An Islamic human rights organisation, Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has fired back at Dino Melaye, the spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, PDP-PCC, over his recent comments against the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
Recall that Mr Melaye had described Mr Tinubu as ‘an emergency Muslim’, asking the electorate to vote against him in next month’s general elections.
But the MURIC, in a statement by its founder and director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, described Mr Melaye’s allegation as false.
The group argued that Mr Melaye had no moral right to question Mr Tinubu’s level of faith.
The statement read: “Senator Dino Melaye, the spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Committee (PCC), has said the presidential flag-bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 election, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is not a Muslim.
“We are astonished by Dino Melaye’s statement. To say the least, it is false, baseless and unfounded. It is a product of oral diarrhea. It is also an intrusion into Muslim affairs by a non-Muslim who does not enter the mosque with us. It is therefore provocative, preposterous and ill-advised.
“Dino Melaye is not qualified to utter such a statement. The last time we checked, Dino was busy climbing trees. There is no record of his ever attending a madrasah (Quranic school) talk less of being an Islamic scholar. Can he therefore tell us when Tinubu came to him to learn Surat al-Fatihah which he claimed Tinubu does not know? Is he Tinubu’s Alfa?
“Dino comes across as a meddlesome interloper and a confusionist who, faced by an eminently qualified and indubitably superior opposition candidate, clings at straws in a desperate search for foul means to demonise this primus inter pareil presidential material called Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“He knows very well that Tinubu is the numero uno among all the presidential candidates for the 2023 elections. Dino is currently frustrated because he is aware that Tinubu is the doyen of Nigerian Muslims and their choice for the presidency despite the fact that his principal, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is also a Muslim.
“This is where Dino is going. His message was meant to be digested by Nigerian Muslims. That is why it is MURIC’s business to tackle him. He appears to be saying, ‘Drop Tinubu. He is not Muslim enough. Stop following him. My principal is a better Muslim’.
“But Nigerian Muslims are not being parochial. They did not pick Tinubu because he is a Muslim. They picked him because of his pedigree. They picked him because they know that he is capable of managing the Nigerian economy in this turbulent world just as he did in Lagos State when the going got rough.
“Melaye has failed, however. We know Tinubu is not a Shaykh or an Islamic scholar. Not every Muslim must be an Islamic scholar anyway. It is enough for us that he is a Muslim. We are also aware that only a tolerant Muslim can unite Nigeria in its present condition and Tinubu happens to be the round peg in the round hole.
“Why should that be a problem for Dino? Why is he taking panadol for our perceived headache? Dino should realise that he cannot weaken the resolve of Nigerian Muslims to support Tinubu.