Muslims in Lagos State have resolved that they would not vote any governorship candidate who would not integrate Islamic values; norms and culture into his or her vision and administration in the 2015 election in the state.
Speaking at a press conference held at the headquarters of the Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC on Wednesday, Ishaq Akintola, MURIC director said Muslims in the state have had series of unfulfilled promises and so would not be deceived by any politician aiming to trick them into submitting their political powers for his personal gains.
Akintola also made reference to the demand for a Christian governor made by Lagos Christians describing the development as a myopic and archaic one that could lead to conflicting demands from different religious groups in future elections.
“All Lagos needs is someone who would treat and respect every person equally without regards for religion or other forms of prejudice; someone who would not owe allegiance to any religious group,” Akintola said, adding that Muslims in the state are ready to support any candidate as far as such candidate exhibits patriotism.
The Muslims maintained that the choice of a candidate should be based on candidate’s profile of integrity, hard work and transparency amongst other virtues rather than on religious sentiments.
In a statement signed by Murtala Balogun, an official of the Lagos State chapter of the National Council of Muslim Youths Organizations of Nigeria, NACOMYO; Musoddiq Sanni, chairman of the Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria, MULAN, and Ishaq Adeshina, Chairman, Supreme Council for Shariah in Nigeria; the groups recalled former Lagos State governors who served satisfactorily, even though they were elected on merit.
At the gathering, the Muslims also unanimously agreed that they would only support a governorship candidate provided he or she is ready to approve the use of hijab for primary and secondary school students in the state. Explaining the rationale behind this decision, Akintola said, “Hijab is a symbol of respect for the way of life of Muslims and a commitment by politicians to accept the legitimate demands of Muslims.”
The groups disassociated itself from a former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly who allegedly parades himself as the mouthpiece of Muslims in the state saying they have not endorsed anyone for the forthcoming governorship election in the state. While promising to continue to live peacefully with their Christian counterparts, the Muslims urged Islamic leaders not to negotiate with any politician on behalf of Lagos Muslims, as they would have no hidden dealings with any politician.