… Ask Buhari to become more committed to religious diversity
The Muslim community of UNILAG has urged Nigerians to endure the pains of nation-building, particularly in the 60 years of independence and as the nation advances to consolidate its democratic project.
The ummah also urged governments at all levels to be respectful of the rights and aspirations of Nigerians and to continue to improve human well-being, especially in the area of fearsome security challenges.
In a statement signed by the president, Professor Lai Olurode, the Muslim community of Unilag implored President Buhari and his team not to back down in their fight for transparency and probity in the public and private spheres and to demonstrate a more open commitment to religious diversity and social inclusion.
The group also warned that the remaining years of this regime’s life should focus on increased budget allocation in critical sectors of health, education, security and infrastructure.
“Nigeria gained political independence from Great Britain, its then colonial masters in 1960 after several decades of colonial oppression, political domination and economic exploitation. Many Nigerian nationalists resisted colonial rule with their blood and not a few were imprisoned, tortured, and killed as a result of their tireless struggles.
“The argument of the British colonialists and their apologists was that Nigerians were prepared for self-government. To the disappointment and amazement of many, the idea that Africans and, indeed, Nigerians were being groomed for self-government, shortly after independence, not a few countries gave in to insurrection and the military coup.
“However, the good news is that the last two decades in Africa arguably were one of the greatest indicators of robust forces of democratization with all their points and heights. Now there are visible expressions of electoral democracy and, to some extent, the rule of law. Although we are unhappy with the state of human conditions in Nigeria, we must not overlook the limited achievements of the forces of plural democracy. In many sub-Saharan African countries, indeed in Nigeria and Ghana, the incumbent administration had lost power at the national and sub-national levels. The orderly succession is taking root where even the President of the United States, Donald Trump, wavered in the United States.
“On this occasion of the independence of Nigeria, in the Muslim Community of the University of Lagos we want to ask for patience while we advance in the consolidation of the democratization project. Governments at all levels must respect the rights and aspirations of Nigerians and continue to improve human well-being, especially in the realm of terrifying security challenges. We advise that the remaining years of the validity of this regime be concentrated in a greater budget allocation in the critical sectors of health, education, security and infrastructure.
President Buhari and his government must continue their fight for transparency and probity in the public and private spheres while continuing to demonstrate a more open commitment to religious diversity and social inclusion.