By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
After assessing President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term in office and observed his New Year letter to his fellow citizens, an Islamic human rights advocacy group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), described the President as Father of Modern Nigeria.
MURIC argued that Buhari deserved this title for refraining from stealing Nigeria’s money inspite of having huge funds at his disposal and steering the ship of the nation with patience, maturity, and Solomonic wisdom.
The organization argued that assessing the state of leadership in Nigeria before 2015 and other African countries including what their leaders had enriched themselves with, it has become obvious that the present administration led by President Buhari has the zeal to return Nigeria to its previous status that earned the country much pride.
In a New Year message signed by the MURIC director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, on Wednesday, stressed that placing President Buhari in perspective to Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan (1989 – 2019), Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe (1987 – 2017), former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, and others, everyone will appreciate the present administration.
According to MURIC, “Nigerians will appreciate President Buhari if they can compare and contrast. The money being used presently for massive infrastructure had always been there but it was being siphoned into private pockets, foreign banks and for the acquisition of luxurious properties. Those leaders were acquiring jets, luxurious yachts, and expansive private estates while our school buildings were collapsing, retirees were dying, our roads became notorious death traps and our hospitals became public mortuaries. Public enterprises like the Nigerian Railway Corporation and the Nigerian Airways went into oblivion.
“But today the glory of Nigeria is returning. Our roads are being macadamized by PMB, the rails are springing back to life while Second Niger Bridge which had been ignored for decades is currently undergoing speedy construction. Several economic empowerment programmes initiated by the Buhari administration have put smiles on the lips of millions of beneficiaries.
“Queue at fuel stations which used to be a recurring decimal particularly in the ember months and the Christmas and New Year season, in particular, have become a thing of the past. To the chagrin of one-eyed critics and wailing wailers, President Buhari continues to retain the record of the Father of Modern Nigeria.
“Buhari deserves this appellation for having so much wealth under his control yet he did not enrich himself. Nigerians who are witnessing this transformation and uncommon transparency should consider themselves lucky for having a leader who has dedicated his life to frugal spending and austere life. Other African states are not so lucky.
“In view of the above, MURIC celebrates President Muhammadu Buhari. A Father of Modern Nigeria has emerged. Buhari is the gem among other African leaders. We call on Nigerians to look outside the country, to cast a glance around the African continent in order to appreciate what they have. Let us appreciate our own in this New Year 2020 and do less of blind opposition.
“We all have been laying the blame for Nigeria’s poor condition on bad leadership. A good leader is now on the march. Let us not close our eyes and refuse to acknowledge him until his tenure expires. He may not pass this way again. Muhammadu Buhari is enough for us as a model and standard of good governance. His record will be difficult to break”.
MURIC stressed that when Nigerians appreciate good things in their leaders that they will be motivated to emulate them, urging Nigerians to ignore the pessimism of cynics.
“There is hope for Nigerians in this new year 2020 and the years to come if we have faith in our country. Nigeria is a great country if only we realize it. Just because we closed the borders for three months, our parasites neighbours: Benin, Togo, and Cameroon are bending over backward. Apart from the days of Muritala Muhammad, this is one of the best times to be a Nigerian. Let us, therefore, be proud of our great country, Nigeria. The future is indeed very bright.