05 October 2014, Lagos – A religious group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) on Saturday urged government to imbibe the core lessons of the Eid-el-Kabir — sacrifice and welfare of citizens.
The Director of MURIC, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, gave the advice in his sallah message to celebrate Eid-el-Kabir in Lagos.
Akintola said that government could demonstrate the lesson of sacrifice by reducing the salaries and other emoluments of public officers and members of the National Assembly.
According to him, such money can be used to better the lots of Nigerians.
“We remind Nigerian leaders of the core lesson of Eid-el-Kabir, which is sacrifice.
“Prophet Ibraheem, who is the father of the Ibrahimic faiths remains a universal model today because of the huge sacrifice he made by offering to sacrifice his son.
“His exemplary role therefore, became a model for both Muslims and Christians.
“ This is because the same Ibraheem (Abraham) was the father of both Ishaq and Ismail (Isaac and Ishmael), who were the fore bearers of Christianity and Islam, respectively.
“Unless our leaders follow the Abrahamic model, the citizen will continue to wallow in poverty.’’
Akintola decried the high rate of poverty among Nigerians.
He said that Nigerians had no business being poor when the country was producing 2.4 million barrels of oil per day and selling the oil at N93.61 per barrel.
According to him, Nigeria even makes 224 million dollars per day from the sale of oil alone.
“This daily income from oil gives us 81 billion dollars or N12.8 trillion per annum.
“It is sad that Nigeria remains the 20th hungriest nation and the 26th poorest country in the world.
“ If our budget for year 2014 is N4.6 trillion and our annual income from oil alone is N12.8 trillion, what business have we going out to borrow a single dollar from outside.
“The sum of one billion dollar loan approved by the Senate for President Goodluck Jonathan to buy weapons to fight Boko Haram was therefore, a bad adventure.
“Seventy per cent of Nigerian school children failed in the last West African Examination Council tests. One million Nigerians are totally blind.
“Thirty-two million Nigerians have river blindness. 300,000 die of malaria every year. 30 million are hypertensive. Four million suffer from diabetes. 80 million Nigerians live below poverty level.
“The average Nigerian lives on less than one dollar per day and life span in Nigeria which was 74 before independence is now 47.
“Our government should wake up to their responsibilities and do the needful for the masses rather than think of their pockets or personal gains.’’
Akintola urged political leaders to strive to deliver on their electoral promises so that Nigeria could enjoy the gains of democracy as obtainable in developed countries.