1st January 2020





An Islamic human rights advocacy group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for refraining from stealing Nigeria’s money and for steering the ship of the nation with patience, maturity and Solomonic wisdom. This was revealed in a New Year message issued by the director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Wednesday, 1st January, 2019.


According to MURIC, “Nigerians will appreciate President Buhari if they can compare and contrast. The money being used presently for massive infrastructure had always been there but it was being siphoned into private pockets, foreign banks and for the acquisition of luxurious properties. Those leaders were acquiring jets, luxurious yatchs and expansive private estates while our school buildings were collapsing, retirees were dying, our roads became notorious death traps and our hospitals became public mortuaries. Public enterprises like the Nigerian Railway Corporation and the Nigerian Airways went into oblivion.


“But today the glory of Nigeria is returning. Our roads are being macadamized by PMB, the rails are springing back to life while Second Niger Bridge which had been ignored for decades is currently undergoing speedy construction. Several economic empowerment programmes initiated by the Buhari administration have put smiles on the lips of millions of beneficiaries. Fuel queues which used to be a recurring decimal particularly in the ember months and the Christmas and New Year season in particular have become a thing of the past. To the chagrin of one-eyed critics and wailing wailers, President Buhari continues to retain the record of the Father of Modern Nigeria.


“Buhari deserves this appellation for having so much wealth under his control yet he did not enrich himself. Nigerians who are witnessing this transformation and uncommon transparency should consider themselves lucky for having a leader who has dedicated his life to frugal spending and austere life. Other African states are not so lucky.


“Tedodoro Nguema Mbasogo (1979 to date) of New Equitorial Guinea has a net worth of $600 million which makes him one of the richest heads of state in the world. Jose Eduardo Dos Santos of Angola (1979 to date) has an estimated networth of $20 billion while his daughter has a networth of $3 billion in a country where 70% of the population manage to survive on $2 per day. Those two corrupt African leaders are still in office yet the wailing wailers have not deemed it fit to appreciate their own Mr. Integrity.


“Other corrupt African leaders whose performance we need to place in perspective in order to appreciate Buhari include Idi Amin Dada of Uganda (1971 – 1979) who took so much of the country’s money for himself that the inflation rate in Uganda rose to 1,000 percent by the time he was driven out of power; Francisco Macias Nguema of Equitorial Guinea (1968 – 1979) who hoarded state money; Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan (1989 – 2019) who allegedly stashed away $9 billion with the London banks and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe (1987 – 2017) who stole more than $10 million in a country whose GDP per capita is $953.


“Nearer home, Sani Abacha (1993 – 1998) stole more than $4.3 billion. The Presidential Library of former President Olusegun Obasanjo continues to raise eyebrows while the $16 billion allegedly spent on the procurement of power remains a monumental scandal and a riddle waiting to be solved. Diezani Allison Madueke reportedly helped herself to more than N2 trillion naira from the treasury. She has been charged with responsibility for a whopping $20 billion missing from the petroleum agency.


“In view of the above, MURIC celebrates President Muhammadu Buhari. A Father of Modern Nigeria has emerged. Buhari is the gem among other African leaders. We call on Nigerians to look outside the country, to cast a glance round the African continent in order to appreciate what they have. Let us appreciate our own in this New Year 2020 and do less of blind opposition.


“We all have been laying the blame for Nigeria’s poor condition on bad leadership. A good leader is now on the march. Let us not close our eyes and refuse to acknowledge him until his tenure expires. He may not pass this way again. Muhammadu Buhari is enough for us as a model and standard of good governance. His record will be difficult to break.


“We call on Nigerians to show him appreciation by cooperating with his government. The Muslims among us must remember that Allah promised to increase His blessings for those who are appreciative (Glorious Qur’an 14:7). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also said, ‘Whoever fails to appreciate human beings will never appreciate Allah’. Christians among us must not be like the nine lepers who failed to thank Jesus after being healed (Luke 17:11-19). It is when we appreciate good things in our leaders that we will be motivated to emulate them. We therefore urge Nigerians to ignore the pessimism of cynics.


“There is hope for Nigerians in this new year 2020 and the years to come if we have faith in our country. Nigeria is a great country if only we realize it. Just because we closed the borders for three months, our parasiting neighbours: Benin, Togo and Cameroon are bending over backwards. Apart from the days of Muritala Muhammad, this is one of the best times to be a Nigerian. Let us therefore be proud of our great country, Nigeria. The future is indeed very bright.


“MURIC wishes all Nigerians a Happy New Year in the Gregorian calendar. We invite our Christian neighbours to join hands with us in making Nigeria a greater and peaceful nation. Let us come together in unity to banish corruption and all forms of criminality from our society. Our followers will change once we, the leaders, start condemning and shunning evil with one voice. There will also be peace once both the pulpit and the minbar start peaching peace and once they avoid incitement. Religious leaders cannot afford to behave like rival wives in a polygamous setting.


“In our epilogue, we thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his transparency, his sacrifices, for steering the ship of the nation with patience, maturity and Solomonic wisdom and for his many achievements for the country. We call the attention of Nigerians to the phenomenon of bad leadership among other African nations and in order to realise how the present Nigerian leader stands out in the maddening crowd.”


Professor Ishaq Akintola,


Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)