Lagos Muslim Community Rejects Sanwo-Olu’s Appointment Of 8 Moslems As Commissioners And 31 Christians

The Lagos Muslims community has rejected the list of proposed cabinet members submitted by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to the state House of Assembly for screening and confirmation.

Addressing a World Press Conference on the Governor Sanwo-Olu’s commissioners-designate list on Tuesday in Lagos, the Convener of Joint Muslim Forum (JMF) and National Missioner, Ansarudeen Society of Nigeria, Imam Abdul Rahman Ahmad said the group has petitioned the state House of Assmebly over the matter.

The press conference was attended by top Muslim leaders in Lagos, including Sheikh AbdulRahman Adangba; Amir (President) Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, MSSN, Kamoldeen Abiona; Director of Muslims Rights Concern, MURIC, Professor Lakin Akintola; and Sheikh Dhirullah Shafii.

The JMF, an umbrella of over 30 Muslim groups, the community, declaring that the 8 number of Muslims to 31 number of Christians on the list of 39 men and women shows oppression, pathological hatred, callousness. Insensitivity, and unfairness.

Speaking on the commissioner-designate list, Imam Ahmad noted that forum had exhausted all efforts to reach out to the governor and his deputy over what it called the great injustice.

He stated, “In line with the dictates of our Islamic faith which consistently emphasizes fairness in all dealings, and also in line with our conviction that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy Dr Kadiri Hamzat both are better experienced and prepared to uplift the quality of lives of Lagosians, we mobilized our community to, not only vote for the return of the Governor, but also defended the votes under very difficult circumstances.

“It must be stated that the Muslim community did not collect a dime from neither the APC flag bearers, nor any of their opponents in that election, rather we acted truthfully and selflessly with hope for a more prosperous Lagos.

“With all sense of utmost sincerity, we noted to our utter dismay that Governor Sanwo-Olu’s list exhibited callous insensitivity to diversity, equity, and fairness. Muslims make up less than 20% of the list, even though they constitute over 60% of not just the state’s population but her voting public. We observed that out of 39 Nominees only 8 are Muslims.

“It is no longer news that this list is not pleasing to the generality of Muslims of Lagos. It is indeed an afront to our collective sensibilities and tragically confirmed long standing suspected misgivings about iGov. Sanwo-Olu’s genuine commitment to fair leadership.

“Before anyone says “the Muslims have started again” please take some time to examine the facts: Go through the history of appointments by Lagos State Government; look at the demography that make up Lagos States; look at it from the lens of what is right and fair; the intention then becomes clear. 

“When many in the Christian community rightly or wrongly rejected Governor Sanwo-Olu and his party purportedly to protest the Muslim-Muslim ticket at the national level, we the Muslims of Lagos state stood solidly and voted enmasse to ensure his victory, but rather than show appreciation, it appears that Mr. Sanwo-Olu choose to perpetrate injustice and ingratitude in an ill-thought affront to the peaceful and accommodating Muslim community of Lagos.

“Over the past years, we have witnessed several instances of injustice towards Muslims by the Governor Sanwo-Olu-led state government through its unfavorable policies, lopsided appointments, and infringements on our religious and socio-political rights as a community. 

“At various times and fora, we have engaged the government listing these grievances and concerns all to no avail, with no well-defined efforts by the state government till date to assuage these grievances etc.

“The released list of commissioners is thus a continuation of the old, abnormality and a reaffirmation that the state government has no regard whatsoever for the Muslims in the state nor our interest.

“The Muslims have done nothing to deserve this; in fact, they have played their part by ensuring that the government of the day won the election. The Muslims massively voted for APC when others campaigned for other parties. It is also important to mention that this is not a one-off for this administration.

“In the last term of this government six (6) Tutors-General were appointed and all were Christians, with instances where senior Muslim successors were sidelined for the nearest Christians. Governance should be about fairness and equity.

“Why must Muslims in Lagos State always beg and fight for their constitutional rights in the present dispensation? We recall with utmost sadness really, that until the Supreme Court ruled in favour of hijab for our schoolgirls, successive Lagos Governments, never felt it should endeavor to align with the global best practice of accepting hijab in addition to abiding with the rule of law,” he stated.

Also speaking on the development, the Amir (President), MSSN Lagos, Kamoldeen Abiona,   expressed disappointment and grave concern over the list of proposed cabinet members.

Abiona rejected what he described as a glaring absence of adequate youth representation in the proposed appointments by Governor Sanwo-Olu.

He noted that the youth constitute a formidable portion of the state’s population, saying it is deeply disheartening that none of the nominated candidates falls below the age of 35. 

According to Abiona, the list is a flagrant oversight that blatantly contradicts Governor Sanwo-Olu’s assurances of prioritising the involvement of youths and women in crucial decision-making roles.

Abiona said MSSN Lagos strongly maintained that the vitality and dynamism of the youth demographic are essential for propelling the progress and advancement of Lagos State.

He stated, “We raise an urgent alarm regarding the blatant religious underrepresentation within key government positions in Lagos State. While we endorses appointments based on merit, the organisation contends that reflecting the religious diversity of the state within these positions is imperative.

“It’s important to note with concern that out of the thirty-nine (39) commissioner nominees, a mere nine (9) are Muslims, a deficiency that falls grossly short of authentically representing Lagos State’s  religious diversity.

“MSSN Lagos resolutely calls upon the Lagos State Government to immediately address this critical matter and to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to inclusivity and religious harmony in every facet of governance in the state,” he said.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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