15th August, 2023
COMMISSIONERS LIST: MURIC ACCUSES CAN OF HYPOCRISY
Following a press conference addressed by the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Lagos State chapter, Rev. Stephen Adegbite, in which he supported the lopsided list of commissioners submitted by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has accused Lagos CAN of hypocrisy. MURIC asked if Lagos CAN could have acted the same way if it was Muslims who had 31 commissioners while Christians had 8 only.
MURIC’s position was disclosed in a statement issued on Tuesday, 15th August, 2023 by its Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The statement reads :
“The chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Lagos State chapter, Rev, Stephen Adegbite, addressed a press conference yesterday, Monday, 14th August, 2023. In his speech, the CAN state chairman rationalised the lopsided list of commissioners submitted by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu where Muslims were given a meager 8 slots only while Christians have a whopping 31 slots (https://punchng.com/lagos-can-defends-sanwo-olus-commissioner-nominees/).
“Our response to his vituperations and irrational position is very simple. Governor Sanwo-Olu supported the Muslim-Muslim ticket not because he was convinced that it was democratic and therefore right, not even because he was fully in support of a Muslim ruling the country, but because he had no choice than to support his principal and political godfather.
“Failure to do so would have endangered his chances of securing a second term. Sanwo-Olu’s perceived support for the Muslim-Muslim ticket was therefore a self-preservation move. It was not from the governor’s heart but from his pharyngeal cavity.
“It was therefore most inconsiderate and very selfish for Lagos CAN chairman to base his rationalisation of the ratio 31:8 of Lagos commissioners’ list on Sanwo-Olu’s support for the Muslim-Muslim ticket. They are two incompatible situations for the following reasons.
“Firstly, one occurred at the federal level, the other at state level. Secondly, one was through a democratic and electoral process, the other was by appointment. Thirdly, one was Jean Jacques Rousseau’s General Will executed by the Nigerian electorate, the other was the totalitarian whim and caprice of a pentecostal governor. Fourthly, one was constitutional, the other a flagrant violation of Section 14:4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“But the hypocrisy of the Lagos CAN chairman will become more glaring if he can agree that he will accept the same arrangement if vice versa, i.e. if Muslims are given 31 slots while Christians get 8 only come 2027 when it will be the turn of Muslims to occupy Alausa secretariat.
“Will CAN accept that from a Muslim governor in 2027? No, CAN cannot. The press conference held yesterday by CAN Lagos chairman must therefore be reduced to sheer hocus pocus and the height of hypocrisy. Could Lagos CAN have acted the same way if it was Muslims who had 31 commissioners while Christians had 8 only?
“Christians are offering Muslims what they can never accept. The next gubernatorial slot is for Muslims in the spirit of ‘awa lokan‘ and all eyes are on Lagos come 2027. The fact that Lagos CAN chairman admitted the lopsided 31:8 ratio shows that it was deliberate and the cooking took place in CAN’s kitchen before the governor used his teeth to share the meat. It is the voice of Jacob, the hand of Esau. This lopsided list came from Lagos CAN.
“But it is public knowledge that Lagos Muslims campaigned for Sanwo-Olu and voted massively for him. Although MURIC wanted a Muslim governor ab initio, we later advised Muslims to vote for Sanwo-Olu after seeing that he supported President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. We knew that it was necessary for Lagos to be in the hands of the ruling party for Tinubu’s administration to be successful. Our sacrifice was therefore for Tinubu, a Muslim presidential candidate at the time, not for Sanwo-Olu per se.
“It must be mentioned that Sanwo-Olu came to Lagos Muslims twice to canvass for votes. Well, after publicly dragging Lagos Muslims on the floor, after using Lagos Muslims and dumping them, we are waiting to see if and when Sanwo-Olu will need Lagos Muslims again during his tenure. The die is cast, unless Sanwo-Olu reviews his Christian-dominated list.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)