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Lagos Muslim Community Protests Alleged Marginalization in Commissioner-Designates List

The Lagos Muslim Community, representing a significant portion of the state’s population, has taken to the streets to voice their concern over perceived religious marginalization in the list of commissioner-designates submitted by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to the state House of Assembly. The protest, held under the banner “MUSLIMS SAY NO OFFICIAL DISCRIMINATION,” attracted hundreds of Muslims who gathered at the state’s House of Assembly complex early on Wednesday morning.

Amidst a sea of demonstrators brandishing placards and displaying unwavering resolve, the President of the Muslim Community of Lagos State, Prof. Tajudeen G.O. Gbadamosi, addressed the crowd and presented a formal petition to the lawmakers. The petition, titled “Petition on the Discrimination against Muslims in the Nomination of Commissioners,” criticized the composition of the commissioner-designates list for allegedly neglecting proper representation of the Muslim community.

The petition highlights that out of the 39 nominees, only eight are Muslims, while the remaining 31 are Christians. This purported imbalance has fueled accusations of discrimination and religious bias against the Muslim populace. The protesters argue that such a lopsided distribution violates the Nigerian Constitution, particularly Section 14(4), which emphasizes the recognition of diversity and the need to foster a sense of belonging among all citizens.

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Further expressing their discontent, the petition cites previous instances of what they perceive as a lack of representation. In the past, appointments to key positions were said to have been disproportionately allocated to Christians, which the petition argues runs counter to constitutional principles.

The petition also points out that the government’s alleged actions contradict a landmark Supreme Court ruling that upheld the right for Muslim schoolgirls to wear hijabs, a religious practice that signifies a sense of identity for Muslim women. The Muslim Community asserts that their grievances are rooted in a call for equal treatment, recognition, and respect for their rights.

Amidst the fervor of the protest, influential Muslim leaders including Sheikh AbdurRahman Ahmad and Prof. Lakin Akintola lent their voices to the collective plea for equity and inclusion. The Muslim Community of Lagos State echoes the sentiment of their Niger State counterparts, where similar concerns prompted the rejection of a commissioner-designates list that lacked adequate representation for the Christian minority.

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As the protest unfolds and the passionate call for justice resonates, it remains to be seen how the Lagos State House of Assembly will address these grievances and respond to the demand for a more representative cabinet. The event serves as a reminder of the importance of inclusivity and the upholding of constitutional principles to ensure the cohesion and prosperity of a diverse and multicultural society.

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