By Abbas Aminu Bamalli
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has re-expressed the reason for the Sultan and the Muslim delegation’s visit to President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to a statement by its Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, MURIC said the main reason is to complain to President Jonathan about the lopsidedness in the composition of delegates of the national confab, adding that Muslims have been marginalized on the list of delegates attending, and sees the need to put the records straight for those who are prepared to face facts, not sentiments.
MURIC was responding to an accusation by the Secretary-General of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Musa Asake, who accused the Sultan and the delegation of members of the National Executive Council of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), who visited President on March 26, of polarizing the country along religious lines and attempting to frustrate the conference.
The statement said, “Only four Muslims among the 15 delegates approved for North-Central, including Kwara, Niger, and Kogi, only one Muslim among the 15 delegates from the South-West”.
It further disclosed that “only two Muslims out of six retired police officers, only one Muslim out of six retired military and security personnel, and to crown the monumental edifice of marginalization, only six Muslims out of 20 delegates picked by the Federal Government”.
Prof. Akintola said the facts are incontrovertible and the Sultan put them before President Goodluck Jonathan, saying, “The delegates are there and anybody can do the counting. So what is CAN’s problem?”
He added that the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, in his characteristic way of dealing with matters, persuaded Muslims to be patient and told them that the matter would be looked into. “He then sought and secured audience with the presidency and that President Jonathan listened attentively to what the Sultan had to say and promised to look into the matter”, Akintola said.
“This is a shoddy response; he should stop heating up the polity. We advise President Jonathan not to allow CAN to ride on his back in its unholy attempt to get more than it deserves and deprive the Muslims of their rightful share and usurp their Allah-given and fundamental rights. These are acts capable of disturbing the peace, law and order”, the statement advised the President.