21st March, 2019
MURIC CONGRATULATES YORUBA GOVERNORS-ELECT
The Muslim Rights Concern has congratulated newly elected governors in the South West. In a congratulatory message issued by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Thursday, 21st March, 2019, the human rights organization charged the governors-elect of Yorubaland to work towards raising the standard of living in the region.
MURIC also called on the governors-elect to run truly participatory administrations by appointing both Christians and Muslims into their cabinets.
“Whether we like it or not, religion plays a central role in the lives of Nigerians and the average Yoruba person is particularly known to be deeply religious. In order to ensure peaceful and harmonious co-existence, therefore, we advise the new governors-elect in the sub-region to evolve inclusive regimes when they appoint their chiefs of staff, secretary to the state governments, commissioners and board chairmen.
“The myth of a political party being an Islamic party has been broken with the emergence of the present set of governors in Yorubaland. Those who claim that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is an Islamic party have been proved wrong. Babajide Sanwo-Olu who emerged in Lagos, Dapo Abiodun in Ogun, Rotimi Akeredolu in Ondo and Kayode Fayemi in Ekiti are all Christians.
“The only APC governor who is a Muslim in the sub-region is Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State. So where is the Islamism in APC? That claim is therefore false and baseless. It was concocted by merchants of false propaganda to support their unfounded allegation of Islamisation of Nigeria which was levelled at President Muhammadu Buhari.
“MURIC calls attention to the new political reality in Yorubaland when the newly elected governors are sworn in on May 29, 2019. There will be five Christian governors and only one Muslim governor in the sub-region. Also, there will be three Christian deputy governors and three Muslim governors.
“We charge the governors to respect the civil liberties of the citizenry, particularly their Muslim subjects who are clamouring for the recognition of their Allah-given fundamental human rights. We advise Christian governors in particular not to tamper with the rights of Muslims in their states, including, but not limited to the right of female Muslim students and workers to wear hijab, the right to gainful employment, the right to access political appointment and official recognition of Maolud and Hijrah holidays.
“Without prejudice to other correlates which usually determine the emergence of state governors, we call on political stakeholders in Lagos, Ondo and Ekiti to ensure that Muslims emerge among their governorship candidates in 2023.
The case of Lagos is imperative because the Lagos branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria set the precedence by coming out boldly in 2015 to demand for a Christian governor. That was how the present governor of the state, Akinwumi Ambode, a Christian, became his party’s flagbearer. Sanwo-Olu, who is also a Christian has now emerged to complete the Christian tenure of two terms. It will be time to go back to the established convention of rotation between the two major religions in the interest of justice and fairness. A Muslim governor must therefore emerge in Lagos to rule for two terms from 2023 to 2031.
“In our concluding remarks, we congratulate the new governors-elect in Yorubaland. We call on them to make the people’s welfare the focus of their administration. We charge Christian governors to respect the dignity of their Muslim subjects and accord them the right to their Muslim identity without let or hinderance. In return, we appeal to the teeming Muslim population in the sub-region, the Imams and Islamic scholars to cooperate with the governors and to be law-abiding.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)