By KEMI KASUMU
An Islamic human rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has given the Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, notice to quit Government House by 2023.
The quit notice was handed over to the governor over his plan to return schools to missionaries, which was announced on Thursday, August 4, 2022.
This was contained in a press statement issued by the Director of MURIC, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, dated Friday, 5th August, 2022 and copy of which was sent to The DEFENDER.
The statement reads: “Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State yesterday announced his plan to return public schools to missionaries. We receive this announcement with a pinch of salt. It is a blow below the belt. It is arbitrary, a betrayal of trust and a most provocative move. Coming at a time Muslim liberation struggle is at its peak, the move is most unwise, audacious and insensitive. It had better not be. Makinde should perish the thought.
“The governor is acting the script written by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). It will fail. Those schools are our common patrimony. He cannot give them out just like that after government has spent billions of Oyo State tax payers’ money on adding more, renovating, purchasing equipment and maintaining the infrastructure, paying teachers’ salaries, etc for more than 50 years.
“The idea is to perpetuate the suppression of Muslim children in public schools by claiming that the schools belong to missionaries. These are neo-imperialists seeking all means to remain relevant, powerful and dominant.
“Yet the so-called missionary schools were built on land belonging to our Muslim forefathers who were deceived by the Christian colonialists into giving out the land ‘gratis’ in most cases. Apart from the land which was given free, our Muslim forefathers also paid tax into the coffers of the colonialists to build the schools.
“Nobody should try to pull the wool over our eyes. The difference between the colonial government and the missionaries is like six and half dozen. Peter was robbed to pay Paul. The colonialists collected our hard-earned money and gave the missionaries.
“It was the mother of all treacheries when the colonialists gave the schools missionary names after completing the buildings. Not only that, they turned round to bite the finger that fed them by rejecting Muslim children who refused to change their names to Christian nomenclatures.
“Majority of the Muslims had to succumb. Thus Abdul Rasheed became Richard, Yusuf became Joseph, Ishaq became Isaac and Maryam became Mary.
“Anybody who observes the trajectory of Makinde’s administration will know that he came with the sole agenda of subjugating Muslims in Oyo State to the whims and caprices of CAN. But the Muslims of Oyo State will resist this with every legitimate means at their disposal.
“There must be consequences for irresponsible and reckless leadership. There will be peaceful rallies and protests until Makinde rescinds his decision. The Muslim youths in the state have taken Makinde’s plan to return schools to missionaries as a confrontation.
*Already, the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) has fired the first salvo. Makinde has miscalculated. He assumes that his very few contract-seeking Muslim business partners control the Muslim community of Oyo State. He will soon know the truth.
“Makinde is in the habit of snatching from the Muslims what belongs to them. Yet he wants Muslims in the state to continue to cooperate with his administration. He lives in self-delusion with his divide et impera as he hoodwinks an infinitesimal minority of Muslim dealers and ignores the real Muslim leaders.
“With this ill-advised announcement, he has betrayed those few stomach-infrastructure Muslim dealers who always claimed they needed to be near the governor.
“Makinde will soon know his fate. Muslims will teach him an electoral lesson. We expect Oyo governors to take a cue from what happened to Bola Ige in 1983. Nobody plays with Muslim interest in Oyo State and gets away with it.
“Makinde started by toying with the Hijrah holiday which his Muslim predecessor (ex-governor Ajimobi) gave us. He also refused to issue any circular on hijab to date. He marooned his Muslim deputy governor for three good years until the latter was eventually impeached and replaced with a Muslim-by-name deputy.
“Seyi Makinde’s anti-Muslim agenda cannot stomach the idea of a genuine Muslim deputy governor.
“We hereby give the ‘Eleyi of Agodi’ notice to quit Agodi Government House come 29th May, 2023. The Muslim dealers masquerading as Muslim leaders and romancing with our traducers for contracts will not be able to save him.
“Makinde’s days in government house are numbered. He has murdered sleep. From this day to 29th May, 2023, Makinde shall sleep no more. We advise him to start loading his back-pack with his most essential commodities from today.
“MURIC calls on Muslims in Oyo State to possess their possession. We shall all face Allah Yawm al-Qiyamah to report what we did for Islam and the Muslims. How did we meet the Ummah of Muhammad (SAW) and how did we leave it? It is time for Oyo Muslims to decide whether they want freedom or slavery.
“Those who do not respect and preserve our spiritual heritage must not be allowed to rule us. Makinde must not be allowed to stay in Agodi Government House a day beyond 29th May, 2023.”