The newly sworn-in Governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke, has been accused of deceiving the electorate.
The allegation was made by an Islamic human rights group, Muslim Rights Concern, in a statement issued on Wednesday.
The statement demanded to know which scripture the Governor used during his swearing-in ceremony.
The group also argued that if Adeleke could deceive people in the state about his faith for so long, the faith of the three Muslims recently appointed by him may also be another smoke screen.
In the statement by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, MURIC said: “There is no gainsaying that the newly sworn-in governor of the State of Osun, Ademola Adeleke, has taken people of the state for a ride. There is ambiguity about the scripture used by the governor during his swearing-in ceremony. As an integral part of the electorate who elected him into office, we are interested in the faith of the governor.
“We have the right to know the faith of our governor. It is part of transparency and accountability. We are asking Governor Ademola Adeleke to come clean about his creed. We demand to know what scripture was used by him during his swearing-in ceremony. Was it the Qur’an, the Bible, a cutlass, a gun or nothing?
“It is important to know as voters and as people who pay tax into the coffers of the State of Osun. It is part of accountability. If he used the Qur’an he is a Muslim. If he used the Bible he is a Christian. If he used a cutlass or a gun he is a traditionalist. We have no quarrel with him if he used any of these three because it means he believes in God whichever way.
“But if he swore to the oath without using anything it means he is an atheist and a carefree person. The people of Osun must be wary of a carefree person on the driving seat of governance in the state. He is not likely to be fair to adherents of any faith. Neither will he respect their beliefs, yearnings and aspirations.
“In the same vein, the governor’s appointment of three ‘Muslims’, Rasheed Olawale, Kazeem Akinleye and Teslim Igbalaye as his Chief Press Secretary, Chief of Staff and Secretary to the State Government respectively is more of a smoke screen than anything else.
“In the first instance, if Adeleke has been deceiving people in the state regarding his faith, nothing stops him from handpicking rebranded non-Muslims and presenting them to the public with Muslim names. We make this statement without prejudice to the three appointees mentioned above regarding their level of iimaan (faith) but the onus of clarification is on the governor and his handlers.
“This is a common phenomenon among rulers in the South West. Muslims who have compromised their faith are often presented as Muslims and made to occupy Muslim slots whereas such appointees work for the interest of non-Muslims in office and keep real Muslims in abeyance.
“Secondly, why would a supposedly ‘Muslim’ governor appoint three other Muslims to the three highest posts in the state if, indeed, Adeleke is really a Muslim? This question is quite germane in an environment like the South West where Muslims and Christians have become keen rivals.
“It appears Governor Adeleke has shot himself in the foot by these three appointments. Is it right for a Muslim governor in a place like the South West to give the three highest positions in the state to his fellow Muslims?
“Adeleke has been too clever by half. He knew he had deceived Muslims in the state by claiming he is a Muslim. Having realised that the game was up and that the Muslims do not believe him, he has decided to pacify them by offering them juicy positions.
“But this is going to backfire. It is happening already. In the interest of fairness and equity, Adeleke must replace two of these three appointees with Christians if it is true that he is a Muslim. Therefore, MURIC demands a clear pronouncement from the governor regarding his faith.
“Failure to come clean will add to his plethora of ambiguities. If INEC cannot find Adeleke’s certificate, the electorate deserves to know where their governor belongs. It will go a long way in affirming whether or not their governor is trustworthy, transparent and accountable. It goes a long way to prove his integrity or his lack of it.
“We, therefore, have some questions for Governor Adeleke. His readiness or his unwillingness to provide answers will show his sincerity or otherwise. Our questions to Adeleke are these: ‘Your Excellency Sir, are you a Muslim, a Christian or a traditionalist? Again, Mr. Governor Sir, what did you use during your swearing-in ceremony? Was it the Qur’an, the Bible, a cutlass, a gun or nothing at all?’”