29th May, 2019




An Islamic human rights group has compared the noninterference stance of President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) in the 2019 elections in Rivers and Zamfara states to the Federal-induced pressure in Ekiti and Rivers states in the Jonathanian period.       

In a public statement issued by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola on Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) maintained that PMB exhibited the highest level of statesmanship and rubbed shoulders with leaders in advanced countries in transparency, probity and accountability as well as global best practices of democratic experience.

On the contrary, MURIC continued, PMB’s predecessor, ex-President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ), flew the flag of an unrepentant fascist and a totalitarian dictator who was determined to drive the opposition underground. These conclusions were drawn by the human rights group while reviewing the attitude of both leaders vis a vis the opposition parties.

“Nigerians need to appreciate PMB as he begins the journey to his second term in office today. He deserves kudos for refusing to unleash Federal might on Rivers and Zamfara States during the 2019 general elections. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) virtually gave the two states to the opposition on a platter of gold but PMB looked the other way. Thus he adhered religiously to his policy of noninterference with other arms of government.

“PMB kept mum as INEC declared his ruling party persona non grata in the gubernatorial and house of assembly elections in those two states. Also, he made no attempt whatsoever to influence the decision of the Supreme Court which nullified the participation of the ruling party in Zamfara State a week ago.   

MURIC cast a retrospective glance at the way GEJ used Federal might in gubernatorial elections in his own days.


“On the contrary, comparing PMB to GEJ in democratic practices is like comparing the sun to candle light. GEJ used federal might to give undeserved victory to Ayodele Fayose in Ekiti in June 2014 and to Governor Nyesome Wike in May 2015. Equally relevant here is the open denial of the people’s will in Osun 2014 until former Governor Rauf Aregbesola went to court to seek redress.


“On 20th November, 2014, GEJ sealed up the House of Representatives in a bid to impeach its speaker (Aminu Tambuwal) in the runup to the 2015 general elections. The lawmakers had to scale the gates to gain access into the hallowed chambers.  Security details attached to ex-governors Amaechi, Kwankwaso and ex-Speaker Tambuwal were withdrawn. For several weeks, the Emir of Kano had to seek refuge in the state government’s house.  


“As if that was not enough, GEJ grounded Amaechi’s plane and prevented sitting governors from reaching their destinations where they intended to support their colleagues during elections.  


“It is obvious from the above that PMB is strengthening the system, particularly the judiciary and the electoral body, INEC. Democracy is gaining weight and Nigeria is earning more respect in the comity of nations. He may have appeared weak and fragile for refusing to flex federal muscle when it mattered, but the system benefits more. This is exactly what Nigeria needs at this point in time. Stronger personalities and weaker institutions have been our albatross, but today the picture is different under PMB.


“The true democrat has arrived. The facts are emerging not only in the fight against corruption but in strict compliance with due process, respect for the rule of law and noninterference in the workings of other arms of government. PMB is building a new Nigeria. His name will be written in letters of gold when the history of the emergence of modern Nigeria is chronicled.


“As we draw the curtain, we affirm clearly, categorically and unequivocally that PMB has exhibited the highest level of statesmanship. He has rubbed shoulders with leaders of advanced countries in transparency, probity and accountability as well as in global best practices in governance. These are what have been missing hitherto in the Nigerian political culture.

 “Therefore, we call on Nigerians to give PMB unalloyed support during his second term. We charge newly elected lawmakers across boards to develop the mien for patriotic politicking and an aggressive appetite for positive law-making. This is the only way to transform Nigeria to an El Dorado and bequeath an enduring democracy to future generations”.   


Professor Ishaq Akintola,


Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


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