Late in November, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state has promised to provide 10,000 indigent children in the state with clothes for the forthcoming Christmas celebration but then, the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations (NACOMYO) has described the governor’s gesture as an attempt to elevate one religion over another.
NACOMYO explained the gesture to be “unacceptable and a breach of Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended)”, explaining that the section has provided that;
“The Government of the Federation or of a state shall not adopt any religion as state religion.”
Reacting to the issue, the state coordinator of the organization, Alhaji Tajudeen Olutope Ahmed, said in as much as the group was not aversed to any form of child welfare or development, it was worried that “our commonwealth as a state is being used to promote a particular religion and to placate the subscribers of the religion.”
The statement reads in part: “It is on the basis of the above that we hereby call on Governor Fayose to suspend his planned celebration of Christians and Christianity during the forthcoming Yuletide period.
“In the alternative, if the governor is determined to go ahead with his planned provision of Christmas dresses, he should disclose the budget for the dresses to the public and be ready to expend the same amount during the forthcoming Muslim festival. This is the justice of the matter.”
However, Governor Fayose’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, in a reaction to the development noted that the governor has been as fair as possible to all religion in the state.
He said: “the governor has been fair to all religions in the state; he has never for once discriminated against any religion.”
“During Muslim festivals, the governor distributes ram and even goes to the mosque to felicitate with them. Have you heard the Christians complained about it once? I don’t see why the Muslims should complain and in any case, if there should be a screening of the children given clothes, not all of them will be Christians. Some of them will be Muslims, while some will be Christians because it is free. So, those raising dust over this gesture have no point at all”, he said.