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Lagos Muslims kick against Sanwo-Olu’s Commissioner-nominees’ list

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The Muslim Community in Lagos has demanded a reversal of the list of Commissioners nominated by the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The group during a peaceful protest on Wednesday, at the Lagos State House of Assembly protested against the low representation of Muslims in the appointment of Commissioners by Governor Sanwo-Olu.

Earlier Governor Sanwo-Olu had transmitted list of 39 commissioner-nominees comprising eight Muslims and 31 Christians to the leadership of the State Legislative arm for screening and confirmation.

Reacting, President, Lagos Muslim Community, Prof. Tajudeen Gbadamosi, described the appointment as unfair and official discrimination against Muslims in the state.

In the petition presented to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Prof. Gbadamosi, on behalf of Muslims in the State demanded a review of the appointment.

He said, “The list is a classic case of discrimination and religious bigotry, as it has 31 nominees who are of the Christian faith and only eight (8) nominees who are Muslims.

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“This is not a new development, especially since Governor Sanwo-Olu assumed leadership of this State it has been elevated to a level of official state policy to deny Muslims their deserved positions under the Sanwo-Olu administration.

“For instance, in 2019, when Mr. Sanwo-Olu became governor, he appointed 14 Special Advisers and only one (1) among them was a Muslim. Again, his State Executive Council, which had 43 members, only 14 were Muslims, and the remaining 29 were Christians.

Also, of the 23 commissioners, 10 were Muslims and 13 of them Christians. Only 15 Muslims, with 35 Christians, made up the body of 50 Permanent Secretaries in his first term. These are just a few among numerous ways in which the Sanwo-Olu administration denies Muslims in this state their rightful place and number in leadership.

“With due respect Governor Sanwo-Olu’s commissioner’s list violates the provisions of the Constitution and we accordingly call upon this honorable house not to endorse any action that violates the Constitution, especially one which equally violates good conscience and natural justice.

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“The argument that Muslims have more elected officials in Lagos State is preposterous. This is even more so at a time when all the Six (6) Governors of the southwest are Christians and we the Muslims do not complain about this, because we recognise that they contested for offices and won.

“Why must Muslims in Lagos State always beg and fight for their constitutional rights especially since Mr Sanwo-Olu became Governor? We recall with utmost sadness really, that until the Supreme Court ruled in favour of hijab for our school girls, successive Lagos Governments, never felt it should endeavour to align with the global best practice of accepting hijab in addition to abiding with the rule of law.

“The historic pro-hijab judgement was delivered in March 2022 and globally acknowledged. However, Governor Sanwo-Olu’s government in its peculiar idiosyncrasy chose to ignore this until a year later, after ceaseless pressure was mounted by well-meaning individuals.

“We the Muslims of, and in Lagos State wish to categorically state that the entire leadership of the Muslim Community of Lagos State representing various Muslim organizations, unequivocally and unanimously reject the list of commissioner-designates of Governor Sanwo-Olu and we demand a reversal and review to reflect 60% in favour of Muslims in a fresh list.

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“We call on the Lagos State House of Assembly to reject the list as similarly done in the Niger State House of Assembly, where a noticeable minority Christian population demanded a reversal of the list of commissioners to reflect fairness and equity to them.

We also call on you and the House of Assembly to impress on the government the need to respect the diversity of the state’s population and to appoint a more representative cabinet. We believe that this is essential for the future stability and prosperity of Lagos.”



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