An Islamic human rights advocacy group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has expressed appreciation to the North for keeping its promise on power shift to the South. The group described the North as the bastion of honour, the citadel of nobility and the abode of integrity in Nigeria.
MURIC made the declaration in a press statement signed by its Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Friday, 3rd March, 2023.
The full statement reads:
“It is an open secret that Nigeria’s political parties resolved to shift power to the South in the buildup to the 2023 general elections. It was argued that it would be unfair to the South if another Northerner succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari, a Northern Fulani.
“Although all eyes were on the two major political parties to implement this unwritten agreement, only the All People’s Congress (APC) implemented it by picking Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a Southern Yoruba. The main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), reneged and fielded Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, another Northern Fulani.
“This resulted in friction within the PDP leading to the emergence of the G-5 group. Palpable tension gripped the South as doubts were expressed about the sincerity of Northerners. Cynics argued that the North would not keep its promise since they now have one of their own, a Fulani, as the PDP presidential candidate.
“MURIC in particular was derided by non-Muslims in the South. We were called slaves of the North. But we stood our ground. We insisted that we trusted the North particularly on the basis of understandings reached and pledges made at various Islamic fora on MURIC’s avowed project for the emergence of a Yoruba Muslim president.
“The ground-breaking decision came just before the parties’ primaries when 12 Northern governors (the Noble Dozen) insisted that power must shift to the South. This enabled Tinubu to emerge as the flagbearer of the ruling party and ultimately as the President-Elect after the presidential election held on Saturday, 25th December, 2023.
“A brief analysis of the results of the presidential election reveals that Tinubu polled the lion share of his votes in the North to give him his much needed victory. Working on approximate figures without claiming any mathematical exactitude, the total scores of Tinubu in the South was 3,196,040 whereas he garnered 5,598,686 in the North, a difference of about two and a half million. This gave him a grand total of 8,794,726. He scored 127,370 votes in the South East, 799,957 in the South South and 2,279,407 in the South West.
“The outcome of the presidential election showed that Northern votes won the election for Tinubu. The Northern figure almost doubled what he scored in the South. It showed that Northerners stood by their words. They walked their talks. They took the path of honour and nobility. They abandoned a Northern Fulani candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and voted for a Southern Yoruba Muslim candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“We doff our hats for the North. We salute integrity. The North is a reliable friend by all standards. The region stood behind Tinubu, a Southern Muslim, like the Rock of Gibralta.
“In fact, numerous calls received in MURIC’s Lagos headquarters during the tension-soaked hours of the collation of results proved beyond any reasonable doubt that our Northern brothers and sisters were even more concerned than us in the South. We celebrate the North.
“They called to give assurance. They called to know how we were holding on in the South. The solidarity was rock-solid, tremendous, unprecedented. But most gratifying were the congratulatory messages that came from the same Northern brothers to MURIC’s office after Tinubu was declared winner. We give it to the North.
“With this strong support for a Southerner coming from the North, the myth of a Northern oligarchy has fallen apart. The conspiracy theories of the existence of a Northern Caliphate bent on perpetuating Northerners in power becomes a mirage, a phantom. The ‘born to rule’ propaganda which haters of the North has been brandishing has been proved to be false, baseless and unfounded.
“Not only did the North win this election, it won the battle, pocketed the war itself and carted away the propaganda. It is a massive and disgraceful defeat for Southern ideologues, merchants of hate and peddlers of anti-North as well as anti-Muslim fake news. The North has disappointed the nay sayers and the doubting Thomases. The North has proved, without any iota of doubt, that it is the bastion of honour, the citadel of nobility and the abode of integrity in Nigeria. We salute the North.
“It is a big lesson for Southern Muslims who still entertain doubts about their Northern brethren. It is a big blow for non-Muslims whose hobby is to create wedges between Southern Muslims and their Northern counterparts. They sow the seeds of doubt and suspicion in the minds of Southern Muslims against their Muslim brothers in the North.
“They are always eager to tell Southern Muslims that Northerners would not pray behind them. They are always anxious to let Southern Muslims know that Northerners regard them as their slaves. They spread false information about Northerners and Muslims. We were able to counter all these. They resorted to blackmail and threats against MURIC when all their tricks failed yet we were not bothered.
“But the wind has blown. We have seen the ruff of the hen. We have seen Northern Muslims praying behind Yoruba and Igbo Imams even in the National Mosque, Abuja. Never again shall we allow confusionists to judge our Northern brothers for us. Never again shall we doubt our Northern brothers. Never again!”
#ThankYouNorth #NorthIsTrustworthy #NorthIsBastionofHonour
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)