30th November, 2017
BUHARI SHOULD PARDON THE 54 SOLDIERS
The Federal Government (FG) has declared tomorrow Friday 1st December, 2017 as a holiday to mark the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) felicitates with the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, CFR, mni on this auspicious occasion. We also congratulate the Nigerian Muslim Ummah and the entire Nigerian citizenry for witnessing another birthday of the greatest man that ever lived.
According to the Glorious Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad was the seal of all prophets (Qur’an 33:40) and an exemplary leader (Qur’an 33:21). He was sent to the whole world (Qur’an 34:28) as a compassion to Muslims and non-Muslims alike (Qur’an 21:107 wa ma arsalnaaka ilaa rahmatan lil‘aalamiin وما ارسلناك الا رحمة للعالمين).
The celebration of the Prophet’s birthday is therefore the recognition of Compassion. It is the day of mercy, a day that deserves being declared as Compassion Day by world organizations like the United Nations.
A fortiori, MURIC reminds President Muhammadu Buhari of the plight of the 54 soldiers who were imprisoned for refusing to fight Boko Haram insurgents with poor weapons. FG may not realize it, but the 54 soldiers actually exposed the $2.1 billion arms fraud. They are whistle-blowers, not criminals.
Paradoxically, while other whistle-blowers are being rewarded, the 54 soldiers are languishing in jail. This casts a shadow on our war against corruption. It is very disheartening.
In the spirit of the Compassion Day which the Prophet’s birthday signifies, MURIC appeals to Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to grant presidential pardon to the 54 soldiers.
We call on civil society, particularly anti-corruption crusaders to speak out for the 54 soldiers. We also appeal to state governors and chief judges to use the occasion to visit prisons in their states with a view to setting free a large number of inmates particularly those awaiting trial.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)