31st July, 2011
MURIC URGES FG TO HONOUR ITS PLEDGES TO WORKERS
The month-long Ramadan fasting will start tomorrow Monday, 1st August, 2011. The search for the moon began in Nigeria yesterday. It was eventually sighted today in Aukland, New Zealand, giving credence to the belief that it will be visible in the Nigerian sky towards evening. Traditionally, fasting kicks off after the moon has been sighted.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) sends its message of solidarity to Nigerian Muslims in particular and all Nigerians in general. We congratulate all living souls in this great country who witness this memorable spiritual season.
We remind both the leaders and the citizenry of the essence of fasting as stated in Qur'an 2:183, namely, to enhance piety. We charge the Federal Government to be Allah-conscious and Allah-fearing. The present furore over wages between FG and labour is bourne out of an acute lack of Allah-consciousness in government circles. Those who fear Allah will honour their covenants. Those who are Allah-conscious will realize that pledges must be fulfilled.
It is indeed sad that our leaders enter into agreements with workers without fulfilling their agreements. This has happened over and over again. Today it is happening to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). It is also happening to the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU). University lecturers are complaining that FG is reneging on agreements signed five years ago. Yet the same agreement is due for review in a few months from now. Nigerians should hold FG responsible for the continued decay in the education sector.
NLC is already threatening to go on strike this week unless FG honours its pledges. It is a big shame that we are being led by people whose stock-in-trade is lip service. Leadership demands some modicum of integrity. What labour is demanding is not too much. What is N18,000 monthly compared to N10 million and N15.5 million per month which members of the House of Representatives and senators receive respectively? Why should our leaders continue to deceive us?
MURIC warns FG not to court the anger of the proletariat. Workers deserve bread on their tables as at when due. FG should learn from what happened in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. The case of Nigeria could be worse if it is allowed to happen because ours is a very porous nation. There are ethnic and religious hawks waiting out there to hijack a revolution. We all know the implications of an NLC strike. It must not happen.
Finally, we call on FG to find a lasting solution to the biting scarcity of kerosene. A discerning leadership would have taken a pragmatic and meaningful step to end the scarcity. This smacks of gross ineptitude. People are suffering because more than 80 percent of the Nigerian population relies on kerosene for cooking. The hardship is expected to rise during Ramadan when most families cook at home unless FG does something drastic.
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