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Nigeria @ 60: Unilag Muslims, TMC urge citizens to endure pains of nation building

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Prof. Lai Olurode


The Unilag Muslim Community (UMC), and The Muslim Congress (TMC), have urged governments at all levels to be respectful of the rights and aspirations of Nigerians and continue to improve on human welfare particularly in the area of frightening security challenges, as the nation celebrates 60th anniversary.

The Chairman, UMC, Prof. Lai Olurode, in a statement felicitating with Nigeria, said: “We at the University of Lagos Muslim Community wishes to call for patience as we march forward in consolidation of democratization project”.

He advised that the remaining years in the life of this regime should focus on more budgetary allocation for the critical sectors of health, education, security and infrastructure.

“President Buhari and his government should continue its fight for transparency and probity in public and private spheres as it continues to demonstrate more open commitment to religious diversity and social inclusiveness”.

He added that many Nigerian nationalists resisted colonial domination with their blood and not a few were imprisoned, tortured and killed in consequence of their unrelenting struggles.

“Nigeria gained political independence from Britain, its then colonial masters in 1960 after several decades of colonial oppression, political domination and economic exploitation” He said that the argument by the British colonialists and their apologists was that Nigerians were then prepared for self-rule.

“To the disappointment and amazement of many, the notion that Africans and indeed Nigerians were being prepared for self rule, soon after independence, not a few countries caved in to insurrection and military coup d’etat.

“However, the good news is that the past two decades or so in Africa could be said to be one of increased indicators of robust forces of democratization with all their troughs and peaks. There are now visible expressions of electoral democracy and to some extent rule of law. As unpleasant as we are with the state of the human conditions in Nigeria, we must not gloss over the limited gains of the forces of plural democracy. In many countries in sub Saharan Africa, indeed in Nigeria and Ghana, incumbent administration had lost power at national and sub national levels. Orderly succession is taking roots where even America’s President Donald Trump was vacillating in America”, he said.

Meanwhile the Amir, The Muslim Congress (TMC), Dr. Luqman AbdurRaheem, congratulated the good people of Nigeria, on the occasion of her 60th anniversary.

“We need to give thanks to the Almighty that Nigeria is witnessing her 60th anniversary as an undivided nation under democratic governance. This is proof that ‘the labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain’ even as we work, to serve with heart and might’ in order to create “one nation bound in freedom, peace and unity.

“At 60, Nigeria has certainly experienced a mixed bag of fortunes. We have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Our economy, infrastructure and security have had setbacks that we have to continue to deal with as a people. This is as a result of leadership inadequacies and the lack of vision by the followers”.

He said that the huge debate going on in the nation regarding the removal of subsidy on petrol and electricity is necessary and must be viewed dispassionately.

“The subsidy is supposed to benefit the poor but unfortunately it is the rich that are smiling to the banks at the expense of the poor. The fight against corruption in the oil industry has yielded little dividends. The need to build more refineries has failed over the years. What then can the nation do in order not to continue to waste about one trillion naira yearly in the name of petrol subsidy? The only difficult but necessary thing to do is to remove the subsidy and allow the deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry. This way, it is hoped that the needed investment in the industry will be realised leading to the creation of more jobs for the people.

“ We can then take the government to task regarding the savings from the subsidy removal which can be used to fund more infrastructural development and also expand the Social Intervention Programme (SIP) to provide succour for more poor people. This is the honourable way to go rather than further worsening the already poor economy by embarking on labour strikes that are of benefit to nobody other than the subsidy-collecting petrol importers”.


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