This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Monday, June 17, 2013
PRESS RELEASE: STOP INTIMIDATING THE OPPOSITION
18th June, 2013
STOP INTIMIDATING THE OPPOSITION
Three state governors have recently suffered intimidation in the hands of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA). A chartered OAS helicopter ferrying Adams Oshiomole and his aides from Government House in Benin to Awka was recalled to Benin Airport on 7th June, 2013.
On April 26th June, 2013 a plane carrying Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi and his entourage was grounded for about two hours at the Akure Airport for allegedly 'violating aviation procedures'. The governor was returning from the burial ceremony of the Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmi Olayinka, in Ado Ekiti.
Again on Wednesday 12th June, 2013 a Donnier 328 aircraft carrying Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko and his aides from Abuja to Sokoto was diverted to Kaduna over an allegation of unruly behavior of the governor's supporters who had come to welcome him at the airport.
Our people say "Once is happenstance, twice is a coincidence, the third time is enemy action" (Ekini kebe, ekeji kebe, eketa ajenjetan). We must begin to ask the question: why is it always happening to the opposition or to governors who have fallen out of Mr. President's favour?
Equally alarming is the use of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to harass the opposition. The current trial of the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, is an example.
The subterfuges involved in the attempt to frustrate the registration of opposition parties have reversed the Nigerian state to a feeding-bottle democracy.
We also consider the reaction of the Jonathan administration to the rancorous, disgusting and despicable conduct of the election of the Nigerian Governors' Forum (NGF) as a national embarrassment. Since when did 16 votes become majority over 19? What kind of mathematical equation is Aso Rock positing for Nigerian children learning simple arithmetic in the schools? What lesson does this teach students of political science in Nigerian universities? It is embarrassing, ludicrous and untenable. This singular event has turned Nigeria to a laughing stock in the comity of nations.
We of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) are deeply disturbed by these ugly, avoidable and absolutely unnecessary developments. They are symptomatic of a jittery administration incapable of tolerating opposition, whether homegrown or in other parties.
We call on the international community to watch out for more electioneering abracadabra in the 2015 elections. An administration which accepts 16 as the winning vote over 19 cannot be trusted to deliver a free and fair election. From the primaries to the presidential election, MURIC expects arm-twisting, blackmail, intimidation and even worse as the Nigerian ship cruises to 2015.
We remind the Machiavellian ideologues in Aso Rock that posterity is just around the corner. We appeal to the Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi to call NAMA to order. Denial of the Nigerian airspace to opposition figures is a dangerous precedent. We urge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to allow any stain on its white garment. Finally, MURIC calls on the National Assembly to rise against the emerging season of executive totalitarianism.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), 234-818-211-9714