22nd March 2011
WATCH YOUR CAMPAIGN PROMISES
With the April 2011 Nigerian general elections drawing close, politicians have been making different types of promises. Egged on by the determination to out-do the opposition, many politicians have been using sheer eloquence and flowing rhetoric to deceive the electorate. Unrealistic pledges are being made merely to woo voters whereas the candidates know their own limitations and the tricks they employ.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) calls on the Nigerian public to wake up from their slumber. The electorate must be able to separate the wheat from the chaff, the idealistic from the self-seeking and the charlatan from the nationalist. The time has come for all the poor and oppressed whose rank cuts across religions, tribes and gender to take their destiny in their hands.
Nigerians should never again allow themselves to be carried away by sugar-coated mouths whose pronouncements do not (and are never meant to) reach their hearts. This is the time for workers to come together and demonstrate the power of the proletariat. Nigerian workers have for long been over-worked, over-taxed and under-paid. Successive regimes have ignored the plight of workers for improved take-home package and higher standard of living. Workers' take-home pays cannot take them home.
The decay in this country's infrastructure should be the focal point and any candidate who cannot address this is not worth the salt. Nigerians still live in darkness fifty-one years after independence. Our roads are death traps cutting short the lives of our youths in their prime. The health sector is an unmitigated disaster. Nigerian graduates are long on degrees but short on quality education. In the public sector, square pegs are in round holes. We live in fear, sleeping with one eye closed as security has gone to the dogs. There is an army of unemployed yet able-bodied Nigerians. Thousands eat from the dust-bin.
These are the criteria, not religion, not ethnicity, not North-South dichotomy, not even party politics. MURIC urges Nigerians to watch the campaign promises being dished out by politicians and try to match each promise with the pedigree of the candidate. If they match, vote for him or her. If they don't match, reject him or her. Do not allow today's hunger to push you into selling your voter's card or vote for the highest bidder or to aid and abet rigging at election. You may be inviting permanent hunger and the impoverishment of your children, your grand children and your great grand children to the tenth generation.
Finally, MURIC reminds politicians to fear Allah. Politicians must remember that their pronouncements at rallies and in privacy are being recorded by angels (Kiraman katibin, Qur'an 82: 10-12); that it is a great sin to promise what they will not do (Qur'an 61: 2-3); that Allah will hold politicians accountable for their promises (Qur'an 17: 34) even if nobody else does and that they will receive double punishment in Al-Qiyamah (the Hereafter) for deceiving the people (Qur'an 33: 67-68).
Is-haq Akintola (Ph.D),
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC),
Yahoo Group: groups.yahoo.com/group/muslimrights
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