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How to entrench good governance culture, by Muslim groups

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As the nation prepares to usher in a new political dispensation, some Muslim groups have emphasized the need for Nigeria to operate a true democratic system that is devoid of corrupt and reckless leaders. 

      Indeed, the University of Lagos Muslim Alumni, (UMA) and the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), believed that the practice of true democracy wherein the leaders exhibit righteous and exemplary characters would drive the nation to the promise land.

Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Professor Ishaq Akintola, said: “We cannot envision a free and fair election in an atmosphere of suppression. There can be no true democracy if the opposition cannot enjoy a level playing ground…. we strongly condemn a political landscape that lacks the spirit of sportsmanship and totally devoid of integrity.

  “No section of the community must be alienated in a democracy. Equal participation, liberty, justice and fair play are the key words in any democracy worth its salt,” he said, adding that the founding fathers of the Nigerian nation laid emphasis on participatory democracy, the modern age politician must build on that foundation. 

  The group also advise the Federal Government to leave the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as presently constituted until after the elections. 

   “All eyes are currently on Nigeria and the whole world will cry foul particularly if INEC chairman is removed as being contemplated in certain circles. It is like changing the referee after the game has started. It stands in contradistinction to international best practices,” it stated.  

  The UMA however called on the Federal Government and other stakeholders to ensure that the elections hold as re-scheduled in a peaceful and violence-free atmosphere.

    National President of the Alumni, Alhaji Akeeb Sola Oladokun, urged all Nigerians, most especially youths to shun violence and not allow themselves to be used as agents of blood-letting during the forthcoming general elections.

   The group described as unfortunate, the pockets of clashes which the country had witnessed in recent times that resulted in loss of lives and property noting that the forthcoming general elections in Nigeria calls for a serious caution.

   The group also warned against likely postponement of the March 28 and April 11 polls in order to avoid any uprising. 

    As the fear of a possible outbreak of violence in the coming election continues to grip Nigerians, UMA enjoined the Federal Government to give the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), the free hand to conduct free and credible elections with the use of the PVC and card readers.

  The body which is optimistic of a successful and peaceful election admonished Nigerians not to panic as God has already taken absolute control of the situation, assuring Nigerians of God’s intervention in the election.

    UMA condemned inflammatory and divisive comments by some politicians urging them to focus their campaign on developmental issues.

    The group also cautioned the political class to desist from unpatriotic comments and unnecessary court cases that could truncate our nascent democracy. 

   “We are aware of the recent security challenges occasioned by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, particularly in the North-East of the country and want the government and Nigerians to be mindful of the dire implications of instability in Nigeria on Nigerians, Africa and rest of the world.”

   “We therefore call on all political parties to avoid inciting and acrimonious campaigns, and focus on issues affecting the welfare of Nigerians.”

    UMA thereby urged all parties to gracefully accept the outcome of the elections in the interest of unity, peace, and development of the country and the region.

   The group also called on the international community to massively support all initiatives that will lead to free and peaceful elections through the use of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and card readers.

   The Nigerian ruling party is allegedly putting finishing touches to a grand plan to cripple the campaign camp of the main opposition by freezing the bank accounts of its financiers and grounding their private jets.      



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