The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has reacted to the recent nationwide recruitment exercise conducted by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC). FRSC had directed applicants to appear in white shorts, white round neck T-shirts, canvass and socks, which did not go down well with MURIC. Expressing their displeasure in a statement signed by its director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, described it as a deliberate exercise to marginalise and discriminate against Muslim women. He also wondered why FRSC would issue such a directive to exclude a section of Nigerian citizens.
Akintola said: “The whole world knows that Muslim women do not wear shorts. It is, therefore, strange to hear the FRSC requesting applicants of both sexes to appear in shorts. FRSC is a federal road safety concern and its recruitment exercise should be inclusive.
“Or is FRSC telling us that it only recognises Christian women alone? Is FRSC telling us that it cannot tolerate the sight of Muslim women? Is this federal agency only interested in giving jobs to Christian women to the disadvantage of their Muslim counterparts? Is FRSC unaware of the economic implication of this among the Nigerian Muslim population? Is this not a deliberate attempt to empower Christians and continuously impoverish Muslims?”
Lamenting that Muslims are shortchanged, the group noted: “We are disappointed that FRSC has joined the clique of anti-Muslim institutions that claim secularism in order to shortchange Muslims. Muslims are being shut out of the economy of this country. Muslims are being dragged to the bottom of the pyramid of poverty in Nigeria. Instructions, which make it impossible for Muslims to participate in nation-building are being rolled out on a daily basis in public and private sectors.
“We remind FRSC that the marginalisation of any section of the Nigerian population by any agency is a violation of Section 14(4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which stipulates that ‘The composition of the Government of the Federation, a State, a local government council, or any of the agencies of such Government or council, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognise the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the Federation.”
MURIC said they rejected the FRSC recruitment exercise, because it failed to recognise the diversity of nation’s population.“MURIC, therefore, rejects the FRSC recruitment exercise for failing to recognise the diversity of our population. It is illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional to issue directives, which are designed to exclude any section of the country. The exercise can best be described as incomplete, sectional and discriminatory.
“To complete the exercise, FRSC authorities must give Muslim women their own opportunity to participate. A new date must be fixed for the recruitment of Muslim women in the next few weeks. Nigeria belongs to us all. MURIC will not fold its hands while our common patrimony is shared out among Christians alone. We advise FRSC and all uniformed formations to take note of this observation in order to correct the anomaly in future exercises,” the group said.