4th April, 2019
FAYEMI’S LIST: A THREAT TO PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY
The governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, sent his list of commissioners to the State assembly on Tuesday, 2nd April, 2019. The list contained fourteen (14) names. The governor also added another five (5) names for the nomination of the chairman and members of the Ekiti State Local Government Service Commission (EKSLGSC).
Meanwhile the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has described the list as most disappointing. The Islamic human rights organization reacted in a press statement signed by its Founder and Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Thursday, 4th April, 2019.
“This list is heavily lopsided. Fayemi is ill-advised. He has grossly shortchanged Muslims. How can he give us only one commissioner out of fourteen? What parameter did he use? This is most disappointing. Fayemi has blindfolded Muslims in Ekiti state. Muslims are not part of his government. Ekiti State executive is not truly representative. It is undemocratic. It is a sham. The disappointment is even more painful because Governor Fayemi had been touted as a very liberal Christian. But see what he has done to us.
“Even in Ondo state where the percentage of Muslims is lower, they were given four commissioners. That is what Governor Akeredolu did for Muslims in Ondo. He gave them four out of fourteen and that is why the Muslims are not making any noise there. Justice is the soul of peace.
“With Dr. Wahab Adegbenro in the Ministry of Health, Rashid Badmus in Natural Resources, Alhaji Imam Olurimisi in Culture and Tourism and Taofiq Abdul Salaam in Works, Ondo Muslims look at the Muslim commissioners and say, ‘We are well-represented’.
“But see what Fayemi has done to us. Only Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu is a Muslim out of his fourteen commissioners. We reject this in Allah’s Mighty Name. It could have been different if the Muslims had not said anything earlier but they did. They asked for proportionate representation but this is what Fayemi gave them: an empty pot of porridge. Ekiti Muslims do not deserve this humiliation. It is a betrayal in view of the undiluted support they gave Fayemi during the elections.
“If this is a snub, there is always another day. If it is an act of impunity, we all know that power is transient and even the high and mighty will need the poor and weak somewhere along the line. We are used to powerless conscience subjugating conscienceless power. What we are not used to is powerless conscience getting away with it. We will remember this if Fayemi seeks higher office in future. Our message is not for Ekiti alone. Nor is it for the South West. Only the deep can call to the deep. It is a wakeup call to Muslims to restrategize and they will do just that.
“Alhaja Maryam Ogunlade is the only Muslim member on the list of EKSLGSC. Alhaja Ogunlade was once the Ameerah (chairperson) of the Federation of Muslim Women Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN) in Ekiti State. She deserves the position.
“But while we may not object to the EKSLGSC list, we keenly await the list of members and chairmen of other boards and agencies. We are interested in knowing how many of them will be chaired by Muslims. There should be no pretensions about it. Muslims have been marginalized in the appointments made so far by Fayemi. They therefore deserve lofty positions in remaining appointments.
“Fayemi is a Christian, he picked a Christian as deputy governor, a Christian as Chief of Staff, a Christian as Secretary to the State Government, 13 Christians out of 14 commisioners have now been nominated. The body language is very clear. Muslims do not matter to him. Fayemi has wittingly excommunicated participatory democracy from Ekiti State.
“MURIC charges Muslims in Ekiti State to tighten their seat belts. The struggle ahead is not only political but intellectual. They must go into politics in large number and with diversification. Enough is enough. Their continuous marginalization already speaks volumes.
“On a last note, we express the deep disappointment felt by Muslims, not only in Ekiti State but also in the South West and in Nigeria as a whole over Fayemi’s lopsided list. A thick air of betrayal has enveloped Islamdom. We urge Muslims in the state to restrategize. As for Governor Fayemi, we caution him against marring his hitherto good records in Christian-Muslim relations. His latest lopsided list is a potent threat to participatory democracy. He may still have a slim chance to redress the injustice”.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)