Saturday, July 11, 2015


11th July, 2015


President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday turned down an offer by the Federal Government to procure five new armoured Mercedes Benz S-600 (V222) cars for his use. The total cost of the cars is about N400 million.

They were planned for purchase by the State House management but the president told them that the purchase was unnecessary. Describing the proposal as a waste of scarce resources, Buhari said the cars he inherited from former President Goodluck Jonathan were good enough for him.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) applauds this inspiring and altruistic gesture. It shows that Mr. President is walking his talk. It will be recalled that Buhari had promised fiscal prudence during the campaigns.

Cementing his principled stand on cutting costs, the president and his vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo were also widely reported today to have slashed their salaries by half.

As if these two heart-warming news are not enough, Nigeria’s foreign reserves have risen from $29.1 billion left by the immediate past government to $31.89 billion. This came about as a result of Buhari’s tight fiscal policy anchored on blocking of leakages.

The most surprising thing here is that the increase occurred within just five weeks of Buhari’s new administration. Cynics who are still in doubt about Buhari’s achievements since assuming office need to check their records.

Even the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has attributed the sharp rise in Nigeria’s foreign reserves to “the strong efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari, to block all leakages”.

Add to these three positive developments the revitalization of the country’s refineries which the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has reliably informed Nigerians that they would all start refining petroleum at full capacity from this month of July.

Yet there is more. Already, there are reports that some of those who siphoned the people’s money into their private pockets have started refunding it.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has suddenly woken up from its deep slumber. There is a flurry of activities from the economic watchdog in the past five weeks. Old files are being dusted and at least one immediate past governor has just been sent to jail. These would have been unimaginable barely two months ago.

MURIC can therefore conclude that the Buhari ‘wonder’ is here with us again. As the retired general worked tirelessly for Nigeria when he was military head of state, Buhari appears not to have lost any steam or iota of passion in his drive for idealistic leadership.

We have always said leadership is Nigeria’s problem. From the late Tai Solarin and Gani Fawehinmi to living legends like Femi Falana, all past and present social crusaders have chorused this truism.

The dream of these great men is about to come true with the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock. It now appears that Nigeria has crossed the leadership hurdle.

Yet for this silent revolution to succeed, Nigerians should take the cue. From governors to commissioners, permanent secretaries, chairmen of para-statals, heads of research centers, tertiary institutions, contract awarding bodies, etc., the change mantra must be felt and embraced.

With the huge human and material resources at our disposal, Nigerians have no business being jobless, hungry and homeless. But poverty prevails due to mismanagement, wickedness, cluelessness, greed, avarice and a culture of waste imposed on ourselves. Only 15% of the population arrogate to themselves all the milk and honey in the land while the remaining 85% of the population is left to suffer in abject want.   

Almighty Allah already told homo sapiens that He had provided enough for those on earth such that they should neither be hungry, thirsty, homeless or naked. “You shall not be hungry there or go naked. Neither will you be thirsty or suffer from the heat of the sun” says Qur’an 20:118-119. Yet man’s inhumanity to man will not allow the resources to go round.

We have no doubt that our infrastructure will come back to life again if we all stand up to be counted in the silent revolution. There will be drugs and facilities in the hospitals. Our roads will be safe once again if we plug holes and stop corruption. Our youth will bounce back with hope and Nigerians in diaspora will not only walk the streets of Europe and America with pride, they will have a home to which they can return.

In conclusion, we appeal to Nigerian politicians to allow Buhari to clean the system. We charge the National Assembly (NASS) to work for Nigeria and not for any individual.  We warn that any attempt by those in the NASS to impede Buhari’s selfless and silent revolution will be resisted by the masses.

In view of promising signs of good governance with Buhari in the driver’s seat, we appeal to the advanced democracies of the world to come to Nigeria’s aid. Nigeria cannot do it alone. A lot will be achieved if foreign countries refuse to collaborate with corrupt Nigerian officials.

Foreign powers must facilitate speedy repatriation of money stolen from Nigeria. In addition, countries like Sweden which make it possible for people to hold secret foreign accounts must review its fiscal laws and make them less conspiratorial.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

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