1st June, 2022
PRIMARIES: SHOW STATESMANSHIP AND PATRIOTISM – MURIC
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has appealed to politicians involved in the ongoing presidential primaries to show statesmanship and patriotism in their attempts to pick presidential flagbearers for their various political parties.
The appeal was issued in a statement circulated to the media by the director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Wednesday, 1st June, 2022.
The statement reads :
“We have observed with deep concern the absence of decorum and the open display of wealth in the gubernatorial, senatorial as well as the ongoing presidential primaries. Our hearts bleed as moneycracy has been allowed to supplant democracy while equity and justice have been trampled in the mud.
“We may all be politicians, but this is the time to know the real statesmen and patriots. It is true that politicians only think of the next election while statesmen think of the nation. This is the time to differentiate between the politicians and the statesmen. Ordinary politicians will totally marginalize the Christian South East as well as the Muslim South West. But statesmen and patriots will partner with the South East and South West.
“South West Muslims have been clamouring for a Yoruba Muslim president as an escape route from the existential threat they face in the hands of their fellow Yoruba Christians. They have not withdrawn their clamour. They have not changed their demand and they have made it clear that a Christian president from the South East or South South is more preferable to a Yoruba Christian president who will most certainly embolden their fellow Yoruba Christian oppressors.
“Nonetheless, those who say Atiku Abubakar should not come to the East to campaign need to reconsider their stand. Power is never dashed out on a platter of gold. It must be negotiated and contested. Atiku is eminently qualified to seek the highest office in the land and we all must be fair to him by giving him and other candidates a level playing ground. That is true democracy. Democrats don’t issue threats. They vote their consciences.
“Whatever may have been responsible for the choice of a Northerner by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), other political parties should prioritise equity, justice and fairness in their choice of presidential flagbearers.
“It should be noted that MURIC does not speak for the South or the North. Our interest is justice and equity. Our members are both in the North and South. We are Fulani, Hausa, Kanuri, Igbo, Ibiobio, Efik, Yoruba, etc. Our members are in all ethnic groups in the country.
“An organization whose members are spread across the land cannot afford to focus on demands for any particular region or tribe but at least we have a major constituency and a permanent interest which are Nigeria, Nigerian Muslims, Nigerians in general, humanity, equity and justice, in that order.
“The leader of MURIC may be a Yoruba man, yet he must not carry the banner of Yoruba Muslims alone on his head, rather, his interest at all times must be in harmony with those of Nigerian Muslims.
“We therefore call on the remaining political parties whose presidential flagbearers have not been decided to exhibit statesmanship and patriotism by paying attention to, and giving priority, to the South in general.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern