13th March, 2024




An Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has berated governors of South West Nigeria for extending brief hospitalities to Muslims during Ramadan and Salah while denying them basic rights, employment and political inclusion. The group described the governors’ attitude as hypocritical, deceptive and camelionic.


This was disclosed in a statement issued on Wednesday, 13th March, 2024 by the Executive Director of the group, Professor Ishaq Akintola.


He said:


“As usual, Governors of the South West recently invited Muslim leaders to Ramadan programmes in their respective government quarters to mark the commencement of the Muslim fasting in the sacred month of Ramadan. This is a common practice as some state governors extend such invitation both at the beginning of Ramadan and at its end.


“We of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) resent this hospitality because of the refusal of the South West governors to respect the wish of Muslims in the region, to wit, respect for Allah-given fundamental human rights of Muslims and deliberate marginalization of the latter in political appointments. It is on record that the governors have refused to change despite agitations by Muslim leaders.  It is therefore hypocritical, deceptive and camelionic for the same governors to invite Muslim leaders for Ramadan or Salah parties. What are we rejoicing about?


“For instance, it is on record that all the six Christian governors of the region shortchanged their Muslim citizens during the formation of their cabinets after the 2023 general elections. The figures reeled out in the cabinets of all six states in the region expose the alarming level of lopsided political appointments.


“The governor of Lagos State appointed 49 Christian commissioners but gave the Muslims 14 only. Ogun State has 16 Christian commissioners against only 4 Muslims. Oyo has 10 Christian commissioners compared to only 6 Muslims in the cabinet. In Osun State, 17 Christian commissioners are rubbing shoulders with just 7 Muslims. It is the same in Ekiti where the ratio is 24:1 and Ondo where it was 15:2 under the late Governor Akeredolu.


“Even the new governor of Ondo State, Lucky Ayedatiwa, has shut out Muslims from his administration as there is no single Muslim among the six commissioners and twelve permanent secretaries appointed so far. The only Muslim in his administration is a special adviser.


“Senior Muslim civil servants who qualify to be permanent secretaries and directors in the ministries are usually ignored while Christians who are less qualified are elevated to those positions. Muslim graduates are also denied employment.


“Against this clumsy backdrop created by the biased governors, Muslim leaders are assembled during Ramadan and Id al-Kabir to wine and dine with the same governors who robbed their followers blind.


“They are invited to come for just one breakfast or dinner consisting of crumbs from the table after being deliberately impoverished through political and economic marginalisation. It is our submission that South West Muslims deserve better treatment. They deserve to be treated like full homo sapiens compos mentis, not like monkeys with chains around their waists to be teased with bananas.


“We call on Muslim leaders in the South West to call the bluff of the state governors. They should boycott all future invitations to government events and occasions until the governors respect the view of Muslims. These single plates of food are window-dressings. They constitute a mockery and a monumental embarrassment to the dignity of the Muslim person. 


“This master-slave relationship must stop. We are not blind. We see the red-carpet reception and the great reverence, pomp and pageantry in the treatment of bishops and general overseers of churches when they come to government house. This contrasts sharply with the beggarly treatment meted out to Muslim leaders when they come visiting. We affirm clearly, categorically and unequivocally that Muslims are not second class citizens.


“To the six governors of the South West we have this to say, ‘We will interact with you on the basis of stakeholders with equal rights or there will be no interaction at all. It is when you treat us as you treat others and give us equal political and economic opportunities that we will know you are ready for full integration.


“Therefore, stop inviting us to government dinners and breakfasts unless it is to discuss the grievances which we have complained about or it is for the purpose of getting our share of our collective patrimony. Even then you are not doing us a favour. It is our right as tax payers and bona fide citizens of the states. It is enough to give the press your Ramadan and Salah messages. Don’t give us fish. Give us hooks, lines and sinkers and we will definitely catch the fish. We are not Dundee United.’


“MURIC charges Muslim leaders in the South West to protect the honour and dignity of Muslims by boycotting all future dinners and breakfasts organized by the governors of the South West. They are mocking us. We must boycott their Ramadan and Salah events to call their attention to our resentment of their attitude towards us.


“A popular axiom says, ‘Fool me once, shame on you. But fool me twice, shame on me.’ Muslim leaders must prove that they are prepared to emancipate their followers by rejecting sycophancy and by displaying high level principled behaviour. We must manifest responsible leadership.


“Stop selling the future and rights of Muslim youths for Salah ram and crumbs from governors’ breakfast tables. Posterity will not be kind to Muslim leaders who sell themselves for a pot of porridge. It is better to be free and honoured Muslims in our poor mosques and homes than live like puppets, palace clowns and slaves licking governors’ plates and picking up crumbs from their tables.”





Professor Ishaq Akintola,

Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).