By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Oyo State Muslim Community on Friday asked Governor Seyi Makinde to be fair to Muslims in the state in the appointment of his new cabinet.
This was contained in a statement issued and signed by Chairman, of the body, Alhaji Ishaq Kunle Sanni and Secretary General, Alhaji Murisiku Siyanbade made available to journalists in Ibadan.
In the statement, Oyo State Muslim Community stated that ” it isno longer news that the Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, in exercising his constitutional right, has dissolved his cabinet, but that its concern is ” the rights of the Muslims are not jeopardized in the hurly-burly and political gerrymandering in the state”.
” We are only going to be looking at appointments directly made by His Excellency, The Governor. Thus, the SSG, Chief of Staff and 14 Commissioners, totalling 16, were the only officials appointed by the Governor directly in 2019. The lion’s share of 11went to the Christians while only a smattering 5 were Muslims – ratio 11:5 , against Muslims “, it said.
The Muslim Community added, ” recently, in June 2021, His Excellency, Engr. Seyi Makinde announced dissolution of Oyo State Executive Council. Just this week, we heard of the appointment of Hon. Segun Ogunwuyi as Chief of Staff to His Excellency, The Governor. Our thinking was that, since a Christian had occupied the position of Secretary to the State Government, the only other BIG Executive Council position, Chief of Staff, should have been given to a Muslim. This would have gone a long way in assuaging the feelings of Muslims in the state.
” We hereby, admonish H.E. Engr Seyi Makinde, to spare us a listening ear. Your Excellency, you don’t lose anything by promoting religious equity in all that you do sir. Rather, you win more hearts . In the demographics of Oyo State, Muslims are unarguably in the overwhelming majority. What we have always clamoured for, in spite of our numerical superiority, is equal number of Christians to that of Muslims in all appointments. We also clamour that in other policy decisions of government, the two major religions should be given equal considerations.” The statement stressed, ” it is distasteful and demeaning to our sensibilities for somebody to be talking of meritocracy as the yardstick for appointment into offices. We do not know of any professional calling where we don’t have higher-flying Muslims. It is pertinent to state that, when we talk of appointment of Muslims into political offices, our focus is only on members of the Governor’s political party, PDP. It is equally a truism that there is a preponderance of Muslim professionals within the PDP”.
While urging Governor Makinde ” to collaborate with all Muslim principal stakeholders within the party”, added, ” this would enable him to pick genuine Muslims for his new Cabinet and he should then be assured of the support of the Muslims in the state, in as much as he ensures religious justice in all spheres of governance.”
” It is no longer news that the Oyo State Governor, H.E. Engineer Seyi Makinde, in exercising his constitutional right, has dissolved his cabinet. Nobody conversant with the law can query the power of a Governor to hire and fire any of his political appointees.The buck of governance of the state ends on the Governor’s table. If the Governor’s performance is perceived to be marvelous, commendable and praiseworthy, his aides don’t take the credit, he does. However, if his performance is lacklustre, poor, condemnable and worthless, his appointees are not blamable nor condemnable, the Governor bears the brunt and wholly takes the blame.”
The Muslim Community of Oyo state noted, ” only the Governor knows the qualities he found in who those he appoints before appointing them and why he decided to relieve them of their appointments”, adding, “what concerns us as a Muslim Community is, ensuring that the rights of the Muslims are not jeopardized in the hurly-burly and political gerrymandering In the state.