An Islamic human rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has said the June 12 protesters were ungrateful to President Muhammadu Buhari after he recognised June 12 just the same way nine lepers were ungrateful to Jesus Christ.
MURIC also criticised the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, for joining the June 12 protest in Ibadan, the state capital.
The organisation also knocked the South-West region for joining the June 12 protest against President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Nigerians in various parts of the country had on Saturday, particularly in the South-West, marked the June 12 Democracy Day on Saturday, with demonstrations.
MURIC argued that the protesters had no moral ground to protest on June 12 since it was President Muhammadu Buhari who gave official recognition to that day when all past rulers had refused to do so.
The organisation’s position was contained in a statement signed by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola on Monday.
Akintola said, “Some Nigerians in the Southern part of the country, particularly the South West marked Independence Day on Saturday, June 12, 2021, with demonstrations. Although in negligible numbers, the protests took place in Abuja, Lagos, Ibadan and a few other places.
“We commend the police for handling the protests with maturity and professionalism as no casualties or brutalities were reported. However, the protesters exposed themselves as certificated ingrates, unrepentant rebellious subjects and articulated enemies of peace.
“June 12 should be a day for all Nigerians to celebrate Chief M.K.O. Abiola for his sacrifices on the altar of democracy. He was the man who paid the supreme sacrifice after winning the presidential election held on June 12, 1993, which was criminally annulled by the military.
“The Nigerian civil society, including MURIC, had been clamouring for the official recognition of that day as Democracy Day but none of our past rulers listened, not even Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who hails from the same city of Abeokuta like M.K.O. The former had all the chance in the world to declare June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day having ruled for eight years (1999 – 2007) but he bluntly refused to do so.
“It was a northerner, a Fulani, President Muhammadu Buhari, who eventually proclaimed June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day. It is our contention that for that alone, the people of the South West should show gratitude to Buhari. But what do we see?
“It was demonstrations galore. The most shameful, most reprehensible and most preposterous was the open participation of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State who marched on the streets of Ibadan with protesters chanting ‘Buhari Must Go’.
“It is most naïve for a sitting executive governor who came into office riding on the back of democracy to join a group seeking the removal of a democratically elected president through undemocratic means. It was a great disservice to the memory of M.K.O. Abiola. Seyi Makinde is an ingrate nulli secundus. He should apologise to Nigerians for his immature behaviour.
“Those protesters definitely missed the point and lost their bearing because Nigerians, particularly people of the South West, should be showing gratitude to Buhari for declaring June 12 as Democracy Day instead of partaking in an unnecessary protest.
“The Qur’an gives immense honour to those who appreciate goodness. Allah says, ‘If you are grateful, I will increase my favours on you. But if you disbelieve, certainly my punishment is indeed severe’ (Glorious Qur’an 14:7).
“On his way to Jerusalem, while passing between Samaria and Galilee, Jesus (may peace be upon him) was met by ten lepers who begged him to heal them. Although he cured them all, only one of them, a Samaritan, a ‘foreigner’, came back to show gratitude and he was asked, ‘Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?’ (Luke 17:11-17).
“MURIC calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore those who are ungrateful to him. He should continue his good work. We ask him to reflect on the words of Allah where He said, ‘What does Allah stand to gain if you show gratitude and belief? Allah is the One who shows gratitude (i.e. Allah is the One who knows how to reward good deeds) and He knows everything’ (Glorious Qur’an 4:147).”