Tenure Elongation? It Had Better Not Be, Says MURIC (Full Text)

The Nigerian National Assembly (NASS) resumed yesterday (Wednesday 18th February 2015) amidst rumours of an advanced plot aimed at extending the tenure of President Jonathan, thereby scuttling the 2015 polls.

Members of Senate and the House of Representatives are allegedly being lobbied to support a six-month extension in the first place. This will later be extended by two years as the regime digs in. Senators and representatives who failed to clinch a return ticket during the primaries are allegedly showing interest in the grand plan.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) joins other well-meaning Nigerians, true patriots and genuine democrats to warn against this diabolical plot. It is nothing short of a coup against the people of Nigeria and a sabotage of what Rousseau called the General Will.

With the exemption of a few bootlickers and court jesters, Nigerians are eager to vote come March 28 and April 11. It is rather unfortunate that the Presidency seeks to uphold Napoleon Bonaparte’s postulate that the only lesson which men learn from history is that they learn nothing from history. Or how else can we describe the present maneuvers from Nigeria’s seat of power against the backdrop of the June 12 imbroglio and the subsequent chaos that dragged Nigeria back by several decades.

Without the fear of contradicting the Hegelian thesis that history always repeats itself, we hasten to remind President Jonathan of the Marxist antithesis adjudging the first repetition of history as a tragedy and the second, a farce.

MURIC appeals to President Jonathan not to prove cynics right. The excuse given for postponing the election (security) was dismissed by many as a ruse. It will be too bad if this plot is true. It had better not be.

It is not the winners of elections or their losers that emerge heroes among leaders but those who are most adaptable to change, those who play the game according to the rules, those who respect the rule of law, those who choose honour and integrity and those who shun the tempting songs of power.

We charge members of the NASS to stand on the right side of history where their names will be written in letters of gold. We remind the honourable members that whereas the courage to sell one’s conscience is cheap, the will to take a principled stand is worth a governor’s ransom.

If it is true that President Jonathan has repeatedly told Nigerians that March 28, April 11 and May 29 are sacrosanct, then we must not be hearing this type of rumour. We invite Mr. President to fear God, the source of all power. To prove that he is a true Christian, President Jonathan must keep faith with Numbers 30:2 where the Bible says, “When a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds from his mouth”.

To be or not to be? That is the question. Whether President Jonathan is prepared to prove to Nigerians that he is a good Christian and therefore worthy of the responsibility of leadership of about 170 million Nigerians will be largely tied to his readiness to keep a date with the March 28, April 11 elections and the May 29 inauguration.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

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