MURIC tells Patience Jonathan to “desist from taking desperate steps” over frozen funds

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) wants Patience Jonathan, former first lady, to “desist from taking desperate steps” in her case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

EFCC froze four different accounts linked to the former first lady, containing $15 million in all, and subsequently froze one more account containing $5million.

However, Patience responded by describing the agency as “a big thief” for going after her money.

The Niger Delta Peoples Professional Volunteer Force (NDPPVF), a group that claimed its members are workers in the oil and gas industry, also threatened to bomb the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should EFCC arrest the ex-president’s wife.

Responding to these developments, MURIC urged Mrs. Jonathan to allow the law take its due course. It also condemned protests held on Friday in support of Patience in Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers state.

“Hundreds of youths reportedly staged a protest in Port Harcourt yesterday in support of Mrs. Patience Jonathan, wife of ex-President Jonathan. Mrs. Jonathan recently had her bank account frozen for laundering huge sums of money. In particular, the sums of $26 million and $15 million were reportedly deposited in bank accounts, which were allegedly opened by the former First Lady using the names of her domestic staffers,” MURIC said in a statement issued on Saturday by Ishaq Akintola, a professor and its director.

“The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) strongly denounces the Port Harcourt protest. It is diversionary, unethical and unpatriotic. Those who organized it can better be described as opportunists, political prostitutes and myopic elements. The protest is heavily tainted with ethnic jingoism.

“It is preposterous that some youths could stand up to stage protests in support of anyone accused of looting the treasury without critically assessing the facts of the case at a time when shocking revelations prove that looters pushed Nigeria’s economy into stormy waters. This ugly incident dents the image of Nigerian youths and casts a thick shadow of doubt on the moral fiber of Nigeria’s future leaders.

“It is instructive that the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has disowned the group as impersonators. This strengthens our suspicion that a rented crowd staged the protest. It is further proof that corruption is fighting back and dirty too.”

It praised the CLO for its “courage” in publicly dissociating itself from the “shameful hocus pocus”. It also called on Nigerians to stop manifesting ethnic or religious bias in the war against corruption.

“A thief is a thief no matter his or her tribe or faith. Nigerians also need to realise that the impact of corrupt practices in terms of impoverishing the masses and depriving them of high quality living standard is felt by all regardless of political, tribal or religious affiliation,” it said.

“We advise Mrs. Patience Jonathan and others in her shoes to desist from taking desperate steps. The former First Lady should allow the law to take its due course. We remind her of the basic legal principle that she remains innocent until proved otherwise by a competent court of law. No one has the right to drag this country down with him or her. Nigeria is bigger than any individual, no matter how highly placed.

“As we round off, we call on members of civil society and Nigerians in general to be wary of desperate looters and political shenanigans looking for hungry Nigerians to fight their dirty war. Looters eat alone. Let them face the music alone.

“Let us all unite to save this country from the claws of political oppressors and socioeconomic predators. Let us all fight corruption without any political, ethnic or religious bias. Let us think of the Nigeria project, not politics, not tribe, not faith.”

Peach Essence

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