..You quoted him out of context – Ibikunle
Friday November 17, 2023
The leadership of the Oyo State chapter of the Christian Association Of Nigeria (CAN) has great disapointment to the statement credited to the Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde on Thursday.
In a release on Friday by the CAN Chairman, Apostle Col. Sola Akinyemiju said it is unfortunate to note that fact checking and independent research has been replaced with political calculations and more embarrassing to see these in places where it is least expected.
“When religion is weaponised and deployed into politics based on sentiments without a careful thought of the consequences, it result into crises that may in turn cause instability in the terrain.
If we go down to memory lane, a statement was made by Professor Ishaq Akintola of the Muslim Right Concern whence he advised the Muslim Community in Oyo State not to re-elect the Governor because he did not permit Hijab (Daily Post Nigeria Newspaper published on the 21st of June 2022).”
The statement stated that In spite of all the threats, the Christian Community who understood that good governance is beyond religion, stood firm and voted overwhelmingly for their choice, being one of their own but Surprisingly, they have suddenly come to realise that their choice candidate classified their votes as minority and worthless. It is so disheartening, demoralizing and undeserving.”
Reacting to the statement by Oyo State CAN, the Special Assistant on Interfaith Affairs to Oyo state governor, Pastor Femi Ibikunle said that the statement credited to his principal concerning the 70 percent votes from the Muslim community in the state towards his reelection was taken out of context.
Reverend Ibikunle made this clarification when contacted by westernmirror.com.ng on Friday while reacting to the a statement by the Oyo state chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) which berated the statement credited to the governor.
The Governor was quoted as saying: “Today I can tell the entire world that 70 percent of my reelection votes came from the Muslim community in Oyo state.”
He appealed to Oyo state chapter of CAN and it’s leadership to see the governor’s statement for what it truly means which is 70 percent of the Islamic community in the state not the totality of Oyo state voting population.
In his reaction, the Governor’s aide said, “apart from being a Christian, Seyi Makinde is a devoted and God fearing man who believes in the totality of fairness, equity and justice and would not undermine the importance and key role played by Oyo CAN and the Christian community in the state towards his reelection.
“What the governor meant is that, of the total number of Muslim community in Oyo state prior to the 2023 Governorship election, 70 percent of the Muslim community gave him their votes against some dissent voices who did not want his reelection.
“It is absurd to think that the governor, who has continued to hold Christian Leaders and the community in high regard with several annual events to recognize them would make a statement to downplay their role in his electoral success.”
Speaking further, Ibikunle said: “it is absurd to take the Governor’s statement within such context which does not in any way represents what the governor stands for as a leading advocate of peace and Interfaith harmony in the state.”
He explained that Governor Seyi Makinde has done so much to deepen the relationship between christian and Muslim communities in Oyo state leading to the relative peace and inter religious harmony which is evident in several collaborations between the two faiths since 2019 till date.
He assured that Governor Makinde would continue to hold CAN in the highest possible regards and ascribe to it whatever is due to it, while calling for calm among Christians in Oyo state.