By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called on the winner of the gubernatorial election in Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to give Muslims in the state proportionate representation in government appointments.
The organization made the request in a congratulatory message signed by its director, Ishaq Akintola, on Wednesday 18th July, 2018.
MURIC noted that Ekiti Muslims cast massive protest votes against Fayose on Saturday because the latter was a Muslim hater and a con artist whose major preoccupation was the marginalization of Muslims in government appointments, the demolition of mosques, making mockery of Muslims and harassing Islamic scholars.
“We complained in vain early in 2014 when Fayose formed an all-Christian cabinet. All 14 commissioners as well as all permanent secretaries were Christians. The secretary to the state government was a Christian. All board chairmen were also Christians except the Muslim Pilgrims Board where the maximum ruler had no choice. Muslims in the South West had never experienced such totalitarianism. Fayose’s defeat is good riddance to bad rubbish as far as Ekiti Muslims are concerned.
“We warned Fayose when he embarked on his orgy of mosque demolition but he did not listen. Can you imagine a state governor issuing an order to shut down Arabic evening classes in the state capital in this 21st century Nigeria? Fayose’s downward slide has just begun. His cup of anti-Muslim and Islamophobic acts reached its brim and even spilled over the day he publicly insulted and harassed Shaykh Muhyideen, the popular Ansar-Ud-Deen preacher”.
MURIC advised the governor-elect to remain level-headed and sympathetic to the poor and elderly citizens of Ekiti State. Akintola told Fayemi, “We know that you are a Christian. But we have seen that you are very liberal. You hate nobody. You have charity for all. We trust you because you have been tested before and you performed creditably well. You really impressed us during your first term before Ekiti citizens entered ‘one chance’. You gave Muslims cabinet slots. You issued a circular permitting female Muslim children to use hijab in public schools even without Muslims making much fuss”.
The organization explained that it is not partisan. It maintained that the religion or political party of a president or governor does not matter so long as he or she is transparent, credible and fair to all. “We are not supporting any political party. Neither are we supporting Muslims in public offices. All we are interested in is good governance. MURIC is particularly interested in politicians who are fair to Muslims in this country.
“We will support a president or governor who gives Muslims their dues, fights corruption and observes democratic tenets no matter what religion, tribe or political party he belongs. Yet we do not encourage any Muslim president or governor to maltreat Christians and traditionalists. Those who come to equity must come with clean hands. We are for fairness to all.
“But we will not allow Muslim haters to rest whether at federal, state or local government level. We will use every constitutional means at our disposal to give extremist crusaders a run for their money because this country belongs to all of us. Muslims will no longer remain underdogs in this country: oppressed, repressed and downpressed.
“We are watching governors in the South East who are in the habit of depriving the minority Muslims of their Allah-given fundamental human rights. They refuse to give Certificates of Occupancy (C of Os) for mosques. They demolish mosques at will while heads of tertiary institutions disallow Muslim students from worshipping and building mosques inside campuses. They also demolish existing make-shift mosques on campuses using flimsy excuses.
“In conclusion, we appeal to Governor-Elect Fayemi to make his in-coming government inclusive and to redress the wrongs done to Ekiti Muslims by his irritant predecessor by giving them befitting government posts and returning to them all their civil rights. Apart from a proportionate number of commissioners, permanent secretaries and board chairmen, we particularly demand that the post of secretary to the state government should go to a Muslim since both Fayemi and his deputy are Christians. In return, we urge Muslims in Ekiti to give the in-coming Fayemi regime all necessary support”.