How the Lagos State Cabinet Will Look Like

Wednesday, August 16. 2023 | 29 Muharram, 1445AH
Lagos, Nigeria
If the Governor’s list presented to the Lagos State House of Assembly, which is currently undergoing legislative screening is approved, the next cabinet of the Lagos State Government will comprise of 8 Muslim commissioners, and 31 Christian commissioners.
The governor is getting ready to oversee a government that seeks to deprive Muslims of equitable representation in his cabinet. This is coming on the heels of many years of systemic discrimination against Muslims in the state, ranging from total war on hijab against school children (that was fought unrelentingly by successive Lagos State Governments to the Supreme Court), to discrimination in employment and promotion opportunities in the State Civil Service. Beyond this, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is dealing in denialism on one side and tokenism on the other, which have become the staple of successive governments in Lagos State, up till the present day.
The lack of equitable representation of Muslims in the cabinet is surely not due to poor Muslim political participation. Mr Sanwo-Olu’s election victory can be directly linked to the unprecedented political support he received from the Muslim community in Lagos State that successfully repelled a callous opposition and agenda-driven campaign against his bid for second term. During the election campaign, there was an overwhelming consensus amongst leading Muslim organizations in Lagos State to promote a grassroots political campaign and mobilization for him especially due to the threats against his election success by others. In the aftermath of his election victory, the Governor is sending a clear message to the same Muslim community that overwhelmingly supported him through this decision, in complete violation of the basic moral and ethical principles.
No matter what the Governor and his collaborators say regarding this proposed cabinet, Muslims will not feel equitably represented. If decisions that have harmed the entire Muslim community had been taken in past cabinets of higher representation, many Muslims will shudder to think what to expect from a cabinet that has shrunk the political space for Muslims, and given them not more than 20% political representation. Without a doubt, the single most significant effect of Mr Sanwo-Olu’s decision to shrink the space for Muslims in his cabinet is to achieve Christian majoritarianism not only in the government decision making process, but most importantly in the Lagos State political arena.
MPAC Nigeria.


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