Ramadan: MURIC pleads state pardon for prisoners
Leveraging on the season of Ramadan as the divinely acknowledged month of mercy, The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has appealed to the Federal and State governments to grant state pardon to prisoners including the 54 soldiers who are presently serving ten-year jail term ostensibly for refusing to fight Boko Haram insurgents.
Director, MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, in his Ramadan message said the president should allow the three qualities of Ramadan (blessing, forgiveness and freedom) to reflect fully in his actions and utterances during this Ramadan, particularly regarding the case of the 54 soldiers.
He quoted the holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to have said: “The beginning of Ramadan is a blessing, its middle is forgiveness while its end is freedom”.
“We also appeal to state governors and chief justices to seize the opportunity of this month of mercy to visit prisons and set large numbers of prisoners free. In particular, we call for freedom for all female prisoners, no matter their religious leaning. Islam has special regard for the womenfolk. They have no business being in prisons.
“This is one of the steps which our leaders must take to secure istijaabah (Allah’s positive response to prayers). It will show that we as Nigerians confess our sins before Allah. We are showing remorse, asking for forgiveness. We are forgiving those who actually offended us collectively as well as our perceived offenders. Perchance Allah will close the doors of our country’s travails and open the doors of peace, blessings and abundant prosperity for our country. Nigeria will be great again,” he said.
Akintola said, “There is no gainsaying that Nigeria is in dire need of prayers today. We are plagued with the problems of insecurity, insurgency, militancy and separatist propensities. Our leaders always ask religious leaders to pray for the country. Our Imams are praying. Our pastors are also praying. But the best assurance that Allah will answer this country’s prayers is for our leaders to show remorse and seek Allah’s forgiveness for our collective trespasses. So what better way is there to seek Allah’s forgiveness than by first forgiving our own perceived offenders?”