Nigeria is marking its 58th independence anniversary today, Monday 1st October, 2018. As usual, the Federal Government (FG) has declared the day a public holiday.
In its Independence Day Message, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari for his many achievements in spite of daunting challenges. In particular, the Islamic human rights organization hailed the president for displaying incomparable maturity and unequalled statesmanship in steering the ship of the nation.
The message which was signed by the group’s director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, identified the successful prosecution of the war against corruption, the prudent management of the country’s scarce resources, the technical defeat of Boko Haram insurgents, the unprecedented overcoming of recession within one year, the tactical downsizing of the Biafra agitation, the diversification of the economy, the aggressive provision of infrastructural facilities across the nation like the second Niger Bridge, road and rail networks, etc as areas of visible achievements of the president.
MURIC also cited the indiscriminate release of funds to all states even when some governors remained irrationally hostile and erratic as indisputable manifestation of magnanimity by the president. In particular, the executive order directing the Nigerian Police to suspend criminal charges against the opposition’s gubernatorial candidate, Ademola Adeleke, was another indubitable manifestation of statesmanship.
The Islamic human rights organization reminded Nigerian politicians that corruption is the bane of the country’s progress. It lamented that corruption made Nigerian roads the best death traps in Africa, turned the hospitals into public mortuaries, removed the glamour in education and nearly strangulated the economy.
“As we prepare for the 2019 elections, therefore, all the political parties must steer clear of corrupt politicians. The battle cry should be ‘total war on corruption’. The Nigerian electorate must distance themselves from stomach infrastructure politicians who will feed them for only one day to make them hungry for four whole years.
“The onus is on civil society and the Nigerian press to educate voters. Nigerians should be taught how to become fishermen catching fish by themselves instead of hungry villagers waiting for crumbs from the tables of politicians. We must make our 58 years of independence more meaningful by setting ourselves free from political charlatans.
“Politicians who hold the whole nation to ransom for their selfish interests; those who arrogate to themselves all the milk and honey in the land while the jamaheer continue to suffer; those who pay themselves N29 million per month for sleeping during National Assembly (NASS) sessions while the proletariat cannot get a dignifying minimum wage; those who delay the country’s budget for seven months and those who deduct huge sums from the allocations of critical areas of infrastructure to add to their phony constituency projects are not fit to represent the Nigerian people, talk less of leading them.
“In summary, the focus in the 2019 election should be the emergence of a new, reformed NASS. It must be a NASS that is totally committed to the war against corruption. At both state and national levels, Nigerians should choose tested, trusted and credible leaders. We charge the youth to emancipate themselves from the shackles of laziness, indolence and corruption. There is nothing to emulate in emergency politicians and opportunists whose only credentials are F9 parallel, the flair for criminal propensity, a nuisance value and a godfather of armed robbers.