Nigerians have been advised to shun all kinds of protests as we approach the 2023 general elections. Making the call on Thursday was a faith-based civil society organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).
In a press statement issued on Thursday 9th February, 2023, the executive director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, warned Nigerians not to fall into the trap of enemies of democracy who are scheming either to impose an interim government or to ignite a military intervention. The group therefore advised Nigerians to be patient as the general election is just sixteen days away.
The full statement reads:
“The Central Bank of Nigeria recently announced plans to redesign the country’s currency. The citizens were asked to surrender all old notes in their possession particularly the higher N1,000, N500 and N200 denominations.
“Unfortunately the ongoing naira swap became a booby trap particularly as it has been accompanied by a protracted fuel scarcity. The timing of the exercise has led us to suspect a grand provocation ploy as Nigerians who surrendered their old naira notes were later denied access to both the old and the new. This ugly development led to widespread hunger and general suffering.
“The tendency is for the atmosphere to become explosive and already there have been pockets of demonstrations in one or two places particularly in the South West. However, there is a strong suspicion that naira swap and the attendant artificial scarcity are booby traps aimed at goading Nigerians to anger. They expect the youth to troop to the streets.
“We must not fall for it. This is the grand plan of some selfish political shenanigans and capitalist comprador bourgeoisie whose ambition is to hold the jamaaheer (masses) in their vice grip till kingdom come. Greedy bank officials have leveraged on the situation by hoarding the new naira notes and turning it into an opportunity for self-aggrandisement. It is the height of sadism.
“The aim of these wicked political charlatans is to manipulate the crisis once demonstrations begin. They plan to hijack the demonstrations, turn it into a viciously violent exercise and attack certain public figures as well as public properties. It is at this point that they plan to announce an indefinite postponement of the general elections and introduce an interim government. A military coup may also be on the table if the plan for an interim government fails to work.
“We therefore appeal to Nigerians to eschew public protest in all its ramifications. Election is just sixteen days away. If we are patient, we will be able to peacefully elect leaders of our choice. On the other hand, we may play into the hands of agents provocateur and end up with an interim government or a military coup d’etat. But election is just a stone’s throw away. Therefore, let us be peaceful and endure till 25th February.
“On a last note, we advise the army to keep off. Involvement in politics is antithetical to professionalism in the military. Nigeria has more than enough security challenges to keep the army busy and any attempt to delve into politics will be like chewing more than the military can swallow. It will only compound the country’s problems.
“Besides, military rule is no longer fashionable. It will only delay Nigeria’s progress, attract sanctions from the West and cause an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe. The worst civilian government is always better than the best military government because the latter lacks accountability and credibility. Nigerians will not stomach governance through the barrel of the gun.”
#AvoidDemonstrations #SayNoToViolence #NoToInterimGovernment #NoToMilitaryRule