because no human rights group had interest in defending rights of Nigerian Muslims – Prof Akintola

*Bemoans country’s current harrowing economic hardship, inflation

*Advises Muslims on what they must do in the hard times

*Insists that ‘The Muslim-Muslim ticket is our own whether we like it or not’

*We acknowledge MURIC’s decades of advocacy – Disu Kamor, MPAC director



“We are all living witnesses to our experience in the health sector, in hospitals they force our women to clap and sing Christian songs. Our children in schools are forced to pay for S.O.P. We are all lenient to hijab issue. In fact a whole state government took us to court over hijab before we eventually won at the Supreme Court.”


Non-Muslim Yoruba leaders in South West Nigeria, who tend to use their opportunities of political and economic powers to cause socio-economic problem and backwardness for fellow Yoruba Muslims in the region, have been advised to stop as doing so is evil against humanity.

Islamic cum Nigerian university scholar, Professor Tajudeen Olalekan Yusuf, made this advice while delivering his statement as guest lecturer at the Annual Ramadan Lecture 1445AH/2024 organised by Lagos State Chapter of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), held in Ikeja, on Saturday 30th March 2024.

Combined photo of: Dr Issa Kamal Olu, Director, Halmat Hospital; Mallam Disu Kamor, Director, MPAC; and Alhaja Azeezat Adeyinka Salahudeen, during the maiden Annual Ramadan Lecture of MURIC, Lagos State Chapter, in Ikeja, on Saturday 30th March 2024.

The event was well attended by important personalities including Alhaji AbdulFatai Elewe as Chairman of occasion; Alhaja Azeezat Adeyinka Salahudeen, Chief Executive Officer, Moreyink Ltd, Ikeja, as Chairperson; Dr Issa Kamal Olu, Director, Halmat Hospital; and Mr Disu Kamor, Director, MPAC; while His Royal Highness Prince Isiaka Adekunle Apena, the Regent of Olu of Ikeja, attended as Royal Father of the Day, was represented by a delegation of Imam Jimoh Aromire Balogun, with the Founder/Executive Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, Grand Host as well as Dr. Busari Jamiu Muhammad, Chairman Lagos State Chapter of MURIC as Host.

A professor of the Department of Management Sciences, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Tajudeen Yusuf, speaking on the topic, “Marginalization of Muslims in South West Nigeria”, bemoaned the attitude often displaced towards Muslims by Christians of South West who are supposed to be the closest in faith to the adherents of Islamic faith but instead choose to be unkind ready to be nice only when Muslims agree to change their religion to Christianity either as students in schools or as employment seekers in workplaces.

The university don, who said anyone who claim to believe in God should not be unkind towards humanity regardless of their ethnic or religious background, went ahead to assert that non-Muslims’ claim to be higher in number than Muslims in South West Nigeria had since been settled by the 2023 election in the country, adding that it is not any longer disputable that Muslims are in clear majority, despite efforts to subjugate and push their Islam into extinction from the dominant Yoruba region.


Treating the topic he said, “What is marginalization? Marginalisation is to treat somebody or a group or a concept as insignificant or peripheral, less important, disenfranchise, exclude from the scheme of things, which characterise the experience of Muslims in South West Nigeria. It is well known.  I don’t need to do too much research to that and when I went online, there are many examples. In Lagos State, how are Muslims represented? How well are they represented?

Top From Left: Mallam Disu Kamor, Director, MPAC; Prof Tajudeen Yusuf, Guest Lecturer; Prof Ishaq Akintola, ED MURIC/Grand Host; and Alhaji AbdulFatai Elewe, Chairman of the Occasion, during the maiden Annual Ramadan Lecture of MURIC, Lagos State Chapter, in Ikeja, on Saturday 30th March 2024.
Bottom: Cross-section of faithful at the event.

“I can say an average Lagos indigene is a Muslim. Mark the word I use; an average Lagos indigene, I mean an Awori, is a Muslim. But in the quest to acquire western education they become marginalized.

“In educational sector, what you see normally is that at the primary school level Muslim students constitute the majority and the number continues to diminish as they climb the educational ladder. In secondary school, it’s 60/40 Muslim s 60 but by the time they get to the university, it’s the opposite. Muslims will just be 30 percent; non-Muslims will be 60 or 70 percent.

“We are all living witnesses to our experience in the health sector, in hospitals they force our women to clap and sing Christian songs. Our children in schools are forced to pay for S.O.P. We are all lenient to hijab issue. In fact a whole state government took us to court over hijab before we eventually won at the Supreme Court.”


He warned those responsible for this inhumane behaviour that it should not happen that the Muslims are blackmailed with all the negative tags being seen, whenever they ask for their rights against the injustice being perpetrated against them in the region.

“Let’s go back to history. The same way we are marginalized, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was marginalized for many years. Eventually, when he gained power, when he conquered Makkah, the unbelievers, the pagans were at his mercy. What did Muhammad say? He said: “Go free”. He granted them general amnesty.  He was very magnanimous. That was our prophet!” The UNILAG professor said.

He recalled that, “When our fathers, our mothers, our uncles, our aunties wanted to acquire western education, they blackmailed them: “Become Christians and you are welcome in our schools.” They changed your name. Do you know how many Muslims we lost to the other side?

“But look at it, when Islamic finance came through SUKUK, we never discriminated. When Islamic financial institutions came, they were free to come and take facilities in our banks. We don’t discriminate because Allah has created us to be good and we shall always remain to be good.

“So, what are the Muslims calling for? Let’s get our equal share rights, our equal fair rights. But I must tell you, Allah says in the Qur’an: “What you don’t work for, you don’t get.” That does it. We have to work. Everything is to our advantage. Mind you, Muslims are not calling for our domination and suppression of others, no. That is not what we are calling for. Let’s have our fair share of things.

“And for me, largely, we owe our destiny in our hands, if we follow Prophet Muhammad (SAW), how he claimed his rights. Please, it will never happen for Christians or non-Muslims to say, “Muslims come and take your right o”. It will never happen. They will never do that. Why? They were not created to be so. If some people denies Allah’s right that he is the only God and some people say he is not God, there are other gods besides him, how do you expect as a Muslim to get your right from that person? They can’t get it from that. You will have to take it because you have all it takes to take it. Get your act right, you will get it.

“And Allah (SWT) has also worked at our advantage. We have settled the issue of who are more? Muslims or non-Muslims? I had been settled in the last election. They came third. That for me is highly instructive. It’s a divine response from Allah to us.”

Muslim is majority but…

Earlier he said, “There is no doubt that Muslims are in majority, whether in the North or in the South, at least, South West. But because they are more organized, which we are lacking, and they have passion for evangelism and we don’t have passion for Islamisation or Da’wah. We don’t have it! They have it! And they are managing their population, their numerical strength to their own advantage.

“Allah (SWT) gives us opportunities to regain our position in five daily prayers. They don’t have such opportunity. When you wanted to use this place, did they ask you your sect or something? You are welcome, come in. And that is what happens globally, when a man wants to pray, enter any mosque nobody will ask you, ‘This black man, what are you doing in our mosque?’ They don’t have such.

“If you are a protestant and there is no protestant church in your neighbourhood, you have to travel even though they have many Catholic churches around you, you have to travel to wherever your church is. It doesn’t happen in Islam and that, for me, is an advantage that we need to leverage upon.

“We are all fasting now, we put things together so well but when we going to make our population count? When are we to stem the tide of this marginalization? I mentioned the starting point is the mindset. Why? Allah (SWT) says in Qur’an chapter 2 verse 143: “So we have made you an evenly balanced nation to serve as witnesses unto mankind” that is role model for mankind. Allah has made us role model for mankind.

Allah says: “You are the best community ever made for mankind.” Why? Three things: “You enjoin what is good, you forbid what is evil and you believe in Allah. If non-believers had, had same faith, it would have been better for them. Some of them are believers but a vast number of them are … transgressors.”

He said, “Now, the issue at stake is this, we are Muslims, Muhammad is our example.  And how does Allah describe Muhammad (SAW) in the Qur’an? Muhammad was a mercy, compassion to the whole world,” he said.

‘MURIC 30 years old today’ – Akintola

Delivering his keynote address, MURIC Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, who was enthused that he was opportune to witness the occasion he described as “the first annual Ramadan lecture organized by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Lagos State Chapter”, said he never gave a thought to the possibility of an event like it coming up at state level but thanked Allah for making it a fait accompli through a faithful servant of His, the Chairman of the Lagos Chapter, Dr. Busari Jamiu Muhammad, “an energetic, trustworthy and committed Muslim brother.”

Going down the memory lane, Professor Akintola said, “MURIC was established in 1994 and it is thirty years old today with 35 state branches (we have no branch in Anambra State), Alhamdulillah. I trained under Dr. Beko Ransom Kuti of the Campaign for Democracy (CD). I formed MURIC after discovering that no human rights group existing at the time was interested in defending Nigerian Muslims. Instead, they partook in Islam-bashing. I discovered that a special Islamic human right organisation was needed to protect, promote and project Allah-given fundamental human rights of Nigerian Muslims.”

He noted that, “Nigeria is currently going through economic hardship; Inflation reached 31.70% in February 2024 making it hard for citizens to have access to basic commodities. The naira nosedived while the dollar gripped it by the jugular at N1, 700 to $1. But the Tinubu administrative moved swiftly to introduce vital reforms which have started yielding positive results. The naira is currently exchanging for between 1,310 naira and N1, 320.”

What Muslims must do in hard times

He, however, advised on what Muslims must do in the kind of harrowing situation. “Instead of lamenting over our present predicament which is mainly self-imposed and therefore artificial, Nigerian Muslims should reflect on Allah’s declaration that he would test believers with fear, hunger, scarcity of money and death (Glorious Qur’an 2:155,29;2-3). Allah informed us in those verses that he would test our faith. He then described those who patiently bear the trial as the truly patient believers.

“Nigerian Muslims must see those verses as very germane to their present plight and take necessary steps to adjust themselves both in mindset and behavioral pattern especially as two other verses of the Qur’an refer to t calamity which befall Nigerians as their own handworks (Qur’an 16:112 and 30:41)

“It therefore behooves us (leaders and followers) to seek Allah’s forgiveness, change our ways and finally, work harder. Support and pray for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his administration.

“We have been responsible for what happened to us because just as our lawmakers arrogate all the milk and honey in the land to themselves and some of them actually went to excesses in extravagance, avaricious greed and selfishness, we, the citizenry, went all out in self-immolation and the denigration of our dear country, Nigeria.

“The Muslim-Muslim ticket is our own whether we like it or not. We must realise that its success is our own success and ditto if it is vice versa. We therefore owe it a duty to continue to support President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima. We must note that those who lied against them, cursed and fought them tooth and nail will claim justification for their evil acts if they fail. We must never allow that to happen.

“Let us support them by working harder. Let us support them with prayers for their protection. Let us continue to pray for the survival of Nigeria.”

MURIC’s decades of advocacy acknowledged – Disu

For his part, the Executive Chairman of MPAC Nigeria acknowledged the central role MURIC has been playing in the lives of both Muslims and non-Muslims in Nigeria, saying that the human rights organisation has for decades championed the course of Muslim advocacy.

Mallam Disu Kamor, Director MPAC, speaking at the event

“For some of us that are playing some roles in that sector now, the Director of MURIC, Prof Lakin Akintola remains our role model,” he said.

According to him, “a few years after I left University, I came across some programmes organised by Tele Da’wah of Prof Lakin Akintola around 1994 and that was an interesting dimension for me in terms of general orientation towards Islamic activism.

“Alhamdulillah, as things are now, we continue to work in the shadow of forerunners like him and he continues to be an inspiration for most of us. His rewards are definitely with God as he has achieved a lot for us in this country and we will continue looking up to him as a role model. An exemplar.”

Regarding advocacy on Muslim issues, Mal. Disu added his voice to an important point made by the lecturer, Prof Yusuf Tajudeen, saying it is really time for more hands to be on deck.

“As we witness upsurge and in fact proliferation of anti-Muslim behaviour and actions around us, online and in real life. The tasks are enormous and we definitely need more capable people across the entire scope of the work protecting and defending Muslim interests.

“The enormous challenges facing the Ummah, part of which continue to seep into our society from the global Islamophobia movements cannot be adequately addressed by a few organizations like MURIC and MPAC. There is no way to adequately confront a multimillion-dollar hate industry, inspired, funded and motivated by full-time flamboyant Islamophobes, with a few and poorly funded activist groups that work mostly on part-time

“As we are serving a primary constituency of more than one hundred million in this country, in some respects, our works and their impacts go beyond this primary constituency, even the nation,” he added.

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