6th September, 2023




The governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday submitted a fresh list of 18 persons as commissioners to the Lagos State House of Assembly. However, the fresh list has been criticized by an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC). The group alleges that Muslims are still shortchanged in the new list as the governor has ignored the demands of Muslims.



MURIC’s criticism was contained in a statement issued on Wednesday, 6th September, 2023 by its Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.


The group said :


“Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State yesterday Tuesday, 5th September, 2023 submitted a fresh list of commissioner nominees to the Lagos State House of Assembly. The list which contained 18 names, was to replace the 17 names rejected by the Lagos State House of Assembly on Wednesday, 23rd August, 2023.



“A quick glance at the new list of 17 reveals that there are only 7 Muslim names that are glaring. Yet that does not make the ‘seven’ real Muslims because many Yoruba Muslims who converted to Christianity still retain their Muslim nomenclature for reasons best known to them.



“But their close friends, associates, colleagues at work and neighbours are the ones who will know the true faith they practice. Nonetheless, the governor is in a good position to know their faith because every nominee must have submitted his curriculum vitae which, ceteris paribus, should indicate his or her creed. Anything short of this should be seen as an attempt to hide true identities which will not be fair to the electorate.



“Again, some traditionalists still retain their original Muslim names and one of such is on the new list being presented to us as a Muslim. In reality, therefore, only six (6) Muslims are on the new list of 18.



“The leopard has not changed its skin. Even kindergarten mathematicians know that 6 is one-third of 18. Is that what Lagos Muslims deserve? Sanwo-Olu has sold Lagos to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). A Yoruba proverb says when a leaf is dancing on top of the river, its drummer must be down below. Sanwo-Olu’s fresh list is the voice of Jacob.



“Muslims were the ones who complained after the first list was released. Any upward review can only be palpable, tangible and reasonable if it gives the complainants a larger number in the second list so as to narrow the preposterously wide margin in the first list. But Sanwo-Olu is a dexterous juggler who will only see figures from CAN’s lense.



“The governor of Lagos cannot wash CAN’s hands off the lopsided list imbroglio. Or was it not CAN that came out in the trench for Sanwo-Olu after the Muslims complained? CAN came firing from all cylinders even though the Muslims did not direct their complaint to the Christian body (



“So did Chief Bode George who authenticated the maxim of ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’. The PDP chieftain who has failed to fulfil his pledge to relocate to Benin Republic or Cameroon if Tinubu won the presidential election threw the umbrella away and hid behind the broom when it came to Muslim-bashing. We will not dignify the words of those who will not walk their talk. Honour and fulfilment of promises have a symbiotic relationship. Those who do not have one, cannot possess the other.



“Nigerians need to understand the game playing out in the South-West. Public schools are under the control of Christian missionaries who have been using their influence to intimidate Muslims seeking admission. Muslims got admitted only if they compromise their faith. Even after finishing school, most Muslims get jobs only if they convert to Christianity.



“The ‘ensnared’ products of this system are often presented as ‘Muslims’ to the general public even though the presenters themselves know the truth. The atmosphere will become clearer in the coming days as Muslim leaders in Lagos State profile the nominees and analyse their various backgrounds.



“Before we drop the anchor, we assert that the mantra of religious tolerance will remain sheer propaganda and hypocrisy of the highest order so long as government itself cannot ensure balance in the dividends of democracy shared among different groups. A government that treats one group as slaves and the other as masters should not claim to be promoting religious tolerance. Sanwo-Olu should come clean on who vetted his lopsided list.”





Professor Ishaq Akintola, 

Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).



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