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Nigerians should make 2019 date of freedom, says Muslim group

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The Muslims Rights Concern (MURIC) has called on Nigerians particularly the Muslims to cast their votes for a credible personality with good integrity in the quest to deliver the nation from the bondage of corruption, insecurity and economic woes.

The director of MURIC, Ishaq Akintola, in a statement made available to The Guardian said the year 2019 which is for the general elections would prove to be another opportunity for Nigerians to change the country for better.

“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,” he said.

Akintola 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.

“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.”

He continued: “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,”

Meanwhile, MURIC enjoined the Lagos office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to call its officials to order and ensure that Muslim women are not further discriminated in the process of registering for the elections.

Akintola said, “There has been telephone communication between INEC officials and MURIC leadership since our last statement and we had the impression that INEC understood our fears.

We even sent out a message on social media appealing to Muslims that INEC was taking corrective measures.

We had rested the case but today’s statement has become necessary in order to redeem our image since INEC came out to deny that some Muslim women were victimized.

Nothing was said about whether or not our complaint was investigated.

“The least we expect the electoral body to do is to tell Nigerians that it will investigate the report.

We also expect INEC to issue a warning to its adhoc staff. Grandstanding cannot help in this case.

Neither should INEC engage whistle-blowers and complainants in a media war.

This will arouse negative sentiment. We simply reported cases of denial of Allah-given fundamental human right to register for the election.

Corrective measures should have been taken instead of engaging us in media tete-a-tete.

There are records of such positive interventions which have benefited all stakeholders.

“MURIC’s complaints are always based on credible information from Muslims out there in the field.

Apart from social media platforms operated by our state branches, MURIC headquarters alone has 16 different whatshap groups, facebook and other social media platforms where members file in their reports.

These reports are collated and screened by the various administrators in charge and forwarded to MURIC’s directorate for action. Our claims are easily verifiable.

“MURIC as a critical stakeholder will not attack INEC.

We are aware that the electoral body parades a lot of credible and well-trained professionals and seasoned administrators and we respect these noble people.

But that does not mean there are no black sheep in the system. There is a Judas in every twelve.

He however, assured INEC that their mission is to contribute positively to its success.

“We are aware of some of the challenges facing the electoral body.

Our efforts at bringing certain inadequacies to the attention of INEC officials should not be misconstrued as exposing the parastatal’s weaknesses.

Such complaints should be taken in good faith, investigated and necessary action taken if found to be credible.

INEC is doing its best as far as we know but overzealous staffers need to be cautioned.

Public confidence in INEC may be grossly eroded if the electoral body refuses to warn its bad eggs” he said.


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