The Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, has met the leaders of the state’s Muslim community with a pledge to run an all-inclusive government that would cater for the needs of residents.
At a meeting Tuesday with prominent leaders of the community at the Lagos Central Mosque, Agbaje was presented a charter of demands.
The parley was chaired by the President of the community, Professor Tajudeen Gbadamosi, with scores of scholars present under the leading of the Chief Imam of Lagos, Sheikh Sulaiman Oluwatoyin Abou-Nolla who was represented by the Baba Adinni of Lagos, Sheikh Afeez Abou.
Other notable clerics present included all the divisional Imams in the five divisions making up the state as well as the Missioner of the Ansar-Ud-Deen Society, Imam Abdulrahaman Ahmad, Sheikh Abdularahaman Adangba as well as the Director of Muslim Rights Concern, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
Agbaje, who was accompanied by his deputy, Mrs. Haleemat Oluyemi Busari, after listening to his hosts; demands, assured them that his government would operate an all-inclusive administration and carry along all shades of opinions.
In the parley that lasted for two hours, those present used the opportunity to probe deep into his programmes as they affected the welfare and wellbeing of the Muslim community.
Some of the issues raised included: Youth employment, education, health and the enforcement of judicial pronouncement on the issue of Hijab for Muslim girls in public schools.
While describing the Muslim community in the state as critical stakeholders that could not be discountenanced in the scheme of things, Agbaje said he would accord their demands the needed attention when voted into power.
He said his three-pronged action plan would ensure prosperity for the people of the state just as he promised to ensure that the community would be given the leeway to make inputs into governance by allowing it to provide quality personnel to be appointed into government.
Commenting on perceived lopsidedness in the appointment of judicial officers in the state, he stated that the imbalance might have been occasioned by political expediency on the part of the appointing authorities and not out of a deliberate desire to sideline the Muslim community.
He promised to ensure fairness when voted into power.
“I don’t think those in the position of authority who have the power and means to appoint judges would have done so with the intention to place the Muslim community at a disadvantage. I think what might have happened was that those who appointed them looked for those who would do their bidding.”
Agbaje said that the problem would be rectified when he was elected using the criteria of merit, balance and equity in a manner that would ensure that all segments of the Lagos society were duly represented.
While suing for peace on the raging issue of Hijab in government-owned schools, Agbaje commended Muslims in the state for the peaceful manner they had addressed the issue.
“We shall ensure we follow due process in addressing the issue,” he vowed.
On the question of the establishment of a Sharia Court of Justice for Muslims, Agbaje said: “If it is not outside of the Constitution and nobody will feel that you are trying to force a religion on another person, it is something we will look at.”