Nigerian President and presidential candidate of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) Goodluck Jonathan waves to supporters during a rally in Maiduguri on January 24, 2015. Boko Haram fighters have killed 15 villagers near Maiduguri, the epicen ~ TUNJI OMIRIN
Lagos - A non-governmental organisation,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), on Tuesday decried the attacks on the campaign
offices of candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Maiduguri.
A statement issued by the Director of MURIC, Prof. Ishaq
Akintola, and made available to newsmen in Lagos, also condemned the
destruction of the posters and billboards of the candidates.
MURIC spoke against the backdrop of reported acts of
vandalism against several campaign offices and posters of the candidates of the
PDP in Maiduguri on Monday during the presidential campaign rally of the All
Progressives Congress (APC).
The statement said in part: "Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
takes strong exception to this act of recklessness and unprovoked aggression.
"We commend the security agencies for exercising restraint
in the face of such lawless behavior.
"It is unfortunate that 55 years after independence,
Nigeria still wallows in a barbaric political culture.
"The current trend of political violence is repulsive,
despicable and alarming.
Also read: Drama as PDP members join APC rally in Lagos
"This trend is characterised by physical attacks on
members of other political parties, vandalism, arson and even murder.
"The spectacle is disturbing because of its capability to
discourage the injection of new blood into the political system.
"Elites and youths who have good ideas about moving Nigeria
forward are most likely to be pissed off politics by the ugly phenomenon.
"The end result is the endless recycling of stone age
politicians who are only marketable for their nuisance value.”
The statement said the fact that the acts of violence
involved mainly the PDP and APC was quite instructive.
"It gives stakeholders an area of concentration.
"MURIC is optimistic that the trend can still be reversed
if the police, elder statesmen, religious leaders, traditional rulers and other
stakeholders call leaders of the PDP and APC to order now.
"We are aware that the Nigeria Police has organised peace
meetings among political parties in most states of the federation.
"We commend the police for initiating this move.
"But, just as the police alone cannot maintain security
without the active support of the citizens, the police alone cannot
successfully perform the task of peace-making in a political process.
"There is urgent need to involve people who can influence
"We, therefore, charge elder statesmen, religious leaders,
traditional rulers and other stakeholders to take up the challenge immediately
by calling leaders of the PDP and APC to the roundtable, ” it said.