MURIC Urges Buhari To Pardon 54 Soldiers Sentenced To Death For Mutiny In Spirit Of Ramadan

MutinyThe Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to grant presidential pardon to 54 soldiers jailed for refusing to fight Boko Haram insurgents in the spirit of Ramadan.
The Muslim group made the plea in a statement by its Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, on Monday in Lagos.
A military court martial found the soldiers guilty of mutiny and sentenced them to death.
Mr. Akintola, however, argued that the ongoing trial of ex-National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, had revealed that the Nigerian soldiers were deprived of needed arms and ammunition at the time while the top echelon mishandled the money meant for the procurement of military hardware to prosecute the war against Boko Haram.
“This may have informed the decision of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) to commute the death sentence to 10 years imprisonment for each of the soldiers.
“Leveraging on the Ramadan season as the divinely acknowledged month of mercy (rahmah), we appeal for presidential pardon for the soldiers”, he said.
The MURIC director pointed out that Prophet Mohammad said that the “beginning of Ramadan is a blessing, its middle is forgiveness while its end is freedom”.
In the light of the foregoing, Akintola appealed to President Buhari to allow these three qualities of Ramadan reflect fully in his actions and utterances, particularly regarding the case of the 54 soldiers.
“There is no gainsaying that Nigeria is in dire need of prayers today. We are plagued with the problems of insecurity, insurgency, militancy among other problems”, he added.
According to him, our leaders always ask religious leaders to pray for the country, even as our imams and pastors are praying.
“The best assurance that Allah will answer this country’s prayers is for our leaders to show remorse and seek Allah’s forgiveness for our collective trespasses,” he said.
“So what better way is there to seek Allah’s forgiveness than by first forgiving our own perceived offenders?
“A nation that seeks divine blessing must first purge itself of its judicial wrongdoings. We contend that the 54 soldiers among some other prisoners are innocent souls”.
Prof. Akintola also called on the state governors and Chief Judges to seize the opportunity of this month of mercy to visit prisons and set large numbers of innocent prisoners free.
“This is one of the steps which our leaders must take to secure Istijaabah (Allah’s positive response to prayers).
“It will show that we, as Nigerians, confess our sins before Allah. We are showing remorse, asking for forgiveness.
“We are forgiving those who actually offended us collectively as well as our perceived offenders.
“So that Allah may close the doors of our country’s travails and open the doors of peace, blessings and prosperity for us. Nigeria will be great again”.

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