The Oyo State Muslim Community has called on Governor Seyi Makinde to ensure that more Muslims are appointed into his next cabinet appointments.
This they said was necessary to ensure balance and religious justice.
In a statement released on Friday which was signed by their Chairman, Alhaji Ishaq Kunle Sanni (Chairman) and the Secretary-General, Alhaji Murisiku Siyanbade, the group demanded a more representative ratio than the 11 Christians to 5 Muslims used in the first appointments.
It would be recalled that the community had earlier condemned what they termed lopsided appointment along the religious line in the first two years of Governor Makinde’s administration.
The statement reads “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 marvellous, 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.
“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.
“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.
“When Governor Makinde first came into office in 2019, he (in August of that year), appointed 14 Commissioners, as members of the State Executive Council. He had earlier appointed Secretary to the State Government and Chief of Staff, the highest-ranking members of the Executive Council, both of whom are Christians. In the same vein, while His Excellency and his Deputy were both elected, he inherited the Head of Service.
“In this write-up, 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
“Please find below the list of the 2019 appointed members of the Oyo State Executive Council:
1. Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun – Secretary to the State Government –
2. Chief Bisi Ilaka – Chief of Staff –
3. Hon. Barrister Adeniyi John
Farinto – Commissioner for Budget
& Planning –
4.. Mr Adeniyi Adebisi –
Commissioner for Commerce
5. Hon. Muyiwa Jacob Ojekunle – Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development – (CHRISTIAN)
6. Prof Oyelowo Oyewo –
Commissioner for Justice
7. Barrister Olasunkanmi Olaleye – Commissioner for Establishment and Training – (CHRISTIAN)
8. Barrister Seun Asamu – Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources – (MUSLIM)
9. Mr Rahman Abiodun AbdulRaheem – Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development – (MUSLIM)
10. Chief Bayo Lawal – Commissioner for Special Duties
11. Hon Funmilayo Orisadeyi – Commissioner for Local Government & Chieftaincy Matters
12. Dr Bashir Bello – Commissioner
for Health – (MUSLIM)
13. Hon Wasiu Olatunbosun –
Commissioner for Information
and Mass Mobilization – (MUSLIM)
14. Prof Kehinde Sangodoyin
– Commissioner for Education,
Science and Technology
15. Mr Akinola Ojo – Commissioner
for Finance – (CHRISTIAN)
16. Rt Hon Kehinde Ayoola –
Commissioner for Environment
and Natural Resources
“In our usual manner, we called the attention of His Excellency to this unbearable lopsidedness. While the Governor initially exhibited some gubernatorial taciturnity, some of his strong supporters attempted to pull the wool over our face by pointing to two of his appointees who bear Muslim names but are proud and unrepentant Christians. These were Mr Luqman Bisi Ilaka and Prof Daud Sangodoyin
“The Governor’s ultimate demonstration of wanting to hearken to our protestations resulted in the eventual appointment of Alhaja Fausat Sanni as Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion; In addition, when the first Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, who happened to be a Christian died, a Muslim, Dr Abdulateef Idowu Oyeleke was appointed to replace him. Alhaji Siju Lawal also came on board as Commissioner for Establishments and Training. Muslims perceived this as perhaps a starting point for righting the wrongs.
“Recently, in June 2021, His Excellency, Engr. Seyi Makinde announced the dissolution of the 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, despite our numerical superiority, is an 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.
“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 the 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. We, therefore, urge the Governor to collaborate with all Muslim principal stakeholders within the party. 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.
“May Almighty Allah continue to grant us peace and peaceful co-existence in Oyo State, Aamin.
Alhaji Ishaq Kunle Sanni
Alhaji Murisiku Siyanbade
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