1st June, 2023
MUSLIMS SACRIFICIAL LAMBS IN APPOINTMENTS : MURIC TELLS TINUBU, SHETTIMA
An Islamic human rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC),
has reacted to reports that the new Vice President, Kashim Shettima, gave his
first two appointments to two Christians from the North and South East. The
group warned that President Tinubu and his vice should not make Muslims
sacrificial lambs in matters of appointment.
This was made known in a press release issued on Thursday, 1st
June, 2023 by the group’s Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
He said :
“There are reports that Vice President Kashim Shettima has given his
first two appointments to two Christians. He made an Igbo man, a Catholic, his
Chief Security Officer (CSO). Next, he gave another Christian from the North
Central, the post of Aide-de-Camp (ADC). But he gave Muslims nothing.
“These are two very sensitive positions, in fact the most sensitive
posts in the office of a top government official and the Vice President has
elected to entrust them to Christians.
“We can understand the Vice President’s body language. He is eager to
prove that he has nothing to hide. Again, the fact that he made a pronouncement
after the appointments to the effect that he has no Islamisation agenda
explains it all. The VP is afraid of being accused of pursuing an Islamisation
agenda. He has behaved like a man boxed to a corner. No doubt this is the
result of consolidated blackmail.
“The development gives us serious cause for
concern. Muslims have started asking questions since the appointments: are we not
in for another round of marginalisation since Muslim leaders have already started
succumbing to blackmail so early?
“The ears of MURIC are very close to the
ground. We are close to the Muslims. We get reports from all the geo-political
zones. This is what Muslims are saying already about the first appointments
that were made. The VP can find out by himself since he is close to them too. We
hope he will not be given recycled, sycophantic and brummagem reports.
“Therefore to the new Vice President we
have this to say: ‘This is your first act of injustice to Nigerian Muslims. You
gave your first two appointments to Christians. Where is that of Muslims? Had
you shared those two appointments between Christians and Muslims had been
acceptable, but you bent over backwards to please your blackmailers thereby
depriving Muslims who are already marginalized but who, characteristically, will
not tell lies or blackmail to get what they do not deserve.’
“’Is it because they are good at making
noise after committing wrong? Is it because they have perfected the art of the
best form of defence is attack? Is it because they control the press? Verily
verily we say unto thee oh Vice President, this is your first act of injustice
to the Muslims.
“One of those two posts should have gone to a Muslim.
Muslims are also human beings. They are affected by the economic crunch more
than any other group. Muslims are at the bottom of the pyramid of poverty in
this country. Every single appointment in any family reduces poverty in that
family. Muslim families matter. Tank you for reducing poverty level in two
Christian families while you tell hungry, famished Muslims to wait.’
“It is true that appointments must
reflect competence. But it is equally true that it must also mirror the reality
on the ground. Interestingly enough, the reality on ground is that Muslims are
an overwhelming majority in this country today. MURIC did not say that. The presidential
election held on 25th February, 2023 said so.
“In that historic election, Muslim votes
were split among four Muslim presidential candidates (Ahmed Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar,
Ahmed Datti and Abdul-Lateef Kola Abiola). Christians, except a few, voted
massively for Peter Obi. Yet Ahmed Tinubu won. It is a strong demographic
declaration vis-à-vis the population strength of Christians and Muslims
“The Kaduna scenario is another good
example. A minority Christian group based in Southern Kaduna had been arrogating
to themselves the right to leadership until ex-Governor Nasir El-Rufai taught
them the lesson of their lives. El-Rufai simply called their bluff by going for
a Muslim-Muslim ticket. He has won twice. Those who were promoting their false propaganda
promptly shut up.
“Why then should the Christians take the lion share of
the dividends of democracy if they are not the majority? Why should the Muslims
work like elephants but receive the share of ants? It is still too early to
forget how former President Muhammadu Buhari was hounded, intimidated and
embarrassed from dusk to dawn with false allegations of Islamisation and
fulanisation whereas his accusers were busy actively perpetrating, perfecting
and perpetuating Christianisation and Afeniferisation.
“They accused Buhari of appointing
Muslims only in his cabinet. The cacophony of noise and vitriolic attacks over
this were so massively coordinated that the sky above Nigeria almost crashed
until the Christian vice president came up to show how the number of ministers
was equally shared between Christians and Muslims.
“Yet these same people went on sabbatical
when MURIC was complaining about Ekiti State where a Christian governor,
Ayodele Fayose, ran an all-Christian administration with all the fourteen
commissioners, all chairmen of boards and agencies were Christians and the only
Muslim appointed was the chairman of the Muslim Pilgrims Board.
“The same people were not on planet Jupiter
when MURIC was complaining about ex-Taraba governor Darius Dickson Isyaku who appointed
twelve permanent secretaries in November 2021 and all of them were Christians.
Who does that?
“We affirm clearly, emphatically and
unequivocally that Muslim-Muslim ticket is majority rule in Nigeria. It is what
democracy teaches. Democracy is about majority having its way while minority
has its say. But here we have been witnessing the tyranny of a vocal minority.
“We believe that justice resides in
giving the Muslims what they deserve in terms of numbers and giving the Christians
what they deserve in terms of numbers. If democracy is a game of numbers, Nigerian
Muslim leaders cannot afford to be mindlessly generous to Christians to the
detriment of Muslims for fear of being blackmailed by the former.
“They blackmail you but we voted for you. Who deserves
your attention most? Remember that second term is payback time. Do not make the
mistake of thinking 2027 is still far away. Allah says, ‘They see it as far
away but we see it as near’ (Glorious Qur’an 70:6).
“The time to adjust is now. Don’t
sacrifice majority for minority. It will be inhuman, inconsiderate, unfair and
unjust. Nobody should tell us cock and bull stories about picking Christians
only because they cannot find competent Muslims. The advent of the Pantamis,
the Oloyedes, the Musa Bellos (former FCT minister) has demystified the myth of
incompetence of Muslims.
“The workaholic and highly talented Professor
Ali Isa Pantami executed 4,366 projects in the Ministry of Communications and Digital
Planning just in four years. The ex-FCT minister is a silent achiever. He is
transparent to a fault. Professor Ishaq Oloyede has dazzled the nation with his
achievements in JAMB. Yet they are just a flash in the pan. Do not say you
cannot find competent Muslims. Tell us another story.
“Of course we find it
difficult to see how President Tinubu will bypass competent bona fide
sons of the North when sharing cabinet positions. They stood by him in times of
hardship. A case in point is that of El-Rufai. The eminently qualified Nasir
El-Rufai traversed the length and breadth of Abuja shuttling between media
houses and rubbishing the bunkum and balderdash falsely brandished by the cabal
as naira redesign and fuel reallocation.
“El-Rufai put both his life
and political career on the line and manifested uncommon courage and rare
political acumen. Why won’t Mr. President pick such a gem as Secretary to the
Government of the Federation (SGF) or Chief of Staff (SGF)? This will just be
in line with the rhetorical question in the Glorious Qur’an where it asks, ‘Is
there any other reward for goodness other than goodness (Hal jazau
al-ihsan ila al-ihsan Qur’an 55:60)?
“We know that Islamdom parades many young and competent,
nay, versatile Muslims. All President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his vice need to do
is search in the appropriate places. Come to think of it. How did Obasanjo and
Jonathan always go to the remotest parts of Muslim-dominated areas of Kwara,
Borno, Kaduna, etc to fish out ministerial materials among the Christian
minorities? If that is possible, how can it be impossible for Ahmed and Kashim
to find ministerial materials from hitherto marginalized Muslim-dominated areas?
“We are not asking Tinubu and Shettima as
Muslim president and vice president respectively to go on a revenge mission on
behalf of Nigerian Muslims. But, like Fernan Caballero opined, ‘Be fair before being generous, be human before being
“You cannot be generous to Christians at
the expense of Nigerian Muslims. Who is losing? Who is gaining? Who is the
majority? Who voted for you? This time around, the landlords of Aso Rock must look
upon Nigerian Muslims with eyes of kindness. This is not entitlement mentality.
We Muslims are a people long deprived, long marginalized, long oppressed. It is
time for liberation. It is our turn. Awa lo kan, and rightly so.
“Our message to our Christian neighbours is exactly how
Laone Collins puts it, ‘Remember:
Let's look for ways to take care of each other rather than look for ways to
take advantage of each other.’
“We should stop talking about sharing political posts
equally, particularly now that it has become glaring that Muslims have a very
comfortable majority. Any 50-50 sharing formular is monumental injustice to
Muslims. It has gone on for too long. While it is good to be magnanimous in the
sharing of appointments, it should not be at the detriment of competent
Muslims. Neither President Bola Ahmed Tinubu nor Vice President Shettima should
make Muslims sacrificial lambs.”
Rights Concern (MURIC).