Tuesday, February 4, 2014


5th February, 2014

The leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Alhaji Mujaheeden Asari Dokubo, on Tuesday threatened to make Nigeria ungovernable unless President Jonathan secures a second term ticket in the 2015 presidential election. He also asked politicians from the North to steer clear of the presidency.

We are greatly perturbed that a threat of this magnitude is emanating at a time so close to the 2015 election time. As a human rights organization committed to the promotion of dialogue with its resultant peaceful environment and the avoidance of violence in all its ramifications, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is constrained to ask President Jonathan if Asari Dokubo is speaking for the presidency or if he has the tacit approval of Mr. President. We call President Jonathan’s attention to the dangers inherent in threats issued publicly in a country as volatile as Nigeria.

While this is not the first time such a threat is issued, we are bewildered by the silence and inaction of the security agencies each time Asari Dokubo issues one of his threats. We are shocked to our marrows that Nasir El-Rufai was harassed and finally detained for hours for allegedly making a ‘provocative’ statement just a few days ago whereas nothing happens when Asari Dokubo threatens law and order. Interestingly enough, El-Rufai’s statement was on the same theme: the 2015 general election. Our security agencies must eschew double standard in order to win the confidence of the general public.

MURIC therefore appeals to President Jonathan to call Asari Dokubo to order. A statement from the presidency on this issue is of strategic importance at this material time in the history of our dear nation. Silence will tantamount to tacit approval, nay, executive impunity.

Allah commands justice and righteousness (Qur’an 16:90). Allah also says, “O you who believe, stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin” (Qur’an 4:135).

We reiterate for the avoidance of doubt, MURIC as a human rights organization is not witch-hunting any political party or individual. We are concerned about peace and stability in our dear country. Silence over critical issues is harmful to ourselves as well as to the polity. It is the duty of religious groups to speak out in these hard times. The Qur’an already warns that homo sapiens should beware of looming troubles because such troubles may consume even the innocent (Qur’an 8:25).

Past experience has shown that it is even the poor who suffer most each time this country is engulfed in crisis.

Schools and markets cannot open. Workers cannot go to their places of work. Petrol stations are shut. Hunger and disease stare the poor in the face. It is like the parable of the fight between two elephants when the grass must suffer the consequences.  

We want peace. We therefore appeal to all stakeholders to sheath their swords. We call on our respected elder statesmen to consult the presidency on this matter in the interest of peace and stability.  

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

No comments:

Post a Comment