The highest decision-making body in Islam in Nigeria, the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (SCIA) has thrown its weight behind the re-election of the State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, describing him as God-sent to the Muslim community in Ekiti State.
The body disclosed this on Sunday, 15th June, 2014, during a visit to introduce its new executive members to the Governor.
The newly elected President of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in the state, Alhaji Yakubu Sanni, said the council was happy to identify with the governor because of his purposeful leadership and sense of focus, saying this was why the governor was able to deliver on his 8-point agenda.
Alhaji Sanni added that the SCIA was particularly impressed with the precision with which Dr. Fayemi had religiously executed his projects, especially the social security scheme which has become a trail-blazer in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa.
“In spite of the lean resources of our state, your government has tarred roads in all the nooks and crannies of Ekiti State, making this state one of the states with the best road networks in the country. Our schools which had not been touched for long by previous administrations have been renovated despite the lean resources of the state. Salaries were increased, besides other perks. Civil servants are being promoted without bias,” Sanni said.
Sanni added that no administration in Ekiti State has promoted Islam like the Fayemi government. He listed some of the benefits the Muslim community had enjoyed from the Fayemi administration, adding that there are well over 80 Muslim political appointees in the government.
“Some are saying this government has not done anything for Muslims. I think anyone campaigning must do so with facts and the fear of Allah. Our people who are in this government are over 80 and these are choice positions like the Secretary to the State Government, chairmen of boards and agencies, Special Advisers,
Commissioners, SSAs, SAs, and many more. Muslim leaders were sponsored to Umrah (lesser Hajj) to pray for the state. This was the first of its kind and it has since been institutionalized.
“Your Excellency also approved the use of hijab in our schools. This was unbelievable because in some states where we have Muslim governors, they have not been able to do this. The Chief Imam was given a Jeep, NACOMYO was given a bus and our Missioner a brand new car by this government. Your Excellency, you have made Muslims happy; God will make you happy. We shall be grateful for more appointments during your second term,” the Islamic cleric said.
Sanni admonished politicians to stop politicising religious issues, adding that they should desist from campaigning with lies, but rather with their programmes for the people they seek to govern.
“This government has satisfied Islam. Politicians should not use Islam to play dirty and unscrupulous politics. We as Muslims are satisfied with what this government has done for us, even more than Muslim governors in some states,” he said.
Responding, Governor Fayemi said he was happy to see the Muslim clerics and thanked the Amirah of FOMWAN for the wonderful reception accorded the First Lady earlier in the day.
He praised the former president of SCIA, Alhaji Ogunlayi, for his sterling leadership qualities, while welcoming the new president, Alhaji Sanni, pledging that his government would continue to build on its harmonious relationship with muslims in the state whom he described as a strong pillar of support for his administration.
Fayemi, who described himself as a man of faith, said there should be no division on the grounds of religion in the state. Fayemi said: “This is why we should not allow anything that might trigger religious conflagration.” He thanked the Muslim brothers and sisters for promoting religious tolerance, applauding the efforts of the National Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) under Alara of Aramoko.
The governor urged the clerics to continue to pray for Ekiti, especially for a free, fair and peaceful election on Saturday so that the Ekiti election will be a model for other elections in the country. While congratulating Alhaji Sanni on his new assignment as President of SCIA, he prayed that God will not allow anything that will cause religious problem in the state.
The senators representing Ekiti Central and Ekiti North Senatorial Districts in the Senate, Senators Babafemi Ojudu and Olu Adetunmbi respectively; and the Director-General of the Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation, Hon. Bimbo Daramola, were also present at the occasion.
While introducing members of the new executive, the former President of SCIA, Alhaji Afolabi Ogunlayi, thanked the governor for his efforts towards the promotion of Islam and fostering of inter-religious harmony in Ekiti State.
Members of the new executive are: Alhaji Yakubu Sanni, President; Alhaji Hammed Bakri, Vice President; Alhaji Taju Adejumo, Secretary; and Alhaja Fausat Ahmed Yusuf, Amirah FOMWAN.
Muslim societies such as Nawarudeen Society, National Conference of Muslim Youths (NACOMYO), Ansar-u-deen Society, Ahmaddiya Mission, Anwar-Islam, Forum of Muslim Women Organisation of Nigeria (FOMWAN) and Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) were also represented at the meeting.