The All Ja’afariyya Development Association (AJDA), a Shia group in Nigeria has described the recent endorsement of President Muhammadu for the forthcoming presidential election by the Rasulul A’azam Foundation (RAAF) as unpopular decision and self-centered.
AJDA, in a statement signed by its acting National Public Relations Officer (PRO) Abdullahi Hassan and issued to the press on Tuesday as a rejoinder to a paid advertorial by RAAF in support of President Buhari said that the action totally negates the teachings and tenets of the role of faith based organizations worldwide.
The statement read in part: “The All Ja’afariyya Development Association is a Shi’a organisation in Nigeria with members across the states of the Nation. The Association has received with dismay, disbelief and shock, the unwholesome decision of the leadership of a Kano based Shia organization, Rasulul A’azam foundation to support the APC and the candidacy of Muhammadu Bahari in the forthcoming Presidential Election! This extremely unpopular decision is solely motivated by crass greed, self-centeredness and arrogance from the purveyors of such insalubrious misstep.
“As a major stake holders of the body of Shia Adherent in Nigeria, the All Ja’afariyya Development Association, after due considerations and consultations with other Shia entities, hereby, unequivocally denounces, rejects and disassociates on behalf of other highly politically informed and meaningful Shia followers in Nigeria, unanimously object and reject the rash decision to sell our franchise right to APC or any candidate as a result of a clandestine “horse-trading” and rapaciousness of some few self-imposed Shia leaders.
“We hereby call on all Shia faithfuls nationwide to disregard this unpopular arbitrary decision of a few insensitive and wantonly parasitic desperate leaders and vote wisely for unity, national building and cohesion, equity, equality and a peaceful Nigeria, we strongly advocate for freedom and unfettered rights of all adherents to vote the person and party of their choice.
“In this vein, we unambiguously and strongly call on all Shia faithfuls in Nigeria to guard their votes jealously, ignore any form of cajolement and intimidation in whatever guise by whatever mien, we earnestly enjoin all Shias to secure their votes and make sure that every vote count, and to eschew all forms of provocations before, during and after the elections.
“We are also using this medium to call on all Muslims and Christian leaders and organizations in Nigeria to refrain from using any form of inflammatory statement that is capable of brewing disunity or any form of partisanship. We also call on all political parties and political positions contestants to play according to the “rule of the game” and embrace the spirit of sportsmanship.
“It is our fervent hope and believe that the independent National Electoral Commission as the umpire, should live up to our expectations by conducting a free and fair election, all the security apparatus that are mandated by law to participate in the conduct of the elections should also assist in the conduct of a rancor free election,” the statement added.
The group therefore called on the media and other stakeholders to do justice to the Nigerian populace on the election, saying that, “Our organization is banking heavily on the media and international observers groups as we covet your immense contributions not only in voter’s awareness but also in enlightenment and dissemination of important electoral events as they unfold.”