The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has admonished the
Nigerian electorate to ‘vote for a new Nigeria’ as the nation goes to the polls
on Saturday 16th February, 2019 and Saturday, 2nd March,
MURIC, an Islamic human rights organization declared in its
voters’ enlightenment statement issued on Thursday, 14th February,
2019 that Nigerian voters must sustain the tempo of the change mantra and rapid
growth which has manifested in various facets of life in the country. The
statement was signed by the organisation’s founder and director, Professor
Expatiating further, MURIC said, “Nigerians were treated
with derision outside the country until recently. Transparency International (TI)
ranked Nigeria First Most Corrupt Country in 2001, Second Most Corrupt in 2003
and Third Most Corrupt in 2004 while a former prime minister of Britain
described Nigerians as ‘fantastically corrupt’ about three years ago.
“Nigeria remains poor
despite our humongous human and material resources due to corruption. All
these are due to the fact that only 1% of the population (the notorious but
powerful tiny cabal) have arrogated 85% of the total wealth to themselves while
the overwhelming 99% struggle over the remaining 15% of the resources of the
land. As a result of this socio-economic imbalance, Nigeria is rated today as
the 26th poorest and 20th hungriest country in the world.
The average Nigerian still lives on less than $1 per day. Our per capita income
is still under $300.
“Our oil export revenue
between 2010 and 2014 speaks eloquently of our culture of waste. The average
price per barrel was $110. But we frittered every kobo away. We enjoyed stable
oil production at 2.4 million barrels per day during this period. At the lowest
we sold at $93.61 per barrel. Thus we were able to realise $224 million per day
and $81b per year (N12.8 trillion at the old rate). The most spectacular year
was 2011 when Nigeria earned $99 billion!
there is virtually nothing to show for all that money. Successive regimes from
1999 to 2015 struggled to out-Herod Herod. It was an outrageous contest to
out-do the biblical prodigal son (Luke 15:11 – 19) and an equally ludicrous
quest to ensure that Nigeria matched up to the description of the Qur’anic city
of ingrates (qaryatan aaminatan mutmainatan fakafarat bi an‘umillahi
Glorious Qur’an 16:112).
a result of their superfluously voracious greed, our roads became death traps.
Public hospitals were worse than public mortuaries. The walls of school
buildings fell while the roofs leaked. Earlier on, Nigeria’s public assets like
the Nigerian Airways and the Nigerian Railway Corporation received the death
sentence courtesy of rapaciously greedy political shenanigans and their
avariciously gluttonous and pathologically corrupt capitalist business class.
the present administration which earned $95 billion only from oil in its three
and a half years was able to perform better. Note that the Jonathan
administration had realized $99 billion in 2011 alone. These are the facts that
we owe Nigerian citizens as a human rights body. These are facts that can guide
them rightly as they go to the polls.
is the sacred duty of civil society to educate the electorate with fact-laden
analysis. It is the inalienable Allah-given fundamental right of MURIC to lay
the facts bare without fear or favour. Besides, it is the duty of every
patriotic Nigerian to search for and rely on real facts. These are verifiable
facts and figures. Nigerians should not allow political demagogues to hoodwink
them. We note with deep concern that those who brought the country to its knees
in their 16-year rule of ruination are the most vocal because they have
mastered the art of controlling the paraphanalia of false propaganda.
state governments were owing salaries until the present regime came. In spite
of the low income from oil at an average of $45 per barrel and the loss of 1.2
million barrels per day due to disruption by the Niger Delta Avengers, this
administration was able to bail out debtor states. Retirees in the railway and
airways who had been abandoned for over 15 years were paid. The monthly
allowance of youth corpers was increased. The railways roared back to life in
Kaduna, Abuja, Abeokuta, Ajaokuta and Itakpe-Warri axis. Lagos-Ibadan
distress-way wore its old bright smile as a real express-way. Second Niger
Bridge broke more than a decade old jinx.
overcame recession within one year. Power generation rose from under 300
megawatts to 7,000. Even Forbes could not ignore the monumental and speedy
growth as it listed Nigeria as numero uno among ten other African
countries which it described as biggest economies in Africa for the year 2018.
reserves now stand at $47 billion from a paltry $28 billion inherited from the
past regime in 2015. But the icing on the cake is the fact that unlike past
administrations, this regime refused to dip its hands in the external reserve
to finance the 2019 general elections. Boko Haram insurgents who occupied 17
local governments in Borno State are now on the run. They now come poaching
from Chad and Niger in hit and run guerilla tactics.
does this kind of administration deserve? How can we show our gratitude to a
leader who gave us so much and took nothing in return? In a country where many
public officers hide hundreds of millions of naira, and foreign currencies in
multiple local and foreign accounts; in a country where 55 houses are traced to
a single public official; what does a leader who has just one 3-bedroom
bungalow in his home town and another house in Kaduna, a leader who has no
foreign account, no private jet, etc deserve?
MURIC ask Nigerians: Are you going to be like the ten lepers whom Jesus healed
but only one of them came back to show gratitude (Luke 17:11 – 32)? The
Glorious Qur’an says Allah will increase His blessings for us if we manifest
gratitude (Qur’an 14:7). The hadith says those who fail to appreciate their
fellowmen (who they see clearly and whose dividends of democracy they enjoy)
will never thank the Supreme Creator (whom they do not see). How best can we
“We affirm that the best way that Nigerians can show their
gratitude to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is by voting for
him on Saturday 16th February. Contrary to the erroneous impression
that groups should remain neutral, MURIC upholds the philosophy of standing up
for the truth and rejecting falsehood and fence-sitting. We do not have to
please politicians. The only entity we owe allegiance is Nigeria. We have a
duty to hit the nail on the head in order to save our country from going back
down the drain one more time after making so much progress.
“We have seen the ‘good’, the ‘bad’ and the ‘ugly’ on the
Nigerian political landscape. The ‘good’ are on the side of integrity,
transparency, probity and accountability. They are the friends of the masses
and the true patriots who are developing the country’s infrastructure and
touching the lives of the poor masses in various ways. The ‘bad’ are on the
side of selfishness, waste, greed and corruption. They nearly ruined Nigeria.
They are agents and sympathisers of the 1% over-pampered tiny cabal. The ‘ugly’
are in-between. They are the onlookers who idolize their oppressors out of
ignorance. But in this battle between the good and the ugly, every onlooker is
either a traitor (of his country Nigeria) or an accomplice (aiding and abetting
the destruction of his country).
we draw the curtain, we remind Nigerians that they should not expect their own
country to be fixed in three and a half years when it took Mahathir Muhammad 22
years (1981-2003) to fix Malaysia. Lee Kuan Yew spent 30 years of eight
consecutive terms in office (1959-1990) to redeem Singapore. Jerry Rawlings
spent 26 years (1981-2002) before he could reform Ghana and Meles Zenawi worked
assiduously on Ethiopia for 12 good years (1995-2012). Nigerians must therefore
vote for the sustenance of the new Nigeria whose emergence began in 2015. We
must not allow the mistake of 1985 to repeat itself. We ask patriotic Nigerians
to vote for integrity, infrastructure and steady growth.