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'
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
AREGBESOLA'S VICTORY PREGNANT WITH LESSONS
12th August, 2014
AREGBESOLA’S VICTORY IS PREGNANT WITH LESSONS
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the
candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola,
winner of the Osun 2014 gubernatorial election held on Saturday, 9th
August, 2014, having scored 394,684 votes. He defeated his main opponent,
Senator Iyiola Omisore of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 292, 747
votes. With this official outcome, Aregbesola has won a second term in office
as governor of the State of Osun. Ceteris
paribus, Aregbesola will rule the state for the next four years (2014 –
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
congratulates Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for this resounding victory. He has
exhibited high level of faith in the Supreme Creator and, like Daud (David, peace
be upon him) in front of Jalut (Goliath), he manifested unusual bravery in the
face of state-sponsored political terrorism.We salute INEC for
its meticulousness, impartiality and high level professionalism. We also felicitate
with the good people of Osun who stood resolutely by the side of truth even in
the face of invasion a la Mussolini.
Ogbeni’s victory is pregnant with lessons. There are lessons here
for Nigerian politicians, for the Nigerian citizens, for the press, for the
practitioners of social media, for the adherents of Christianity and Islam, for
the security agents and for the victims of fascism.
The outcome of this election has shown
Nigerian politicians that one good term deserves another. Ogbeni’s 20,000
jobs within his first 100 days, free lunch and free uniforms for school
children, N10,000 monthly for senior citizens in the state, his new school buildings,
his macadam roads, his O’Yes programmes, etc were too much to be ignored.
These achievements opened the eyes of
the Osun electorate.It raised their
political awareness. They could separate the wheat from the chaff, the
down-to-earth politician from the hypocrites and parasites, the grassroot
politicians from the political shenanigans and the men-of-the-people from the capitalist
For the citizens of Osun, Ogbeni’s victory has vindicated their resolve.
They have learnt that it is better to be dead men and women in the graveyard
than living like puppets and slaves. Whereas the flooding of the state was
designed to cow them, they refused to be intimidated. If the Gestapo’s tactics
of coercion had succeeded, thousands of Ogbeni’s supporters would have preferred
to stay indoors on election day for fear of being assaulted, arrested or killed
while the supporters of Ogbeni’s main opponent would have flooded the polling
booths to clinch undeserved victory.
MURIC therefore gives kudos to the people of Osun, not only did
they troop out in large numbers to cast their votes for their beloved
candidate, they waited after voting to protect their votes and they refused to
leave until after the votes had been counted. They are the true heroes and
heroines of Nigeria’s democracy.
In spite of the hostile attitude of some enemies of democracy towards
journalists as exemplified by the brutalization of two journalists of
Television Continental (TVC), members of the press continued to do their duties
until truth prevailed. The lesson for social media practitioners can be seen in
their role as the invisible bulwark against election rigging. Election results tweeted and
posted on Facebook dwarfed Jalut (Goliath) and rendered any attempt to alter
figures ridiculous and infantile.The role of social media in Osun 2014,
facilitated by developments in information technology, tends to prove that the
days of election rigging are over in Nigeria.
In the same vein, the victims of totalitarian dictatorship must
accept their ordeal as the price they had to pay for democracy, for free speech
and for the liberty of the Nigerian person. They must see Aregbesola’s victory as
the triumph of powerless conscience over conscienceless power.
For the apostles of primordial religious sentiment who always
advocate for the retention of political office for either a Christian or Muslim
candidate, Ogbeni’s victory is a monumental lesson. Abdul Rauf Aregbesola has
never hidden his identity as a committed Muslim but he has accorded due
recognition to Christianity and traditional religion. As a Muslim leader, he
has shown Nigerians that it is not the leader’s religion that matters, it is
the values which he pursues in office.
Therefore Nigerians must no longer allow themselves
to be misled by those who canvass for candidates or those who campaign against them
on the basis of religion. MURIC advises Nigerians to either cast their votes
for patriotic, altruistic and Christ-like Christians or knowledgeable and practicing
MURIC rejects President Jonathan’s excuse for flooding the State of Osun with
security agents simply because of the need to maintain law and order. We assert
that this excuse is an afterthought.We cannot accept
the Commander-in-Chief’s explanation because he has failed to explain why some
of the soldiers wore masks. From all indications, Osun 2014 was designed to
be a fait accompli.
Neither has the president commented on
the massive arrest of members of the opposition on the eve of election, particularly the
spokesman of the APC, Alhaji Lai Muhammed. That is a crime against democracy.
It is an assault on the liberty-loving people of Osun. It is an attempted
civilian coup. The president is offering the excuse now because the coup
apparently failed woefully. It should never be repeated again.
Another reason for rejecting President Jonathan’s explanation is
that, except to the mischievous, the undiscerning and the blind, Mr. President comes across as
reactionary and undemocratic in disposition.
Two out of many examples will suffice for now: his recognition of
Governor Jonah Jang who scored 16 votes against 19 scored by Governor Rotimi
Amechi in the Governors’ Forum election about one year ago. Secondly, whereas
Muslim leaders met President Jonathan to complain about the lopsidedness in the
composition of the National Conference whose membership tilted strongly towards
Christians and he promised to review the situation, Mr. President has failed to
keep the promise of review to this day.
We assert that true democrats respect numerical superiority.
Neither do they change the simple principles of mathematics. Leaders who walk
their talk earn respect, others demand it. Nigerians must therefore replicate
the Osun model as we approach 2015. What we need is not religion. It is a God-fearing
man from any religion. What we need is good governance.