4th January, 2019
HELICOPTER CRASH: MURIC EMPATHISES WITH THE ARMY
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) yesterday announced the crash of one of its helicopters which occurred in the North East. It also announced the names of five officers who died in the crash: Flight Lieutenant Perowei Jacob (Pilot) in Command; Flight Lieutenant Kaltho Paul Kilyofas (Co-Pilot); Sergeant Auwal Ibrahim (Flight Technician); Lance Corporal Adamu Nura (Gunner), and Aircraftman Meshack Ishmael (Gunner). In the meantime, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has empathized with the NAF and the entire officers and men of the Nigerian Army on the sad incident. In a statement issued on Friday 4th January, 2018, MURIC expressed solidarity with the army in its war of liberation against Boko Haram. The statement which was signed by the director and founder of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola, reads: “We are hit with deep sadness by this tragic incident. These five officers died so that the rest of us can live. They will live in our hearts forever. They are the heroes of the war against insurgency and we appreciate their sacrifice. Our hearts go to their families and we pray that Allah will provide them with succour.
“We charge the Nigerian Army to expedite action in the normal procedures to compensate the immediate relations left behind by the five officers in order to rubber-cushion the effect of the loss of their bread-winners.
“MURIC calls on soldiers at the battle front to remain resolute in gallantry until the insurgents are totally eliminated or until they surrender so that these NAF officers may not have died in vain. You are not alone. Nigerians are solidly behind you. We multiply your number in spirit each time you advance on the enemy and we lie beside you in the trenches. Great heroes of our land, surge forward, that we and your families may not end up as captives of Boko Haram.
“We remind Nigerians to play their roles effectively by maintaining a positive mind and by praying for the soldiers at the battle field. We reaffirm our belief that Boko Haram has been technically defeated. What is happening now is that the insurgents are holding desperately to a single straw like drowning men.
“Insurgents who were controlling 17 local governments are now compelled to wage guerilla warfare. Churches and mosques are no longer being bombed and the incident of suicide bombing has stopped almost completely. The last Christmas few days ago is a glaring testimony. No single church was attacked. No bombs exploded. We salute the army for this great feat.
“Whether we appreciate it or not, the achievements of the Nigerian Army in the past three years show the sharp contrast between Goodluck Jonathan’s army and that of Muhammadu Buhari. One is lackadaisical, the other is serious. One diverts army funds, the other focuses on adequate funding of the army.
“We can all see the difference. Nigerian soldiers who used to flee at the sight of the enemy now take the battle to the same foe. Around this time in 2015 when Nigerians were preparing for the general elections, truck-loads of American dollars diverted from army funds were shipped all over the country to buy votes. But nothing like that is happening now even though elections are just five weeks away. This is why we are confident that Boko Haram will soon become history.
“We appeal to Nigerians to continue to support the Federal Government. We need unity to defeat our common enemy. We must give useful information about criminals to security agents because no matter how good they are, they cannot win the battle against criminals alone. Soldiers, policemen and other security agents need our goodwill and support to succeed.
“Finally, we appeal to all churches and mosques to always include our soldiers in their prayers particularly in their weekly assemblies. Let us also pray for a peaceful election and a prosperous Nigeria”.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)