Sequel to a letter written by human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), to President Muhammadu Buhari, seeking presidential pardon for soldiers jailed for refusing to fight Boko Haram, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has added its voice to the call for pardon for the soldiers.
MURIC’s call was made on Thursday through its director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The group said, “We endorse every sentence in the letter written by foremost human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), asking President Muhammadu Buhari to pardon soldiers jailed for refusing to fight Boko Haram with poor weapons. This case has unassailable merit and Mr. Falana’s letter has addressed all the necessary issues.
“We strongly believe that the punishment meted out to the soldiers were a miscarriage of justice. We also frown at the way the soldiers were discharged from prison after serving their term without any concern for their welfare. It is an invitation to anarchy. These are soldiers trained as members of the special forces. They were not ordinary soldiers. Releasing them into the society was therefore a most dangerous move. They may fall into wrong hands.
“However, we appeal to the released men to continue to be of good conduct, to remain law abiding and to always remember that Allah has a reason for everything. While they were in jail, many soldiers died fighting the insurgents. Some lost their limbs. But Allah has preserved them. It is also worthy of gratitude to Allah that none of them died in jail.
“Therefore our message to the 54 soldiers is this, ‘Have faith and thank God. It is possible that the Supreme Creator, in His divine wisdom, decided to keep you in jail in order to keep you alive or to keep you away from a worse fate.’ Afterall Prophet Yusuf (Joseph, peace be upon him) was imprisoned for no just cause and he came out victorious (Glorious Qur’an 12:35; Genesis 39:20).
“The Muslims among them should remember what Allah said in the Hadith Qudsy, ‘Whoever is not pleased with what I have decided, let him get out from under my sky. Let him look for another sky other than mine. Whoever is not pleased with what I impose on him, let him leave my earth. Let him seek another earth other than mine.’
“But is there any other sky apart from the one above our heads? Is there any other earth where homo sapiens can live other than the one created by Allah? Where can we go if we decide that we will no longer live under Allah’s sky or on His earth? Has any of the super powers succeeded in producing its own sky or its separate earth? Nay, there is no other sky and no other earth apart from what the Supreme Creator has made. This is why we should always accept our fate.
“Christians among the jailed soldiers should reflect on the words of Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians, ‘Let us thank God in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you’ (1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18).
“We therefore beseech these men to accept the fate that the Supreme Creator allowed to befall them. They should not seek vengeance from society by hurting innocent people. They should not use their special training negatively. Vengeance is a square peg. Justice is a round hole. What you seek to get is not what you obtain in the long run.
“MURIC commends leading human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, for his role in the struggle to get justice for the jailed soldiers. He has consistently defended the oppressed, sometimes pro bono. Once again, Falana has put humanity on the driving seat in the practice of his profession. We have no scinttila of doubt that posterity will write his name in letters of gold.”