The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has urged the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun, to ignore calls by some supporters of the party demanding the expulsion of Muiz Banire, the National Legal Adviser of the APC.
In a statement signed by its President, Ishaq Akintola, and sent to newsmen on Wednesday, MURIC said the call for Banire’s expulsion was premised on his recent condemnation of the imposition of candidates in the coming local government election in Lagos State.
According to MURIC, Banire’s utterances on the need for proper adherence to democratic principles as entrenched in the APC constitution and his demanding a stop to the imposition of candidates were merely part of his duties as the party’s legal adviser.
The group further described the call for his sack on these grounds as arbitrary, stressing that it should be ignored in the interest of the party and that of the Nigerian people at large.
MURIC also advised the APC leadership at the national level not to perceive Banire as an enemy but to immediately set its reconciliation machinery in motion and to up its internal democracy game.
The statement reads: “Some supporters of the All Progressive Congress (APC) staged a protest in Lagos yesterday to demand the expulsion of the National Legal Adviser of the party, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN).
“The demand was premised on the latter’s recent condemnation of the imposition of candidates in the coming local government election in Lagos State.
“The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) regards the protest as a dangerous precedent.
“It is natural for innocent onlookers who are watching the unfolding scenario to start feeling unsafe.
“The present administration’s headlong attack on corrupt elements in the country gave hope to the masses but crisis in APC is beginning to becloud this sense of security; more so, since the war against corruption is far from being over as new challenges rear their ugly heads on a daily basis.
“APC leaders should borrow a leaf from its recent loss in Osun senatorial election where victory was snatched by opportunists whose major credential is dancing on their fathers’ grave.
“By calling for adherence to democratic principles as entrenched in the party’s constitution and demanding a stop to the imposition of candidates, Banire was merely performing his duty as the party’s legal adviser.
“The call for expulsion is therefore arbitrary. It should be ignored in the interest of the party and that of the Nigerian people at large.
“We advise APC leadership at the national level to immediately set its reconciliation machinery in motion and to up its internal democracy game.
“At the local level, the leaders are advised to stoop to conquer. They should remember that the hawks are waiting by the ringside.
“We appeal to all stakeholders to sheath their swords in the interest of Nigeria. There is also no need to feel slighted as this will not diminish an inch from the greatness of the founding fathers of the party.
“We further advice that APC leadership should not see Banire as an enemy. Neither should it frown at his exposure of certain autocratic propensities within the party. Former President Goodluck Jonathan learnt too late that it is better to listen to complaints coming from within and he paid dearly for it.
“On a last note, we affirm that we are not interested in any political party. Our concern springs from genuine fear for a return to unbridled kleptomania, reckless spending and free descent into corruption without tears in Nigeria.
“MURIC’s advocacy is party-blind, ethnically neutral and religiously liberal. We are middle-roaders and social jihadists seeking food for hungry Nigerians, healing for the sick, clothing apparels for the naked and shelter for the homeless.”