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MURIC opposes Sanwo-Olu’s endorsement for second term

By Waliat Musa
26 April 2022   |   3:29 am
A Muslim rights advocacy group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has opposed the endorsement of Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to seek re-election for a second term of four years in 2023.

A Muslim rights advocacy group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has opposed the endorsement of Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to seek re-election for a second term of four years in 2023. It maintained that the governor’s endorsement by All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership in the state was against principle of rotational governance.

This was contained in a statement yesterday signed by MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, and titled, “Lagos 2023: Don’t rob Peter to pay Paul – MURIC’.

According to Akintola, Christians have had their two terms and it is the turn of Muslims to produce a governor by 2023.

The statement reads in part: “Leaders of the ruling party in Lagos, the All Progressives Congress (APC), last week endorsed the incumbent governor of the state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for a second term in office for the 2023 gubernatorial election. Unfortunately, this endorsement violates a long-standing albeit unwritten rule on rotational governance between Christians and Muslims in Lagos State.

“It is on record that former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, a Christian, spent four years in office and another Christian, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was brought in ostensibly to complete the Christians’ two terms.”

Which expires by May 2023 when a Muslim, ceteris paribus, is expected to take over the reins of office.

“That is why Muslims in Lagos State regard the recent endorsement given to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to run for the Christians’ third term as unfair, unjust and provocative. It may not be known in official circles but Lagos Muslims are grumbling and we have been under pressure for some time now to speak up. It is a dangerous dimension capable of eliciting protest bulk vote against the ruling party unless the issue is ironed out at a roundtable between leaders of the party, the Lagos State Government and Muslims in the state.

“For the avoidance of doubts, MURIC has no intention of hijacking control of the Muslim community in the state. We always recognise established leadership structures wherever they exist and Lagos Muslims have that structure.

“The Muslim community of Lagos State, which is under the able leadership of Prof. Tajudeen Gbadamosi, is the appropriate body to meet for the purpose of negotiating with Lagos Muslims. All Islamic organisations in Lagos State are under this body. The onus is, therefore, on Lagos State government and leaders of the ruling party to reach out to the Muslim community of Lagos State.

“If the Christians are going to enjoy the luxury of a third term by giving Sanwo-Olu the mandate to run for a second term, an agreement must be reached with Lagos Muslims guaranteeing 12 years of Muslim rule after Sanwo-Olu. Anything short of this is tantamount to an attempt to shortchange Muslims in the state.”