Islamic human rights group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has said that there is no alternative to presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
The group said this while reacting to news reports that some northern governors were planning to work for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flagbearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the February 25, 2023, presidential election.
MURIC’s stance was conveyed in a statement issued by its Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola on Tuesday, November 29 and emailed to The Herald.
The group said it believed the reports linking the Northern governors to Atiku to be “false alarm”, advising any of the northern governors contemplating such move to shelve it.
“Some Northern governors are allegedly ‘planning’ to work for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. This is according to some newspaper reports.
“We trust Northern governors. We are of the opinion that somebody is trying to raise a false alarm or ignite the embers of mischief. We find the report lacking in merit. Our position is based on the declaration of the twelve Northern governors who pitched their camp with Bola Ahmed Tinubu by insisting that power must shift to the South just before the presidential primaries.
“We recall that MURIC in its press statement of 11th June 2022 under the caption ‘MURIC to Tinubu on VP Post: Consult the Noble Dozen’ hailed the twelve Northern governors for ‘disabusing the minds of Nigerians concerning the myth of Northern hegemony and a nonexistent caliphate oligarchy by insisting that APC’s presidential candidate must come from the South. This was a great sacrifice and a noble idea.’
“We have no scintilla of doubt that Northern governors who had earlier pledged to support Tinubu will not toy with the idea of working against him because, as Muslims, they are fully aware that every pledge is being recorded by angels according to Qur’an 82:10 -12 (kiraaman kaatibiin); that it is a great sin for a Muslim to promise what he will not do (Qur’an 61:2 – 3) and that Allah will hold man accountable for his promises (Qur’an 17:34).9
“We therefore have every reason to believe that the publication is mere speculation, false, baseless and unfounded. It is an attempt to break Muslim ranks. Northern Muslim governors are too well grounded in politics and the ethics of Islam than to allow such speculation. It cannot be true. It had better not be.
“Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is a Muslim and a Northerner. He is therefore one of us. But Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima are two Muslims. Just as two heads are better than one, two Muslims are better than one. Ahmed and Kashim are better than Abubakar and Okonwa. We repeat, two Muslims are better than one.
“Besides, Yoruba Muslims of the South West have spoken loud and clear. They have endorsed Tinubu. MURIC in particular demanded for a Yoruba Muslim president as far back as February 2021 and we have since been consistent.
“The Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN) which is the only umbrella organisation of all Yoruba Muslims also endorsed Tinubu two weeks ago and MURIC went ahead to endorse Tinubu only yesterday.
“MURIC is therefore sending a very strong signal to the North: Yoruba Muslims are standing solidly like the Rock of Gibralta behind Tinubu. He is our own. We will never desert him. We expect Northern Muslims to be as consistent as the northern star because the Qur’an says Muslims are one brotherhood (Qur’an 49:10). Besides, two Muslims are better than one,” MURIC’s statement read.