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'
Friday, December 30, 2016
NEW YEAR MESSAGE: KILL CORRUPTION, COME TOGETHER
30th December, 2016
NEW YEAR MESSAGE:
KILL CORRUPTION, COME TOGETHER
counterparts all over the world, Nigerians will usher in the new year on Sunday
1st January, 2017. Already, Nigerians from all walks of life,
businessmen, politicians, academicians, civil servants, farmers, artisans, etc
are imagining what to expect and what should be in place come 2017.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) does not prophesy. We are
advocates of non-violence, transparency, accountability and good governance.
MURIC wants Nigerians to kill corruption in 2017. We must intensify and prioritise
the war against corruption if we as a people really want to take our destiny in
our own hands. It is the only way to stop the sufferings of Nigerians.
Secondly, Nigerians must come together and speak with one voice regardless of their
political, religious or ethnic backgrounds.
This country has been
robbed silly. Diezani Alison Madueke vanished with $20 billion. Patrick
Akpolobemi helped himself to $12 billion from NIMASA coffers. Sambo Dasuki messed
up $2.1 billion arms fund. N40 billion developed wings and flew into thin air
under former customs boss Abdullahi Dikko. The list is endless.
Instead of condemning these
thieves, some Nigerians started accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of being
motivated by vendetta. Some claimed he was only targeting opposition members.
Strangely enough, they still remained recalcitrant even after members of the
ruling party including a personal friend of the president and a chieftain of
the ruling party were arrested for corruption and dealt with.
We can imagine what the huge amounts stolen by these
shameless kleptomaniacs could have done for the nation. How much do we really
need to equip our health facilities with the most sophisticated machines in
order to stop unnecessary medical trips abroad? How much do we need to turn the
dilapidated death traps which we call roads to macadam standard? Why can’t a Nigerian
university be one of the best 10 in the world? Why couldn’t we beat Ghana to
celebrate 10 years of uninterrupted power supply?
But we are on the right
plane with Buhari as our pilot. His doggedness is yielding positive results.
Change is already surfacing. Nobody ever asked those thieves any question
before Buhari came on board. But now some of them are in jail. Corrupt judges
are not being spared. Some of them have started vomiting what they swallowed.
Jafaru Isa who was
accused of stealing N170 million returned N70m just one week ago. He had
earlier returned N100 million before he was released from custody. That means
he has returned the whole loot. Abdullahi Dikko paid back N1 billion before
bail was allowed. Only those who are blinded by partisanship or ethnic jingoism
will refuse to accept this as the real change.
No Nigerian government
had ever achieved this feat in the past. The Federal Government (FG) also
reported the recovery of huge amounts of cash: N78,325,354,631.82, $185,119,584.61, £3,508,355.46 and €11,
250 between May 29, 2015 and May 25, 2016. Also released were recoveries under
interim forfeiture, which were a combination of cash and assets, during the
same period: N126,563,481,095.43, $9,090,243,920.15, £2,484,447.55 and
Anticipated repatriation from foreign countries totaled:
$321,316,726.1, £6,900,000 and €11,826.11. The non-cash recoveries are –
farmlands, plots of land, uncompleted buildings, completed buildings, vehicles
and maritime vessels. This feat is what Nigerians should be celebrating instead
of holding parties in a state capital to celebrate the release of a thief from
a London prison. Corruption has indeed robbed some Nigerians of their norms and
We must stop sending divisive signals. Muslims are among
these shameless thieves. Christians are among them. We have Northerners there
just as there are Southerners. So why are we deceiving ourselves? A thief is a
thief whether he is a Muslim or a Christian. A thief is a thief whether he is a
Yorubaman or Kanuri. Corruption is faith-blind. Poverty knows no tribe. We are
all victims of the thieves’ greed and avarice. So why should we allow them to
use religion or tribe to blindfold us?
MURIC looks towards a
2017 in which Nigerians appreciate honesty and integrity. We must place
accountability above licenciousness in the coming year. Muslims and Christians
must pull down the barrier of hatred. They must appreciate one another.
For instance, some
Muslims condemn fellow Muslims who wish Christians Merry Christmas. That is one
of the signs of extremism. Muslims should ignore such people among them. We
should boldly and sincerely wish Christians Merry Christmas. MURIC has been
doing this since its establishment in 1994 and we will continue to do so. We
will not allow any distraction in our intellectual jihad. It is the path of love, the path of peace. We
must not listen to extremist Muslims among us who feed fat on spreading hatred.
Christians must also wish Muslims Barka de Salah as usual.
Those who discourage
such goodwill messages are hallucinating agents of Shaytan. They are not ready
to face reality. Christmas and Salah will always come whether anybody likes it
or not. Why don’t they reject the holidays that are declared for such festivals
if indeed they are serious? Why don’t they go to work on that day if anyone
will open the office doors for them? Or why don’t they go to the school on such
holidays if teachers will come to teach them? Those festivals are realities
which can only be ignored by dreamers and the fact that holidays have been
officially declared for them proves that they are real and an integral part of
us as a people.
Finally, MURIC urges
Nigerians to kill corruption. We urge Nigerians to come together. Let us fling
open all doors to welcome fellow citizens of other faiths. Open all the windows
to allow in free air from all faiths and ethnicities. Nigerians must join hands
to claim their rightful destiny. We must defeat the political and ethnic
shenanigans with their divide et impera gimmicks.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)