One of Nigeria’s leading civil society organisations, Coalition for Good Governance has called on all the candidates across political parties to pick Muslims as their running mates in the October 10, 2020 Ondo State Governorship election.
The organisation decried the level of marginalization in Ondo State politics tended towards the Muslim community, saying there is no fair representation of Muslims in politics since the return to civil rule.
The call was made in a statement signed by Amir Sirajudeen Abdulazeez Folayemi, Convener, Coalition for Good Governance on Saturday, 11th of July, 2020.
According to the statement, “Muslims have been marginalized politically since the creation of Ondo State. Muslims have never been opportune democratically to rule the state and under the present administration, all Principal Government officials are Christians. Even when minority groups are given oportunity to govern this state, Muslims are ostracised from the ruling class.
“We have never being nominated as an Ambassador or a Minister from the state. All the tertiary institutions in the state have never been managed by a Muslim. The state has never produced a Muslim Senator in the political history of the state. More than 99% of Federal Board and Parastatals members as well as chief executives are all people of other faith. Even in the administration of the Civil Service, Muslims are no where to be found. We can go on and on but to say the least, the situation of the Muslims in the state is politically precarious!
“We say, we are politically bereaved with the death of this Medical General, Wahab Adegbenro, who has paid the ultimate price by putting his life on the line to save the state from the revaging COVID-19!” it added.
The coalition called upon the incumbent governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu to ensure a balance in the makeup of his cabinet so that Muslims can be fairly represented, adding that he adopts a Muslim running mate in the forthcoming election.
“The Coalition is calling on Governor Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu SAN, to as a matter of urgency, balance this deficit on the side of the Muslims. He should come up with a deliberate policy aimed at empowering the Muslims politically! Akeredolu should increase the number of Muslims in his cabinet and put up measures to reflect the 40% Muslim indices in his appointment. As he warms up for his second term in office, the coalition is strongly advising him personally to choose a Muslim as his Running Mate.
The Coalition also extended this plea to other contenders in the race, while calling on parties to also look into the issue. It noted that Muslim/Christian tickets have been embraced in other states in the South West and Ondo should not be an exception.
“In the same vein, the Coalition is also calling on the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and other major political parties contesting for the governorship seat in the state, to as a matter of fairness and justice, consider a competent Muslim as their Deputy Governorship Candidate ahead of the October 10, 2020 election in Ondo State.
“If Christian/Muslim or Muslim/Christian ticket has been entrenched in Nigeria’s polity, especially in most states of the southwest i.e Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun and including states like Kogi and Edo states to mention but few, the Coalition wonders why Muslims in Ondo state are still being unjustly and unfairly treated every four years of election.
“We thought Dr Olusegun Mimiko’s administration had corrected this anomaly during his eight years in office, unfortunately, it is yet to be accepted as a culture of our political engagement and participation.
“We therefore strongly call on Governor Akeredolu as well as the National Leadership of the APC and the PDP to note this unfortunate marginalization and correct it for a continuous peaceful coexistence and religious harmony in the Sunshine State.”