Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) recently released a controversial statement demanding for Friday as public holiday. Akinola, a professor of Islamic Eschatology, believes that Muslims in Nigeria are not given fair treatments like the Christians. However, he has received a reply from the secretary-general of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) or demanding that Friday be declared as public holiday in Nigeria in favour of Muslims, the Director of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Ishaq Akintola, has earned the wrath of Christians in the country under the umbrella of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
Musa Asake, secreteary-general of the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN’s secretary-general, Reverend Musa Asake, wondered if Akintola was truly a professor as he claims. He added that it is lamentable if professors like Akintola are the ones Nigeria can produce. Akintola, a professor of Islamic Eschatology, as reported by Daily Post, said Muslims must be granted the freedom of having Friday as public holiday.
“Christians are free to do whatever they like on Sundays but Muslims are chained to their workplaces on Fridays. That chain must break. “Freedom is our cry. Nigerian Christians have been enjoying everything they need since the British took over the country and colonised it. “They have the Christian common law while they object to Muslims having Shariah. They enjoy Christo-Western education while they restrict Muslim children’s access to Islamic education. “I still insist Nigeria is not a secular state. It does not recognise any religion at all.
“An example is the Sallah holidays. Although Christians used to enjoy Christmas and other holidays, there was no Sallah holiday for Muslims on Eid el-Fitr and Eid el-Kabir days during the colonial days. We wrenched that from our oppressors’ hands after a long struggle,” Akintola had said. However, in a reaction reported by the Punch, Asake said Akintola was ignorant and had very little knowledge of the Nigerian constitution. He asked that Akintola should not have spoken to show his ignorance as he added: “So, Akintola actually stated that there were discriminations against Muslims in Nigeria, that Christians are against the practice of Sharia and that Muslims are deprived of having Friday as a work-free day just as Christians enjoy Sunday.
“Did you say the man is a professor? May God have mercy on Nigeria, if that is the kind of professors that we produce. I have to question his professorship. “Doesn’t he know the constitution of this country? It is the kind of elementary reasoning that slows us (Nigerians) down. “I really don’t want to go into that now; that is not the issue facing the country at the moment. The issues facing us in this country are hunger, poverty, poor national economy, and insecurity. “But here you have a professor talking about the government favoring only one religion – that is uncalled for.
“Islamic groups should put their house in order; they are the ones that are imprisoning themselves. Christians aren’t responsible for their woes or marginalization. “Nobody is stopping them from realizing their dreams.” Nigeria is often claimed to be a circular state but there are cases of supremacy battles between the Christians and Muslims with politics at the base of the root cause. Recently, also practitioners of traditional religion also started calling for recognition. The recognition subtly came from Rauf Aregbesola, a staunch Muslim and governor of Osun state, recently when he granted a holiday for them to mark their traditional day celebration. Asake is known to often speak out at critical times. Recently, he raised an alarm warning that there were plans by Muslims to wipe out Christians in the country after the wife of a pastor was killed and a Catholic church attacked within one week.