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, July 4, 2016
IDUL FITR MESSAGE: NIGERIANS ARE HUNGRY
4th July, 2016,
IDUL FITR MESSAGE:
NIGERIANS ARE HUNGRY
About 1.5 billion Muslims all over the world will be
celebrating the Id al-Fitr within the next 48 hours. Id al-Fitr is the festival
which marks the end of Ramadan. Already the Federal Government of Nigeria (FG)
has declared tomorrow Tuesday (5th July) and Wednesday (6th
July) as holidays.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) felicitates with the
President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji
Muhammad Sa‘ad Abubakar III, Nigerian Muslims and all Nigerian citizens on this
We seize the opportunity availed by this festival to
appreciate the efforts being made by the FG to reduce hardship among the
citizens in these austere times. In particular, we thank FG for its free lunch
programme for all school pupils, its reduction of waste in government
establishments and its war on corruption.
Nonetheless, MURIC calls the attention of the Federal
Government to the rising poverty and hardship among the populace. The signposts
Just a few days ago, a family man exchanged his 5 year old
son for a bag of rice for which he could not pay at Singer Market in Fagge
Local Government area of Kano State. Media reports say that theft of food being
cooked on fire is now rampant in Ilorin.
A teacher stole gari in Oshogbo. Also a few weeks ago, a soldier
shot a policeman in the leg while both of them were struggling for rice in
Maiduguri. People are selling their properties to feed their families. Most
state governments can no longer pay salaries. Many civil servants are taking to
Cooking smoke has not been seen from the chimney of many
houses for days. Most text messages nowadays solicit for ridiculously little
amounts of money for feeding. Most Muslims found it easy to fast this year
because they had been used to hunger for months. Nigeria is drying up.
We are fully aware that the present administration is not
to blame for Nigeria’s current woes. Past regimes had not only failed to save
for the rainy day, they had also manifested unparalleled greed, monumental avarice,
reckless waste and unbridled corruption.
We remind the FG that Islam advocates tangible support
and palpable palliatives for the suffering jamaaheer (masses). Muhammad the Prophet
of Mercy (SAW) said, “A man who fills his own stomach but ignores his hungry
neighbour is not a good Muslim”. He also said, “Be merciful to those on earth
and He who is in heaven will be merciful to you”.
MURIC therefore suggests that apart from the free lunch for
school pupils, the FG should introduce the following welfare packages:
1.One meal per day for all men and
women above 60 years old (senior citizens);
2.Free lunch for all civil servants
and school teachers wherever salaries have not been paid for at least two
3.Sale of food items and provisions to
civil servants and teachers at subsidized rates.
To round up, we charge Nigerians to be their brothers’
keepers. Orphans, widows and little children should be singled out for acts of
philanthropy. Nigerians are urged to sustain the lessons of Ramadan among which
piety, patience, self-restraint and perseverance are most prominent. There is
no gainsaying the fact that support for the FG’s war on corruption and patience
in the face of the raging poverty are the first steps towards ensuring the
sustenance of these lessons.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)