The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has told President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to remember that the North supported him to ameliorate the suffering of Muslims in the South.
The group maintained that Tinubu’s ministerial appointments should therefore reflect some improvement in the status of Muslims in Southern Nigeria.
This was revealed in a statement issued on Sunday, 30th July, 2023 by the Executive Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The group said:
“Only two or three Muslims can be identified among all the ministers nominated from the South by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This is disappointing because whereas Christians from the region ganged up against him, the Muslims rallied to his support.
“The story of how a group of Muslims from the South West mobilised themselves to seek the support of the North in ensuring that a Yoruba Muslim emerged as president of Nigeria is already in the public space.
“Of particular importance is the fact that MURIC began the campaign for the emergence of a Yoruba Muslim president as early as 23rd February, 2021 with our visionary and rhetorical caption ‘2023: Why Has No Yoruba Muslim Ever Occupied Aso Rock? – MURIC’
“Equally didactic is the fact that MURIC based the campaign on the fact that Yoruba Muslims had been under religious persecution, political marginalisation and socio-economic ostracisation because no Yoruba Muslim had ever ruled Nigeria since independence. This was the argument we used to persuade the North to support our struggle and they gave us their full support.
“This explains the bold antics of the 12 Northern governors and other pre-primaries manouvers which produced President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the presidential candidate of the ruling party. Strategic considerations and the intense activities of Islamic scholars led to the Muslim-Muslim ticket. Nobody can deny that this religious card eventually gave victory to the Yoruba Muslim candidate in the 25th February presidential election.
“The implication of this is that Northern Muslims supported the emergence of a southern Muslim as president in order to mitigate the suffering of Muslims in the South and to emancipate them from religious oppression and socio-economic enslavement.
“But the story so far has not impressed Nigerian Muslims, North or South. Complaints have flooded the Muslim communities. Tinubu’s appointments have not in any way allayed the fears of Muslims in the South West. Equally alarming is the fact that Northern scholars have started reminding MURIC that with only 2 Muslims out of about 17 ministerial appointments for the South, the pendulum still continues to swing the other way.
“We therefore call the attention of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the need to rectify things before all ministerial appointments are concluded.
“This is our message to the president. Look behind you, Mr. President, and see how you emerged as president. It is done everywhere.
“We know you are capable but there were things you and your fellow politicians could not do. But the scholars penetrated the labyrinths of the Northern Islamic landscape to soften hardened minds. Look behind you and visualize how naira re-design and petrol politics were luciferously ‘emefiolised’ to turn the hoi polloi against you.
“Mr. President sir, this is the time for Muslims to emerge as ministers from Oyo, Ogun and Osun. Ekiti and Ondo already have Christian governors and Christian deputy governors (Christian-Christian tickets). Heaven will not fall if Muslims emerge as ministers from there. Give us at least 4 ministers from the South West.
“One or two Muslim ministers from each of the South South and South East sub-regions will not be out of planet earth. Afterall Christians are known to have emerged as ministers from core Muslim zones in the past. Our Muslim brothers from the East feel what we feel in the South West. They should also be considered. Lagos can have a Christian minister because both the president and the Speaker of the House of Representatives are from there.
“There is agony in our hearts as we reach out to you from a region that has 17 states but all 17 states are ruled by 17 Christian governors. What crime has Southern Muslims committed?”