Full text of the MURIC Press Release;
As the failure of Senate to confirm the ministerial nomination of the former governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, continues to generate controversy, an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has told President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to save the North-West alliance which gave him victory at the polls by ensuring that El-Rufai gets the ministerial appointment.
H.E Nasir El-Rufai
MURIC made its stand known on Sunday, 13th August, 2023 after an emergency meeting of its Central Think Tank (CTT) held in the evening of the previous day. A statement signed by the Executive Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, after the meeting reads:
“The Central Think Tank (CTT) of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) met yesterday to consider the circumstances surrounding the failure of Senate to confirm the nomination of the former governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, as a minister.
“CTT considered the issue a major setback to the North-West alliance which gave President Bola Ahmed Tinubu victory during the 2023 presidential election. Furthermore, CTT regards the non-confirmation of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai’s ministerial nomination as a big threat to future alliance between the North and the South-West. The North may not hobnob with the South-West again if the champion of the North-South alliance is shabbily treated.
“CTT also noted the huge contribution of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai who persuaded the Northern political elite, particularly the twelve Northern governors, to allow power to go to the South. It was observed that the monumental power shift of 2023 was a fulfilment of a 2019 agreement. It was therefore an act of honour while El-Rufai is seen as the icon of Northern integrity.
“CTT affirms clearly, emphatically and unequivocally that it behoves the South as represented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to reciprocate the North’s noble stand by walking his talk, particularly his open offer and public invitation to Mallam El-Rufai to join his cabinet. The story of Tinubu’s invitation to El-Rufai to join his cabinet is already public knowledge.
“It has become necessary to jog the President’s medulla oblongata today because the North has exhibited integrity by keeping its promise on power shift to the South. It therefore behoves the South to reciprocate, to manifest decorum, decency and dignity, particularly with the ‘Omoluabi virtue’ for which the Yoruba are well known.
“Tinubu has a duty to protect the good name of the Yoruba people in particular and the whole South in general. Besides, a promise is a promise in Islam and Tinubu is a Muslim. Allah says in the Glorious Qur’an ‘And fulfill the promise, surely (every) promise shall be questioned about.’ (Qur’an 17:34). Allah also said, ‘O you who believe! Fulfill your pledges.’ (Qur’an 5:1).
“The good relationship and the bond between the North and the South-West must not be allowed to break. 2027 is around the corner. Even 2031 is already knocking and politicians are already doing their calculations. The North supported Tinubu because they found him to be credible. He must not do anything capable of diminishing that credibility.
“El-Rufai is the gem of the collection and everybody knows it. He is a performer. He is cerebral, iconic. If it is true that the president himself already hinted El-Rufai to set the machinery in motion for the energy sector, the president is morally bound to walk his talk regardless of all other encumberances.
“Records show that there are precedents. Festus Keyamo was cleared in spite of Senate’s earlier objection. Something made Senate change its mind. Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo got this same El-Rufai cleared despite Senate’s opposition in 2004. El-Rufai withdrew having read between the lines. He will still do it for the sake of Nigeria if the president’s body language conforms.
“Criminality, dishonesty, fraud, impunity, lack of patriotism and other Nigerian problems spring from a wrong mindset. They will all disappear or at least be reduced to the barest minimum if the leadership sets the pace. Islamic scholars North and South who nurtured the North-South alliance are watching. All men and women of conscience are keeping vigil. Nigeria holds its breath and shivers. The buck stops at Mr. President’s table.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)