Politics

2023: MURIC rejects Sanwo-Olu’s 2nd term endorsement, demands Muslim candidate in Lagos

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has rejected the endorsement of Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for a second term in office and demanded a Muslim candidate instead.

The group which was reacting to the endorsement of the governor for a second term by the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos said the former governor of the state, Akinwunmi Ambode had used 4 years while Sanwo-Olu already used almost 4 years, therefore the turn of a Muslim governor.

In a statement signed by MURIC director, Ishaq Akintola, the group claimed Sanwo-Olu’s endorsement for another term in office violates the principle of rotational governance between Christians and Muslims in the state.

Akintola said the endorsement was “unfair and provocative”, and could lead to protest against the ruling APC unless the issue is addressed and settled between Lagos Muslims and the state government.

“Unfortunately this endorsement violated a long standing albeit unwritten rule on rotational governance between Christians and Muslims in Lagos State,” Akintola said.

“It is on record that ex-Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, a Christian, spent four years in office and another Christian, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was brought in ostensibly to complete the Christians’ two terms which expires by May 2023 when a Muslim, ceteris paribus, is expected to take over the reins of office.

“That is why Muslims in Lagos State regard the recent endorsement given to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to run for the Christians’ third term as unfair, unjust and provocative. It may not be known in official circles but Lagos Muslims are grumbling and we have been under pressure for some time now to speak up.

“It is a dangerous dimension capable of eliciting protest bulk vote against the ruling party unless the issue is ironed out at a roundtable between leaders of the party, the Lagos State Government (LASG) and Lagos Muslims.”

Akintola said as taxpayers and stakeholders in the state, the Muslim community must be consulted on issues of governance in Lagos.

“The Muslim Community of Lagos State which is under the able leadership of Professor Tajudeen Gbadamosi is the appropriate body to meet for the purpose of negotiating with Lagos Muslims. All Islamic organisations in Lagos State are under this body. The onus is therefore on LASG and leaders of the ruling party to reach out to the Muslim Community of Lagos State,” he said.

“MURIC rejects exclusivism in matters of governance. Lagos Muslims are tax payers and key stakeholders in issues affecting the welfare of Lagos citizens. We must therefore be consulted on matters of governance.

“We refuse to be blindfolded on the way to the polling booth. Neither shall we be satisfied just as voters, we must also be voted for. That is the essence of democracy. It must be participatory. The choice of candidates and leadership must not be lopsided in a democracy. Every segment of society must be consulted.”

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