Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, has declared that there was no sign of lopsidedness in the composition of Governing Councils of State-owned tertiary institutions announced on Tuesday.
A statement by the Governor’s Media aide, which was made available in Ibadan on Thursday, indicated that there was no truth whatsoever in the claims credited to a Muslim leader and Director of the Muslim Rights Concern, Prof. Isiaq Akintola, that the appointments came with religious bias against Muslims.
According to the statement, an analysis of the appointments released by the government of Oyo State on Tuesday indicated that out of a total of 41 appointees named into the Governing Councils of the different state-owned institutions, there were 22 Muslims, while the list had 19 Christians.
The statement read: “It was illogical for anyone to imagine that in a state like Oyo, a government would play up religious differences and make nominations into critical institutions without sound judgment.
“There is no truth whatsoever in the allegation that appointments into Oyo State tertiary institutions were lopsided against the Muslims.
“A peep through the list of appointees would show that for Ibarapa Polytechnic, out of the six appointees, there were three Muslims and three Christians.
“The same is also true of Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo, which had three Muslims and Christians apiece.
“The same is also true of Oke-Ogun Polytechnic which had three Muslims and Christians apiece.
“For the College of Education, Lanlate, there were three Christians and two Muslims.
“There were three Christians as against seven Muslims on the board of the College of Agriculture, Igbo-Ora, while the Polytechnic Ibadan had four Muslims and four Christians on its board.
“We need to state it clearly that religious leaders must get their facts correct before coming into the open to make statements.
“However, no amount of spirited efforts by vested interests would succeed in dividing our people along religious lines. Our people are far too advanced to be deceived by such mundane sentiments.
“We can only advise purveyors of such unhelpful fiction to focus on other agenda that can assist the developmental agenda of the state.”
MURIC had in the statement by Akintola said: “Governor Makinde appointed six chairmen of governing boards yesterday, Wednesday 8th July, 2020 but only one of them (Lateef Sanni) is a Muslim. He appointed thirty four (34) members but only fifteen (15) of them are Muslims. Makinde’s focus is clear. As far as he is concerned, only 16.6% and 44.1% are good enough for Muslims.
“Only a governor with a Christianisation agenda can do that in a Muslim-majority state. But it is our duty to interrogate the governor’s action. Makinde must explain the justification of his latest action to Nigerians. Where in the world can you give 16.6% of the dividend of democracy to the majority group while the minority goes away with 83.4%? Is it fair? Is it just? Is it equitable?
“Where are the merchants of false propaganda? They are quick to carry placards in protest against a Muslim president who is doing his best to create a level playing field for all. They cry marginalization in Abuja but turn the blind eye to the persecution of the majority in Ibadan.
“Now we know where Seyi Makinde is coming from. This is the second time he will shortchange Oyo State Muslims. How many of his commissioners are Muslims and how many are Christians? Out of fourteen commissioners, only four are Muslims. Makinde gave the Christians ten (10). Makinde’s democracy is government of the Christians, by the Christians, for the Christians. He is laying the foundation of full blown oppression of Muslims.
“Can Seyi Makinde tell Nigerians how much the pomp and pageantry of 2019 Christmas cost the government of Oyo State? Is it true that all roundabouts in the city of Ibadan were electrified with special blinking bulbs during the yuletide period of the same year? Mr. Governor sir, can the public know the cost? Was the money not taken from our common patrimony? Was any such thing or something close to it done to make the Muslim festival which was held four months earlier as glamorous? Is Makinde a governor of the Christians only or governor of all?
“We charge Governor Makinde to remember that governance is fragile. Only those who are able to strike a balance between groups rule successfully. We are watching every move in Oyo State because we do not want the emergence of another Fayose there. Makinde must therefore fasten his seat belt.
“We kept quiet when he cheated Muslims in the appointment of commissioners. Now he has sidelined them in the appointment of boards of tertiary institutions. Our people say ‘Ekini keebe, ekeji keebe, eleketa ni ajenjetan’, meaning ‘Once is happenstance, twice is a coincidence, the third time is enemy action. Makinde will not taste power in Oyo State again if he dares Muslims.”