(Bamigbola Gbolagunte, AKURE)
A group of Muslims in Ondo State are raising concerns over what they allege to be their marginalization from political appointments in the southwest state.
Under the aegis of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), they are decrying what they claim is exclusion from many of the boards and agencies in the state.
“Any political party that fails to present Muslim as either a Governorship candidate or as running mate will not be supported by Muslims in the state,” the advocacy group said.
State Chairman of the Council Alhaji Habibullah Akinpelumi, who addressed a Press Conference in Akure, said more than 1.5 million Muslims with over 500, 000 eligible voters are victims of political marginalization in the state.
He said, “today, the Muslim community can only account for less than two percent of the engine room that drives the project called Ondo State. Muslims have been politically eliminated from the driving force of the state.”
The Islamic cleric stated that no Muslim has ever been appointed as Chief Judge, Head of Service, chairman of relevant parastatals or the Governor of the state, despite their qualifications.
“Is it due to the paucity of competent Muslims… why is it that Muslims are not given good appointments in Ondo State?” he queried.
According to him “the political gladiators in the state have made it impossible for a Muslim to emerge as candidate, not to talk of
contesting for governorship position.
“They have always denied Muslims juicy political posts not for want of competence, but because of their religious inclination. They
have made it a law that a Muslim cannot rule this state that we all claim to own together,” he added.
Akinpelumi stressed that any political arrangement short of a balanced ticket would be rejected by Muslims, emphasizing that they would ensure that a party that fails to present a Christian/Muslim ticket will loose governorship elections.