The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has raised alarm over plans by Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and some gubernatorial candidates to rid Muslims in the South-west region of their fundamental rights when elected. MURIC, in a statement by its director Professor Ishaq Akintola, Monday, said some of the candidates have allegedly agreed with CAN to ban the use of hijab in public schools, to return public schools to missionaries and to cancel the hijrah and maolud holidays.
The statement reads in part: “We wish to caution gubernatorial candidates in the South Western states where elections are expected to hold on Saturday, March 9, 2019; against entering into any unholy, illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional agreements with state branches of CAN or any individual or group of persons on issues pertaining to Allah-given fundamental rights of Muslims in their states.“Such agreements are null and void and of no effect whatsoever. Whoever does so is on his own. “We expect in-coming governors to work towards a harmonious relationship between the adherents of different faiths in their state. It will be most unwise, therefore, to displease one group at the expense of another. “Gubernatorial candidates should note that the constitution of Nigeria guarantees religious freedom. Therefore, no governorship candidate should contemplate withdrawing any of the civil liberties enjoyed by Muslims in their states.“Muslims are easy going, simple and peace-loving. They are ready to peacefully coexist with others if nobody attempts to trample on their religious freedom. A word is enough for the wise. “…we affirm that what matters to MURIC most is good governance. The political parties have picked candidates of their choice based on certain criteria. Our own parameter will be based on performance in the areas of raising the people’s standard of living, securing lives and properties, general welfare, equal rights and justice, particularly ensuring that Muslims are not shortchanged in any way. “In a multi-religious environment like ours, we must stop insisting on having Muslims or Christians at the helm of affairs. We must jettison sentiment. Merit should be the watchword”.Since CAN believes that its mission as the watch person of the welfare of the society is vital affair, it cannot help but be interested in politic. Despite this, it is essential to note that CAN is not and can never be a political organization and so CAN should never be seen as a political association, not simply because it was not so registered but more importantly, because it has in it fold people who hold diverse political opinions. CAN believes that it ought to respect those different shades of opinions, if it is to preserve its integrity as a united entity. The best that it can do is to educate its members on the political goings on in the country. Let us examine CAN’s mission in relation to its conception and interest in Nigerian politics.
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