By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
As Nigeria prepares for the 2019 general elections, an Islamic human rights organization has called upon the citizens to redefine their stand in the national political architecture.
This was contained in a statement distributed to the press on Monday, 27th August, 2018 by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).
According to the organization, it is time to put the voters’ enlightenment campaign in high gear.
The director of MURIC, Ishaq Akintola, who signed the statement said, “The jackals are gathering. Political demagogues are using rhetoric to deceive Nigerians. Most of the messages being passed across suffer from poverty of ideals and desertification of principles.
“Apart from anti-corruption, all other messages lack ideological identity. Nigerians are being hoodwinked. How are they going to pick the right candidates from 91 political parties? What is the difference between party ‘A’ and party ‘B’?
“One of the calamities which have struck the Nigerian political arena is the unbridled proliferation of parties. It is a crazy rat race and politicians have resorted to the use of deceit. Those who brought Nigeria to its knees and turned it to a beggar nation are claiming to be its saviours. They want to use that claim as an excuse to come back. Those who robbed Nigeria silly are claiming to be our messiahs.
“Nigerians must open their eyes very wide. Those who deserve our votes are those that we see clearly that they are fighting corruption. These are the politicians who can bring back the glory of this country. Vote for candidates who are likely to liberate you, your children and the future generation of Nigerians from the shackles of backwardness, poverty and bad governance.
“Say capital ‘NO’ to thieves and their godfathers. Reject rogues, shady characters, opportunists, impostors, religious extremists, hypocrites and parasites even if they are Muslims. Vote for politicians who promote austere living. Shun those who are extravagant and flambouyant. Avoid those who amass wealth. Ignore those who hobnob with past rulers who were known to be corrupt”.
MURIC has a message for the youths. “Nigerian youths should remember that the streets of Europe and America where trams, trolleys and double-decker buses run on precision would not have been there today if the likes of Winston Churchill and George Washington had been corrupt or if European and American citizens had compromised principle to vote for stomach infrastructure. They made sacrifices. They did not rush for immediate results. They did not sell their voters’ cards. The result is the comfort they enjoy today.
“In like manner, we charge Nigerians to reject politicians who propose stomach infrastructure. They are political parasites bent on defrauding the hoi polloi. Avoid stinkingly rich politicians whose source of wealth cannot be ascertained. Ritual killing is in their character and they will not hesitate to sell Nigeria to their herbalists and marabouts. Beware of legislators who are in the habit of delaying the budget, demanding bribe before confirming appointees and retarding Nigeria’s progress generally. Their eyes are on super-jumbo salaries from 2019-2023 and the resultant impoverisation of the proletariat for another four years.
“2019 is going to be a straight fight between corrupt politicians on one side and anti-corruption politicians on the other. Those who benefited from corruption in the past but who have been feeling the pinch since the Buhari administration took over and closed the corruption tap from which free money was flowing will be on the side of corrupt politicians. Patriotic citizens and anti-corruption activists who want Nigeria to rise again will be on the side of anti-corruption politicians. The side you belong will determine the kind of person you are.
To be or not to be, that is the question: whether we will support corrupt but powerful and criminal-minded politicians so that this country can remain perpetually in the grips of political challatans whose major selling point is the ability to enrich themselves while dropping crumbs from the table for their court-jesters and boot-lickers. Meanwhile our roads, airports, electricity, education, health, etc will continue to suffer criminal neglect and the citizens wallow in abject poverty.
To be or not to be, that is the question: or whether we will summon the courage to declare a general caveat emptor against corrupt politicians to permanently pitch our camp with integrity, anti-corruption and the rebuilding of Nigeria’s infrastructure. It is all about whether Nigeria should remain corrupt or not. It is about whether leaders should have integrity or not. It is about whether or not the poor masses should remain slaves permanently.
Finally, we remind Nigerians that the Muslim Rights Concern is CONCERNED because we have seen acute poverty, widespread illiteracy and disease among Nigerian Muslims in particular and the Nigerian people in general. We call on the citizens to make 2019 the date of freedom. We appeal to civil society and the press to double their efforts in creating awareness for voters in this regard.