Muslim youths under the aegis of National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations (NACOMYO) has described the decision of Governor Ayodele Fayose to purchase and sew Christmas dress for 20,000 children in Ekiti State as a ploy to elevate one religion over another.
NACOMYO described Fayose’s gesture as “unacceptable and a breach of Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”
The section provides that “the Government of the Federation or of a state shall not adopt any religion as state religion.”
The Muslim youths maintained that the Xmas clothes for kids project was meant to promote Christianity as a religion. Sources claimed that Xmas dress for Ekiti kids is expected to gulp about N200 million and the governor had gone on air to invite parents to bring their children to the Government House where about 200 local tailors have been assembled to sew the clothes.
Assorted local fabrics of Ankara, Guinea and Kampala among others had been purchased by the governor and made available to the local tailors for the exercise.
In a statement issued on Friday, the state coordinator of the group, Alhaji Tajudeen Olutope Ahmed, said in as much as the group was no averse 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.”
NACOMYO contended that as Christians look forward to Christmas and New Year, Muslims also look forward to festivals like Eid-el-Maulud or Eid-el-fitri hence “as the governor of all, he is expected to patronize both Christians and Muslims in equal measure.
“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.
“Ekiti State government should be more concerned about fulfilling her duty under the law, which includes that of prompt and adequate payment of staff salaries. In this way, parents will be able to make adequate care and provision for their children.”
In his reaction, the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, said Fayose has been fair to all religions 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 rams and even goes to the mosque to felicitate with them. Have you heard Christians complained about it once?
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