13th July, 2010
ABDUCTION OF JOURNALISTS: A NATIONAL CALAMITY
The chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Wahab Oba, was kidnapped on Sunday alongside four other officials of the union in Abia State. The kidnappers have demanded two hundred and fifty million naira (N250,000,000.00) as ransom.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) condemns this criminal act in very strong terms and appeals to their abductors to release them unconditionally. We call on those who carried out this dastardly act to realize that they have picked the wrong persons this time around. While it may be true that lack of employment, inflation, hunger and other socio-economic factors were responsible for anti-social behaviours, picking on journalists is a gross miscalculation on the part of the abductors.
This is so because the Fourth Estate of the Realm is an unbiased umpire who is, more often than not, on the side of those at the bottom of the pyramid of deprivation. Journalists are not part of the problem. They are active spectators who report the injustice in society and seek to balance the social equilibrium. Instead of attacking them like one of the oppressors, they should be seen for what they are, namely, friends and associates of the downtrodden.
It is in this light that we want the kidnappers to see their new guests and on this note, we strongly appeal for their unconditional release.
This ugly incident must be viewed against the background of the current rush for material possessions which has gripped the Nigerian nation by the jugular. We have all abdicated our responsibilities and the youth are drifting. We turned the attention of our young ones to money-making ventures alone to the detriment of our national values. Both the Federal and State Governments threw caution to the winds by seeking revenue by all means, fair and foul. The Federal, State and local governments advertised lotteries and gambled away the future of this country.
This is the moment of truth. MURIC charges all stakeholders to retrace their steps. All relics of gambling and attractions towards material gains must be banned if we want to reform this society. The telephone network providers and others who offer salivating prizes and make the youth yearn and build castles in the air must be called to order. They are simply destroying the spirit of hard work in our young ones. The National Assembly has a crucial role to play in this regard.
Dr. Is-haq Akintola
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Be just Justice is the soul of peace
No one can deny one and have the other
Neither can violence or naked force bring lasting peace