By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
As the dreaded global pandemic, corona virus, debilitates populations worldwide, an Islamic human rights outfit, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has reminded Nigerians of different callings that there is no better time to come together.
MURIC made the call in a statement issued on Friday, 27th March, 2020 by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
“The latest toll from Corona Virus, also known as Covid-19, is alarming. As at today, Friday 27th March, 2020, this dreaded virus has taken the lives of 24,071 people around the world. According to Worldometer, there are also 531,799 confirmed cases of infections. With the number of deaths now at 1,000, the United States now leads in the area of fatality.
“Nigerians should not lose sight of the hidden message in this global tragedy. The most important message is that despite belonging to different faiths, races, colour, etc, the whole of mankind is woven together in fate. We should therefore seek to sink our differences. We should put all human heads under the same thinking cap and eliminate stigma, racism and all forms of discrimination. Our watchword should be humanity first.
“Nigerians should not allow this opportunity to slip by without taking a giant leap across the yawning abyss. Nigerians are too divided over primordial, infinitesimal and inconsequential things. It is either over creed, ethnicity or politics. Yet there are still divisions within every issue at stake.
“Although Muslims and Christians tear at each other’s throats in this country, Muslims still have differences within Islamdom and ditto for Christians. Again, while the Igbo rave at Hausa-Fulani, both groups still nurse deep-seated intra-ethnic grievances. The Egba/Ijebu and Modakeke/Ife rivalry is well known among the Yoruba. Inter-party bitterness in Nigeria may be condemnable but the intra-party intolerance is most despicable.
“Yet right now a common enemy in the name of Corona Virus is on the prowl. America’s nuclear bomb and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) are useless against it. No alliance is being contemplated by the West to fight the common foe. This makes mockery of man’s inhumanity to man. We marshalled the most dangerous weapons against fellow homo sapiens but failed to prepare to defend humanity against corona virus.
“MURIC charges leaders of different religions and ethnic groups in Nigeria to create new bridges at this particular period. Let us make new compromises towards resolving seeming intractable problems. Let us be persuaded by the phenomenon of Covid-19 which knows no colour, no race, no political party or ethnicity. It does not discriminate between a Muslim, a Christian or the adherents of any other religion. This is the time for all of us to sink our differences. What matters is our dear country, Nigeria. What matters is humanity.”