By Oluwakemi Ishola
Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has felicitated Muslim faithful in the state on account of the New Year Hijrah 1442 AH, which begins today. However, the National Council of Muslim Youths Organisation (NACOMYO) has vowed to mobilize against the re-election of the governor for refusing to declare a public holiday to commemorate the Islamic New year.
Governor Makinde, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, congratulated the Muslim Ummah in the state on the opportunity to witness a new Islamic year, urging them not to relent in praying for the state and the country.
The governor, who stated that Hijrah began when the Holy Prophet Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Madinah, enjoined Muslims to continue to demonstrate good neighbourliness, love and dedication to the state. He urged them to work deliberately to ensure peaceful coexistence at all times.
According to him, the essence of Hijrah is that it is a process of transfer to a better situation, a search for an environment more favorable to continuous and constructive effort. He noted that Muslims in the state should follow lessons taught by Prophet Muhammad following his immigration to Madinah.
“The Holy Prophet, following his immigration to Madinah, taught a lot of lessons including worship to God, brotherhood, good neighbourliness and good welfare for the people, among others. In short, the Hijrah teaches that wherever Muslims go, they should bring goodness to that land. Muslims should work for both moral and material goodness of the society.
“Therefore, I urge the Muslim Ummah in the state to continue to show their dedication to the wellness of the state, contributing their quota in different ways to its development and I assure that the administration will continue to fulfill its promise to uplift the state and and move its people from poverty to prosperity.
“I commend the Muslim Ummah for the immense contributions they continue to make to the progress of our dear state and wish them a successful and prosperous Hijrah 1442 AH.” the statement concluded.
However, the NACOMYO in reaction to the non-declaration of a public holiday in commemoration of the Islamic New Year has vowed to mobilize against the re-election of Engr. Seyi Makinde as the governor of Oyo State in 2023.
The Islamic group disclosed this on Thursday at a special prayer and lecture for the commencement of Hijrah 1442 in reaction to the failure of the governor of declare a public holiday in the state to celebrate the new hijrah calendar.
The state Coordinator of the group, Alhaji Dawood Afolabi, who stated this in his lecture on the topic, ‘Political development in Oyo State and the Muslims,’ also accused the governor of marginalising Muslims in the state.
“It is disheartening that despite the promise of fairness and justice by the administration and continued lip-service to same at functions, Muslims are still being treated with disdain in government appointments,”Alhaji Afolabi said.
He went further: “The glaring marginalisation in the composition of state executive, appointment into boards of tertiary institutions and the jettisoning of merit in the choice of head of Saki Zonal TESCOM are clear signals that Muslims should not trust the current helmsman in Oyo State.
“We should, therefore, keep our gunpowder dry and prepare for the next election. The withdrawal of ‘first Muharram’ as work free day in the state is another indicator. We, however, put our trust in Allah for a better deal via change of hands in government by 2023.
“Nevertheless, we wish to commend the Chairman of TESCOM, Pastor Akin Alamu, for the twin decision of cancellation of Christian Religious Knowledge questions from the grading modules of the Computer Based Test and for the adjustment of the timetable.
“We commend governors Oyetola and Ganduje of Osun and Kano respectively for the sustenance of Hijra holiday. Your names are written in gold as we pray that God strengthens your holds on power.
“Apart from the global health challenges, the hydra-headed problems of corruption, insecurity, fake news, and murder after rape still scare us in the country. These and other impediments to growth and development seem to defy all known panacea. We have no other option than to turn to Allah in true repentance to get relief.”
It will be recalled that the administration of the late former Governor Abiola Ajimobi used to declare a work-free day across the state in commemoration of the new Islamic calendar year, Muharram 1, (Hijrah) but the incumbent Governor Makinde has outrightly canceled the holiday without giving reasons to supports his decision.