Except those who may still want to defend a true crusader; Prince Dapo Abiodun – the Ogun State governor started early to announce his mission in Ogun State- i.e to execute the destructive and divisive religious agenda for which he was sponsored. No wonder, the only religious leader he took his certificate of return to was Pastor E.A. Adeboye ostensibly to commemorate and appreciate “the accomplishment of the mission”.
Amazingly too, immediately he became governor, approval was given in June 2019 to an unregistered association of evangelists- Social Media Evangelism through Ogun SUBEB (State Universal Basic Education Board) to carry out evangelism in all government primary schools in Ogun West.
This approval also included release of registers of Ogun State Students in the senatorial district to the faceless organization to carry out catch them young evangelism in flagrant disregard for laws of the land. Earlier intervention of Rights and Freedom Advocates (RIFA) halted government written approval for other senatorial districts. Could Ogun State have known peace if reverse is the case with other religion adherents?
Secondly, a mosque was attacked in Idi-Iroko area of Ogun State on July 27, 2019 by Oro worshippers ditto to another attack on a mosque at Amororo area of Governor Abiodun hometown of Iperu on October 22, 2019 by Eluku worshippers destroying properties and injuring Muslims but till date the governor neither visited the places nor issued any statement condemning the attacks.
So, do we still need any soothsayer to know the governor and government were actively involved in the attacks on the governor-declared enemies? Would he have remained silent if his brethren’s religious houses were attacked?
When the lockdown started in Ogun State, Bishop David Oyedepo of Living Faith Church, Ota flouted the order when he held service with thousands of congregants and nothing was done to him rather the governor played host to him to appreciate him for carrying out his mission.
Unfortunately, when Barrister Taiwo of NAJOMO mosque, Abeokuta held a jumah service with less than 20 members which was the highest recommended number of public gathering then, he was humiliated in public by the Governor Dapo Police but under the supervision and in the presence of a pseudo-Muslim leader with some Muslims eulogizing him!
ALSO READ: Hon. Femi Gives Advice On Covid-19 Pandemic
Now, the governor constituted a cabinet with Commissioners and Special advisers and assistants whose composition accounts for more than 75% and in some cases 100% of his fellow religious practitioners. Is that not a declaration of a state religion by the governor in flagrant disregard for Section 10 of Nigerian Constitution?
As if that was not enough, he constituted board and commissions in some critical agencies- Civil Service and Teaching Service Commissions retaining 100% for his fellow religious practitioners. This was not the case in any of the previous administrations not led by fanatics.
Only extremists would not condemn Governor Dapo Abiodun for executing dangerous and divisive agenda in Ogun State against 1999 Constitution Sections 10 which provide- “The Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State Religion” 14 (4)- “(4) The composition of the Government of a State, a local government council, or any of the agencies of such Government or council, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognize the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the Federation” and 15 (2)-“ (2) Accordingly, national integration shall be actively encouraged, whilst discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, sex, religion, status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties shall be prohibited”.
Even the Constitution Fifth Schedule Part I-Code of Conduct for Public Officers provides thus “1. A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities”.
And the Constitution also provides in Sections 208 (4) thus “In exercising his powers of appointment under this section, the Governor shall have regard to the diversity of the people within the state and the need to promote national unity and 209 says “A person in the public service of a State shall observe and conform to the Code of Conduct”. Has the governor not disregarded the laws of the land with his bias and fanatic appointments?
To worsen the situation, the worst extremist Head of Service was appointed by Governor Dapo Abiodun to be part of the “mission” when Mrs Tpl Amope Ajibola Chokor desecrated the civil service ethos and core value of neutrality and declared her office as only open to Christ Ambassadors. Yet the governor looked other way despite public outcry.
The erstwhile fanatic Head of Service even launched Christian-civil service union while holding sway. No wonder, she used her stint to favour only those who shared her faith. All of these happened with full knowledge of the governor and approval.
What of underground relegation of other religious adherents’ members in the current administration! Well, no one cries now when the Judiciary, Executive and Legislative arms are led by people of same faith in the state but the song should not change later if the table turns other way.
Now, RIFA believes Governor Dapo Abiodun understands the import of oaths of office he swore to on assumption of office as contained in 7th schedule to Nigerian Constitution thus “….I will discharge my duties to the best of my ability, faithfully and in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the law,…..that I will not allow my personal interest to influence my official conduct or my official decisions; that I will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;…..I will do right to all manner of people, according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will;…..” Has he not betrayed the constitutional provisions of not allowing personal interest to influence his official conduct and decisions with exclusive appointments?
RIFA believe other indigenes of Ogun State who are not practitioners of Gov Dapo Abiodun religion also deserve recognition. Therefore, the only option open to him now on the issues is to reconstitute the cabinet and the commissions and or boards with immediate effect to reflect diversity of the State as advocated by relevant sections of Nigerian Constitution and stop promoting dangerous divisive agenda or be held responsible for the consequence of destroying the unity of Ogun State.
Rights and Freedom Advocates (RIFA)