The Central Think-Tank (CTT) of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) met yesterday, 30th December, 2018 to take a cursory look at events which dominated the Nigerian atmosphere during the year 2018.
In a public statement released early on Monday, 31st December, 2018 to showcase the findings of the CTT, the Islamic human rights organization scored Nigerian politicians low. According to Professor Ishaq Akintola, the director and founder of the group who signed the statement, politicians across the spectrum have disappointed Nigerians.
“There are only a few exceptions. Nigerian politicians displayed astounding unpredictability. They were consistently inconsistent. Political prostitution rented the air in an uncontrollable manner. They were bereft of standards. There was no modicum of principles. All the political parties without exception became infected with political chameleonism. The Nigerian political landscape experienced one of its worst moments in history as politicians swarped parties on flimsy excuses. Personal ego and parochial interest became the parameters for jumping from one party to another”.
MURIC berated politicians for failing to evolve a meaningful political culture. “Instead of pursuing a meaningful, robust and forward-looking political culture, Nigerian politicians fell head over heels in love with ‘bolekaja’ mentality where Machiaveli instinct rivals Herbert Spencer’s theory of survival of the fittest.
“Instead of identifying with the masses and meeting their aspirations, majority of our politicians pitched camp with the capitalist bourgeois class. Politics is pursued purely for economic gains. Service is not the objective. No wonder therefore that politics in Nigeria has become an all-comer game and political charlatanism is the order of the day.
“Our lawmakers perfected the art of law-breaking in law-making. In their sober moments, they were either competing with Nollywood actors or turning the hallowed chamber into the most notorious motor-park in the country. They made 2018 their year of sabotage when every project designed by the Federal Government (FG) was targeted for retardation. Meanwhile it was poor Nigerians who suffered just as it happens to the grasses when two elephants fight.
“It was the year lawmakers decided to inflict undue punishment on the Nigerian masses by ensuring that they are denied the dividends of democracy. This they did by ensuring that the budget was delayed for seven months and key projects could not be completed on schedule. The 8th National Assembly is the most anti-people in the history of Nigeria while its leadership has proved to be numero uno in parliamentary demagoguery in recent time.
“It is paradoxical that the Nigerian electorate has failed to recognize its friends. Voters readily sell their votes to the same corrupt politicians who robbed them of the dividends of democracy. Whereas good roads, qualitative education, high standard health institutions, etc are unavailable today due to the corrupt practices of our politicians, many citizens still idolize the same corrupt elements. They fail to see them as the direct causes of their predicament.
“As a result, political shenanigans were able to mislead poor voters into having preference for ephemeral toys which they labeled ‘stomach infrastructure’ but which lasted only one day over concrete, palpable and enduring infrastructure which are capable of lasting for generations.
“Yet in the midst of our political woes, a few politicians have managed to stay far from the maddening crowd. MURIC salutes these ladies and gentlemen of honour. They are the silver lining behind the dark clouds and they made the several achievements of the present administration possible.
“For the first time in a very long stretch, a democratic regime has come up with several social intervention programmes which impact on the lives of the ordinary citizen, the market woman, the student and the unemployed graduate. Gargantuan amounts of money which used to end up in the private pockets of corrupt politicians now go directly to the masses. It is an unprecedented socio-economic revolution powered by the highest office in the land.
“It is quite reassuring that in spite of the fact that a recession greeted the Buhari administration on take-off, the revival of the Nigerian economy through diversification has gained considerable momentum. Forbes in September 2018 rated Nigeria as the best economy in Africa and one of the top ten most improved economies in the world.
“Although the price of crude oil fell to $51.60 three days ago (Friday 28th December, 2018), the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate standing at 9.5%, the naira exchanging at N306.9 to $1 and foreign reserve at $43.08 billion as at 18th December 2018, we are confident that the effect of the fall in the price of oil will be minimal on the economy considering the prudent management of the present administration.
“MURIC commends government’s war against corruption and we are delighted that as much as N871 billion, 407 mansions and 259 vehicles have been recovered from Nigeria’s serial looters by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The seizures also include nine petrol filling stations and 98 plots of land.
“In summary, Nigerian politicians are a big disappointment. Just as there is little choice in rotten apples, only a few political leaders have added real value to the Nigerian political landscape. The Buhari administration deserves medals for the prudent management of the economy while EFCC should be lauded for its aggressive pursuit of the war against graft”.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)