The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has reacted to the recent reconciliation between ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
Its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, in a statement on Wednesday said there was nothing out of place in what took place during the Abeokuta gathering.
He said: “People should stop blaming Sheikh Gumi and Reverend Kukah. They have every right to attend any occasion so long as they did not gatecrash. They are bona fide Nigerian citizens and to that extent they cannot be described as meddlers.
“Even those who blame them for showing interest in Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) missed the point. They should actually be commended for being bold enough to come out openly to be part of the event.
“We in MURIC do not subscribe to the idea that people should jettison politics because of religion. People who avoid politics because they are devoted Christians or Muslims end up being ruled by the disciples of Shaytan (Satan) who lack the fear of Allah.
“For social harmony, progress and good governance, religion and politics should go hand in hand. Tyranny, misrule and dictatorship of the left are bound to reign supreme where politics is left to men who do not fear Allah.
“Both Christians and Muslims should participate in politics to avoid being ruled by people who are inferior to them, people who are heartless, people who despise religion. Socrates was therefore right when he said, ‘The wise who refuse to rule should prepare to suffer the rule of idiots’
“We therefore urge Nigerians to stop the blame game. Both Sheikh Gumi and Reverend Kukah have merely exercised their Allah-given fundamental right of expression and freedom of association. It is a challenge to the rest of us.
“Although both drammatis personae have denied any political motive, the issue here is not whether the move was political or apolitical. The body language, particularly if we read it from the pre-Abeokuta detente is as clear as daylight.
“This is not the time to sit on the fence. It is Nigeria’s moment of decision. We must therefore gird our loins not only in preparation for the coming general election but for the emergence of a new Nigeria.
“While we are aware that politicians will only prepare for the approaching 2019 general elections, we beseech statesmen and patriotic Nigerians to prepare for the evolution of a new nation where corruption, vote-buying, politics of stomach infrastructure, acrobatic religiousity and ethnic jingoism will give way to a civilized political culture, transparency, accountability and massive infrastructural buildup all over the country.”