Nigerian Christians are currently celebrating Easter with their counterparts throughout the world. This year’s Easter festival began yesterday, Friday 25th March 2016 and will end on Monday 28th March, 2016.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) felicitates with Nigerian Christians on this occasion.
We charge our Christian neighbours to spend the period in sober reflections on the current situation in the country. Nigeria, a nation blessed with abundant human and material resources, the numero uno producer of crude oil in Africa, cannot supply enough for its citizens.
Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa (about 180 million people) with vast arable land, cannot feed its population. Nigeria, the ‘giant’ of Africa and a country that has helped other nations in Africa to quell disturbances, is today ravaged by a 5-year insurgency which has claimed thousands of lives while smaller and weaker countries now rally to save it from going under.
But many Nigerian politicians are committed to a culture of waste and a dogma of ego. Only a few are altruistic. How else can we explain a single politician who has 170 aides; a top military officer who stores $1 million in a septic tank in his home; another who fraudulently collects N554 million monthly while $2.1 billion meant for purchase of arms to fight insurgency is shared among politicians?
These are issues we must reflect on. We must seek to build this country. We must not destroy it. Religious leaders must preach love. We must be models in tolerance and forgiveness. We must eschew hate speeches and all acts capable of inciting our followers. We must avoid extravagant and flamboyant life in order to teach our followers simplicity and the need to avoid greed and avarice. These are the things we must do to get out of the doldrums.
Look at where the greed of a ‘tiny cabal’ has led this country. Nigeria, a nation that became independent 56 years ago is still crawling like a 2-year old baby. There is darkness in the land, stomachs are empty and the youths are roaming around the cities.
4,500 pregnant women die in pregnancy yearly in this country. 52,000 Nigerian women die in childbirth annually. 11 million Nigerians are malnourished. 55 million Nigerians lack access to education. Nigerian roads are a collective apology. Nigeria is the 26th poorest and 20thhungriest nation in the world.
Unfortunately, just at the time we found a forthright leader, the economy was hit by an unprecedented downturn and oil, the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy which used to sell at $93.61 per barrel, crashed to less than $28!
But all hope is not lost. Stolen funds are being recovered. Hitherto sacred cows are being made to vomit their loot. Transparency, probity and accountability are on the front burner once again. The price of oil has started rising and governments at both federal and state levels are tightening their belts. There is cause to believe that Nigeria will rise again.
MURIC therefore calls on Nigerians to be patient with the present administration. The essence of Easter is patience, fortitude and tolerance and these are the expected take-aways from Easter.
Finally, we invite Nigerians to compare President Muhammadu Buhari’s impeccable character, his frugality and his unbeatable pedigree to the greed, recklessness and selfishness of past leaders. Whereas a past leader insisted that stealing is not corruption and that there was nothing wrong if a goat eats yam, Buhari has zero tolerance for stealing. This is the barometer we should use when taking our decision. Let us all imbibe the lessons of Easter, namely, patience, fortitude and tolerance.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)