Sanwo-Olu slammed for picking 8 Muslims out of 39 commissioner nominees

An Islamic human rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has condemned the inclusion of only eight Muslims in the commissioner nominees’ list sent to the Lagos State House Assembly by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

On Friday, July 28, 2023 Sanwo-Olu forwarded 39 names to the state assembly for screening and confirmation as commissioners. He noted that 30 percent of the cabinet designates was in favour of women to ensure gender inclusion.

But, in a statement on Saturday, July 29, 2023, the Executive Director, MURIC, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, accused Sanwo-Olu of “unjustifiably denigrating Muslims” by his selection.

Akintola also added that the governor has failed integrity and inclusivity tests by selecting only eight Muslims to work in his cabinet.

“The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday unveiled the list of commissioners for the state. The list contained 39 names. But to our surprise, only 8 of the nominees are verifiable Muslims

We find it difficult to understand why cabinet composition should be weaponised by the Lagos State Government (LASG) against Muslims. Ratio 31:8 fails inclusivity test. It also fails integrity test. What percentage is 8 out of 39? What is the rationale for coming out with this atrocious ratio?”

“This is exactly what we have been saying about the political marginalisation of Muslims in the South West. It is a disease of the eyes, not of the nose. It needs no smelling. We can all see and read the list. It is all over the internet. Muslims groups all over the South West are expressing dissatisfaction with the development.

“We strongly denounce this deliberate and illegal attempt to deprive Muslims of opportunities to partake in the governance of their environment,” Akintola said.

He noted further that Section 14(4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria stipulates that “The composition of the Government of the Federation, a State, a local government council, or any of the agencies of such Government or council, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognise the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the Federation.”

Akintola concluded that “Sanwo-Olu’s proposed cabinet is therefore illegal, illegitimate, unlawful and unconstitutional to the extent that it failed to be fair to the teeming Muslim population in the state. It will remain so until he reviews it and makes the list inclusive. Lagos Muslims have been rubbished by this list. It is a dirty slap in the face. This list is disgusting, repulsive and therefore unacceptable.

“It is a betrayal of trust because Lagos Muslims voted en masse for Sanwo-Olu. MURIC in particular came out openly to support his second term and we persuaded fellow Muslims to drop their opposition to the governor.”