Even though I had wished to avoid writing a lengthy article about the controversy surrounding the rebuilt Adogba mosque by my Governor, Oluwaseyi Makinde, I felt it was important to inform uninformed Oyo state residents who are so eager for continuity of Omituntun 2.0 before falling for the antics of opposition members who are planning to use every trick in the book to undermine the chances of the people’s Governor, including playing the cards of religion ahead of the March 18 2023 governorship election.
There is no gainsaying the fact that since the Adogba Central mosque was renovated in a contemporary style, the good idea has sparked a flurry of criticism from APC members and their supporters who are religious bigots. They have condemned the good idea in an effort to stir up the polity and win the upcoming election by stoking religious bias for their preferred candidate, Teslim Folarin, who is obviously rejected by the people of Oyo state.
Some of these emotions and sentiments being expressed are done by those who want to gain cheap access to power and other resources, disrupt society, and do other bad things. But, unknown to them that what we should be after is competency. Who can offer and give us the best? They are unaware of the truth that only the Almighty Allah has the capacity to grant power. Would Allah not also ensure that Governor Seyi Makinde gets re-elected, just as he made Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to win the presidential election despite widespread criticism and condemnation, opposition from the minority zone, and questions surrounding the Muslim-Muslim ticket?
There is no doubt regarding the performances of Makinde because he has proven his abilities over the past three and a half years and has been able to provide good governance to the point where he is loved by a sizable portion of Oyo residents, including pensioners, civil servants, students, and traders among others.
The Governor has virtually excelled in all sectors. He has given hope to the then living dead pensioners and returned back to classroom about sixty thousand students who were on street during the previous administration as well giving hope to LAUTECH students and staffers with his strong approach towards the ownership of the institution.
There is no segment of the society that you go to that you won’s hear about his good deeds and those he has helped or impacted even before becoming Oyo Governor, and his contributions towards Islamic affairs.
And I believed that he is the candidate to beat. I have not seen any candidate in any political party that has really done well like him. Unlike Teslim Folarin who was a senator for complete 12 years and even as a senate leader without any meaningful achievement. Oh, was he not the one that collected his transformer back from a community when he was not being elected? I shake my head!
No wonder in his desperate attempt to win the forthcoming election is stocking religious bias and reduced himself to uttering baseless lies, cheap blackmails, and becoming unhinged from the truth. So obsessed is he with his quest for office, Folarin is willing to render any form of untruth if he thinks it might gain him a single vote. He may want to be governor. However, all he has shown is that he is pathological. The one and only Mr Jagba, in real sense!
Folarin is impartial when it comes to intrigue, as we might say. He would make equal efforts to mislead and fool both Christians and Muslims. Similar to how he treated people like Baba Lagbeni and Alhaji Kunle Sanni, among others, who were unable to match themselves with Allah’s description of the reward for good deeds in the Quran. Instead, they choose to be confusedists, believing that they control Islam and could assure everyone of entering Jannah. They are unaware that there are numerous scholars of Islam with degrees in both Arabic and Islamic studies, like us.
Their perspectives are so limited and primitive that they cannot comprehend the fact that Nigeria belongs to everyone and is a nation where diverse tribes and religious groups have equal rights. And in order to go forward as a country toward development and prosperity, we must free ourselves from previous constraints. We must recalibrate our political calculations to where competence and fairness matter, more than playing religious cards.
The worst wrongdoing committed by the so-called men of God or Islamic clerics is their ignorance of the fact that Governor Seyi Makinde has built numerous mosques, including the renovation of the Ibadan Central Mosque at Oja’ba, and has sponsored hundreds of our Muslim brothers on Hajj. These couldn’t be accomplished by our own so-called Muslim brothers, particularly Teslim Folarin, their own governorship candidate and nominal Muslim, who hasn’t had even one mosque built in his name.
Is it not this same Seyi Makinde that appointed many of our Muslim brothers into very sensitive government positions ( Education, HoS, Civil service commission, OYSIEC among others, as well as approving my own appointment too, as Senior Special Assistant to Oyo Deputy Governor on Public Affairs? Or would they say that I am not also a Muslim, so that I can present my certificate in both Arabic and Islamic studies?
I have once observed Salat at the demolished Mosque and I have gone to access the quality of the newly built and I can only appreciate the Governor over and over again. The Adogba shopping complex as massive as it was, was also demolished along with churches and very many structures to pave way for development, but these people are making it look like it was only Mosque that was demolished. Truth be told, these Alfas doesn’t deserve to be living among human beings because they are nothing but what Al-Quran has described as “Al-Munafiqun”.
Off course, when Governor Seyi Makinde assumed office, part of his plans was to build some bus terminals in Ibadan including Iwo Road which was marked as one of the locations of the terminals due to it strategic location. However, in the cause of mapping out strategies to implement this programme, it was discovered that Adogba Central Mosque would be demolished, in order to give a space for the construction of the new bus terminal.
But the governor ultimately built the replacement mosque with even more amenities, and the building was a replica of a well-known structure in Turkey.
A large number of Muslims could not hide their feelings as they were joyful and prayed for the governor. But to my chagrin, Alhaji Kunle Sanni and Baba Lagbeni, two frequent critics of Governor Seyi Makinde, were however enraged by the nice act that won Governor Seyi Makinde great praise from the whole Muslim Ummah of Oyo.
Baba Lagbeni who had earlier criticized the religion of Barrister Bayo Lawal upon his appointment as Deputy Governor of Oyo state until he apologized for his erroneous statement was, however, seen in a video on Facebook frontally criticizing the kind gesture of Governor Makinde in rebuilding Adogba mosque.
I heard him so loudly in the video saying that the Governor demolished Adogba mosque where people are praying but failed to acknowledge the kind gesture of the governor in rebuilding the mosque into modern taste.
He was unaware that not a single mosque or church was rebuilt when Raji Fashola, the governor of Lagos, demolished some houses in Ayobo area and other places for road construction and other developmental efforts. What about El-rufai while he was FCT minister?
To my utmost dismay, Alhaji Kunle Sanni, whom some of us hold in high esteem for his efforts to advance islamic matters, could also sink so low as to run a religiously motivated campaign against the governor of the people when it is clear that he has made enormous and unparalleled contributions to Islamic affairs in the state, as well as provided excellent governance that is highly valued by the entire population of Oyo state.
For God’s sake, what is my Governor’s offense? Has he offended you by his renovation of Ibadan central mosque that has been dilapidated for almost 10 years, or is it the donation of buses to different Muslim groups and scholars in Ibadan including the Ibadan central mosque and many others that has made him to be frontally criticized?
It is an open truth that Seyi Makinde’s love, passion and care for Muslim community in the state did not start when he became Governor as he has consistently support the course of Islam for over 10 years when he started Ramadan lectures, sponsoring Muslim to Hajj and donation of brand new vehicles to aide the propagation of Islam.
And in fact, just of recent when the spiritual head of Tijaniya movement worldwide and the Khalifa of Maolana Sheik Ibrahim Niyas visited Oyo state, Governor Seyi Makinde provided logistics like vehicles and police and also made cash donations to support the propagation of Islam.
Today, all Governor Makinde’s close allies and associates are Muslims, including his first personal assistant, Alhaji Akeem Azeez. Even with his cabinet, the governor has been incredibly kind and fair to Muslims.
Before he was elected as governor, he spent a considerable amount of time building the Omituntun mosque out of his love for Islam. In addition, he is well known for his charitable deeds and has been helping people since 2007, including those making the Hajj pilgrimage.
The most criticism is leveled at him simply for his good governance and good deeds. He is actually receiving the same criticism as Tinubu, who just won the presidential election with a wide margin.
Therefore, I’m advising my governor to get to work on his acceptance speech for re-election because his victory is already ordained by Allah.
SSA Public Affairs to Oyo Deputy Governor
12th March, 2023.