Peace is the only choice before Nigerians, MURIC insists
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned all acts of violence against fellow Nigerians, describing it as “unhealthy” and “barbaric”. President of MURIC, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, also berated the attack on the Yoruba Mosque in Umuahia, Abia State.
Akintola, therefore, appeals for calm everywhere in the country, saying: “We must not play into the hands of rebellious subjects and enemies of peace.”
He said: “Instead of attacking non-indigenes among us, let us form a ring around them. Let us assure them of full protection by our communities. Let us also create a solid police-community relationship for special protection for non-indigenes in all states.
“Traditional rulers are implored to follow the example of the Sultan of Sokoto who boldly told northerners to attack him first before attacking Igbos. The Emir of Katsina has also displayed exemplary leadership and rare patriotism by assuring non-indigenes of their safety. We expect no less from traditional rulers in the South East and South South.
“We must chart the course of peace if we do not want to see Nigerians between the ages of 14 and 45 carrying guns. We must sue for peace if we do not want our daughters and wives raped in our presence. Peace is the only choice before us if we do not want our children orphaned, 10 per cent of them killed and a large majority of vulnerable people exposed to famine.
“We all saw how Rwanda children and women became refugees. Sierra Leone has not fully recovered from the ravages of war. Liberia is a shadow of its old self. We will create the world’s worst refugee crisis if we allow this violence to escalate. No African country can help Nigeria because we are the big brother and the rest of the world will only laugh at us for messing up the golden opportunity which the Buhari’s administration gave us,” he said.
Akintola references Qur’an’s warning against vengeance and assures that former enemies can become our best friends. “It therefore urges us to ignore those who perpetrate evil by being kind to them (Qur’an 41:34). In the same vein, the Bible implores believers to forgive and makes forgiveness a proviso for receiving God’s own forgiveness (Mathew 6:14),” he stated.
The MURIC president added that: “Both Christians and Muslims in this country must not allow the rest of the world to mock us. The world will ask, “Why are there so many churches and so many mosques in their country if they cannot follow the teachings of love, tolerance and forgiveness in their scriptures?” The world will call us hypocrites and they will be right. We must not allow this to happen.
“We call on governors, traditional rulers and community leaders to speak up against retaliation, violence and hate speech. The time to do that is now. Let us remember Haile Selassie’s warning that, ‘Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph’.”
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