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'
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
SUSPENSION OF SGF AND DG NIA: WHY IS CAN COMPLAINING?
SUSPENSION OF SGF AND DG NIA: WHY IS
Buhari recently suspended the Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF) David Babachir
Lawal and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) on
allegations of sharp practices and violation of due process.
Association of Nigeria (CAN) immediately cried foul. The umbrella Christian
body, speaking through the president of its Northern youth wing, Daniel David
Kadzai, accused Buhari of suspending the duo simply for being Christians and
not because of any allegation of graft. The parent body has not denied this
We of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) take exception to
CAN’s allegation against Buhari. It is false, baseless and malicious. CAN’s
allegation is short in modesty, long in indecency.
Does CAN recall that
the grass-cutting scandal broke out since October 2016? Isn’t CAN aware that Nigerians
have since been clamouring for the sack of the SGF? Buhari, who is known for his zero tolerance
for corruption, still allowed the SGF to continue in office for good eight
months after the scandal broke out in spite of the avalanche of criticisms. He
gave the SGF the benefit of the doubt while discreet investigation continued. The
presidency even went out of its way to declare the SGF innocent in a letter to
Senate. Buhari was only constrained to act after indubitable proof of
impropriety was provided.
It is therefore the
height of ingratitude and the climax of impudence for CAN to turn round to
accuse Buhari of suspending the SGF because he is a Christian. Why does CAN
love blackmail so much? At what point exactly did the SGF become a Christian? Was
it just yesterday?
Was he not a Christian when Buhari deemed it fit to appoint
him? Was he not a Christian when Buhari defended him before Senate? Was he not
a Christian when Buhari retained him in office for eight good months while
Nigerians rained all sorts of abuses at the president for not sacking his ‘corrupt’
Ditto for the DG of
the NIA, Ayo Oke. Whereas it is customary for newly sworn-in presidents to
appoint their own men to strategic positions, President Buhari magnanimously
retained ex-President Jonathan’s men and many of them are still in office to
date. Ayo Oke was one of them and we doubt if anything would have happened to
him if the $43 million cash haul in the Ikoyi luxury apartment had not occurred.
Equally nauseating is the statement credited to one
Suleiman who claims to be the son of Babachir Lawal. He alleged that his father
was removed because he was a Christian. This may be understandingly infantile. We
may ask him, nonetheless: did Jonathan appoint Ayo Oke as DG of NIA because he
was a Christian or because he merited the post?
We call the
attention of patriotic Nigerians to the antics of the leadership of Nigerian
Christians: blackmail, arm-twisting, bad faith and ill-will. How can any
Nigerian leader function effectively in this kind of atmosphere unless he is a
Christian? The rough-tackles begin the moment a Muslim becomes president.
We warn that
this must not be allowed to go on. CAN is using religion to promote mediocrity.
CAN is sheltering corrupt Christians in public office. This is a body that
should concretise the values of transparency, honesty, probity and
accountability. It is shameful, self-defeating and unpatriotic.
The amount of money involved in the grass-cutting scam (N220
million) was for weeding the camps of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in the
North East. Is it not disgraceful for any public official to add salt to the
injuries suffered by the IDPs? In the case of the DG of NIA, the amount involved
is a staggering $43 million. This money alone is enough to electrify the whole
South West of Nigeria.
belongs to all of us. Not to Muslims alone. Not to Christians alone. It is our
commonwealth for crying out loud and somebody is playing pranks with it. But
CAN seems to be telling Buhari to “keep off, this is a Christian affair. Touch
not my anointed!...” or something that sounds like it.
MURIC says ‘No’ to religious politics. One they are
indited, a grass-cutter thief is a grass-cutter thief whether he is a Michael
or a Mikail. A dollar hoarder is a dollar hoarder whether he is a Joseph or a
Yusuf. Corruption knows no religion. Let us allow the law to take its due
course. CAN must stop protecting corrupt Christian public officials. Or is CAN
telling us that a percentage of money stolen by Christians from government is
always reserved for the church? So why the hullabaloo?
avoidance of doubt, MURIC’s concern is the welfare of the jamaheer (the masses).
Why should we continue to tolerate a situation where only 1% of the population
corners 85% of our commonwealth to themselves leaving only 15% of the country’s resources to the remaining 99%
of the population who are over-worked,
under-paid and over-taxed workers, frail-looking and weather-beaten indigent students
and the army of unemployed, hungry and homeless Nigerians?
As we round up, we affirm, for the umpteenth time, that our
intellectual jihad is not for President Muhammadu Buhari. It is for
socio-economic justice. It is for a Nigerian El Dorado, for the establishment
of an egalitarian society where no Nigerian will be homeless, illiterate, hungry
Our jihad (i.e. struggle) is against corruption,
injustice and bad governance and we will leave no stone unturned until every
Nigerian, Christian, Muslim or animist, is free to work and worship in any part
of the country he chooses to reside. It is therefore not about Buhari. It is
about good governance and life more abundant. Any government that pursues
transparency will get our support while tyrants and oppressors will always feel
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)