As the Lagos State House of Assembly begins screening of commissioners and Special Advisers nominated by the Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Muslims across the state have rejected the list for allegedly excluding their members from his cabinet.
They said that among the over 30 cabinet members nominated by the governor, who assumed office for the second term on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the number of Muslims appointed were less than that which was allotted to other faith in the state.
According to them, Muslims make up less than 20 percent of the list, even though they constitute over 60 percent of not just the state’s population but Lagos voting public.
They added: “We the Muslims of, and in Lagos State wish to categorically state that the entire leadership of the Muslim Community of Lagos State representing various Muslim organizations, unequivocally and unanimously reject the list of commissioner-designates of Governor Sanwo-Olu and we demand a reversal and review to reflect 60 percent in favour of Muslims in a fresh list”.
The Muslims under the aegis of Joint Muslims Forum (JMF) rejected the list on Tuesday during a press briefing held in Ikeja, describing the move by the governor as injustice against them after supporting his second term bid in Lagos.
The briefing was attended by leaders of different Islamic bodies including the Executive Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Prof. Ishaq Akintola, a Senior Cleric from The Muslim Congress (TMC), Dhikrullah Shafi, and others.
The National Missioner of Ansar-ud-deen Society of Nigeria, Abdul-rahman Ahmad, read the group’s prepared speech.
They further stressed that their demands were legitimate and were not out of place since they campaign and voted for the government to assume office for second term without demanding for compensation.
The Muslims added that their demands was that the number of Muslims nominated and included in the Lagos state executive cabinet.must reflect their participation before and during the 2023 gubernatorial election in the state.
“In line with the dictates of our Islamic faith which consistently emphasizes fairness in all dealings, and also in line with our conviction that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy Dr Kadiri Hamzat both are better experienced and prepared to uplift the quality of lives of Lagosians, we mobilized our community to, not only vote for the return of the Governor, but also defended the votes under very difficult circumstances.
“It must be stated that the Muslim community did not collect a dime from neither the APC flag bearers, nor any of their opponents in that election, rather we acted truthfully and selflessly with hope for a more prosperous Lagos.
With all sense of utmost sincerity, we noted to our utter dismay that Governor Sanwo-Olu’s list exhibited insensitivity to diversity, equity, and fairness.
“We observed that out of 39 Nominees only 8 are Muslims.
It is no longer news that this list is not pleasing to the generality of Muslims of Lagos. It is indeed an afront to our collective sensibilities and tragically confirmed long standing suspected misgivings about Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s genuine commitment to fair leadership.
“Before anyone says “the Muslims have started again” please take some time to examine the facts: Go through the history of appointments by Lagos State Government; look at the demography that make up Lagos States; look at it from the lens of what is right and fair; the intention then becomes clear. When many in the Christian community rightly or wrongly rejected Governor Sanwo-Olu and his party purportedly to protest the Muslim-Muslim ticket at the national level, we the Muslims of Lagos state stood solidly and voted enmasse to ensure his victory, but rather than show appreciation, it appears that Mr. Sanwo-Olu choose to perpetrate injustice and ingratitude in an ill-thought affront to the peaceful and accommodating Muslim community of Lagos.
“Over the past years, we have witnessed several instances of injustice towards Muslims by the Governor Sanwo-Olu-led state government through its unfavorable policies, lopsided appointments, and infringements on our religious and socio-political rights as a community.
“At various times and fora, we have engaged the government listing these grievances and concerns all to no avail, with no well-defined efforts by the state government till date to assuage these grievances etc”.
Source: The Guild NG