In a significant development, the Muslim community in Lagos has raised objections to the list of proposed cabinet members submitted by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for screening and confirmation by the state House of Assembly.
At a World Press Conference held on Tuesday in Lagos, Imam Abdul Rahman Ahmad, the Convener of the Joint Muslim Forum (JMF) and National Missioner of Ansarudeen Society of Nigeria, announced that the Muslim community had lodged a petition with the state House of Assembly, expressing their concerns over the proposed cabinet nominees.
The press conference drew the presence of prominent Muslim leaders in Lagos, including Sheikh AbdulRahman Adangba, Kamoldeen Abiona of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Professor Lakin Akintola of Muslims Rights Concern (MURIC), and Sheikh Dhirullah Shafii.
Imam Ahmad, representing the umbrella group comprising over 30 Muslim organizations, emphasized the group’s contention that the proposed list displayed an imbalance, with only 8 Muslims among the 39 nominees. This stark disparity of 8 to 31 Muslims to Christians was decried as an act of oppression, insensitivity, and unfairness.
Imam Ahmad, speaking on behalf of the Muslim community, asserted, “Governor Sanwo-Olu’s list exhibited callous insensitivity to diversity, equity, and fairness. Muslims constitute more than 60% of the state’s population and its voting public, yet they are significantly underrepresented with less than 20% representation on the list.”
He further highlighted the historical and unwavering support of the Muslim community for Governor Sanwo-Olu, emphasizing their commitment during elections and their expectations of fair leadership in return.
Additionally, Kamoldeen Abiona, the President of MSSN Lagos, expressed disappointment over the lack of adequate youth representation in the proposed cabinet appointments. Abiona pointed out that none of the nominated candidates were below the age of 35, despite the youth being a substantial portion of the state’s population.
The Muslim Students Society of Nigeria urged the Lagos State Government to address the glaring religious underrepresentation in key government positions and emphasize inclusivity and religious harmony in all facets of governance.
The Muslim community’s discontent over the cabinet nominee list signals a call for greater consideration of diversity, equity, and fairness in governance decisions. As the matter unfolds, it remains to be seen how the state government will respond to these concerns raised by the Muslim community.