Wednesday 15 August 2018

Adegboyega Oyetola Honours the Invitation of Osun Joint Muslim Action Forum; Answers Their Questions

Tuesday the 14th of August 2018, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the September 22 Osun Governorship Election honoured the invitation of the Joint Muslim Action Forum (JOMAF) in Osogbo.

JOMAF is an assembly of major Muslim organisations in Osun State. It is a faith based organization that is politically conscious as it has strong representation in all the federal constituencies of the State.

The forum in its bid to promote good governance has extended invitations to five of the governorship candidates that are contesting to govern the state after the tenure of the incumbent Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola.

This Action Forum that can be regarded also as a pressure group promotes the interest of Muslims and has a great influence on Muslim voters. The main concerns of the forum is to promote civility, encourage good governance by striving as much as possible to avoid marginalisation of the muslims in the political dispensation of the state.

Members of the forum at the interactive session with Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and his entourage include Alhaji Chief Kolawole Usamot (the Chairman), Alhaji Quassim Odedeji (the Secretary), Alhaji Shitu Kola Adefajo, Alhaji Bashiru Olasunkanmi, Alhaji Mufutahudeen Olayiwola, Alhaja Kudirat Oladunoye, Alhaja Lateefat Giwa and all their local coordinators that cut across all Osun State geographical zones.

The entourage of Gboyega Oyetola Campaign Organization include the Team Leader and the APC Osun governorship candidate, Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, Hon. Prof. Mojeed Alabi (MHR), Hon. Bamisayemi (Chief Whip OSHA), Mrs Taiwo Oluga, Alhaji Moshood Oluawo, Alhaji Bayo Adeleke, Chief Mrs. Christie Ogunfolaju, Hon. Dayo Eluyemi, Alhaji Jamiu Olawumi among others.

Below are the issues raised at the interactive session and the response of Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola.

1. Concerns on the Osun Education policy. "Without any fear of self contradiction, education remains one major instrument of marginalisation", the Chairman of the forum said. He referred to the issue of ownership of schools and asked to know what the policy of Adegboyega Oyetola's administration will be on the return of schools to the missionaries. Who owns the schools today? The complications raised by the unification of schools resulting in some Muslim named public schools and Christian named public schools that necessitated that the Muslims should go to court to fight for the right of the Muslim girls to use hijab. Will the position on hijab be reversed?

Gboyega Oyetola's answer: On the return of schools, the government has taken over all the missionaries schools and this has taken some long time, that's how we met it. All public schools are government owned.

On hijab, to avoid contempt of the court I have nothing to say. I believe God will take control.

 2. Most Muslim children patronize public schools, what incentives will be put in place for public schools teachers?
And where the muslims decide to establish private schools many proprietors always complain of multiple taxation.

Gboyega Oyetola's answer: I have observed that our teachers have not been given the opportunity to retrain. I believe that our teachers should be given the opportunity to go for regular training and retraining. I also believe that teachers that are posted to the rural areas should be placed on special salary better than those teachers that are in the metropolis. I also believe that government loans should be made available for teachers and they should be promoted as of when due.  Teachers also should be able to enjoy all benefits that other civil servants enjoy.

On multiple taxation, I have to understudy this carefully. I doubt if Osun taxation formula is multiple. What I have come to realize from experience is that many proprietors of private schools are used to evading payment of such levies like common registration fee.

3. Another area is the issue of power equation in the state (balance of power), that Muslims have always been at the receiving end when it comes to giving people political appointments. Example on the composition of the cabinet, there has never been a time that we had 50/50 percent cabinet members between muslims and Christians. The best that the muslims community have got is from Rauf Aregbesola's administration and that just amount to about 30%. "We want this to be reversed because we are not minority in the state and majority of us are voters", Chief Kolawole Usamot lamented.
Same apply to the statutory boards (the Local Government Commission, Civil Service commission, tertiary institutions boards etc). He asked for the assurance that muslims shall be fairly treated.

Gboyega Oyetola's answer: On power equation, political appointments are not made by advertisement, people don't apply to be commissioner like I didn't apply to become the Chief of Staff, I was called. Most of the time appointments are made on merits, governance is a serious business. Like you have noted it is good also that appointments should not be one sided. I believe that Muslims, Christians have capable people. I believe that most of the time issue of religion is not considered when looking for capable person to take up a position.

4. On welfare, the only government institution that was ensuring a bit of the welfare of both Muslims and Christians used to be the Muslims and Christians Pilgrim Welfare Board. In the last eight years there is no visible board. It had been a one man affair.

Gboyega Oyetola's answer: I believe that it is not only the Muslims and Christians Welfare Boards that were only sidelined. Only the statutory boards are functioning for now and others are not functioning because of paucity of fund. What use will it serve to appoint someone as a board member without pay. It is my prayer and I believe so much in this, that my time as governor of Osun shall be a time of relieve. My acronym is Ileri-Oluwa. I believe that God is involved.

5. On the Hijra calendar. Will you retain the Hijra holiday or nullify it when you become governor?

Gboyega Oyetola's answer: Hijra has come to stay, it is backed by our law.

More photos: (Photos credit Lasore Oladimeji and Alawode Opeyemi)

Reported by Oladimeji Lasore (07035105413)
[email protected]

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