The Nigerian Islamic human rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has appealed to the Lagos State government to revisit the education sector, with a view to correcting the glaring asymmetry in the appointment of tutor-generals and school principals in lagos state.

MURIC also raised the issue of many qualified Muslim teachers on grade level 17 who are still marking time when they should have been appointed principals.

“Lagos State has been divided into six education districts since the days of Chief Bola Tinubu. Each education district has a tutor general/permanent secretary saddled with the responsibility of overseeing the activities of the schools and their personnel. Tinubu, a Muslim, ensured fairness by sharing the six posts 50:50 between Muslims and Christians.

“Akinwunmi Ambode made it 4:2 in favour of Christians. The tricky game employed was to appoint some Muslims who have long converted to Christianity but who retained their Muslim names. It would then appear as if Muslims were appointed yet they were cleverly shortchanged.

“Under Governor Babajide Sanwoolu today there is no single Muslim tutor-general. There is also an uneven distribution of heads of department in the six districts. There are five departments in each district with a head of department (HOD) directing its affairs. So there are thirty (30) HODs in all. These HODs are part of the management team. Unfortunately there are only five (5) Muslim HODs out of the thirty (30).

“There are six hundred and sixty eight (668) principals in Lagos State public schools. Of this number, five hundred and sixty-five (565) are Christians while only one hundred and three (103) are Muslims.

“This implies that Christian principals are 84.6% while Muslim principals are 15. 4%. Like in the case of tutor-generals, some principals who have long converted to Christianity but who retained their Muslim names were made principals while the real Muslims are left to rot in the system.

“What is the implication of this imbalance? Firstly, tutor-generals influence the appointment of school principals but anybody can guess what will happen in a situation where all the tutor-generals are Christians.

“Again, the use of hijab in public schools is largely determined by the disposition of school principals. Since the ratio is 84:15, it becomes clear why the majority of the school principals disallow the use of hijab in their schools despite a subsisting court judgement in favour of its use.

“MURIC calls for the appointment of more Muslims as school principals. We lay emphasis on the appointment of real Muslims and not Muslims who have converted but retained their Muslim names.

“This should not be difficult if the authorities consult leaders of the Muslim Teachers Association (MUTAN). We believe that our call is timely and it is more so particularly when the state government has recently invited applications into the position of TG/PS and it is poised to recruit more teachers.

“The question of non-avalability of qualified Muslims does not arise because Lagos is replete with hundreds of well qualified and competent Muslims who are yearning for the opportunity to exhibit their potentials. In addition, many Muslim teachers who are on grade level 17 appear to have been placed on redundancy as they are not appointed as principals or vice principals. Their list can easily be obtained from the leadership of MUTAN or that of the Lagos State Muslim Community.

“There is also lop-sidedness in favour of Christians in the manner school assemblies are conducted. Most schools give Christians four days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) while Muslims have Friday alone. Some allow Muslims to use Thursday and Friday. For fairness, we suggest that Christians should be given two days (Monday and Tuesday), Muslims should also have two days (Thursday and Friday) while Wednesday should be left for Yoruba assembly.

“Our appeal to the Lagos State government is to make the education sector a model of excellence in keeping with the status of Lagos as the centre of excellence. Lagos has always been in the forefront of liberal policies, improved workers’ welfare, modernisation and other forms of human progress.

“This is not praise-singing. The records are there for all to applaud Lagos. Apart from Enugu in 1980, Lagos was one of the first states to establish a state university (1984), the first to increase maternity leave to six months, the first to build an atlantic city (Eko Atlantic), the first to introduce local council development areas (LCDA) and many more pacesetting initiatives. Lagos leads, others follow.

“MURIC is known to have lodged certain complaints against some states in Nigeria concerning their treatment of Muslims. It will therefore be another ‘first’ and another feather in Lagos’ cap if the state’s education authorities address the issues raised above before others do so.

“We recall that the Lagos Muslim Community under the able leadership of Professor T.G.O. Gbadamosi and the Chief Imam of Lagos, His Eminence, Engr Sulaimon Oluwatoyin Abou Noula, raised some of these issues in the presence of the incumbent governor during the 2019 electoral campaigns. We honestly believe that it is high time they were addressed,” he stated.

25 COMMENTS

  1. It’s tough being a leader.
    Truth is no matter how good you are as leader u can’t please everyone and it’s not your job to so forget who ever …

    • The Lagos State Government has commended religious leaders in the state for their cooperation and active participation in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that the cooperation received from the leaders of the two major religious groups, especially in the area of zero-congregational gathering, assisted in lowering the curve of the pandemic

  2. Young man, stop being so rigid to religion.
    Is your type that bring problem in this country. If you want to speak from the observation respective, the world will understand with you,
    But not with this point.

  3. Just like you said there are converted Christians who are now Muslims, so what is your problem?
    They are no lights nger Christian but Islam.

  4. So mr, if you ask me, I will say you don’t even have the right not the brain to talk again.
    So short up and let governor sanwo olu do his work.

  5. According to Elegushi, “When we got a hint on the current Coronavirus disease across the globe, we immediately went into action by organising a sensitisation and briefing workshop on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020 at the Chapel of Christ the Light Hall, Alausa. This was followed by another meeting where a joint decision was reached by all religious bodies to reduce the attendance of worshippers to 50 worshipers at a time”.

    “In addition to this, our Religious Leaders came together again on 18th March 2020 after reviewing the situation to agree on a total lockdown of Religious Worship Centres across the State before President Muhammad Buhari came up with an announcement locking down Lagos, Ogun and Abuja“, he said.

  6. Religious and tribal affinity has been a bane that is destroying Nigeria’s civil service, we overlook meritocracy and credibility, and embrace nepotism, tribal and ethnic sentiment in our line of duty, whether christians of Muslim, what the masses need are credible and qualified government workers.

  7. Religious toleration is people allowing other people to think or practice other religions and beliefs. In a country with a state religion, toleration means that the government allows other religions to be there. Many countries in past centuries allowed other religions but only in privacy. This has become rare.

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