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MURIC Berates CAN over Lagos Gov’s Cabinet Composition


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A Muslim rights advocacy group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), on Tuesday, slammed the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for defending the cabinet nominees list of the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, which has 31 Christians and 8 Muslims.
Also, the group accused Sanwo-Olu of using and dumping Muslims in Lagos state.

The African Examiner recalls that Sanwo-Olu had on July 28, transmitted 39 cabinet nominees to the state House of Assembly for screening and confirmation.

However, MURIC and a coalition of  another Muslim groups under the aegis of Joint Muslims Forum (JMF), have rejected the proposed cabinet nominees list, adding that it has less than 20 per cent Muslim representation.

Defending the governor, CAN Chairman in Lagos, Rev. Stephen Adegbite, in a press briefing at Alausa on Monday, had noted that Sanwo-Olu’s choice was “based purely on merit, competence, and sufficient capabilities to deliver on the set goals and objectives of the government”.
Also, Adegbite frowned at the remarks of the Muslim groups against the nominations.Reacting to the state CAN Chairman’s comment, Executive Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, accuse the Christian body of hypocrisy.

Akintola said: “Our response to his vituperations and irrational position is very simple. Governor Sanwo-Olu supported the Muslim-Muslim ticket not because he was convinced that it was democratic and therefore right, not even because he was fully in support of a Muslim ruling the country, but because he had no choice than to support his principal and political godfather.

“Failure to do so would have endangered his chances of securing a second term. Sanwo-Olu’s perceived support for the Muslim-Muslim ticket was therefore a self-preservation move. It was not from the governor’s heart but from his pharyngeal cavity.

“It was therefore most inconsiderate and very selfish for Lagos CAN chairman to base his rationalisation of the ratio 31:8 of Lagos commissioners’ list on Sanwo-Olu’s support for the Muslim-Muslim ticket. They are two incompatible situations for the following reasons.

“Firstly, one occurred at the federal level, the other at state level. Secondly, one was through a democratic and electoral process, the other was by appointment. Thirdly, one was Jean Jacques Rousseau’s General Will executed by the Nigerian electorate, the other was the totalitarian whim and caprice of a pentecostal governor. Fourthly, one was constitutional, the other a flagrant violation of Section 14:4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“But the hypocrisy of the Lagos CAN chairman will become more glaring if he can agree that he will accept the same arrangement if vice versa, i.e. if Muslims are given 31 slots while Christians get 8 only come 2027 when it will be the turn of Muslims to occupy Alausa secretariat.

“Will CAN accept that from a Muslim governor in 2027? No, CAN cannot. The press conference held yesterday by CAN Lagos chairman must therefore be reduced to sheer hocus pocus and the height of hypocrisy. Could Lagos CAN have acted the same way if it was Muslims who had 31 commissioners while Christians had 8 only?”

Akintola also stressed that the 2027 gubernatorial slot should be for Muslims saying that the fact that Lagos CAN chairman “admitted the lopsided 31:8 ratio” indicates that it was deliberate.

He continued: “But it is public knowledge that Lagos Muslims campaigned for Sanwo-Olu and voted massively for him. Although MURIC wanted a Muslim governor ab initio, we later advised Muslims to vote for Sanwo-Olu after seeing that he supported President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. We knew that it was necessary for Lagos to be in the hands of the ruling party for Tinubu’s administration to be successful. Our sacrifice was therefore for Tinubu, a Muslim presidential candidate at the time, not for Sanwo-Olu per se.

“It must be mentioned that Sanwo-Olu came to Lagos Muslims twice to canvass for votes. Well, after publicly dragging Lagos Muslims on the floor, after using Lagos Muslims and dumping them, we are waiting to see if and when Sanwo-Olu will need Lagos Muslims again during his tenure. The die is cast, unless Sanwo-Olu reviews his Christian-dominated list.” 

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