The Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday denied allegations that he was working against some senior members of the bench who are Muslims in the state high court to become judges.
Makinde, who said he only ensured that due process was followed to the letter in the appointments, added that he has always ensured that merit and excellence were considered for appointments and recruitments in the state.
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The governor, who stated this while hosting the Muslim Ummah in the state at his residence in Ibadan, added that his government had continued to be fair and just to all religions.
He said: “We thank God for Oyo State and for allowing the efforts of those who are trying to cause confusion and chaos in this government to always prove abortive.
“The latest one is on the issue of the judges. I know we cannot question God on those he decided to call. We just have to accept it that way. I didn’t interfere in the matters of judges but I always like to know those who will be appointed, because of the approval I need to make – to know if due process was followed and that has been my approach.
“If they say I want to block a particular person, am I God? I was alleged to have written a letter indicating that the appointments of one Muslim and three Christians should be balanced out. We just finished fasting and I am saying before you that when they came to meet me, I insisted that the person that came first in the interview must be included. I didn’t even know if the person was a Christian or a Muslim.
“As a matter of fact, those who know me know I don’t consider religion in my appointments. My focus is always on merit, performance and delivery. So, I challenge anyone that saw such a letter anywhere in the system either from me or the Attorney-General, to bring the letter out. I want to see it.
“When we went for the PDP South-West Congress, the two powerful positions, which they gave to us – the zonal chairmanship and women leader slot were occupied by Muslims and that was the recent thing we have done.
“In building our state, the greatest challenges we have to fight are poverty and hunger because other things are directly under the two. And the two things don’t know religion,” the governor added.
While speaking on behalf of the Muslim faithful, the Deputy Governor, Engr. Rauf Olaniyan, said that the visit was to greet the governor on the occasion of the completion of the Ramadan fast.