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'
Sunday, August 18, 2013
BOKO HARAM: FG IS DOUBLE-SPEAKING
19th August, 2013
BOKO HARAM: FG IS DOUBLE-SPEAKING
The Federal Government (FG) said over the weekend that it would hand over Boko Haram suspects to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, Netherlands, for prosecution.
While we repeat our condemnation of all forms of violence and terrorism, we of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) takes FG's statement with a pinch of salt. FG in the same statement contradicted itself by adding that the amnesty committee set up by it was on course. FG appears to be enjoying a prolonged game of paradox. The citizens are being deceived. From all indications, FG's amnesty committee appears to have been sent ab initio on a wild goose chase.
We warn Nigerians and the international community that a government whose stock-in-trade is to blow hot and cold is not to be trusted. This is the same government which gave recognition to a governor who scored 16 and ignored the one who scored 19 at the election of governors' forum. These undemocratic actions of the FG cast grave doubts on its ability to conduct free and fair election in 2015.
This same government is alleged to be behind the attempted impeachment of the speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly by only 5 members working against 22 other members who are on the speaker's side. A minister recently threatened to make life difficult for a state governor and FG kept mute. We are shocked by these flagrant displays of power-drunkenness.
By these acts of omission or commission, FG is sowing the seeds of distrust. This explains why Nigerians no longer believe in this government. All the five evils mentioned by Chamberlain, namely, "brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution", have manifested in this administration.
It is this same government who has reneged on an agreement it entered freely into with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The nation's universities have been shut down for two months now and FG is not bothered. The Minister of Finance claims that FG does not have enough money to improve the education sector but Nigerians know better.
FG is simply saving tax-payers' money for the 2015 campaign. The retention of power is more paramount to this regime than the future of Nigerian youths. We are not convinced that FG is interested in the development of education in this country. How many of those in the corridors of power have children or wards in Nigerian universities?
We remind FG that the Glorious Qur'an condemns those who say one thing and do another, "OH you who believe! Why do you say things that you would not do? It is a grave sin before Allah to say what you would not do" (Qur'an 61: 2-3). Allah also commands the fulfillment of promises, "And fulfill your pledges to Allah when you pledge" (Qur'an 16:91). He promises to hold those who fail to fulfill their promises accountable, "Fulfill your promises, verily indeed all pledges shall be accounted for" (Qur'an 17:34).
We appeal to FG not to ignore the cause-effect theory which we have repeated on several occasions. Terrorism should not be treated in isolation. It is like smoke. Just as there can be no smoke without fire, there can be no terrorism without injustice. A good fire-fighter will direct his hose at the fire, not at the smoke.
To solve Nigeria's security challenges, particularly the Boko Haram saga, FG must step back onto the lanes of history. Afterall today was born from the wombs of yesterday. We must go back to the extra-judicial killing of the leader of Boko Haram and his followers by security agents.
MURIC is not opposed to taking cases to ICC, but there must be no selective treatment of cases. We must visit all cases of extra-judicial killings including that of Baga in Borno State in April 2013. We call the attention of the ICC and the international community to this trend and the need to make a clean sweep of all extra-judicial killings and crimes against humanity which have occurred in recent times particularly those related to the Boko Haram phenomenon.
We remind FG that arrogance, power-drunkenness and failure to fulfill pledges made to the citizenry brought down the First Republic.We appeal to FG not to be penny wise, pound foolish. The Federal Government should invest in education and resist the temptation to waste money on its second term agenda. Allah says, "Kulu mon alayha faani, wa yabqa wajhu rabika, dhul-jalaal wal-ikraam"; "Everything will come to an end, only the face of your Lord will abide forever" (Qur'an 55:26-27). The future of thousands of Nigerian youths hangs in the balance as FG dillydallies. FG should therefore listen to ASUU and fulfill its agreements.
Finally, we call on the National Assembly to enact a bill that will compel future public office holders to show evidence that their children attend schools in Nigeria.We charge ICC, the United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to conduct full investigations into the Boko Haram saga with a view to making all perpetrators of crimes against humanity and extra-judicial killings accountable, not Boko Haram suspects alone as posited by the Nigerian Government.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), 0818-211-9714