The Lagos State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Babajide Sanwo-Olu has assured leaders of various Islamic organisations that his administration will be fair to them in policy formulations, if elected.
Sanwo-Olu, and his running mate, Obafemi Hamzat, made the pledge during an interactive session with the Muslim Community of Lagos State (MCLS) at the Lagos Central Mosque, Idumota.
According to the APC flagbearer, his administration will make regular consultations with the religious bodies and other stakeholders before taking a decision on issues affecting the state.
Earlier, MCLS President, Prof Tajudeen Gbadamosi, spoke on areas where the Muslim Community felt slighted with the present administration.
Among them is the appointment of Tutor-Generals in education districts.
The government, Gbadamosi said, should be fair in its appointment of Tutor-Generals for the state.
“As it stands, there is no Muslim among the six Tutor-Generals in the state.
“The current situation is skewed against the Muslims and we hope the incoming administration will correct the imbalance,” he said.
On freedom of religion and worship, the Muslims leader asked for a clear policy and enforcement of freedom of religion and worship.
He said: “There should be no religious discrimination or harassment in our public schools.
“Religious devotions should respect all, and must be encourage on school’s morning assembly.
“Morning assembly should be made equal days for Muslims and Christians.
“Officially, all schools must close at 12 noon on Friday to enable Muslim pupils and teachers attend Jumat service as this will help in the religious moral building of the societies.
“Hijab must be allowed for willing Muslims students and pupils.
“However, this must conform to the school standard and adopted school uniform.
“As we are still waiting for the Supreme Court judgment, we appreciate the State Government decision to uphold the Appeal Court ruling on Hijab, but not yet implemented in schools as the Tutor-Generals refused to pass on the circular containing the implementation.
“The Hijab issue might be the major criteria among others that Muslims will consider in supporting any political party”.
The Muslim, Gbadamosi said, also requests for the implementation of a bill passed by the seventh Lagos State House of Assembly on the establishment of Islamic Court of Law.
“We want a window for Islamic conduct of marriages, divorce and inheritance cases in courts.
“Marriages conducted by Islamic centre and Muslim organisations should be recognised and a registry should be created to handle and register marriage conducted under Islamic Law,” he said.
MCLS President lamented that lop-sidedness of the recently held Code Lagos.
“During the last Code Lagos training, we noticed that Lagos State government approved 32 churches and only two Mosques as Codelagos Out-of-School in Lagos.
“The information on the application to register and approve training centres was only made to the general public after the government had approved the church centres.
“Since this is a capacity development programme, any government coming in must create an adequate opportunity for the capacity building of Muslim youths in Lagos.”
Gbadamosi also lamented the high rate of moral decadence and juvenile delinquency in the state, which he attributed to government’s insincerity and neglect in the area of support for an ideal way of life.
“The government should ensure that skill acquisition for women and youth is of great concern to discourage immoralities and laziness when they have nothing doing,” he said.
He also requested for the reintroduction of literary debating society into public schools, not only in English Language but in other languages like Arabic, French and local languages.
Sanwo-Olu thanked the Muslim Community for thoughtful ideals towards moving the state forward.
“Some of the things you said are part of what we are expecting from the people.
“You have done the right thing by presenting those issues to us.
“There is nothing like governance without the people; we will look into all issues raised and addressed them.
“We’ll be fair and transparent to Lagosians. You are an important stakeholder. We’ll not take you for granted,” the governorship candidate said.
By our correspondent