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Group Says Jonathan’s Request To Be Peace Ambassador Is immodest

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan

By Niyi Adeyi – The last week declarations last week by the outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan to be an advocate of peace has been considered “immodest, belated, hypocritical and an absolute afterthought”.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) in a statement issued Wednesday by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, held that Mr. President’s latest request to become an ambassador of peace was baffling, contending that people did not ask for honour, rather it is given freely, willingly and spontaneously.

“Honour is earned through quality leadership, not demanded and snatched via rough tackles and arm-twisting. People who are truly honourable do not lobby for it. The quality of honour is like the golden fish. Honour has no place to hide. People will see it wherever it is even without showing itself. So why is our outgoing president parading himself as a peace ambassador”? The group queried.

MURIC stated that a peace ambassador must be acceptable to all parties, yet insisted that the case  of President Jonathan was different, arguing that he was not acceptable as an ambassador to Nigerian Muslims.

“We cannot accept Jonathan as a go-between in matters affecting us and our Christian neighbours because his sins against us are so many that we have stopped counting. But we continued to respect him because of his exalted office. We believe that respect for the office of Mr. President is respect for our country, Nigeria” the statement indicated.

MURIC complained that when President Jonathan marginalized Muslims in ministerial and other appointments; they cried out when Jonathan turned his national conference to an overwhelmingly Christian conference, noting there were many more, just as it cited recent selection of members of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) without consulting Muslim leaders.

“How can Jonathan be an ambassador of peace? His militant kinsmen threatened the rest of Nigeria with hell on earth if he lost the election and he kept quiet. His wife publicly insulted Northerners in particular and Nigerian Muslims in general calling us people who produce children without caring for them and the husband kept mute. Jonathan has no sense of justice. Neither can he call those under him to order. How can such a man be crowned ambassador of peace?

“Except the few political jobbers in his government, Nigerian Muslims have no confidence in President Jonathan. How can we repose confidence in him when we could not get justice, fairness and equal rights under him? How can we accept him as an ambassador of peace and a fair umpire when he was not fair to us when he was in government? President Jonathan wants to be rewarded for what he did not work for. He wants to sow where he did not reap. We will not accept that” the group declared.

While noting that any leader who engaged in favouritism for people of his own faith, while ignoring those of another creed was setting the two groups against each other, MURIC advised the President-Elect, Muhammadu Buhari, to pursue a policy of fairness and openness to all, “to give unto Christians all rights and privileges due to them without forgetting the demands and complaints of Muslims”.

It stressed: “What Nigeria needs is not necessarily a Christian or a Muslim. We need a leader with an iron will, a leader to whom riches mean nothing, a leader who cares and feels for the jamaheer (masses), a leader who has zero tolerance for corruption and utmost respect for the rule of law.

“We advise President Jonathan to stop building castles in the air and to face the reality on ground. He is not leaving office as a hero but as a leader who messed up the economy of his country, glorified corruption and divided Nigeria along religious and ethnic lines. How can such a man demand the exalted position of a peace ambassador”?

MURIC urged the international community to ignore Jonathan’s image-laundering efforts after his woeful performance in office, saying he was not acceptable to Nigerian Muslims as a peace ambassador, instead, should be regarded as one of the major causes of Nigeria’s woes, an unmitigated disaster in Nigeria’s search for quality leadership and the worst President Nigeria should never have had.


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