Rights group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has released its New Year message, detailing why it believed governing Nigeria has been difficult for the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
The group also suggested what citizens and leaders need to do to take the country out of its present logjam.
Read full message below.
NEW YEAR MESSAGE:
TIME TO GIVE NIGERIA A NEW LEASE OF LIFE
As time draws the curtain over year 2017, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) laments a tumultuous, seemingly endless twelve-month period and envisions a peaceful and brighter future for Nigeria.
The past year encapsulated all the negative propensities anyone has ever imagined about our dear country and its people. We proved extremely difficult to rule for a honest leader but easy to manipulate for a thief. We want good roads but we celebrate those who stole the money meant for roads. We know the value of flyovers in reducing traffic gridlocks but we idolize those who misappropriate money voted for flyovers.
We appreciate state-of-the-art public health care system but we award chieftaincy titles to those who pocket money intended for modern hospital equipments. We worship 419ners and despise hardworking compatriots. Nearly everybody collects bribe and almost everyone expects to be bribed before doing the needful. We shamelessly crown international thieves as kings.
A past leader told us that stealing is not corruption. He went ahead to demonstrate this by giving state pardon to a man already convicted for corruption and also followed it up with a National Merit Award. Yet we are not ashamed to hobnob with this man. A few among us even want him to come back as president. Where is our honour? Where lies our conscience? In the city of the blind, the one-eyed man is the king. But in Nigeria’s city of the blind, the king must not only be blind in both eyes, he must be deaf in both ears and lame in both legs.
Mass laziness led to the importation of everything we use while failure to distinguish between religion and stupidity led us to spend more time on our knees and on our mats than we spend at work. Our acrobatic religiousity merely succeeded in producing paradoxical criminality thereby removing the thin line that lies between armed robbers and men of God in all religions. Many see legislators as legislooters.
How can we successfully fight corruption when our able-bodied men threaten to bomb the country’s infrastructure each time the government makes an attempt to deal with looters from their ethnic group? Ironically, these men also suffer as victims of corruption as much as we do. How can we punish looters to serve as deterrent when our judges provide cover for them? Yet we still have the temerity to ask: who did this to Nigeria?
We must look inwards. We are the architects of our fate. The Glorious Qur’an says, “Evil has appeared in both land and sea as a result of the handiworks of mankind, so that they may taste from their evil ways” (30:41).
We can see from the above that Nigeria is confronted with two major problems, namely, that of poor citizens’ mindset and corruption, particularly among the leadership. Ayn al-mafarru? What is the solution? Regarding the peoples’ mindset, the Glorious Qur’an says, “Verily Allah will not change the condition of a people until they decide to change their own ways” (13:11)
Therefore the solution lies in changing our mindset. No single person or leader can change the country alone. Let us believe in this country and in its oneness. If we want a prosperous future for our children and generations yet unborn, we must think and act positively. We must stop certain habits: taking or giving bribe, wasting money on social ceremonies like funerals and weddings, spraying cash at events, throwing garbage on the roads, urinating by roadsides and on walls, defecating in public, writing on the naira and squeezing it, abusing and insulting one another, delivering or sending hate messages. Nigeria will change if we change ourselves.
However, corruption is a different cup of tea. We may have to resort to extraordinary measures to deal with looters. Since our lawyers will always find technicalities to extenuate the offence of notorious looters and licenced kleptomaniacs, since some judges will always grant them ridiculous injunctions, the only alternative is to seek an uncommon solution.
As a way out and as an uncommon solution to the endemic corruption plaguing our nation, MURIC hereby declares spiritual warfare on corrupt elements in our society. We invite all and sundry to support us in this new effort to rid our country of economic rodents and political parasites. It is another contribution to the efforts of the Federal Government in its war against corruption.
Looters are found in all religions. Corrupt people are selfish citizens who do not remember their church members, their fellow Muslims or co-traditionalists when stealing public funds. We contend that poverty knows no religion. Christians are hungry in Nigeria today. Muslims are suffering. Traditionalists are crying. We are all common victims of corruption. We are all in darkness at night. We all ply the bad roads. We all lack adequate public health care delivery system. The public schools attended by our children can best be described as glorified public shelters. We must all come together to expose and punish looters in order to stop the sufferings of millions of innocent Nigerians.
It is an open secret that corruption has been fighting back using demonic means. Nigerians of all faiths must unite to launch a relentless spiritual attack on it. Let the minbar, the pulpit and the shrine rain curses on those who robbed the Nigerian treasury silly. Let families make curses of looters a major prayer point in year 2018. Let individual Nigerians curse these kleptomaniacs three times every day: as they wake up on empty bellies in the morning; as they suffer on bad roads during the day and as they prepare for the night’s rest, sweating profusely in darkness.
The salvation of Nigerians lies in our hands. We must emancipate ourselves from socio-economic slavery. Our curses are the only weapons that can scare Nigerian capitalist comparador bourgeoisie. They are not afraid of anti-graft agencies but they are afraid of curses from the citizenry because they are Africans afterall. Let us therefore use this potent weapon to the fullest. They use militants to blackmail the government each time a move is made to apprehend them. They compromise the judiciary to frustrate the people’s will. But the church, the mosque and the shrine can save the hoi polloi from these wicked people.
Let us ask the Supreme Creator to plung them into perpetual darkness in this world and in the next just as they have thrown this country into darkness. Tell the Master of all masters to turn the billions of naira they stole from our common wealth into a source of misery for them and their offsprings unless they return our money. As they have used stolen money to buy false judgement in the courts, pray that the Judge of all judges pronounce untold affliction upon them.
As for lawmakers who have elected to pitch tent with looters by constituting themselves into clogs in the wheel of progress in the people’s war against corruption, we remind them of the Divine lawmaker and Supreme Creator. He is waiting for them to explain why final disciplinary action should not be taken against them for betraying the people’s trust. In the same vein, the Judge of all judges patiently awaits those Nigerian judges who have been colluding with looters one way or another, slowing down the judicial process and granting laughable injunctions. Verily your Lord lies in wait (ان ربك لبالمرصاد: Qur’an 89:14)
In our concluding remarks, we leave open the window of repentance, confession and return of stolen loots. Any of these looters who confesses, repents and returns stolen funds and properties shall not be affected by the people’s curses and his offsprings shall be free of the afflictions. This is the way to give Nigeria a new lease of life, a life free of corruption.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)