The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) says its members in Ekiti state will visit Ayodele Fayose, the governor, in Kirikiri prison, Lagos, at the end of his tenure.
Reacting to the decision of the state government to demolish some mosques, the group said Fayose must account for his “abuse of power while in office”.
Government had said the mosques were not in right locations, and that worshippers could contract cancer as a result of radioactive emission from the petrol stations in which they are.
But Ishaq Akintola, director of MURIC, faulted the reason, saying it is an evidence of Fayose’s hatred for Muslims.
“It is an act of aggression against the peace-loving and law-abiding Muslims of the state,” he said in a statement.
“The state government’s excuse of exposure to cancer is lame, infantile, laughable and untenable. What of hundreds of petrol attendants who have been serving in petrol stations in Ekiti state since its inception on October 1 1996?
“How many of them have had cases of cancer? How many petrol attendants in the whole of Nigeria have been exposed to radioactive emissions? Can the claim be certified by the World Health Organisation? Fayose’s public health adviser must be from hell!
“Fayose’s power is ephemeral. He will soon become an ‘ex-this and ex-that’. We urge the Imams in Ekiti to magnanimously visit Fayose in Kirikiri after his tenure as governor when he eventually starts to account for his abuse of power while in office.
The group also accused Fayose of bias in his choice of officials, alleging that he excluded Muslims from his cabinet.
“His antecedents bear vehement testimonies to his pathological hatred for Muslims and their religion,” Akintola said.
“It will be recalled that Fayose formed an all-Christian government after assumption of office in 2015. His deputy governor, secretary to the state government, all 14 commissioners, all 26 permanent secretaries are Christians.
“His open bigotry and untethered hatred for Muslims makes him the governor with the worst record of Christian-Muslim relations in the whole wide world.”
Akintola said attempts to meet with Fayose to discuss pressing issues proved abortive, warning that Muslims in the state may make Ekiti ungovernable for Fayose.
“Drunk with absolute power which corrupts absolutely, Fayose has rebuffed the request of leaders of the Ekiti Muslim community to meet him over the mosques marked for demolition,” he said.
“Consequently, the Muslim leaders have suspended today’s Jum’ah prayer in all the four mosques affected. Thus Fayose will be remembered as the Christian dictator and fanatical chief executive who stopped Muslims of Ekiti State from worshipping their Creator.
“Muslims may be left with no option than to make Ekiti ungovernable for Fayose if he goes ahead to demolish those mosques. Freedom of worship is enshrined in Nigeria’s constitution and civil disobedience is the inalienable right of a persecuted people.
“Those who make it impossible for us to worship freely are guilty of a crime. Every patriotic citizen has the obligation to disobey illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional orders. We will resist this oppression if the system will do nothing about it.
“Already, Muslims in the state embarked on a peaceful demonstration two days ago. We haven’t seen anything yet. We should do everything possible to prevent this crisis from snowballing into a national mayhem. Those who know Fayose’s first name should call him to order now.”
But Lere Olayinka, spokesman of the governor, denied the allegation of his principal being against Muslims.
He said only one mosque had been marked for demolition and that the government was only acting in the interest of the people.
“The position of MURIC is wrong. The position of the government is simple- that there should be no use of filling stations for religious activities, both Muslims and Christians,” he told TheCable.
“That is the position of the government. It is not targeted at any particular religion. There are mosques built inside filling stations. There are people who build worship centres inside petrol stations. And that is what the government is saying- that there should be no more building of worship centres inside petrol stations.
“You should ask those saying this to give you photograph of the affected mosque, because as far as I am concerned, it is only one mosque that is affected.
“As far as I know, it is only one mosque inside a petrol station belonging to Alhaji Akingbami. You can ask them to also name the other three. The only one I am aware of is located along Adebayo, belonging to Alhaji Suleiman Akingbami.”
When told to respond to the allegation that Fayose denied them access to talk things over, he said, “The governor, as far as I know, travelled out of the state three days ago. He should return today. And the governor is in talking terms with the chief Imam here, so he has no problems, he has no issues with the Muslims, as they are trying to make it look like.
“So, it is not targeted at Muslims, or practitioners of any religion. It is a general policy of the government and it is to save lives. Imagine the filling station that got burnt in this state in January, if it were to be a filling station where there were about one thousand people worshipping, what would have happened?
“So, we should not also wait until we have calamity or crises before we begin to take measures. It is to prevent loss of lives.
“Even as I am talking to you, no mosque has been demolished. The only one I am aware of I think it was marked by the officials of the ministry of land, that should be on Tuesday, and there has not been move by the government to demolish it.
“Eventually, when a building is marked like that, it means that you have to come and talk to government. Ok, the government does no longer want you to use this building as mosque or church, if you want to use it for something else, will the government now go and demolish it?”