As time draws the curtain over year 2017, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) laments a tumultuous, seemingly endless twelve-month period and envisions a peaceful and brighter future for Nigeria.
The past year encapsulated all the negative propensities anyone has ever imagined about our dear country and its people. We proved extremely difficult to rule for a honest leader but easy to manipulate for a thief. We want good roads but we celebrate those who stole the money meant for roads. We know the value of flyovers in reducing traffic gridlocks but we idolize those who misappropriate money voted for flyovers.
We appreciate state-of-the-art public health care system but we award chieftaincy titles to those who pocket money intended for modern hospital equipments. We worship 419ners and despise hardworking compatriots. Nearly everybody collects bribe and almost everyone expects to be bribed before doing the needful. We shamelessly crown international thieves as kings.
A past leader told us that stealing is not corruption. He went ahead to demonstrate this by giving state pardon to a man already convicted for corruption and also followed it up with a National Merit Award. Yet we are not ashamed to hobnob with this man. A few among us even want him to come back as president. Where is our honour? Where lies our conscience? In the city of the blind, the one-eyed man is the king. But in Nigeria’s city of the blind, the king must not only be blind in both eyes, he must be deaf in both ears and lame in both legs.
Mass laziness led to the importation of everything we use while failure to distinguish between religion and stupidity led us to spend more time on our knees and on our mats than we spend at work. Our acrobatic religiousity merely succeeded in producing paradoxical criminality thereby removing the thin line that lies between armed robbers and men of God in all religions. Many see legislators as legislooters.
How can we successfully fight corruption when our able-bodied men threaten to bomb the country’s infrastructure each time the government makes an attempt to deal with looters from their ethnic group? Ironically, these men also suffer as victims of corruption as much as we do. How can we punish looters to serve as deterrent when our judges provide cover for them? Yet we still have the temerity to ask: who did this to Nigeria?
We must look inwards. We are the architects of our fate. The Glorious Qur’an says, “Evil has appeared in both land and sea as a result of the handiworks of mankind, so that they may taste from their evil ways” (30:41).
We can see from the above that Nigeria is confronted with two major problems, namely, that of poor citizens’ mindset and corruption, particularly among the leadership. Ayn al-mafarru? What is the solution? Regarding the peoples’ mindset, the Glorious Qur’an says, “Verily Allah will not change the condition of a people until they decide to change their own ways” (13:11)
However, corruption is a different cup of tea. We may have to resort to extraordinary measures to deal with looters. Since our lawyers will always find technicalities to extenuate the offence of notorious looters and licenced kleptomaniacs, since some judges will always grant them ridiculous injunctions, the only alternative is to seek an uncommon solution.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)