The All Progressives Congress, APC, Lagos State Governorship candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has assured leaders of various Islamic organisations that his administration would be fair to them in policy formulations if elected.
Sanwo-Olu and his running mate, Obafemi Hamzat, had an interactive session with the Muslim Community of Lagos State, MCLS, at the Lagos Central Mosque, Idumota, recently.
According to the APC flagbearer, his administration will make regular consultations with the religious bodies and other stakeholders in the state before taking decision on issues affecting the state.
Earlier, MCLS President, Prof. Tajudeen Gbadamosi spoke on areas where the Muslim community felt slighted with the present administration.
Among them is the appointment of Tutors-General in education districts.
The government, Prof. Gbadamosi said, should be fair in its appointment of Tutors-General for the state.
“As it stands, there is no Muslim among the six Tutors-General in the state. The current situation is skewed to Muslim disadvantage and we hope the incoming administration would correct the imbalance,” he said.
On freedom of religion and worship, the Muslim leader sought for a clear policy and enforcement of freedom of religion and worship.
He said: “There should be no religious discrimination or harassment in our public schools. Religious devotions should respect all, and must be encouraged on school’s morning assembly. Morning assembly should be made equal days for Muslims and Christians. Officially, all schools must close at 12 noon on Friday to enable Muslim pupils and teachers attend Jumat service as this will help in religious moral building of the society.
“Hijab must be allowed for willing Muslim students and pupils. However, this must conform to the school standard and adopted school uniform. More importantly, as we are still waiting for the Supreme Court judgment, we appreciate the State Government’s decision to uphold the Appeal Court ruling on Hijab, but not yet implemented in schools as the Tutors-General refused to pass on the circular containing the implementation. The Hijab issue might be major criteria among others for supporting any political party seeking the Muslims’ votes.”
Prof. Gbadamosi also requested for the implementation of the bill passed by the 7th Lagos State House of Assembly on establishment of Islamic Court of Law.
“We want a window for Islamic conduct of marriages, divorce and inheritance cases in courts. Marriages conducted by Islamic Centre and Muslim organisations be recognised and the creation of a registry to handle and register marriages conducted under Islamic law,” he said.
He lamented the lop-sidedness of the recently held Code Lagos.
He said: “During the last Code Lagos training, we noticed that Lagos State Government approved 32 churches and only two Mosques as CodelagosOut-of-School in Lagos. The information on the application to register and approve training centres was only made to the general public after the government had approved the church centres. Since this is a capacity development programme, any government coming in must create adequate opportunity to deliver the capacity of Muslim youths in Lagos.”
Sanwo-Olu thanked the Muslim community for thoughtful ideals in moving the state forward.
According to him, some of the things said are part of what “we are expecting from the people. You have done the right thing by presenting those issues to us. There is nothing like governance without the people. We will look into all issues raised and address them.
“We’ll be fair and transparent to Lagosians. You are an important stakeholder. We’ll not take you for granted,” he said.