Retired Lt. Gen. TY Danjuma recently warned Nigerians that Islamists must not rule Nigeria again. He accused the Buhari administration of Islamisation of the judiciary and threw his weight behind the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen. The retired general and others spoke on the platform of the Northern Christian Elders Forum (NCEF). However, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) in a press statement issued on Thursday, 7th February, 2019 has urged Nigerians to ignore the retired general. The statement was signed by its founder and director, Professor Ishaq Akintola. The Islamic human rights organisation described the allegation of Islamisation as baseless, unfounded and mischievous. “Lt. Gen. Danjuma is trying to mislead Nigerians”. MURIC said. “He is inciting them against Muslim leaders. He and those who joined him in this last journey to nowhere seek to turn Christians and Muslims against each other. We will not allow that. Such a move is self-serving and callous. It is the road to self-destruction. A house divided against itself cannot stand. We urge Nigerians to ignore them. “Nigerians who are not victims of collective amnesia will recall that the cry of ‘Islamisation’ has always been on the lips of Islamophobics from time immemorial. Yet nobody has been Islamised. They ranted over sukuk bonds until they saw its fruits being used to build roads everywhere, including the South East. Of the 36 ministers in the country, 18 are Christians while 18 are also Muslims. In addition, Christians were given two juicy posts by this Muslim president: the secretary to the Federal Government and the Chief of Staff. Where lies Islamisation agenda? Islamisation or Fulanisation is a mirage, a phantom. It exists only in the imagination of disgruntled elements.
“Nigerians should ask Danjuma and his ilks the following questions. Is it Islamisation to construct the Second Niger Bridge? Is it Fulanisation to refurbish Lagos-Ibadan expressway? How many of the 9.2 million school children who are being fed free by this administration are Fulanis or Muslims? Is the new fast train in Abuja part of the Islamisation? How many Muslims have taken the train without their tickets and how many Christians have been turned back on the basis of their faith? Buhari may be a Muslim but his new roads know no religion. His trains know no religion.
“How can anyone interpret the suspension of a billionaire CJN who possesses 55 houses in Abuja alone as Islamisation? The next qualified person was picked for the post and that is due process. What crime has he committed for being a Muslim? How can that be interpreted as Islamisation? Very soon it will be Islamisation for Nigerian Muslims to get employment. It will be Islamisation if a Muslim eats. It will be Islamisation if the pilot of a plane or the driver of a bus is a Muslim. It is mass profiling and indiscriminate stigmatization of Nigerian Muslims.
“It is the Acting CJN today. It can be any Muslim tomorrow. MURIC will continue to defend Allah-given fundamental rights of Nigerian Muslims with every legitimate means at its disposal. No amount of blackmail, intimidation and name-calling can deter us. Both Muslims and Christians have the right to rule Nigeria because this country is a multi-religious state. We will not stand akimbo and allow some self-acclaimed elders to mislead Nigerians or to blackmail or scare away Muslims who have leadership potentials
“Progressive people around the world are not using religion as a criterion for picking their leaders. They look at industry, antecedence, integrity, competence and morality. This should be the focus of Nigerians. We must free ourselves from the bondage of articulated religiousity. Religion is not about hate, killing and burning. Religion is love. We were human beings before we knew about any religion. So religion is humanity.
“We charge Nigerians to be wary of peddlers of hate. It is not religion. Neither is it ethnicity. We strongly suspect that TY Danjuma is calling for a personal pound of flesh. The tap from which free money has been flowing for so long has been closed by this administration. The Father Christmas mentality of past regimes has given way to prudent management of government’s resources. Oil licenses and blocks are not being renewed. “No wonder, therefore, that a prominent member of the tiny cabal is venting his spleen on the Buhari regime. The electioneering period has been chosen to drive the point home. But Nigerians should not be deceived. It is neither about religion nor ethnicity. Otherwise why are the candidates of the two leading political parties Muslims and ‘Islamists’? How did this come about in spite of all the noise in the churches that Christians should not vote for Muslim candidates? Why are the candidates of the two major political parties of Fulani extraction despite the outcry in churches that Christians should not vote for any Fulani man? “The truth is that the capitalist bourgeoisie political class to which the tiny cabal belongs are fidgety. They see themselves as the owners of Nigeria and they are deeply worried that power is gradually shifting to the masses. They are just 1% of the population. But they are so powerful that they control 85% of the total wealth of Nigeria. They control the media and they used to control government until 2015. The 99% who are the masses continue to struggle over the sharing of the remaining 15% of Nigeria’s resources. It cannot go round and this explains why we always fight among ourselves. To make matters worse, people like Danjuma and his NCEF inject the opium in religion and the heroin in ethnicity into the system to add fuel to the conflagration.
“It should be noted that the NCEF has already been disowned by the officially recognized body of Nigerian Christians. NCEF is no more than a concoction and an unknown nomenclature, a pain in the neck even for Christendom and an embarrassment for true and patriotic Christians.
“MURIC advices Nigerians to disregard religious jobbers and spiritual busy bodies looking for a platform to unleash acrobatic religiousity and gymnastic spirituality. NCEF is fanning the embers of religious extremism among Christians. It can only lead to mayhem. This is a group known for fomenting trouble and for crying wolf where there is none. Its stock-in-trade has always been hate speech and incitement.
“Lt. Gen. Danjuma Must learn to live and let live. We remind him that the world is watching. We appeal to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to call NCEF to order once again. We call the attention of foreign observers, leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union to the inciting statements of Lt. Gen. Danjuma and his cohorts.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)