By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has reacted to the objection to Banire’s nomination. Dr. Muiz Banire was last week nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari to head the Assets Management Commission of Nigeria (AMCON). But three senators from Lagos have raised objection to his nomination.
Reacting to the objection, MURIC said it was saddened by the development. “We are looking at this from an entirely different angle. We are a Muslim human rights group and we are interested in seeing Muslims performing their civic duties, enjoying their Allah-given fundamental rights and taking their rightful positions like all other citizens in public posts.
“We are not out to stop people of other faith from enjoying the same priviledges or occupying positions of authority. But naturally our adrenalin goes up whenever there is an attempt to block a Muslim from enjoying what is his right, particularly when such a Muslim is more than qualified for the post. We have no iota of doubt that Dr. Muiz Banire is well qualified for this post both by his high level of education and experience. His integrity is also solid.
“Muslims are at the bottom of the pyramid of deprivation in this country. Therefore, every appointment given to a Muslim raises the Muslim community above poverty level. It does not matter whether such an appointment is political or otherwise. Muslim youths lose hundreds of admission opportunities into universities on account of their inability to pay the fees. More than 80% of unemployed youths are Muslims while Muslim women and children are among the most vulnerable in Nigeria today.
“We are not interested in party politics. That is an internal matter and only politicians can handle that. Our advice is that politicians should put their house in order. They should learn from the ongoing crisis at the national level which emanated from lack of internal cohesion. They should handle the Lagos angle with great care because the hawks are already hovering above and only a united force can resist them. We note the consistent development of Lagos State under progressive regimes since 1999. Everything should be done to ensure that this state of excellence does not fall into the hands of marauders.
“We affirm that Lagos Muslims are greatly disturbed by the objection raised against Dr. Banire’s nomination because of the closeness of the latter to many Islamic organisations. Banire is recognized as a very active Muslim leader not only in Lagos State but also nationwide. He also identifies with the umbrella Islamic organization and he is well known to its leaders. Muslims cannot afford to keep quiet if he is denied this opportunity to serve. Afterall, Christian leaders too do not abandon their own members in times of need.
“We have nothing against the senators who objected to his nomination because only politicians can understand the issues involved. We respect them as political leaders in their own rights. But we are reminding them that this objection goes beyond politics. It has very wide and serious implications particularly among Muslims at this critical period.
“It is not about Banire alone. Every Muslim politician is important to MURIC. Nay, we have a duty to protect Allah-given fundamental right of every single Muslim in this country, including the right to vote and be voted for and the right to hold a public post without let or hinderance so long as such a Muslim has not committed any crime punishable under the law. We are there to watch their backs.
“In the final analysis, we call on the Lagos senators who objected to Dr. Banire’s nomination to do a rethink and to settle their internal wrangling amicably. In particular, the respected apex leadership of the party in the South West should use his wide exposure and fatherly disposition to facilitate an all-is-well-that-ends-well outcome. We appeal to Lagosians of goodwill and Muslim leaders in particular to intervene in this matter before it is too late”.