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Lagos cabinet list: It’s callous insensitivity to diversity, equity, fairness — BAT Ambassadors

*Says: It's slap on the face of every Muslim *We're not disposable items to be used and discarded at will.





BAT Ambassadors for Nigeria’s Greatness has taken a swipe on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State over the list of prospective commissioners released recently, saying the list, if anything, exhibited callous insensitivity to diversity, equity and fairness.

In a statement jointly signed by the chairman, Board of Trustees, Y.K.O. Kareem and the Women Leader, Alhaja Aisha Hasheem said the government led by Sanwo-Olu has slipped into a deep-dye prejudice and discrimination against the Muslims in the state.

“THE list of prospective Commissioners released by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu last week has given another indication that the Lagos State Government has slipped into a deep-dye prejudice and discriminations against the Muslims in the State.

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“On Friday the 28th of July 2023, the Lagos State Government reeled out the list of prospective Commissioners of the State for the House of Assembly’s approval. The list, if anything, exhibited callous insensitivity to diversity, equity and fairness. Is the government saying there are no competent Muslims to fill these positions? This action leaves a sour taste in the mouth despite all the support given to the APC, the Muslims are HIGHLY disappointed.

“The list reeks of prejudice, bigotry and is a slap on the face of every Muslim in Lagos and Nigeria who supported the APC in the last elections. The sacred Mimbar was used every Friday to massively mobilize support for Governor Sanwo-Olu; a Christian and it was clear that his fellow Christian brethren had other candidates in mind whom they voted for; the Muslims massively delivered their votes for him.

“This is not about religion but about fairness and equity in a multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-ethnic, and extremely accommodating state. We also see this as a possible reprisal and an assuaging attempt towards the aggrieved minds on the Muslim-Muslim ticket disagreement at the national level. How Lagos state should now be a fodder is to us an ill-thought affront to the peaceful and accommodating Muslim community of Lagos.

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“Perhaps His Excellency, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu sees himself as the Governor of only Christians in Lagos, but governance should be about fairness and equity. Why must Muslims in Lagos State always beg and fight for their constitutional rights in the present dispensation? One of the reasons to distrust this administration of unfairness and religious imbalances in appointments happened in the last term of the government, when the six (6) Tutor-Generals appointed were all Christians, with instances where senior Muslim successors were overlooked for the nearest Christians.

“Prior to such incident, governments before that have always ensured a balance in such appointments as statutorily required. It took the intervention of the entire stakeholders for the Governor to reverse his position. We want to herein emphasize that Muslims of the state are not disposable items to be used and discarded at will. The time has come that we insist loud and clear that it cannot and will not be business as usual.

“A reversal and review of this list is not only imperative but critical in correcting this negative bias towards Muslims of Lagos. The constitution leaves no ambiguity on this issue:

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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.

“This has created a terrible setback in our journey towards good governance and must be reversed and corrected before it is too late. The year 2027 is near and we are watching,” the statement said.

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