Eid-el-fitri: Stop Marginalizing Ondo Muslims, Islamic Cleric Warns Govt

By Dupson Collins, 10th April, 2024

An outspoken Islamic Cleric, Imam Abdul Nafiu Ododoloto has accused Ondo State Government both past and present of marginalising Muslims in the state’s political appointments and denying them sizeable employment slots when compare to their Christian counterpart in the state, saying such act must come to an end.

The Chief Imam of the Ehin Apata Community in Akure in his sermon at the Eid Ground said the manner the Muslim community has been relegated to the background in Ondo State if not addressed is dangerous to the peaceful coexistence of the people.

He said since the state was created in 1976, no Muslim has been elected governor saying the era of picking Muslim as deputy governor has gone asking Muslims faithful in the state to take their destiny in their hands in the forthcoming governorship election.

The Cleric noted that he is not pointing accusing finger to the present government alone but past administrations in the state have christianised education, employment and political appointments and Muslims are relegated.

“Ondo Muslims face discrimination when seeking employment and political appointment. How many Muslims are consider for employment where compare to number of Christians? Nigerian Muslims want to know why ninety percent out of the eighteen commissioners in the state are Christians? Are they saying, we don’t have competent Muslims to occupy sensitive positions of government?”

He condemned the lopsided political appointment by both past and present governments, poor patronage of Muslims in recruitment process and empowerment, noting that Muslims are not second hand citizens in Ondo State and their right must be given to them without sentiment.

His words: ” How many schools in the state that can boast of having IRK teachers? I don’t think we have more than ten when compare to our sister faith where virtually all schools are offering CRK. They keep on telling us Muslims have the highest drop out, forgetting that most of the government educational policies are anti Muslims? What is stopping government for approving Hijab for female Muslim pupils and students in our schools?”

He charged Governor Aiyedatiwa to right the wrong of the past governors of the state who have not be fair to the Muslim faithfuls.

While urging all Muslims in the state to be united and speak with one voice ahead of the November 16 Governorship Election, Imam Ododoloto charged them to vote for candidate and party that will prioritize the interest of the Muslims.

“We must make sure that we are united in our decisions in the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State. It is high time we unite our thought together and let’s all say no to bad governance, no to corruption in Ondo Politics, no to non-usage of Hijab, no to non-involvement of good Muslims in leadership of Ondo State, no to non-recognition of Islamic Leaders and Scholarships”.

He added that Muslims Ummah can bring about positive change to Ondo State and Nigeria if they allow unity to prevail among them.

Meanwhile, the Chief Imam while speaking on the lessons of Ramadan urged Muslims to be good to one another, saying Ramadan has thought the rich to be a selfless givers having experienced what hunger is all about during the fasting.

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