This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Thursday, December 31, 2015
MURIC REAFFIRMS CONFIDENCE IN PRESIDENT BUHARI
1st January 2015,
NEW YEAR MESSAGE:
STATE OF THE NATION:
MURIC REAFFIRMS CONFIDENCE IN PRESIDENT BUHARI
Nigerian nation finally entered a new year 2016 after an action-packed 356 days
of year 2015.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) casts
a retrospective glance at major issues of national interest x-raying the
performances of the three arms of government, namely, the executive, the
legislature and the judiciary in the last one year. In summary, we are
generally pleased with steps taken so far by the executive arm of government in
AGAINST BOKO HARAM INSURGENTS:
war against Boko Haram insurgents has been largely won courtesy of the new
administration’s sincerity of purpose and commitment to the protection of the territorial
integrity of Nigeria. We strongly believe that recent incidents of suicide
bombing in some parts of the North East are borne out of a sense of defeat as
all territories occupied by the insurgents have been liberated by the Nigerian
Army. President Muhammadu Buhari and the top echelon of the
Nigerian Army deserve accolades for this monumental fait accompli.
THE CHIBOK GIRLS:
MURIC lays the blame for the tragic disappearance
of the Chibok girls who were abducted by the insurgents on the doorsteps of
ex-President Goodluck Jonathan who refused to take action until 18 days after
the mass abduction.
His nonchalance appeared conspiratorial as it gave
the hoodlums enough time to either take the girls outside Nigeria or hide them
in an underground bunker while they dug in. This is a good case of executive
connivance and accessory after the fact of mass abduction of innocent Nigerian
girls. We regretfully assert that only a magic in the hands of Jonathan’s successor
and divine miracle can produce the Chibok girls.
The introduction of the Treasury Single
Account (TSA) to the finance sector of government agencies nationwide has
injected a powerful dose of probity and accountability in public finance. Its implementation has also reinforced
President Buhari’s credibility. No less reassuring is the new administration’s
war against corruption.
In particular, the $2.2 billion arms fund saga
has been most traumatizing. Nigerians are shocked that public office holders
can so callously divert such huge funds meant for fighting insurgents. The
blood of victims of Boko Haram marauders including that of our gallant soldiers
who fell to the insurgents’ superior firepower is certainly on the heads of
those behind the diversion.
this regard, we appeal to President Buhari to release the 66 soldiers who were convicted
for demanding adequate weapons before advancing on Boko Haram insurgents. This will
be a most welcome new year gift from Mr. President to Nigerians.
We pity critics of President Buhari who call
him a dictator on account of his firm stand on the corruption cases. They are
birds of the same feather with those who steal from our commonwealth. Their
blind criticism is simply aimed at blackmailing the president and compelling
him to soft-pedal. In other climes, particularly in places like China and
Vietnam, these public enemies would have been shot long ago and their
properties forfeited to the state. Consideration of human rights is a misconception
for people who deprived thousands of their right to life.
We call on President Buhari to remain
undaunted in his determination to punish these kleptomaniacs. This is the
people’s mandate and only a man with iron will can fulfill it. Mr. President
must forge forward. ‘No retreat, No Surrender.’
THE NIGERIAN LEGISLATURE:
The recent allegation of a plan to purchase
496 cars for members of the National Assembly (NASS) is quite worrisome
particularly because this is coming after car loans were granted to all the
honourable members barely four months ago. Nigerians expect the NASS to embrace
the change mantra of the new dispensation.
With Nigeria’s basic foreign income earner
(petroleum) which used to sell above $100 now selling at $37 per barrel, the
last thing we need in these difficult times is an assembly of looters. We
therefore demand that the extravagant plan be put on hold.
THE NIGERIAN JUDICIARY:
Although MURIC can observe knocks and kudos
for the judiciary in the last one year, we can confidently say that this arm of
government has kept its head above sea level. We are pleased to note that the
old practice of releasing two or three inmates while exercising the prerogative
of mercy has changed dramatically. State chief judges now free scores of
deserving inmates during their visits.
MURIC implores the judiciary to visit the
prisons regularly and free larger number of inmates in order to facilitate
speedy and effective decongestion.
In addition, we remind judges and lawyers of
the need to temper justice with patriotism in their handling of corruption
Judges and lawyers should remember that they
are also Nigerians and their nuclear or extended families are one way or the
other affected by the acts of economic sabotage carried out by looters. Nigerians are eagerly waiting to hear final
pronouncements on those who sucked them dry and turned their children into
beggars. By the same token, posterity is taking note of collaborators in legal
wigs and gowns.
THE NIGERIAN PRESS:
The Fourth Estate of the Realm proved worthy
during the past year. Nonetheless, some overzealousness and sensationalism were
noticed. Of particular reference is the curious interest shown by a section of the
press in the hijab imbroglio. Rumours were deliberately generated to the effect
that the government was planning to ban the hijab because of the way suicide
bombers use it to disguise.
This was also demonstrated in the way a media
executive posed the question to President Buhari during his recent media chat. To
put the records straight and to the best of our knowledge, the Federal
Government has not revealed any plan to ban hijab.
The question put to Mr. President was therefore
unnecessary, sensation-seeking and mischievous. We are also constrained to clarify
that no neighbouring country has banned hijab. What was banned in Cameroon,
Niger and Chad is the burqa which
covers both the heads and faces of users. In spite of the response extorted
from Mr. President, Nigerian Muslims have no reason to doubt his sense of fairness.
We must also quickly add that nobody in his
right frame of mind will compare Nigeria with its neighbours particularly on
religious issues. Unlike Nigeria, our neighbours have experienced no
single religious crisis for decades. The argument that Nigeria should also ban
the hijab because its neighbours have done so is therefore weak, irrelevant and
Any administration contemplating a ban on
hijab in Nigeria may be setting fire to its own roof. Nigerian journalists are therefore
implored to eschew sensation and to conduct their assignments with great sense
of responsibility in the interest of peace in the country.
Nonetheless, MURIC is still of the humble
opinion that certain measures can be taken on the hijab affair (e.g. regarding
type, style, time frame and not a blanket ban) in the interest of protecting
the lives of even the Muslims who use the hijab and those of the security
agents if the local Muslims are taken into confidence prior to debates and
On a final note, therefore, MURIC reaffirms
full confidence in President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration. We call
on the leadership and members of the NASS to tow the same line of discipline in
order to justify the exalted position occupied by them. President Buhari is
advised to dialogue with Muslims in the country on the perceived threat posed by
hijab to security agents and civilian populations.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)