Three government officials of the State of Osun were kidnapped in Lokoja, Kogi State, on Friday 22nd April, 2016. The officials were returning from an official assignment in Abuja when the kidnappers struck. Those kidnapped included the state’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Adebimpe Ogunlumade, the Director, State Audit, Mr. Tajudeen Badejoko, and the Driver, Mr. Oladapo Ajani Arogundade.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) strongly condemns this criminal attack on innocent civil servants. Our thoughts go to the victims’ families. We stand by them in this hour of despair and pray for the early and safe reunion of the victims with their families.
In the same vein, we commiserate with the government of the State of Osun. In particular, we console the state governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
MURIC appeals to those behind this gory incident to consider the travails of the State of Osun against the background of the transparency and simple life style of the state governor.
To identify with the poor masses, Aregbesola refuses to be called ‘His Excellency’, he goes round the state without siren, without pomp without pageantry. His government has been implementing schemes supporting the poor (e.g. giving monthly allowance to elderly people, free lunch for all students in the state, free books to all students in form of ipad or ‘Opon Imo’for more than six years now.
If it is true that most kidnappings and armed robberies are acts of reprisal by the poor against oppression by the rich and influential people, attacking Aregbesola’s officials is, indeed, a paradox. Men of the underworld are known to have certain moral principles, rules, regulations and general guidelines for their operations. Aregbesola’s government is a true government of the people and targeting his officials is an irony of fate.
We appeal to the kidnappers to consider the above and let the officials go. We call on the good people of Nigeria in general and particularly the ‘Omoluabi’ people of the State of Osun to don their prayer gowns from this moment for these innocent officials. Let us pray for their early and safe release. Let us pray for the families of the victims who are presently in trauma. Let us also pray for our country, Nigeria. Let us pray for peace and security. Let us pray for the return of the glory of our land.
As we round up, we appeal to the Federal Government to expedite action on steps aimed at alleviating poverty in this country. We charge Ogbeni Aregbesola not to be disappointed that the poor people for whom he has been fighting so passionately are the same people who have kidnapped his own officials.
We remind him that the nose is a wicked sensory organ, it can neither perceive the sweet aroma of saints nor smell the offensive odour of evil doers. Had this been possible, the kidnappers would never have touched anyone working for Aregbesola. This sad incident will soon be over by the Good Grace of Allah but Ogbeni must not relent in his good works for the poor masses.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
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