The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has said it was not surprised by The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG)’s decision to create a Directorate For Politics and Governance ahead of the 2023 general election.
In a Monday statement signed by the group’s Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, MURIC said RCCG’s “foray into politics” has “simplified its South West agenda”.
“The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) recently created a Directorate For Politics and Governance ahead of the 2023 presidential election. Although the implication is not lost on MURIC, we are amused by the needless furore generated by the group’s foray into politics.
The statement reads:
“Why should that decision surprise anyone? Is there any Christian group that is not deep in politics? Only the naïve will agree that the Christian Association of Nigeria is not into politics. So, if CAN is in politics, how can the RCCG be outside politics? They have all been there all the time. The only exception may be the highly respected clergyman, Pastor Kumuyi of Deeper Life.
“The declaration of RCCG did not surprise MURIC at all. We knew they had been working on it all along. Neither does MURIC need to engage RCCG in a race for political awareness and relevance. Political consciousness is in MURIC’s Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid (DNA).
“This explains why our statements are often pregnant with political permutations. It was for this reason MURIC fought against the military junta. We rallied support for the actualisation of MKO Abiola’s June 12 mandate for the same reason. We are always on the lookout for good Muslim materials for politics: experience, followership, spread, etc.
“It explains why we stood solidly behind President Muhammadu Buhari. We refused to look for his faults because even wailing wailers refuse to see anything good in all he has done. So why should it be MURIC that will join his blind critics? This is called strategic political alignment.
“It will be recalled that MURIC made no secret of its agenda for the South West. We made a clear demand for a Yoruba Muslim presidential candidate from all parties that zone their candidates to the South West and we gave good reason for that.
“South West Muslims are sick and tired of Yoruba Christians heading this country because they always use that position to further terrorise, traumatise, oppress and pauperise Yoruba Muslims. Any Christian president or vice president can come from the East or Middle Belt. We don’t mind. Even former President Goodluck Jonathan is welcome back as far as MURIC is concerned.
“RCCG disappointed us anyway. We expected a group with such a big name to be more careful, more strategic. Why go to town with the loud music? RCCG has been too clever by half. It has even helped MURIC to cross a big hurdle. This is because some Muslims who had earlier been reluctant to buy our ‘Yoruba Muslim President’ idea grew wiser the moment RCCG made its unguarded declaration. In fact, RCCG just simplified MURIC’s South West agenda for us.
“We are not losing any sleep over RCCG’s establishment of its political directorate. It has only helped to wake up a sleeping giant. It has pinched Nigerian Muslims who have numerical strength but has never used it to its advantage, except in Kaduna where Governor Nasir El-Rufai, the fox of Northern politics, taught Southern Kaduna a big lesson in how humility can humble self-righteousness.
“RCCG needed to have borrowed a leaf from Southern Kaduna before making its boastful declaration. The group has just ignited Muslim passion for politics particularly as regards using Muslims’ numerical strength to good advantage. Every Muslim is now aware that a vote for any candidate who is a member of the Redeemed Church is a vote for the Redeemed Church.
“MURIC since its establishment in 1994 has always encouraged Muslims to go into politics. Although most Muslims disagreed at the time and social critics called us names, we stood our ground.
“Today we are vindicated. We warned long ago that Muslims who avoid politics will be governed by non-Muslims who love politics but hate the Muslims. They will be governed by non-Muslims who will rob Muslims of their civic liberties. They will be governed by non-Muslims who will deprive Muslims of all means of economic survival. They will be governed by non-Muslims who will humiliate Muslims, dehumanise Muslims, harass their mothers and their wives and snatch the hijab from their daughters’ heads.
“RCCG just fell into MURIC’s trap without us lifting a finger. The group has done our assignment for us. Muslims in the South West who used to say we are one with Yoruba Christians are now singing a different song. RCCG has helped us to change their orientation.
“Like the old school American artiste, the song on the lips of every Yoruba Muslim now is, ‘I can see clearly now the rain is gone. I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds that kept me blind. It’s going bright, bright, sunshining day…’
“For the avoidance of all doubts, MURIC remains committed to its South West agenda of a Yoruba Muslim president. We started the campaign for this with a press release in February 2021 long before any religious group commented on 2023 candidates and we have issued more than six statements since then. We are consistent and we are committed to this goal.
“Incidentally no member of the RCCG who is a candidate today fits into that shoe. We therefore advise Yoruba Christians who are still in the safety of the RCCG camp to remain where they are without exposing their weaknesses. We assert clearly, unequivocally and emphatically that Yoruba Muslims will not vote for them, neither will Northern Muslims. It is much ado about nothing.
“The wind has blown. We have seen the ruff of the hen. That RCCG declaration was a gross misadventure in political strategy. It changed the mindset of Muslims who have now realised that an RCCG president for Nigeria is an existential threat to Nigerian Muslims.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).
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