18th August, 2012
'ID AL-FITR MESSAGE:
LEADERS MUST STOP SHARING THE PEOPLE'S WEALTH AMONG THEMSELVES
The 2012 (1433 AH) Ramadan fasting exercise comes to an end today Saturday 18th August, 2012. Muslims worldwide will mark the end of the fasting season tomorrow with 'Id al-Fitr, supplications, exchange of visits and gifts as well as intellectual efforts like seminars and symposia.
However, Nigerians must not allow merry-making during the festival to becloud the significance of fasting for such a long period. The essence of Ramadan lies in the readiness of millions of faithfuls to stint themselves of food, water and other worldly benefits while eschewing obscenities, frivolities and corruption. True believers had also avoided bitterness, conflicts and violence during the season. It was a season of selflessness, forgiveness and love.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) urges Nigerian leaders to borrow a leaf from the lessons of Ramadan. In particular, altruism must be the watchword of all holders of public office. We are particularly disturbed by the report of a tussle over a juicy plot of land between the current and immediate past First Ladies which broke out during Ramadan.
The land conflict between the First Ladies exposes the greed of our leaders. Nigerian rulers have the propensity to ignore the hunger of millions of unemployed youths, the wailing of thousands who sleep under the bridge and the lamentations of hundreds who wear rags. How could the so-called Messiahs look the other way as thousands of poor Nigerians lose their landed properties to heartless government demolition squads while the leaders' wives are busy sharing our land?
Yet for every one ugly deal that is exposed, hundreds of such must have escaped public glare. It is this injustice to the poor that is at the root of the present insecurity in the land.
Islam teaches socio-economic justice. Qur'an 33:67-68 threatens double punishment for leaders who cheat the citizenry. Islamic liberation theology affirms the right of the poor to have their appropriate shares in the wealth of the land. This is why Qur'an 17:26-27 commands that the jamaheer (masses) must be given their right.
MURIC therefore charges rulers to be Allah-conscious. Leaders must not appropriate to themselves more than they morally deserve.
Finally, we call on Muslims to spend the Id holidays in fervent prayers. We must pray for the return of peace to all troubled parts of the country. Let us pray that Allah endows our rulers with the wisdom to solve the challenges facing us as a nation. Let us pray for love, tolerance and better understanding between Christians, Muslims and adherents of African Religion.
Professor Is-haq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Professor Is-haq Akintola,
Lagos State University,
P.O. Box 10211,
LASU Post Office,
HO 102 101,
I remain oppressed untill the hungry are fed, the naked clothed,
the sick healed and the homeless sheltered