16th April, 2022
INSECURITY: CRITICS MUST BE RETROSPECT – MURIC
An Islamic human rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has decried the subjective criticism of the state of insecurity in the country. The group wants critics to be retrospective for fairness and objectivity.
This was contained in a statement issued on Saturday, 16th April, 2022 by the director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The statement reads:
“It has been observed that critics of the Buhari administration on the state of insecurity in the country today have narrowed their perspective on attacks which occurred during the period of the current administration alone without considering the circumstances both in the remote and immediate past. Such a parameter is bound to produce a narrow, parochial and unfair assessment.
“We call on critics to be retrospective. Today was born from the wombs of yesterday. The current situation must not be judged in isolation. There are precedents to be considered. Those who refuse to juxtapose past events with current happenings are being unjust to both the Buhari adminisration and history.
“Just as Nigerians must not trace the root of banditry and insurgency to Northern youths alone but go beyond them, so must commentators on the current insecurity trace the ugly phenomenon to past regimes if they want to be objective in their assessment.
“To that extent, therefore, Nigerians must interrogate what happened to funds meant for the acquisition of weapons for the military in the days of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. $2.1 billion was diverted to the private pockets of politicians. That is the exact cost of the Lagos-Ibadan dual carriage modern rail line. Unfortunately culprits are the same people shouting loudest over insecurity today.
The Chibock girls would have been rescued hours after they were abducted if Jonathan had acted promptly. But he dilly-dallied for three weeks claiming it was a plot hatched by his political enemies. It was this procrastination that gave Boko Haram the chance to dig in. Characteristically today, critics cannot spell Jonathan’s name.
“A structure can only be as good as it’s foundation. Nullity upon nullity can only be nullity. You cannot build reality on sheer phantom. Those who stole the country dry and denied our military the much needed weaponry, including those who failed to act on time, laid the foundation for today’s woes. Buhari is merely trying to salvage the situation.
“Yet our ‘last look at the Moore’ must not stop at the days of the Jonathan regime alone. For instance, Nigerians would not have been hearing of Boko Haram today if the threat had been nipped in the bud in the days of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Yar’adua. Insecurity has come a long, windy path. The blame should not be laid on the doorsteps of President Muhamnadu Buhari. The blame should go straight to where it belongs.
“We must also not forget the negative role played by fifth columnist politicians particularly the Saraki-led unpatriotic and anti-people senators and members of the House of Representatives of his days, including Saraki’s co-traveller, Yakubu Dogara, ex-Speaker. These were lawmakers who sabotaged all efforts made by the Buhari regime to acquire arms for the Nigerian military for a whole four years (2015-2019). Saraki and Dogsra were planted in the National Assembly by those who feared an eight years of hurricane Buhari.
“They allowed Boko Haram to become too powerful. It is therefore paradoxical that the same Senator Saraki now wants to contest as Nigeria’s president. It is certain that the affliction of the disease called collective amnesia has reached a pandemic stage in Nigeria. We forget so quickly that our numero uno public enemy becomes our hero as soon as our tears dry up.
“How could we have forgotten so soon? Bombings in Abuja reached high crescendo. The United Nations building, Nigeria Police’headquaters, EFCC headquarters, Nyanya motor park, mosques, churches, etc were not spared by terrorists. Suicide bombers had a field day between 2011 and 2015. Who was in power then? Was it Buhari? Why are critics now narrowing everything down to this regime?
“How can we be so ungrateful? Who did this to Nigeria? What crime have the security agencies committed that we refuse to appreciate them in spite of their huge sacrifices and successes? The US army is a great force to reckon with today because the citizens appreciate them.
“Where are the suicide bombers today? The security agencies stopped the menace of suicide bombing but we still don’t want to appreciate them. Residents of Maiduguri are now sleeping with calm. Who did that?
“No Nigerian administration has acquired so much weaponry for the military like Buhari. We challenge those critics to draw up a honest comparative list of the performance and morale of the military under previous regimes and the Buhari administration. It is on record that Nigerian troops used to take cover in neighbouring contries on sighting insurgents who were always armed to the teeth.
“The reverse is the case today as Boko Haram fighters take to their heels when faced by our gallant soldiers. Thousands of them have also surrendered. Also no Nigerian government has recruited policemen in an aggressive manner like we have it today under Buhari. The numerical strength of the police which was at a standstill (130,000) from 2003 to 2015 has been boosted by Buhari with 10,000 recruits annually. Can you beat that? Conservatively, Nigeria must have at least 136,000 men as at 2022.
“While it may be true that as President, Buhari is responsible for the lives and properties of Nigerians, we must remember that security should not be left to soldiers and policemen alone. Every citizen must be security conscious and they are expected to feed the security agencies with useful information. We must be their ears and eyes.
“But what do we get from Nigerians? They are the ones cutting rails to sell them. They cut aluminium railings on bridges. They destroy infrastructure. Why do some people think Buhari must be blamed for sixteen years of recklessness, sixteen years of impunity, sixteen years of corruption without borders?
“Our assessment of the security situation must also be retrospective. Government is a continuum and the Buhari regime cannot be an exception. Therefore, it can only continue from where its predecessor stopped.
“The Jonathan regime bequeathed a legacy of insecurity to the Buhari administration. It is a relay race. What is passed to you is what you build on. Unfortunately this regime received a disadvantaged baton and it is doing it’s best to improve on it. Only a biased spectator from the stands will condemn a runner who received his own baton from an athlete who came last and far behind.
“MURIC is not saying anything new. Therefore we cannot be accused of referring to any particular critic or group of critics. We have been consistent in showcasing the good works of the Buhari administration and defending it when it is unfairly attacked.
“We are definitely not reacting to the comments of any of the Imams and Muslim leaders whose interviews were published in the Tribune of today. Neither are we referring to the comments of any Islamic irganisation. A certain development compelled our outing today and this is a general comment to all Nigerians.
Our appeal to critics is to be constructive. Comments must be balanced because anyone who says this administration has not done a single good thing since inception must have a heavy burden on his conscience.
“We are free to criticise Buhari, but let us swallow our pride and eschew the bitterness by admitting his achievements as well. Buhari is definitely not perfect and there is insecurity in the land. But fake news, politicisation, bias, bitterness, distortion and misinformation will not take us anywhere.
“As we drop the anchor, we doff our hats for the security agencies fof their many achievements and sacrifices. Gallant Nigerian soldiers and policemen. MURIC appreciates you. Great men and heroes of the secret police, we cherish your sacrifices.
“We reiterate that commentators on insecurity in the country must take retrospective looks at the Nigerian situation for a fair, constructive and comprehensive assessment. Any judgement passed on this administration without considering where it was coming from can only be described as jaundiced, myopic and parochial.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)