The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has accused the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) of overreaching itself by meddling in political affairs, over CAN’s plan to deploy 300 observers during the 2019 elections as well as certain subterranean maneuvers in the political arena.
The Islamic human rights organization argues that the monitoring of elections in this country has never been based on religious affiliation, and no country in the world has been doing that, reinstating that the avalanche of non-governmental organizations (NGOs)are more than enough as neutral observers.
The group while querying what guarantees CAN’s expectation of being a neutral observer said that, given the anti-Muslim threats and post-Christian comments of pastors in the past two years, Christian clergies have openly exhorted their followers not to vote for Muslims, as such, what the Christian body would report can be forseen.
In urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to grant CAN’s request, the muslim group also accused CAN of seeking to impose Christian governors in all South Western states.
Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola told The News Chronicle that CAN’s demand for INEC to declare the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ademola Adeleke in the last Osun state gubernatorial elections as the winner, when it was aware that same candidate scored an F9 parallel in his WAEC result was questionable.
“CAN wants to sacrifice excellence on the altar of mediocrity. Just because of religion? How does a governor with such a low level of education appreciate the value of education in the state? How will he relate with professors and doctorate degree holders in his executive when no hospital has the cure for inferiority complex.
“We like to place it on record that CAN is the one that often forces MURIC to engage it in polemics. We cannot keep quiet when CAN adopts an aggressive political agenda which is detrimental to the interest of Muslims. MURIC has a moral obligation to defend the interest of Muslims.
“The atmosphere will be cleaner and safer if CAN will not seek to arrogate all political offices to Christians or make ridiculous demands like seeking to enthrone the least qualified citizen in a state as governor”, the group said.
The group tackled the Christian body on the recent meeting by its leadership with the Oyo State governor about three weeks ago to demand that the next governor of the state must be a Christian.
“We know the rationale for CAN’s interest and we understand. Patronage becomes specially juicy, pecuniary benefits become more secretive and political appointments get more lopsided when its cronies are made governors. But should religion be the main criterion for choice of state governors?
“We advise CAN to do away with its domineering complex. Religious leaders should allow the electorate to choose candidates with the right leadership qualities like vision, high level intelligence, accessibility, credibility, integrity, probity and accountability.
They urged CAN to think Nigeria and to work towards emancipating the masses from the grip of the few wealthy, greedy and selfish citizens, as this should be the major area of concern for religious leaders.
“A political culture based on religious affiliation cannot give us good roads, efficient electricity supply, qualitative education, reliable public health system, etc. It can only give the religious leaders and their families more private jets, more private universities and more contracts while the followers continue to wallow in abject poverty.
“In a nutshell, MURIC implores INEC to ignore CAN’s request on the monitoring of 2019 elections. CAN should allow sleeping dogs to lie. Religious leaders must help in changing this country’s political culture. Merit should be the watchword, not mediocrity. We must not make demands for the emergence of Christian or Muslim candidates”, the group said.