Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
A group under the auspices of Integrity Leadership Organisation (ILO) has faulted the Director of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Prof Isaq Akintola, over ‘unwarranted’ criticism of the recent appointments made by the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
Prof Akintola had in a statement earlier in the week faulted the state government for appointing more Christians than Muslims in various positions in the government.
But the ILO in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Mr. Lekan Oyediran, and made available to journalists yesterday said Akinola’s criticism was misplaced, stressing that competence and involvement in politics and community development are of greater consideration in appointment than the issue of religion.
The group urged Akintola not to create religious crisis in the state through his ‘unguarded’ outbursts, adding that Ekiti people are not known to differentiate between religions as the adherents of all religions in the state see themselves as brothers. This, he said, had accounted for the religious harmony that the state enjoys.
The group said a man of Prof Akintola’s calibre ought to know that government appointments are not based on religion or ethnicity, but on the value that the appointee can add.
The group said: “It is disturbing to hear the MURIC leader make such careless statement, giving the impression that the Ekiti State governor deliberately side lined Muslims in the appointments made so far.
“This is quite misleading. The fact is that Fayemi administration had in the last four months appointed both Christians and Muslims into positions, including a former president of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs.
“We know and believe the the likes of Akinola should also know that appointments into offices are not based on religious affiliation but on competence and involvement in politics and community development.
“The Muslim population in Ekiti State is about five per cent and the present administration has been fair in its dealings with the Muslim community, especially in the area of appointment.
“There is no golden rule that says Muslims should occupy a particular position in government.
“Ekiti people live and work together in harmony, and it is unfortunate that the likes of Akintola, through their dubious agenda, are trying to create religious crisis by coming up with spurious allegation of marginalisation where it does not exist.
“We therefore urge Christians and Muslims in the state to shun any group or individual who are out to surreptitiously sow seed of discord.
“It is high time we continued to support an administration that has demonstrated clearly its commitment to the all-round development of the state and its citizens through the promotion of core values and purposeful leadership.”