The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has criticized the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, for insisting on selling the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, asking him to tell Nigerians how he intends to sell the state oil coy.
Atiku had yesterday, while speaking at a town hall meeting in Kaduna, reiterated his resolve to sell the NNPC if elected President.
But expressing deep concern about the campaign promise, MURIC said the proposed sale of NNPC, which is the backbone of Nigeria’s economy, has serious economic implications for the citizens.
In a statement signed by its founder and Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, and issued on Thursday, MURIC said, “We must start taking Alhaji Atiku Abubakar very seriously, particularly on this issue of planning to sell NNPC.
“In view of the fact that petroleum is the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy and NNPC is key to its performance, the Nigerian people need to know what will happen if the former vice president’s promise becomes a reality.
“We are therefore asking His Excellency to explain to Nigerians what will become of civil servants who rely on their monthly salaries alone if NNPC is sold.
“If it is true that at least 70% of Federal Government’s allocation comes from NNPC sales and both federal and state governments rely on the allocation to pay their employees, how will federal and state workers continue to get their salaries regularly?
“Is this not an invitation to massive retrenchment, unbridled poverty and increased crime rate? What measures have Your Excellency put in place to ensure that our fears are not actualized?
“By extension, MURIC will like to know what Alhaji Atiku Abubakar means by his widely quoted statement, ‘I will enrich my friends’. We will like to know who the former vice president referred to as his ‘friends’ as well as the criterion or criteria for becoming Alhaji Atiku’s friend.
“Also, what form will such enrichment take? From where will the resources for enriching his friends come, from his personal resources or from our common patrimony?
“The Nigerian people will love to hear an explanation before they go to the polls in the next 48 hours.
“The Muslim Rights Concern is deeply concerned about the fate of Nigerian Muslims who form a large majority of Nigeria’s population and who are most likely to be the main victims of a general retrenchment and the attendant widespread poverty among the masses.
“MURIC cannot afford to close its eyes to a major economic policy which is capable of affecting the lives of a large majority of Nigerians.”