March 17, 2023

Next governor must prioritise unity among Lagosians — Muslim Cleric

By Ebunoluwa Sessou

National and Oversea Missioner of the Answer-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Sheikh Abdur Rahman Ahmad, says the first agenda of whoever wins Saturday’s governorship election in Lagos must be to re-unite the state which he described as sharply divided along ethnic and religious lines.

The Muslim Cleric who was speaking on Friday at a special prayer programme organised by the Lagos State House of Assembly Muslim Community towards the success of Saturday’s elections at the assembly Mosque said, for Lagos to move on at a fast pace, the governor must embrace all after the election.

Sheikh Ahmad urged everyone of voting age especially the Muslim community in Lagos turn out in large numbers for the Saturday gubernatorial and house of assembly elections.

“The first assignment for the next governor is to re-unit the entire Lagos, to close the gaps and address the challenges electioneering has thrown up, so that we can live as one community again.

“This is a priority because this election has tends to divide the state very sharply, along religious and ethnic lines. People have grudges, they have grievances, and the governor must address all of these to move on the state forward.

“The next governor must run an inclusive government. After the election, when everybody must have realised his mistakes, the government must embrace all”, he advised.

He also charged the incoming government to address the issue of illegal taxes being collected from the people by non- state actors.

“The government must address the issue of Agberos in Lagos, they are causing a lot of inconveniences. The government must review all their taxes and levies which are creating a lot of problems for the people in Lagos.

He also took a sweep on the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASMA), for their unprofessional conduct, advising them to be more professional in their duties.

“Whatever LASMA has done pre-election must not just be a show. It must be a commitment, a commitment to be civilised, a commitment to be fair, a commitment to be professional. They must desist from this habit of watching and waiting for people to break traffic rules so they can make arrest. Traffic management should not be a revenue-generating avenue for the government”, the cleric affirmed.

He added that even though Lagos is one of the leading states in Nigeria, nevertheless, much could still be done by the incoming government to increase the government’s revenue, but generating revenue must be done in a way that would not subject the people to extra hardship.

While admonishing the people to go out and vote tomorrow, the cleric said it is not just a civic duty, it is a religious responsibility for every Muslim to vote.

“In Islam, it is the equivalent of witnessing and Allah asks us to stand up and be staunch in witnessing for Allah. Whoever you vote you are witnessing for that person, and you are going to be accountable for that person on the last day.

“At this point in our nation, nobody must sit on the fence, everyone must stand up and be counted and be part of history. Every Muslim, male or female, as long as you are of voting age, you must go out tomorrow and cast their vote”, the Muslim cleric charged.

Also speaking at the special prayer programme, the Clerk of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Lekan Onafeko, said the essence of the event was to solidarize with the government and support the government spiritually ahead of Saturday elections.

The Clerk also advised the electorate to eschew violence so that the elections can be peaceful, “because, after the elections, there will still be Lagos and some of us don’t have any other place we can call home than this Lagos.

“Lagos State House of Assembly Muslim Community with over five thousand members have to come together to support and pray for the success of the incoming government”, he said.