Muslim youths in Ekiti state have risen against the planned purchase and sewing of Christmas clothes for 20,000 children in the state by Governor Ayo Fayose describing the gesture as a ploy to elevate one religion over another.
The youth under the aegis of the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations (NACOMYO), described the act as “unacceptable and a breach of Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”
Quoting from the section, NACOMYO said, “the Government of the Federation or of a state shall not adopt any religion as state religion” adding that the Christmas clothes for kids project was meant to promote Christianity as a religion.”
The group noted in a statement by its coordinator in the state, Alhaji Tajudeen Olutope Ahmed, on Monday in Ado Ekiti that inasmuch as the group was not against any form of child welfare or development, it was worried that “our commonwealth as a state is being used to promote a particular religion and to placate the subscribers of the religion.”
It was gathered from an independent source that the project would gulp about N200 million. Fayose had during a broadcast on radio and television asked parents to bring their children to the Government House for measurement by about 200 local tailors already recruited for the project .
NACOMYO added that just as Christians look forward to Christmas and New Year, Muslims also look forward to festivals like id-el-maulud or id-el-fitri adding, “as the governor of all, he is expected to patronize both Christians and Muslims in equal measure.”
NACOMYO said further: “It is on the basis of the above that we hereby call on Governor Fayose to suspend his planned celebration of Christians and Christianity during the forthcoming Yuletide period.
“In the alternative, if the governor is determined to go ahead with his planned provision of Christmas dresses, he should disclose the budget for the dresses to the public and be ready to expend the same amount during the forthcoming Muslim festival. This is the justice of the matter.
They cautioned against using the state’s resources for the patronage of only a section or religion, saying it was the responsibility of every parent to to provide dresses for their children and not government