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'
Monday, January 25, 2016
BEWARE OF RULE OF LAW WITHOUT BORDERS
25th January 2016,
BEWARE OF RULE OF LAW WITHOUT BORDERS
Members of the main opposition party,
the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and some sponsored groups have accused the Federal
Government (FG) of failing to respect the rule of law in its ongoing war
against corruption. They want looters, saboteurs and traitors to be granted
bail and set free even when it is obvious that such people are most likely to
jump bail by fleeing from the country.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
frowns at any attempt to make a mockery of the rule of law. It is a flagrant
abuse of the principles of democracy to talk of human rights in defense of
those who diverted huge funds earmarked for the purchase of arms. It is only in
Nigeria that self-confessed criminals are indulged under the guise of democracy
and the rule of law.
How can anyone be talking of the rule of
law now when the same rule of law gave those who stole N33 billion police
pension fund a pat in the back and asked them to pay N750,000 only! The rule of
law guaranteed the freedom of a dictator’s son who laundered N446 billion. The
rule of law gave everlasting immunity to a former governor of Rivers State who
stole $500 million. The list is endless.
It has always been looting ad infinitum and the law had always
looked the other way. But now that integrity is in power and it is making
thieves accountable, suddenly we find the rogues appearing in court on
wheelchairs, some with crutches, all in an attempt to hoodwink Nigerians. Some
insist on being allowed to travel abroad just to treat ordinary sore throat.
How can we be so careless as to grant their wish?
Can’t we see the implications on the
lives of 180 million people if 55 people only have the temerity to steal N3.1
trillion within six years and they still have the audacity to hide under the
rule of law to enjoy their loot while the rest of us whistle for our dinner?
Does that not explain why there are no good roads, no electricity, no
qualitative education and no drugs in the public hospitals? Should we still
play dumb by allowing them to escape to some remote island?
Rule of law without limits will protect, promote
and project corruption. It will provide escape routes for kleptomaniacs and put
our gallant propagators of the war against corruption in chains. We must draw a
thick line of demarcation between corruption and rule of law.
Nigerians should beware of rule of law
without borders. Even the greatest democracies in the world apply limits to
their practice of rule of law. That is why the United States has Guantanamo
Bay, the widely condemned practice of rendition and waterboarding as a special
form of torture. Yet it is all in the national interest. They are all practiced
to fight terrorism, America’s greatest challenge of our time.
Terrorism is America’s greatest challenge and
the rule of law was not allowed to protect it. In the same vein, corruption is
Nigeria’s greatest challenge today and we should not allow the rule of law to
stand between us and victory over corruption. We must see the need to create a
border line between corruption and rule of law.
The two are incompatible. Corruption is like a
gangarene sticking hard to the national anatomy, sucking its blood dry. This
gangarene must be burned out with hot iron if necessary. Corruption is a giant
monster with its jaws wide open to swallow up the social order.
In fact, corruption is a potent threat
to the rule of law. We must therefore destroy corruption to save the rule of
law otherwise society will collapse.
It is difficult to understand the
mentality of the PDP as a party as it continues to defend the indefensible.
Shameful confessions are being made on a daily basis yet the party’s megaphones
still find ways of extenuating the shocking revelations. Show me your friends
and I will tell you who you are. It is birds of the same feather that flock
together. We must leave the thieves to defend the thieves. They have the noun ‘thief’
and the verb ‘to steal’. Men and women of integrity must stand firm on the path
of transparency, probity and accountability. We must allow the world to see
that we are prepared to stand by the truth.
For the avoidance of doubts, MURIC
remains non-partisan and we do not care about the fortunes of any political
party. But we must raise the alarm if the PDP which has been in power for 16
years is found to have taken this country to the cleaners.
How can we remain neutral when in his
popular hadith man raa minkunm munkaran, Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him) warned against sitting on the fence on matters
like this? He said, “Whoever sees any evil should use his hands to change it.
If this is not possible, he should employ his tongue (i.e. speak out against
it). If this is not possible, he should use his heart (i.e. pray against it)
but that (i.e.) using the heart) is the weakest form of faith”.
How can MURIC turn the blind eye when
the Glorious Qur’an also warned, “Beware of a calamity that will not befall the
perpetrators of evil alone” (i.e. both the guilty and the innocent will suffer,
Qur’an 8:25). No wonder 180 million innocent Nigerians are suffering from the
iniquities of a tiny cabal comprising of 55 selfish, greedy and avaricious
The Italian poet, Dante Alighieri argued
hottest part of hell will be reserved for those who in times of moral crisis
maintain their neutrality.” Therefore every conscious Nigerian must
speak out against this massive fraud which led to the deprivation of our
gallant soldiers of much needed weapons, the resultant death of several gallant
soldiers, the destruction of many churches and mosques, the loss of more than
150,000 lives of innocent Northerners among them women and children as well as
over one million people of the North East who fled their homes.
We must not leave the ruling party, the All
People’s Congress (APC), to do all the fighting alone. It is not about the APC.
It is about Nigeria and our collective survival as a people. All of us are now
suffering for the moral debauchery and financial recklessness of our past
Finally, we appeal to the
world community to ignore the crocodile tears of the opposition camp, the
campaigns of calumny of its sponsored agents and the claims of vendetta and
political victimization by PDP’s cronies. Nigerians support the war against
corruption but we cannot afford rule of law without borders at this point in
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)