Oyo Muslims decry alleged discrimination by govt officials
By Sulaimon Salau 05 March 2021
Oyo State Muslim community has urged the state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, to stop the alleged discrimination against Muslims in the state, particularly in the education sector.
The group, in an open letter to the governor, alleged that Oyo State Government officials have continued to trample on rights of Muslims in all sectors, with reckless abandon.
They asked that, “Muslims should not be treated as second-class citizens in their state, because Oyo State is not a Christian Republic.”
The letter reads: “We have watched silently as Oyo State Government officials trample on rights of Muslims in all sectors, with reckless abandon. It is not possible we continue to ‘siddon look’. Haba! What do officials of government take us for? All these nonsense must stop immediately.
“For now, in this treatise, we will limit ourselves to how the Oyo State Teaching Service Commission is being used to oppress Muslims as the government’s patsies.”
The letter, signed by the Chairman, Muslim Community of Oyo State, Alhaji Ishaq Kunle Sanni and the Secretary-General, Alhaji Murisiku Abidemi Siyanbade, further stated: “Information got to us that, the over-zealous Christian Principal of Igbo Elerin Grammar School said that to get to Paradise, a Christian needs to oppress the Muslim. In the name of spreading the gospel and to make heaven, he single-handedly banned the use of hijab in the community school against the extant circular, which allows use of hijab by Muslim girls in community schools.
“On hearing this, the Muslim Community, in obeisance to civility, dispatched a delegation to the school. When it met with a brick wall, we still went further for an audience with Chairman of the Oyo State Teaching Service Commission, Pastor Ayoade Alamu.
“Pastor Alamu promised that within two weeks from the February 11 date of the meeting, he would resolve the matter and invite us for a feedback. The two weeks lapsed on Thursday, February 25, 2021. He never got back to us. However, he has resolved the matter in his own way.
“How did he resolve it? He concluded in his mind that it must be the Muslim teachers that let the public know about atrocities committed against Islam in the school. Pronto! He ordered that all Muslim teachers in the school should be transferred immediately.”
The group said that in the recent teachers recruitment exercise by TESCOM, no matter their teaching subject, even in areas of dire need, such as English, Mathematics, and Physics among others, Muslim teachers posted to Christian-named schools were rejected and posted to Muslim-named or community schools.
“Some of the schools where we have such issues include, among several others, St Anne’s Grammar School, Molete-Ibadan; Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan; St. Theresa’s College, Ibadan; and Anglican Commercial Grammar School, Orita-Mefa, Ibadan (for ease of reference, only schools based in Ibadan are listed, for now).
“Muslims are now like table tennis ball, tossed around anyhow by Christian imperialist principals, definitely as smokescreens, acting the scripts of their paymaster,” the group alleged.