18th May, 2023
ALLOW SENATE PRESIDENCY TO GO TO SOUTHERN CHRISTIANS – MURIC
As Nigeria approaches the 29th May inauguration date of a new administration, newly elected lawmakers and politicians have intensified the lobby game. An Islamic human rights group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has also joined the debate. Though a Muslim group, MURIC wants the Senate presidency to go to a Christian from the South. The group has therefore called on all Muslims vying for the post to withdraw.
This was made known in a statement issued on Thursday, 18th May, 2023 by the Executive Director of the group, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The statement reads :
“As the clock ticks away for the 29th May inauguration date of the Bola Tinubu administration, elected lawmakers and politicians have intensified the lobby game. We have seen how the different geo-political zones as well as individual politicians and stakeholders have demanded key positions in the National Assembly.
“Chief among those positions is the Senate presidency as it is the Number 3 position in the country after the president and vice president. As a major stakeholder in the affairs of Nigeria, we have followed with keen interest the imbroglio which greeted the Muslim-Muslim ticket and how it ended in Nigeria having a Muslim President-Elect and a Muslim Vice President-Elect.
“In view of this outcome and considering the multi-religious character of our dear country, Nigeria, it is our considered opinion that the post of senate president should go to a Southern Christian. Nigeria needs the cooperation of both Muslims and Christians because only such collaboration can engender peace and development.
“Although we are a Muslim group, we believe very strongly that Muslims should not take all the top posts despite being the undisputed majority group in the country. Muslims must be ready to share power with their Christian compatriots. Politics is a game of give and take and Nigerian Muslims must play it right.
“We must all be ready to demonstrate willingness to work together as a people in spite of our religious differences. Afterall there is no Muslim electricity supply, no Christian roads, no Muslim public transport system and no Christian naira. Our problems are identical and whatever affects our country affects both Muslims and Christians together.
“A good example is COVID-19. Hunger knows no Muslim and malaria knows no Christian. Poverty is common among the adherents of both faith. Let us therefore share what belongs to all with love and find solutions to our common problems together.
“MURIC therefore calls on all Muslim candidates vying for the position of senate president to withdraw in order to allow Christian candidates from the South to have a free hand in the competition (preferably the South South because the South East has occupied the post on several occasions).
“In addition, MURIC tips any suitable candidate from the North West for the post of deputy senate president in view of the fact that the zone gave the largest number of votes to the party and the candidate that won the election.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)