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'
Thursday, August 29, 2013
29th August, 2013
FIX DATE FOR NASS/EZEKWESILI DEBATE NOW
Speaking at an event hosted by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre on Monday 19th August, 2013, former Minister of Solid Minerals and later Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, alleged that the National Assembly (NASS) gulped N1 trillion between 2005 and now. She followed up this allegation on Wednesday 21st August, 2013 by challenging the federal lawmakers to a public debate on the issue.
We of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) believe that this matter should not be trivialized through mudslinging and the use of abusive language. Coming from a woman who has been twice a federal minister and a former executive of the prestigious World Bank, the issue should not be treated with a wave of the hand.Any matter that bothers on probity and accountability should be taken seriously in a decent society. Transparency is one of the major hallmarks of democracy.
In view of the furore generated by the allegation as well as the attendant public interest, Nigerian federal lawmakers owe Nigerian taxpayers the inalienable obligation to organize, within the shortest possible time, an open debate on the subject-matteras requested by the former minister. Any undue delay will be interpreted as an attempt to sweep the matter under the carpet.
MURIC reminds members of the NASS that the general public is waiting for the debate. Our organization has also partnered with other members of the civil society to work out modalities for compelling the actualization of the debate. In particular, we are interested in knowing the rationale behind the idea of the federal lawmakers fixing their own salaries according to their own whims and caprices moreso since there is an agency charged with the responsibility of fixing all salaries. NASS must be able to convince the toiling Nigerian jamaaheer (masses) that they are not being taken for a ride.
Finally, we call on the leaders of the NASS to announce a date for the much awaited debate in the next few days failing which the Nigerian people will accept Ezekwesili's claim as the truth, the only truth, and nothing but the truth.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), 0818-211-9714