A group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has condemned in strong terms, the violent attack on the Katsina State campaign office of ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
A statement by Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director of the group, described the attack as shocking, retrogressive, counter-productive, barbaric and satanic.
The statement partly read: “Political violence belongs to the Stone Age. We expect that Nigerians should have risen above such backwardness. This is why we are disappointed that Nigerians once again are revisiting this archaic political culture. Does it mean we lack any iota of civilization? Are we so politically naïve that we still believe that violence is capable of stopping anyone’s political ambition? It was political violence which led to the first military coup in Nigeria. Are we so forgetful?
“We remind youths to eschew violence. The children of political leaders are either in Britain, Canada or the United States. Few of them keep their children in Nigeria. Their children attend foreign schools. None of them allows his children to join political rallies. Their children do not wear party T-shirts or caps. They don’t wave party flags. Our young ones should stop being stupid. They should grow up and learn. They should stop doing the dirty works of politicians. The hooligans of today cannot be the leaders of tomorrow. Those who employ you as thugs will never give you enough money to take you to the next level.”
The statement further added: “How much were the thugs paid to attack Atiku’s campaign office? Is it enough to pay their house rent? Is it enough to start a business? Is it enough to feed for one week? Is it enough to pay their children’s school fees? All they could be given is a paltry sum like N5,000. But they will also supply them with weapons and drugs. Are the youth so blind that they don’t know that whoever gives them weapons and drugs is out to destroy them?
“Is that weapon a degree certificate? Is that drug the key to a new building or a new car? Can that politician give his own children the same weapons to go on rampage? Can he allow his own children to follow the thugs on that dangerous assignment? Why should the children of the poor function as thugs while children of the rich and powerful ride Ferrari and Lambogini in foreign countries? Who did this to Nigerian youths?”
The group however charged the Nigerian Police to fish out the perpetrators of the destruction, saying “the culprits must be dealt with according to the law. We urge Nigerian youths to distance themselves from politicians who wish to use them for violence. They will use them now and dump them after the elections. We call on parents to sermonise their young children.”
The group further suggested that any political party linked to violence should be suspended for three consecutive elections in the local government where the violence occurred while politicians who sponsor violence should be barred from holding any public post after the election.
“Apart from that, such a politician should be arrested and prosecuted. We warn those behind the attack to stop forthwith. Nigeria will not earn the respect of the international community as long as we engage in political violence,” it added.