‘Why Nigerians should beware of politicians’
Following the intrigues that trailed the cross-carpeting and allegations against several key politicians in recent times, The Muslim Congress (TMC) has urged Nigerians to shun the political antics and concentrate on the progressive Nigeria project.
The Chairman, TMC Committee on Social Mobilisation, Economy and Politics, Dr Lukman AbdurRaheem, in his comment on state of the nation, urged Nigerians to shun the antics of politicians and other criminals who instigate violence for economic or political gains.
He said: “The most important factor in the peace construct of our nation remains the people themselves. Once we are determined to live in peace and harmony with our neighbors.”
He advised the security agencies, politicians and the youth to conduct themselves honourably during election.
“Electioneering should not be a do-or-die affair, the purpose is to render service to the people. Elections should not widen the ethnic and religious cleavages that already exist among the people. Nigerians should seek to recreate the kind of atmosphere that enabled the ideals of the 1993 elections when the people sought unity in diversity”, he said.
Abdur Raheem noted that whenever the general election approaches in Nigeria, there is always heightened tension in the politics and economy of the country with palpable fear for the security of lives and properties. “This is due to the contestation for power amongst political parties, economic groups, ethnic nationalities and religious organisations. Each contending party tries to manipulate circumstances in its favour without any consideration for morality, justice or the national interest”
He urged the government to ensure adequate protection of lives and property and conduct free, fair and credible elections, saying, “the government has the onerous responsibility of managing these circumstances in such a way that the country does not descend into anarchy. It is also gratifying that the INEC has reiterated its commitment to the principles of free, fair and credible elections”, he said.
He condemned the killings in Plateau state, describing it as dastardly, inhuman and barbaric. “It simply shows the extent that the human soul can degenerate if left unchecked.”
He urged the government to check these killings by arresting and trying the masterminds no matter how highly placed they may be.
“Indications reveal that these killings are not spontaneous but rather well-planned and well-executed with the use of sophisticated firearms definitely imported into the country. The security agencies have many leads that they have to follow in their investigations including the disturbing revelation by Hon. Ahmed Maje about the missing arms-laden containers traced to the house of a politician in Plateau State.
AbdurRaheem urged the Federal Government to caution the leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). “They need to be warned about the danger of playing religious politics. “Religious leaders should not be the ones to approach every political, social and economic issue from the viewpoint of religious partisanship. This is what CAN is guilty of doing too many times. There is no point putting the people in frenzy through misinformation, half-truths or outright lies because of cheap political gains that are desired.
“The CAN should, therefore, desist from opposing the religious freedoms of Muslims especially as it relates to preventing Muslim women from enjoying the right to use their head cover, the hijab. The leaders of the CAN should also desist from antagonising Muslim leaders and politicians simply because of the difference in religious affiliation,”
AbdurRaheem bemoaned major alterations in 2018 budget on critical project, saying that the legislature stands to be blamed for major alterations to critical projects in the 2018 budget.
“These critical projects are meant to alleviate the sufferings of the people and also reduce the mortality amongst the populace. The reduction in allocation to critical infrastructure is therefore not in the national interest.
He said this is coming at a time when there is a general outcry that the National Assembly alone is consuming a disproportionate amount of the national budget.
“Since the budget formulation is the preserve of the executive, major changes especially regarding the reduction of allocation to critical infrastructure projects and the inclusion of new projects originating from the National Assembly ought to be in consultation with an agreement by the executive”, he said.