Muslims in Ekiti State have asked Governor Ayodele Fayose to consider fielding a Muslim governorship candidate for next year’s governorship election in the state on the platform of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
They made the demand when Fayose stormed the Muslims’ prayer ground along Poly Road in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, in full Muslim regalia, with a fitting Turban on his head, and prayed with a huge crowd of faithful.
Addressing the governor at the ground, the Chief Imam, Alhaji Jamiu Kewulere Bello, applauded him for dressing as a Muslim, saying it is in obedience to Allah’s instructions.
“This dressing shows that the governor is not discriminating against any religion. Your Excellency, your dressing is even in line with Biblical injunctions. If you check the book of Zacharias 3:3, the Bible says: “We removed unclean clothes from Joshua, we washed him clean and he was dressed with a clean Turban on his head and God’s angel stood by him.
“Our governor, as you wore the Turban on your head, the angel of God is already with you and that is why you are succeeding in all that you do, against all odds.”
While urging the governor to consider producing a Muslim governor from his party, the Chief Imam, who said Fayose is known for fulfilling his promises and for great performance, added: “Ekiti is 20 years now and since this its creation, we don’t have a Muslim governor yet.
“We urge you sir, if any Muslim is interested in the governorship from your party, kindly support him to fulfill his ambition.
“We also need your support for a transformer in this area, Odo-Ado, so we can have adequate supply of electricity. We know once you make a promise, you will fulfill it.”
In his response, Fayose promised to fulfill the desires of the Muslims in his best possible way and urged the Islamic clerics to always tell the leaders the truth and preach the values of justice and equity.
Fayose, who said religious clerics wield more influence on the people than government officials or political leaders, urged them to use such influence to re-orientate the people towards maintaining love, peace, justice and equity for all.
He said: “Muslims are very peculiar people and Islam is not known for violence. I, therefore, urge all Muslims to abide by the doctrine of the religion and ensure that they live in harmony with everybody.
“We have same blood flowing in our veins and are first all human beings before we chose our religion.
“So, God in us is more important than the religion. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. I, therefore, enjoin you to continue to live in peace for the collective growth of our land, our nation.
“We will continue to work together, so that this country remains one, indivisible, but founded on justice and equity.”
The governor called on the Federal Government not to hide under the fight against hate speech to oppress others or kill other religion, adding: “I also want to enjoin Muslims to shun bitterness towards others, shun hate speeches and love one another.
“But that doesn’t mean that we cannot criticise our leaders in areas they are wrong and we want them to be able to distinguish between corrections and hate speech and shun oppression in the guise of fighting hate speeches.
“We will continue to hold them accountable and this does not cannot hate speech. They should not kill other religions, oppress or suppress the adherents.”
Commenting on his Muslim dressing, Fayose said: “I represent everybody, irrespective of religious differences, as I got elected by everyone’s vote. Choice of religion is free. As a leader, appearing in a Muslim regalia with a Turban is to say that I must be part of everything the Muslims do and make then realise that we all one family.”