24th December, 2018
CHRISTIANS & MUSLIMS MUST COME TO COMMON SENSE
As Nigerian Christians join their counterparts in other parts of the world to mark Christmas, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has congratulated Christian leaders in the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and all church-goers.
In a special message issued on Monday, 24th December, 2018 and addressed to Nigerian Christiandom, MURIC invited all in the Christian faith to join hands with their Muslim compatriots in a bid to come to common sense. This, according to the human rights organization, will enable them to fight evil on a united front. The press statement was signed by Ishaq Akintola, the director and founder of the organization.
Akintola said, “People who belong to the Abrahamic faiths are brothers and sisters. We must therefore unite to fight the evil in our midst. Poverty, corruption, gymnastic religiousity, drug abuse, criminality, hate speech, etc are some of the evils in our society. But these evils know no religion. Paradoxically, however, instead of coming together to fight these open enemies, we allow religion to divide us. We have therefore been economical with the use of common sense.
“We all ply the same bad roads because there are no separate roads for Christians or Muslims. We suffer together from poor health facilities and acute shortage of necessary infrastructure in our schools. There is no separate public transport for any religious group. We use the same airports and fly in the same aircrafts. Inflation bites in our homes because we buy from the same markets. We are all victims of the Nigerian condition but instead of addressing the situation we fight over religion. Who did this to Nigeria?
“Common sense dictates that we should work together to improve those facilities. But today we are at loggerheads over religion. Is common sense so common in Nigeria? We have failed to realize that our destinies are woven together. We are in the same boat in stormy waters. To continue to antagonize one another is to seek to rock the boat and to rock the boat is to tow the path of self-destruction. We must keep Nigeria alive. What we must kill is corruption, articulated religiousity, waste, indiscipline, materialism, greed, hate speech, etc. We must go back to those values which deepen our humanity.
“It is not our religion that is bad. We only think so. William Shakespear was right when he said, ‘Nothing is good or bad, only thinking makes it so’. It is our mentality. We tend to look at leaders and fellow Nigerians on the basis of their religion or ethnicity. We must change this mindset because it blurs our sense of judgement. We must look for merit.
“We have had good Muslim leaders in this country in the same way that we have had good Christian leaders. Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, Alhaji Aminu Kano, Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Joseph S. Tarka and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe were selfless leaders. Yet none of them rode to leadership positions on the altar of religion. So how did we suddenly become blinded by acrobatic religiousity? Who did this to Nigeria?
“What we need in Nigeria today is bold statements emanating from religious groups expressing their readiness to jettison religious particularism in the interest of the nation. We must be ready to work and live under leaders who do not necessarily belong to our own faith. Leadership should be based on merit and competence. In this respect, MURIC assures Nigerians that we will fully support a competent, transparent, patriotic and altruistic Christian who follows the true teachings of Jesus and possesses the right leadership qualities and qualifications as the next president of our nation. We have no doubt whatsoever that such a Christian leader is capable of taking Nigeria to El Dorado.
“In this regard, we felicitate with the Nigerian Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on the occasion of this 2018 Christmas season. Without any iota of doubt, the current Vice President who is a Christian has demonstrated to all Nigerians that it is possible for Christians and Muslims to work together for the good of our great country. He eschewed greed, selfishness and religious particularism. Mr. Vice President Sir, we the Muslims of Nigeria are very proud of you.
“Our strong message to Nigerian Christians is to grab the opportunity of the general acceptability of Professor Yemi Osinbajo to Nigerian Muslims at this crucial moment. We are certain that Nigerian Muslims are satisfied with his performance. As a tested and trusted vice president, we will not hesitate to accept him as the next president come 2023.
“The ball is therefore in the court of Christiandom. The machinery for a non-controversial emergence of a Christian president for Nigeria in 2023 must therefore be set in motion. The time to do it is during this coming February 2019 general elections. It will lay a solid foundation for an Osinbajo regime in 2023.
“In conclusion, we send warm season’s greetings to our Christian neighbours. We charge Nigerians to change their mindset. Religion should not be the major factor to consider in leaders but merit, competence and integrity. Christians and Muslims must join hands to fight evil in the land. Let us love, forgive and tolerate one another”.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)