Zaynab Aliyu & Leah Sharibu: CAN Got it Wrong (MURIC)

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has faulted CAN’s stand and their comparison between the case of Zaynab Aliyu and Leah Sharibu. Its founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola made the opinion known through a press release issued on Friday 3rd May, 2019.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) two days ago compared Zaynab Aliyu who was released by the Saudi Arabia authorities to Leah Sharibu who is still in Boko Haram captivity. Zaynab was arrested in Saudi Arabia after illicit drugs were found in her luggage. CAN used the comparison to demand equal treatment of citizens in captivity by the Federal Government.

In the statement, Professor Akintola mentioned that there was no basis for comparing the two cases stressing that Leah Sharibu is a completely innocent Nigerian citizen who was criminally abducted by terrorists while Zaynab Aliyu was, until recently, a drug suspect apprehended by the security agencies of another sovereign country acting under the laws of their land.

He went on further to state that what is needed to set Leah free is different from what is required to secure Zaynab’s freedom.

It is like comparing the case of a kidnapped person to that of another who is in police detention. You cannot compare civilized authority to the rule of hoodlums. The law was allowed to take its course in Zaynab’s case whereas an entirely different scenario is playing out in Leah’s matter because terrorists recognize no national or international law, he said.

While addressing CAN, Professor Akintola said they should appreciate the worries and concerns of the FG about Leah Sharibu’s safety and the efforts to liberate her adding that the government cannot reveal everything it’s doing in order to secure her freedom.

“CAN’s question, ‘Are all Nigerians equal or some are more equal than others?’ is therefore uncalled for unless CAN can convince us that kidnappers who forcefully abduct innocent people are equal to policemen who detain suspects for what they believe is illegal or judges who send criminals to jail. CAN’s question is not semantics. It is mischief pure and simple. CAN should stop playing on the emotion of gullible Nigerians.

“MURIC commends FG for promptly intervening in the case of Zaynab Aliyu. We also appreciate the efforts made so far to secure Leah Sharibu’s freedom. We urge FG to do more in this regard. Everyday spent by Leah in the terrorist’s den is another day in the diary of Nigeria’s tragedies.

“We call on FG to spread its dragnet to all airports within the country with the hope that the drug-planting cartel are likely to exist in other airports as well. Those caught should be dealt with decisively to serve as deterrent to others. In addition, the Zaynab Aliyu treatment should not be limited to Saudi Arabia. It should be extended to other countries, particularly Europe and Asia where many Nigerians are languishing in jail or awaiting execution. The innocent ones should be saved.  FG should also ensure that CCTV cameras are installed in all our airports in order to monitor the activities of criminals.

“As a parting shot, we advise CAN to always take the pain to objectively and analytically examine issues before making allegations. This latest insinuation is pregnant with malice, devoid of charity and loaded with bad faith”, He stated.


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