An Islamic non-governmental organisation, Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has called on Christians and Muslims in the country to join hands in a bid to come to common sense.
That, according to the human rights organisation, was to enable them to fight evil on a united front.
The call was made in a statement made available to FrontPage by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, to congratulate Christians on the occasion of Christmas.
His words: “People who belong to the Abrahamic faiths are brothers and sisters. We must therefore unite to fight the evil in our midst. Poverty, corruption, gymnastic religiousity, drug abuse, criminality, hate speech, etc are some of the evils in our society. But these evils know no religion. Paradoxically, however, instead of coming together to fight these open enemies, we allow religion to divide us. We have therefore been economical with the use of common sense.
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“We all ply the same bad roads because there are no separate roads for Christians or Muslims. We suffer together from poor health facilities and acute shortage of necessary infrastructure in our schools. There is no separate public transport for any religious group. We use the same airports and fly in the same aircrafts. Inflation bites in our homes because we buy from the same markets. We are all victims of the Nigerian condition but instead of addressing the situation we fight over religion. Who did this to Nigeria?”
According to MURIC, common sense dictated that christians and muslims should work together to improve those facilities.
He regretted that rather, people of the two religions were at loggerheads over religion.
“Is common sense so common in Nigeria? We have failed to realize that our destinies are woven together. We are in the same boat in stormy waters. To continue to antagonize one another is to seek to rock the boat and to rock the boat is to tow the path of self-destruction. We must keep Nigeria alive. What we must kill is corruption, articulated religiousity, waste, indiscipline, materialism, greed, hate speech, etc. We must go back to those values which deepen our humanity.
“It is not our religion that is bad. We only think so. William Shakespear was right when he said, ‘Nothing is good or bad, only thinking makes it so’. It is our mentality. We tend to look at leaders and fellow Nigerians on the basis of their religion or ethnicity. We must change this mindset because it blurs our sense of judgement. We must look for merit,” the group said.
MURIC stated further in its statement: “We have had good Muslim leaders in this country in the same way that we have had good Christian leaders. Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, Alhaji Aminu Kano, Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Joseph S. Tarka and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe were selfless leaders. Yet none of them rode to leadership positions on the altar of religion. So how did we suddenly become blinded by acrobatic religiousity? Who did this to Nigeria?
“What we need in Nigeria today is bold statements emanating from religious groups expressing their readiness to jettison religious particularism in the interest of the nation. We must be ready to work and live under leaders who do not necessarily belong to our own faith. Leadership should be based on merit and competence. In this respect, MURIC assures Nigerians that we will fully support a competent, transparent, patriotic and altruistic Christian who follows the true teachings of Jesus and possesses the right leadership qualities and qualifications as the next president of our nation. We have no doubt whatsoever that such a Christian leader is capable of taking Nigeria to El Dorado.”