Fani-Kayode reacts as ex-Mali intelligence chief says ISWAP sponsoring MURIC
It's a lie - MURIC says
Former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has expressed shock at an allegation that the popular Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) was being sponsored by the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).
In a tweet on Tuesday, the ex-minister described the allegation by a former head of intelligence in Mali as “grave”.
The Islamic rights group had been accused of receiving $200,000 from the terrorist organisation, an allegation MURIC vehemently denied.
But Fani-Kayode called on the Federal Government to investigate the allegation to establish its veracity.
He said that if the allegation is found to be true, MURIC’s leaders must be arrested and prosecuted and the group designated a terrorist organisation.
“The allegation by a former Head of Intelligence of Mali that the Ishaq Akintola-led MURIC is funded by ISWA is grave.
“I call on the FG to investigate this matter and, if proved to be true, declare MURIC a terrorist organisation, ban it, prosecute its leaders and, if found guilty, hang them,” the controversial ex-minister wrote.
However, MURIC said there was no truth behind the allegation.
In a statement on Tuesday, its Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola emphasised that MURIC would never be affiliated to a terror group.
“Our attention has been drawn to a rumour that MURIC received 200,000 dollars from Islamic State for West Africa Province (ISWAP).
“It is a wicked concoction from the pit of Jahannam. We declare clearly, categorically that we have never had any contact with ISWAP or any other terrorist group.
“We remain committed to the unity and indivisibility of Nigeria,” the statement read in part.
He maintained that the group has always kicked against terror, describing the allegation as illogical.
“The motto of MURIC is ‘dialogue, not violence’. So how can we descend so low as to collect money from terrorists? Such lies will not fly.
“The terrorists themselves know that we can never support them. How can they give us money? The allegation is dead on arrival.
“We are a disciplined group. We have never been known to engage in any violent protest or attack since the establishment of MURIC in 1994.
“It is most diabolical to accuse a group that has pursued peaceful advocacy for 26 years of having any connection with terrorists,” Akintola stated.
He explained that MURIC has never been involved in any international activity, and called on the Federal Government to launch an investigation into the allegation.
“We deliberately restricted ourselves to the Nigerian environment in order to avoid complications.
“We have enough on our hands within the country. So how can a former intelligence chief from far away Mali show interest in us?
“We urge our detractors to desist from their evil ways and pursue the path of honour,” he further said.