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'
Sunday, May 14, 2017
LOOTERS MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN PRAYERS AND CURSES
15th May, 2017
LOOTERS MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN PRAYERS AND
The war against
corruption has encountered several encumbrances in the past two years under
President Muhammadu Buhari. Anti-corruption agencies have lost several cases to
technicalities while the absence of special courts has retarded efforts to
bring looters to book. In addition, the National Assembly (NASS) has been a
major cog in the wheel of progress in the anti-graft fight. To our
consternation, corrupt elements have taken shelter under the canopies of religion
and ethnicity thereby compelling religious and ethnic leaders to speak out in
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) expresses deep concern at
the trend of corruption matters in Nigeria. We affirm that although corruption
is the bane of development in this country, the war against corruption seems to
be at crossroads and the Nigerian people stand to lose the fight at the end
unless something urgent is done. Hunger, starvation, disease, rise in the level
of ignorance, fall in the standard of living, political instability and a
violent revolution are the likely fallouts if we fail to kill corruption.
Only the enemies of
Nigeria will say that the Federal Government has not been sincere in its war
against corruption. The problem is that there is strong resistance to the
anti-graft war mainly from members of the past regime and their sympathisers.
Corruption is fighting back using different mechanisms among which are: legal
technicalities, death wish, false propaganda, betrayal and outright sabotage.
FG has used every
known conventional and legitimate means of fighting looters but the result has
not been commensurate with the efforts. Looters have the elephant while FG has
the ant. South Africa used the Truth Commission when it had a national crisis
but it did not work when Nigeria adopted it because many powerful people
refused to appear before the commission.
Knowing the slow nature of judicial cases in Nigeria and
over-loaded with stolen money, the foot-soldiers of corruption have calculated
that corruption cases will continue to drag for the next eight years even if
Buhari wins a second term. This is why they are feeling comfortable and
laughing at the masses.
A drastic problem
requires a drastic solution. So what else is the panacea to corruption in
Nigeria? We believe that it is time to adopt something unconventional;
something we have never adopted before; something that costs government no
money or effort at all; something revolutionary and mass-oriented; something
local and scary and, above all, something in which every Nigerian has an
MURIC is asking
looters to choose between prayers and curses. What is this new idea? All past
and present politicians and their conniving bureaucrats will decide within
themselves either to voluntarily surrender whatever they have stolen and
receive prayers from the Nigerian people or hold on to their illegal loots and
receive curses from the masses whom they have sentenced to a life of
MURIC charges the Nigerian masses to seize their destiny
with their hands by mobilizing their individual and collective prayer power. Agents
of corruption have used religion to divide the poor masses before. It is now
our turn to use the power of faith against them. Let us pray in the mosque,
churches, shrines and private homes for politicians who voluntarily return what
they stole in the past. Let us also ask for forgiveness for them. But our
prayer sessions must be double-edged. We will rain curses on recalcitrant
looters who refuse to return what they stole from our common wealth.
People! We must curse our oppressors three times daily. Curse them in the
morning as you rise from bed or from under the bridge if you are homeless.
Curse them under the scorching sun as you trek up and down on empty stomachs.
Curse them before you go to bed at night. Curse them as you roll sleeplessly in
bed. Curse them as you sweat profusely in bed when your fan is useless because
they have stolen the money meant for electricity supply. Curse them as your
vehicle crawls on bad roads where you spend hours instead of minutes because
they stole all the money allocated to the repair of roads. Curse them as you
wonder why you are still jobless despite graduating years ago.
We urge Muslims to recite Inna atayna (Surat al-Kaothar) to
bless those who voluntarily return our stolen wealth and tabatiada (tabbat yada
from Surat al-Lahab) for looters who refuse to change. Christians may use
prayer warriors to pray for those who voluntarily return their loot and seek
forgiveness for them. Psalm 109:5-19 or any other portion from the Bible may be
recited to rain curses on thieves and rogues who refuse to change. The curses
should be accompanied with the proviso that they will be affected if they don’t
surrender their loots but they will be free from the curses if they do.
Yet we must not stop
there. These thieves find it easy because the system is deficient. The checks
and balances are not strong enough. An example is the swearing-in ceremony held
for new appointees which has been trivialized. The Muslim appointee holds the
Qur’an and swears but he will start stealing public property the next day. Vice
versa for the Christian. The scriptures mean nothing to looters. There is,
therefore, an urgent need to radicalize the swearing-in ceremonies.
So what is the way
forward? If we are serious as a people, let us introduce self-curse mechanism
at swearing-in ceremonies. We must suspend swearing by simply holding the Bible
or the Qur’an. It has no effect on them. They are hardened thieves and die-hard
kleptomaniacs. They have the noun ‘thief’ and the verb ‘to steal’.This is the time to remember that we are
Africans. Therefore our swearing-in method has to reflect our environment and
background if it has to be taken seriously. Enough of colonial mentality!
Let an appointee hold the Qur’an or Bible or anything he
believes in and curse himself saying, for example, “I, Lagbaja the son of
Lakasegbe, if I betray the people’s trust, if I steal in this position, if I
abuse my office or if I am unfair to others on ground of religion or ethnicity,
let me be put to shame. Let my children end up in the streets like the children
of the poor. Let all the known and unknown diseases of this world afflict me and
my children, like meningitis, ebola, lassa fever, cholera, etc. Let me sweat
without reaping the fruit of my labour…In Allah’s Mighty Name I swear”
Who will misbehave
after this kind of swearing-in? Who is the son of a killer of elephants in the
presence of a licensed killer of men? Politicians will become sober. In fact
many of them will retire and only the serious ones will remain in the political
arena. The vultures in the NASS will go back to their various private
businesses, leaving the seats open for young, patriotic and visionary
To round up, we advise
FG to re-open the window of opportunity for looters to voluntarily return
public properties, cash and funds in bank accounts within and outside the
country. We call on our oppressors and downpressors, looters of the people’s
treasury, to take notice of ‘war’ from the people. We declare total and
comprehensive spiritual war on those responsible for our predicament. There
will be no retreat, no surrender. Return our stolen destiny and receive our
blessing and forgiveness. Retain our common wealth and receive our curses
morning, noon and night.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)