The Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit has called on the Government at all levels to utilize the numerous resources of the country to secure a decent life for the citizenry.
The society made the charge Wednesday as a press conference addressed in Lagos by its Amir (President), Dr. Saheed Ashafa, where it expressed pleasure that stability is gradually returning to the country.
However, the society said, though peoples’ dreams that appeared shattered about three years ago is now metamorphosing into hope, saying what people really want now is no more hope but to see real development and growth of the country.
“We are fed up with ‘white paper’ development without a corresponding comfort in both the standard and cost of living,” it stated challenging the government of the day to utilise the numerous resources of the country to secure a decent life for the citizenry.
“The government needs to remain focused and avoid distractions. There is no government without development. We are tired of efforts and predictions, we want accomplishments. We want to start having the real feeling of development,” it emphasised.
On education, the MSSN expressed great concern on the deplorable state of the sector, tasking Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to nib in the bud finally, the seemingly intractable problem of industrial actions in the education sector.
“And a way to do that is by ensuring adequate funding of the sector at all levels, and close monitoring of how allocated funds are utilized,” the Muslim Students suggested.
The society however singled out the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), not just in standard but also in transparency and thereby reaffirmed its confidence in the Registrar of the board, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, who has just remitted an additional N2.6bn to the coffers of the Federal Government.
“We should remember that the board under his administration earlier returned N5.2bn. If one person can lead the board for only one year and return such an amount of money, then he deserved to be commended, the MSSN submitted.
While it challenged the Federal Government to probe and investigate how former Registrars had managed the funds of the board, it noted that only people of integrity like Prof. Oloyede should be appointed to public office calling on the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), to beam its searchlight on the education sector.
“Also, we urge the Buhari government to painstakingly audit other agencies and Parastatals in the sector to restore ethical standards deserving of those institutions,” it suggested.
On the issue of hijab and human rights, the society lamented alleged deliberate ploy to suppress Islamic religion using pedestal of public authority, regretting that harassment and oppression of females in hijab have become a recurring exercise in recent time especially in Lagos State Public Schools.
It reminded that the Court of Appeal in its judgment of Thursday, July 21, 2016 upturned the judgment of the High Court of Lagos State by granting the use of hijab in public primary and secondary schools in Lagos State.
“Painfully however, despite the court judgement, our members have continuously been punished, harassed and intimidated for putting on hijab. In some cases, the culprits, usually principals and teachers hide under the excuse that they are not aware of the judgement; some claim that there is no directive from the government to that effect while others insist that regardless of the verdict, hijab would not be allowed under their jurisdiction.
“We like to reiterate that when the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja granted the Lagos State Government a favourable judgment, we neither denounced it nor incited our members but we simply complied and went on appeal. But since we got the Court of Appeal judgment, the agents and officials of LASG have not stopped harassing, intimidating, beating our members.
“Even though the governor of Lagos State has shown commitment to ensuring peaceful and harmonious co-existence among people of different faiths, it is obvious that overzealous individuals are hellbent on jeopardising such strides. We are carefully documenting our facts for proper legal actions,” it assured.
Speaking on the plights of the workers, the MSSN asserted that the current economic realities in Nigeria have made it inevitable for the government to hasten the process of reviewing upwards the salaries of workers, stressing that, “the current minimum wage of N18,000 is no longer acceptable as the prices of virtually everything has skyrocketed, with the purchasing power of most Nigerians plummeting.”
The society expressed sadness that, despite the interventions by the federal government to assist states to pay salaries of their workers, some governors still owe up to five, six months unpaid salaries!
“In the midst of this unfortunate situation, we see a state governor still owing workers commissioning his newly-built mansion. To say it mildly, it’s share wickedness! Many parents are not finding it easy to provide food for their family not to talk of paying their children’s school fees.
These people should fear the wrath of the Almighty Allah by doing what is right at to right time,” MSSN warned!
However, the society commended the Nigerian government’s effort towards improving the security of lives and property of the citizens and therefore urged President Buhari to ensure the judicious utilisation of the just-approved $1bn for the fight against Boko Haram insurgency and other security threats in the country.
The fund, it advised, should not go the way the previous administration mismanaged similar funds, which led to more deaths of innocent civilians and loss of prized soldiers!
On the war against corruption, the MSSN also commended the zeal with which the federal government is prosecuting the war on corruption suggesting however, that, the president needs to leave no stone unturned to make the war total and nonpartisan.
The President was further urged to ensure that all those with one indictment or the other who have found their way into the ruling party, and were received with warm embrace, must be made to face the full wrath of the law!
Making its position clear on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, the Muslim Students stated that, President Donald Trump’s recent declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite global condemnation, is the height of insensitivity and a deliberate attempt to perpetuate continuous dehumanization of the Palestinians under Israeli brutality!
It reminded of the UN resolution which stated that “any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded”.
It therefore called for the withdrawal of Mr Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“That’s why we call on president Buhari to end his silence and join other world leaders to condemn the US shameful steps in the Palestinian issue. The issue is not about religion alone, but injustice to humans. Jerusalem is the hub of Aqsa Mosque. Enough of maltreatment and injustice to the Palestinians who are the rightful owners of the land, the press conference concluded.