Wednesday, December 23, 2015


23rd December 2015,

Christians all over the world will celebrate Christmas on Friday, 25th December, 2015. Millions of Nigerian Christians will partake in this annual event which marks the birth of Jesus (peace be upon him).

We of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) felicitate with our Christian brothers on this occasion. It is instructive that the birthdays of the two major religious figures came so intimately close this year, 24th and 25th of December. This is not a mere coincidence. There is a message in it for us. God wants Christians and Muslims to come closer.

We opine that instead of igniting hatred, bitterness and violence, religion should generate love, kindness and peaceful coexistence. All religions including Bhudism, Christianity, Confucianism, Islam, Jainism, African Traditional Religion, etc, teach love and mercy for homo sapien.

There is no religion that teaches hatred and enjoins its adherents to kill and maim. The problem we have in Nigeria is that people abuse religion. They use it as a launching pad for their selfish desires. Politicians exploit religion to satisfy their greed and avarice while ethnic jingoists masquerade under the canopy of religion to wet their murderous and cannibalistic appetite.

MURIC avers that it is not too late for Nigerians to put religion in its proper perspective. In other words, we are appealing to Nigerians to utilize religion both vertically and horizontally. In the vertical dimension, Nigerians must see religion as a relationship between man and God. Horizontally, it is mandatory on Nigerians to regard religion as a means of improving relationship among the Adamic chromosome.

There is therefore the need for Nigerians to redesign their religious practices, services, conventions, processions, etc, in such a way that other citizens are not made to suffer any form of hardship, be it inability to sleep due to noisy religious services or free access to the roads due to worshippers’ interference with traffic on the roads.

Every Nigerian, nay every human being came from Adam and Adam came from ordinary dust. All of us shall return to dust and finally to God. We must therefore share love. We must learn to tolerate one another. We must learn to forgive.        

But for the love of God, Nigeria would have caved under in the face of both internal and external conspiracies, hate speeches, treasonable actions, massive killings and destruction of churches and mosques. But Nigeria survived up till now because God is a God of love and He loves this country tremendously. Now that we have survived Boko Haram onslaught is the time to cement Christian-Muslim relationship. We therefore appeal to clerics to preach love and unity.

MURIC notes with serious concern that in spite of the proliferation of churches and mosques, morality is at its lowest ebb in this country.

Morality should therefore be a central theme in messages emanating from places of worship. Governments at both federal and state levels should also support the campaign against falling moral standards by encouraging the teaching of Christian and Islamic studies at all levels in the education sector.

Finally, we charge every Nigerian to cooperate with the Federal Government in its efforts to sanitise the system and enthrone transparency, probity and accountability. Only thus can this great country move forward. We therefore call on religious leaders from both sides to stop hobnobbing with corrupt politicians.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

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