The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), an Islamic human rights organisation, has accused Dapo Abiodun, Governor of Ogun State, of selling the state to Christians.
The organisation made the allegation in a statement signed by Professor Ishaq Akintola, its Director, on Wednesday.
According to MURIC, the appointments made by the governor into the state’s commissions and boards in July 2020 were lopsided and favoured more Christians.
“The recent appointments into commissions and boards in Ogun State leave a sour taste in the mouth. The state governor, Dapo Abiodun, simply took Muslims living under him to the cleaners. An analysis of the appointments confirms our worst fears about most Christian rulers in the South West. They are there to persecute Muslims, give total political and economic power to Christians and impoverish the Muslims.
“How else can we describe Dapo Abiodun’s appointments of Thursday 23rd July, 2020? How can Dapo Abiodun explain an all-Christian membership of the state’s Civil Service Commission, Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) and the Agro Services Corporation? The governor has simply renamed those commissions Christian Services Commission although he is yet to officially announce it.
“He gave Muslims 40% of the membership of the state’s Housing Corporation, 33.3% in the Health Management Board and 40% in the Bulk Purchasing Board. It is only in the Local Government Commission that Muslims have 60%. In all, Muslims have eleven (11) out of a total of forty-three (43) appointments.
“Further analysis and deeper screening reveals the governor’s real agenda of selling the state to Christians. He plans to use the 100% Christian membership of the Civil Service Commission to ensure that all future employments into the civil service are for Christian applicants only.
“Also, no single Muslim was appointed into the Teaching Service (TESCOM) for two main reasons. Firstly, in order to employ Christians only as teachers into Ogun State public schools. Secondly, to perpetuate the age-long persecution of Muslim students and bring them under undue influence of Christian teachers cum evangelists. This will facilitate the ‘forceful’ conversion of Muslim students to Christianity. It is equally noteworthy that both Special Advisers to the Governor on Primary/Secondary Education and Tertiary Education are Christians.
“Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has been grossly unfair to Muslims under him. He is not a just ruler. Good governance is not in his vocabulary. He has robbed Muslims of the state of the dividends of democracy. This is in a state where Muslims are the majority.
“This is the mentality of the average Yoruba Christian in power yet we claim there is religious tolerance in Yorubaland. From Ekiti to Ondo, Oyo and now Ogun, their mentality is the same. The average Yoruba Christian ruler has only one dogma, namely, ‘Edge out the Muslims! They don’t exist!’ Only Lagos has given recognition to Muslims under the current Christian governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.”
MURIC called on Governor Abiodun to review his decision and make swift changes in the interest of the state.
“For the avoidance of doubt, MURIC stands for peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims. We believe in leadership by eligibility. Let the most qualified, tested and trusted person lead regardless of his faith. But the leader must give equal opportunity to all sides without fear or favour. A Muslim governor must not marginalise his Christian subjects and so vice versa. This is our stand. Truth, equal rights and justice are our mandate. We affirm that justice is the soul of peace. No one who denies one shall enjoy the other. It is natural law.
“We, therefore, call on Governor Dapo Abiodun to do a rethink. He must search his conscience and see if he has been fair to Ogun State Muslims. There is still time to retrace his steps. He must be governor of both Christians and Muslims, not governor of Christian interest and affairs only,” the statement read.