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CAN tackles Muslim groups over Sanwo-Olu’s commissioners-nominee list



The Lagos State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has taken on the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), and other Muslim bodies for criticising the list of commissioners nominated by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The Islamic organisations had, last week, slammed the governor over the list, claiming they had been marginalised after fighting to return the governor to office in the 2023 gubernatorial election.

The over 30 Muslim groups under the aegis of the Joint Muslims Forum (JMF), had expressed dissatisfaction after Sanwo-Olu sent the list to the House of Assembly for confirmation, calling on the House to disregard the list which they said did not have a balance as it favoured the Christian community with just eight Muslims on the list of the 39-man list.

But at a press conference held on Monday, the chairman of the state CAN, Rev. Stephen Adegbite lampooned the Muslim rights advocacy group and other bodies for criticising the list.

Adegbite said the criticism was not only distasteful but also condescending, insisting that the Christian body will not accept any religious bullying.

Read also: Abayomi, Omotoso in as Sanwo-Olu nominates 39 for cabinet

“We would like to make abundantly clear, that these remarks and actions are not only distasteful and way out of line,” he said.

“They are deeply condescending and we refuse to accept any form of faith and religious-based bullying behaviour neither would any semblance of such under whatever guise be tolerated.

“It would not be an exaggeration to say Lagos has enjoyed immense peace and prosperity over these years because the managers of its affairs amongst many other key elements have worked tirelessly to insulate the state from any form of religious intolerance or anything close to it.”

The CAN Chairman accused MURIC and the Muslim groups of “playing toxic and divisive politics”, pointing out that many Christians worked for the much-cricitised Muslim-Muslim ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) based on competence and not religious considerations.

“The Lagos Christian community didn’t demand religious consideration in the election of Lagos Speaker despite the fact that over 60 per cent of the 40-member Assembly is Muslim. The three elected Lagos Senators are Muslims yet many Christians voted for them without minding their religious beliefs.

“We hereby urge the Lagos State House of Assembly to peacefully continue the constitutional process of screening and confirmation of the nominees which they started on Sunday 13th August 2023 and not give ears to or be swayed in any way by the incongruous and unsavoury demands by these group of persons.

”We also plead with well-meaning citizens of the state to kindly disregard any call that is capable of igniting religious emotions and sentiments.

“We promise to continue to pray and support our governments at all levels including our state for them to meet the yearnings and expectations of the citizenry that voted them into power without any religious bias but that believe and trust that they can deliver,” CAN added.

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