Kolapo Olusola, a Christian and gubernatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the July 2, 2018 election in Ekiti State, has picked a Muslim as his running mate. Although some Muslims in the state reportedly jubilated over the appointment, the state branch of the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations (NACOMYO) has cautioned that it is too early for that.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is on the same page with the state branch of NACOMYO. We can see the fingers of the state governor, Ayodele Fayose in the pie being fried for the PDP’s gubernatorial candidate, Olusola. We have no iota of doubt that Fayose influenced the decision to pick a Muslim as deputy for Olusola for his own selfish reasons.
While we admit that it is a deft move, we wish to throw a caveat emptor. Ekiti Muslims should not repose their trust in Ayodele Fayose because of his antecedents. Fayose, a Muslim-hater, is bending all over to exploit Muslims. Having realized that his time is up and that his choice candidate has a very slim chance, Fayose is now courting Muslim votes to shore up his lapses.
Fayose wants to eat his cake and still have it. But what did he do with the Muslims during his tenure? How many Muslims did he appoint to political positions? MURIC cried out in September 2015 over Fayose’s all Christian cabinet. What does Fayose think he can still do for Muslims when he had a Christian Deputy Governor, a Christian speaker, a Christian Deputy Speaker, and a Christian Chief of Staff? What does he and his party want with Muslims now after ignoring our cries for four good years? It is too late. Clowning will not help. Wearing turban will not help either. The die is cast.
All the state’s judges under Fayose are Christians. All the fourteen (14) commissioners in the State are Christians. All the twenty six (26) permanent secretaries are Christians. Fayose only gave Muslims one Special adviser. Special adviser my foot!
He did not stop there. All the state’s 5-member boards are Christians including Only one Muslim is a board member in the whole of Ekiti. The 7-member boards of colleges of education and that of health technology are all Christians. All the sixteen (16) education secretaries are Christians while all the sixteen (16) local government caretaker chairmen are Christians except one.
Fayose deliberately impoverished Muslims. Even the Muslim deputy he has picked now is the only local government chairman in the state. So he is not new in Fayose’s administration. It is a dirty trick. Muslims in the state should ‘shine their eyes’ very well.
Those who say South West people are tolerant should borrow a leaf from this. It is the Muslims who are bearing the brunt. There is no religious tolerance in the South West. As individual Christians and Muslims, yes. We live together in the same houses and work together in the same workplaces. Christians and Muslims exist in the same families. We also intermarry. But as a body of Muslims, capital ‘NO’. Anything that will benefit South West Muslims or Islam as an institution is always fiercely resisted by South West Christians.
The only way to checkmate Fayose now is for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to also pick a Muslim as his running mate. Muslims in the state know Fayemi very well. Unlike Fayose who is a Muslim-hater, Fayemi showed Muslims love when he was governor in the state. Fayemi’s wife, a very decent woman, is a practicing Muslim. It was Fayemi, a Christian governor, who made the bold move of issuing the circular which allowed female Muslim students in the state to use hijab. Fayemi is a liberal to the core.
MURIC wants Ekiti Muslims to know their true friends and to know those who want to deceive them. “Fool me once, shame on you. But fool me again, shame on me.” There goes the wise saying. We will not be enslaved twice. Was it not Fayose who went on mosque-demolition sprees? Is it so long ago? Who ordered the shutting down of your Arabic classes in Ado Ekiti?
Was it not the same Fayose who got power-drunk that he publicly lambasted our revered Shaykh Muhyideen the famous Ansarud-deen preacher? Can he do that to his pastor? What did his party do about his atrocities? Did they make any attempt to placate Muslims in the state? Fayose is a Muslim hater and Ekiti Muslims should not come near him with a long pole, particularly at this crucial period. Those who have ignored us and oppressed us all this while cannot, with any iota of sincerity, claim to be our friends in election period.
In the meantime we exhort all Muslims in Ekiti State to get their PVCs. We are not advocating religion as a criterion in voting. Vote for true democrats and cool-headed politicians. Vote for diligence. Vote for integrity. Avoid Fayose and other unpredictable politicians who have made life miserable for you in the past. Avoid those who demolish your mosques and those who closed your Arabic classes. It is pay back time and the exercise is just beginning. We can’t wait to see Fayose in Kirikiri. The evil that men do…
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)