As Nigeria marks its 59th independence anniversary, an Islamic human rights organization has identified the Buhari administration as the best since independence. Making this assertion is the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) in its independence day message signed by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola and circulated to the media on Tuesday, 1st October, 2019.
According to the group, while it is generally agreed that corruption is Nigeria’s numero uno problem, it is only the current administration that has frontally addressed this dangerous cankerworm while President Muhammadu Buhari has been the only ruler who has boldly confronted it.
“We adjudge the Buhari administration as the best in post-independence Nigeria. Everyone agrees that corruption is the bane of Nigeria’s development. All other factors are peripheral but corruption is tangential. This implies that Nigeria will overcome all its challenges once corruption has been reduced to its barest minimum.
“This explains why President Muhammadu Buhari has been consistently consistent in tackling graft since his days as military head of state (1983-85) till today. Apart from the War Against Indiscipline (WAI), the period heralded transparency, probity and accountability in the public sphere.
“Unfortunately corrupt elements in society have also been fighting tooth and nail to frustrate his efforts. These include, but are not limited to, rapaciously greedy civil servants, a superfluously voracious business class and avariciously glutonous politicians.
“They were behind the 1985 coup which ousted the no-nonsense Buhari-Idiagbon regime. That coup was an anti-people action sponsored by established kleptomaniacs and executed by greedy, corrupt and overambitious elements in the military. That singular action also returned Nigeria to the path of unbridled waste, reckless graft and undiluted consumerism.
“Unfortunately the second coming of President Buhari in 2015 as a civilian president was almost castrated as the National Assembly was hijacked from the very beginning courtesy of ‘sarakitisation’ and ‘dogaratisation’ of parliamentary process. The president himself nearly lost his life.
“Notwithstanding this setback, Nigeria is currently witnessing the most massive infrastructural development ever experienced since independence. Roads which have been abandoned for decades are now getting attention. Modern rail system is springing up in many parts of the country.
“Prudent management of resources has been a major characteristic of this administration. Looted funds were recovered and are still being recovered. The current administration plugged all known financial leakages by boldly implementing the Treasury Single Account (TSA) which past regimes hesitated to touch. External reserves which dwindled under other leaders have been rising steadily since the beginning of this administration despite low oil price.
“Accumulated arrears of workers salaries and pensions running into billions of naira were settled by this administration. This included accumulated contractors’ debts such that all major contractors are now back to site. Biafran veterans were paid off. Arrears of pensions of police, railway workers, etc which had been ignored for decades were settled.
“All these were made possible because the leadership is transparent. The funds being used for developmental projects today have always been there but they have always been shared in the past among a corrupt few at the expense of development. For these gargantuan achievements, we declare President Muhammadu Buhari as the Father of Modern Nigeria.
“In spite of rising incidents of killings and kidnappings, we affirm that this regime has paid more attention to security of lives than any other. Whereas no recruitments took place for over ten years before President Buhari took over, this regime has recruited more than 30,000 policemen since 2015.
“While Boko Haram occupied about 17 local governments in Borno State prior to 2015, the insurgent group has been reduced to a hit and run guerilla outfit under the present administration. Also, although the insurgents scored direct hits with heavy casualties in Kano and Abuja before 2015, it has been most effectively confined to the North East since that period.
“MURIC is constrained to assert that Nigerians are the ones hurting fellow Nigerians. For instance, government has no hand in the arbitrary inflation of transport fare during rushing hours. Neither is kidnapping which brings untold suffering to families being carried out by foreigners. Those who kidnap Nigerians are fellow Nigerians. We urge all citizens to be their brothers’ keepers. Nigerians also need to have a change of mindset. Nigerian youth must eschew greed and materialism to embrace hardwork, honesty and integrity.
“MURIC appeals to patriotic Nigerians to rally behind the present administration in its war against corruption and graft. Only thus can the good works be sustained and Nigeria lifted to the category of the world’s developed countries. As a leader who has lived a prudent lifestyle throughout his life, as the only Nigerian president who has no foreign account, no accumulated properties and no stolen funds traced to him, President Buhari deserves the support of Nigerians.
“Before taking a break, MURIC congratulates President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian citizenry on the occasion of the country’s 59th independence anniversary. In view of the unprecedented achievements of the Buhari administration listed above, we affirm clearly, categorically and unambiguously that the Buhari administration has been the best since independence while President Muhammadu Buhari himself is the best president Nigeria has ever had.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)