29th March, 2014
POINT OF ORDER: CAN POKE-NOSING INTO MATTER BETWEEN PRESIDENT JONATHAN & THE MUSLIMS
The Secretary-General of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Musa Asake, accused the Sultan and the delegation of Muslims who visited President Jonathan on Wednesday 26th March, 2014 of polarizing the country along religious lines and attempting to frustrate the ongoing national conference.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) sees the need to put the records straight for those who are prepared to face facts, not sentiments. We will cite here, exempli gratia: only 4 Muslims among the 15 delegates approved for North Central (including Kwara, Niger, and Kogi); only 1 Muslim among the 15 delegates from the South-West; only 2 Muslims out of 6 retired police officers, only 1 Muslim out of 6 retired military and security personnel and, to crown the monumental edifice of marginalisation, only 6 Muslims out of 20 delegates picked by the Federal Government.
These facts are incontrovertible and the Sultan put them before President Goodluck Jonathan. The delegates are there and anybody can do the counting. So what is CAN’s problem? Instead of throwing stones or inciting his followers against the Federal Government, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, CFR, mni, in his characteristic way of dealing with matters, persuaded Muslims to be patient and told them that the matter would be looked into.
He then sought and secured audience with the presidency, led a delegation of members of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) to complain about the lopsidedness in the composition of delegates of the national confab. President Jonathan listened attentively to what the Sultan had to say and promised to look into the matter.
Now what is CAN’s business in this? NSCIA knows the way to CAN’s office. They did not go there. They went to the man at the helm of affairs who is the father of all. When one child feels that the father has not given him his due, he goes to the father for his rightful share and not to the other child who has been over-pampered. It is not for the over-pampered child to attempt to block the chance of the marginalized child otherwise he steps into the realm of selfishness. This matter is between President Jonathan and the Muslims and courtesy demands that CAN keeps off.
CAN secretary therefore overstepped his bounds and poked his nose into a matter over which he cannot pronounce judgement. This is a matter that belongs exclusively to the presidency. Instead of playing the role of an advocatus diaboli, we expect CAN secretary to provide counter data proving us wrong. It is a civilized world and we should work with facts and figures. We urge CAN secretary to do his home work. This is a shoddy response. He should stop heating up the polity.
We advise President Jonathan not to allow CAN to ride on his back in its unholy attempt to get more than it deserves, deprive the Muslims of their rightful share and usurp their Allah-given and fundamental rights. These are acts capable of disturbing the peace, law and order.
Mr. President must act in loco parentis, like a good and just father, to be fair to all, just as he has promised. We remind the president that Justice is the Soul of Peace.
Finally, MURIC believes that Nigeria will be a better place when we have a good Christian or a good Muslim as president because the fear of God or Allah will make him do the needful and satisfy all righteousness. To defeat terrorism, we must start listening to those who follow the path of dialogue, those who lodge complaints using civilized and peaceful means.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)