1st November, 2022
PUT ARABIC ON ALL DENOMINATIONS – MURIC
An Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has backed the move by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign the naira. However, the group gave the condition that Arabic Ajami must be inscribed on all naira denominations.
This was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday, 1st November, 2022 by the group’s director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The statement reads :
“The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, announced on Wednesday, 26th October, 2022 the plan by the CBN to redesign the naira (https://www.premiumtimesng.com/business/business-news/561816-cbn-to-launch-new-naira-designs-december-suspends-deposit-charges.html).
“MURIC hereby expresses its support for the project with the proviso that all the denominations must contain Arabic inscriptions just as they had been before Arabic Ajami was conspiratorially and unjustly removed from some denominations. The removal provoked Muslims and caused division within the country. Only its return to all denominations can heal the wound.
“Chief Olusegun Obasanjo fired the first salvo against the naira during his eight year rule as a civilian president (1999 – 2007). Obasanjo removed the Arabic Ajami from N5, N10, N20 and N50 denominations in 2005. Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan took the cue by removing Arabic Ajami from the N100 note when he issued the commemorative centenary banknote on 19th December, 2014.
“We assert clearly, categorically and unequivocally that both Obasanjo and Jonathan were motivated by tramadolised religiousity in taking this action. In both cases, the removal of Arabic from the naira generated heated debates and divided Nigerians along religious lines.
“We have reliable information that both Obasanjo and Jonathan acted after sustained but surreptitious pressure from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). The fact that the removal of Arabic from the naira on two different occasions occurred during the administration of two Christians speaks volumes.
“Even as we speak, a Christian lawyer has approached a Lagos high court seeking the removal of Arabic from the remaining naira notes. This implies that our Christian neighbours want to take everything from us. The remaining denominations from which they could not remove the naira through political power is what they have now assigned a Christian lawyer to get through the courts.
“MURIC succeeded in securing a joinder in the case and no judgement has been given yet. The main defendants are the CBN and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“It points indubitably to the fact that it is a Christian agenda. Why is it that those who removed Arabic from naira are Christian presidents? Why couldn’t the campaign continue under the Muslim president who succeeded Obasanjo? Why was it reactivated under Jonathan, another Christian president?
“This, again, explains why CAN always agitates for Christians to be in power as president or as vice president. The Christian umbrella organisation always seeks to use the influence of Christian rulers to get what it does not deserve. CAN is always scheming to remove all Islamic landmarks from the Nigerian landscape.
“It was CAN that spread the misleading propaganda that the existence of Arabic Ajami on naira notes is a form of Islamisation. Nigerian Christians swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker. That explains why 99% of those who have been agitating for the removal of Arabic from naira are Christians.
“They failed to see that if Arabic on the naira represents Islam or signifies Islamisation, English on the same naira either represents Christianity or portends Christianisation. By extension, if the use of Arabic is Islamisation, then the use of English, particularly as a lingua franca, is the Mother of all Christianisation.
“Unknown to many, Arabic is not a foreign language in Nigeria because it is actually spoken as the local language by a significant proportion of the population in North Eastern Nigeria called Shuwa Arabs. The removal of Arabic from the naira has cut off this section of our population from economic activities. This action constitutes a gross violation of Allah-given fundamental human rights of the Shuwa people as well as that of millions of Nigerian Muslims.
“MURIC is not unaware of the assurance given yesterday, Monday, 31st October, 2022 by the former governor of the CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to the effect that the current CBN governor had assured him that Arabic would not be removed from the new naira notes which are being expected next month.
“Our problem with the assurance is that it is silent on the bank notes from which Arabic Ajami was removed by both Obasanjo and Jonathan (https://dailynigerian.com/naira-redesign-emefiele/). We prefer a holistic package. Only thus can the injustice perpetrated by the two Christian rulers against Nigerian Muslims be addressed and the time to do it is now. Those who removed Arabic from naira were Muslim-haters. Not only did they act in error, they were motivated by articulated Islamophobia.
“For the gross violation of the rights of Muslims by Obasanjo and Jonathan, MURIC demands redress and healing of wounds during the redesign of the naira by the CBN. Return of Arabic from those naira denominations from which it was earlier removed will reunite Nigerians.
“We demand the inscription of Arabic Ajami on every denomination coming in December 2022 or at any other time in future. Nigerian Muslims will consider any attempt by any Nigerian administration to remove Arabic Ajami from the naira as a deliberate assault on its faith. It will also be seen as an existential threat. It is the red line.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)