• Condemns continued political exclusion, “Bourdillonisation’, ‘Redeemednization’ of government
• Says Muslims ‘voted for President, Christians reaping benefits’
Top Muslim scholar and Chairman, Oyo State Muslim Community, Alhaji Kunle Sanni, has described Yoruba Muslims as the endangered species in the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu led-administration
Alhaji Sanni made this statement in a 26-minute video clip obtained by Muslim News on Friday, where he berated the exclusion of Yoruba Muslims from critical political appointments despite their contributions to the electoral success of President Tinubu.
He said, ‘During the election, myself, the Supreme Council for Shari’ah, Izalah, Yoruba Muslim intellectuals, concerned Muslim organisations, among others, went out of our way to campaign for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This was because he was under serious attack from non-Muslims who believed that a Muslim-Muslim ticket would enslave the Christians in Nigeria and put them at the back of all the activities in the country, politically, administratively, financially and otherwise.
“People like us felt that the only reason Tinubu was under such barrage of attacks was because he carries the name Ahmed. He has never been known to be a Muslim activist or a bigot or a fundamentalist. We knew that his coming out with the Muslim-Muslim ticket was just a kind of political calculation being a true follower of Chief M.K.O Abiola who had attempted a similar arrangement considering what Nigeria is.”
President Tinubu came under serious attack of Christians, especially the Yoruba Christians, after he made his choice of running mate, Kashim Shettima — a Kanuri Muslim from Borno State — known in the run-up to the 2023 general elections.
Muslim News reports that apart from vilifying him, majority of Yoruba Christians also went ahead to vote against him during the election leading to his loss in traditional Yoruba states, including his stronghold Lagos State.
With the resilient support of Yoruba Muslims and their northern counterparts, Tinubu coasted to victory and was sworn in as the successor of former President Muhammadu Buhari despite the issues generated by the Muslim-Muslim ticket.
In his video, which was released on Friday at a time a delegation of Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN) visited President Tinubu in State House, Abuja, Alhaji Sanni said what the Muslim-Muslim ticket and its outcome indicated was that Muslims are in the overwhelming majority in Nigeria.
“Apart from the fact that Tinubu came out with a Muslim-Muslim ticket, we had some other prominent Muslims like Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso in the race. Even, Abdullateef Kola Abiola also contested.
In spite of having so many Muslims, with at least three leading candidates contesting against one Christian, Peter Obi, a Muslim still won the election. That has been resolved because it happened before in 1993 when Chief Abiola also dusted the election, having contested against Alhaji Tofa, another Muslim. He was still able to defeat the only Christian candidate at that time,” he said.
Alhaji Sanni further said that he had maintained reservation about President Tinubu’s first set of appointments because he felt that he was simply rewarding his boys who have been close to him for decades.
“When appointments were being made and complaints came from Yoruba Muslims because there were few Muslims and many Christians, we thought that what was being unveiled was the appointment of those that were very close to Asiwaju. So, we told our people that these are Bourdillon boys. And for Tinubu as we knew him, that was going to be irrespective of state, religion or tribe. They were just his boys and they should be allowed to be put in positions of authority. It has nothing to do with Yorubanisation. We say in unmistakable terms that it is Bourdillonisation. And we should allow them,” he said.
He, however, lamented the turn of events as the skewed appointments continued unabated, and tilted towards the Redeemed Church faction of Christians.
The Yoruba Muslim stakeholder said it was the antics of two cabals in the Tinubu administration who are card-carrying members of the Redeemed Church.
“But before we could say Jack Robinson, it turned into a deep mess when the appointees happen to be prominent Christians. They were not only prominent Christians, but also prominent members of the Redeemed Church and even pastors of the Redeemed Church.
These appointments point to the president’s wife and his son, Seyi Tinubu, who are loyal members of Redeemed Church.
The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is a member and pastor of the Redeemed Church. The Yoruba Muslims are becoming endangered species under the Muslim-Muslim ticket as it has metamorphosed to a Christian government.
“I need to mention some of them that give us concerns about the fate of Muslims in the south. The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Zaccheus Adedibu Adedeji; National Commissioner of the Nigeria Data Protection Commission Dr. Vincent Olatunji; Director General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Engr. Abisoye Odusote; Chairman Tax Reform Committee, Mr Taiwo Oyedele; Economic Adviser to the President, Mr Tope Fasua; Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Industry, Mr Olasupo Olusi; to mention but a few of the appointments that have been made with virtually all being Christians and majority of them members of the Redeemed Church.
It is more or less a Redeemed Church administration if we are to consider the appointees from Yorubaland. People now say it is probably better to expand the size of the church in Aso Rock and reduce the size of the mosque or even close it down entirely.
“Would it be a fallacy to say that Muslims are now endangered species in this administration?
“The President got Muslim-Muslim votes but he is running a Christian-Christian administration. It is enjoyment galore for Christians who now have the opportunity to fix their children in strategic MDAs of government.
“In the days of Buhari, the rumor mill had it that the cabals were many. But today, we now have a woman and a man as the cabal in this administration. The government of Buhari had a Pastor Yemi Osinbajo as vice president, so it was not strange that a lot of Redeemed Church members got appointment. But it was not as total as what we are having now in this administration.”
Alhaji Sanni said it would be wrong to keep quiet while accusing fingers are being pointed to him and his colleagues who tried as much as possible to support the Tinubu administration when it was in the incubator.
He also queried if Muslims in northern Nigeria are happy with the administration of President Tinubu, considering the trend of his appointments favouring Yoruba Christians mostly.
Alhaji Sanni noted that Muslims in the north hold the key to the electoral victory of Nigeria’s President whether it is liked or not.
He cited the ill-treatment meted out to former Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai, noting there are feelers that it was a strategy to clip his wings ahead of 2027.
“The former Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, one of the most brilliant and cerebral politicians of the northern stock, was thrown overboard for what people think is his profile getting richer. Right or wrong, this is the belief in the political circle. A 2027 strategy they say was to put people like El-Rufai aside because he was supposed to fix the power. But if he is becoming too powerful in power, it is better he is not allowed to restore the power, one of the greatest problems we have in this country.
“If El-Rufai played the most strategic role in bringing Asiwaju to power, should he be rewarded with being thrown overboard? Is that not an act of ingratitude? People in the north are crying Yorubanisation, but it is actually Christianisation. We knew that if the Christians were not satisfied, they would have cried to high heavens. But they have shown to be happy with the government.”
Alhaji Sanni appealed to the president to immediately correct his highly lopsided appointments, noting that any politician that ignores the Muslims does so at his own peril.
“Muslims are not asking that he should be unjust to non-Muslims. Muslims are at least 65 percent of the population of this country. But if we get 50 percent appointment, we are okay. We are never Oliver Twist. A politician ignores the Muslims at his own peril.”
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