A prominent chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Mufutau Olatunji Hamzat, has debunked online media report that he was planning to mobilise Islamic clerics and Muslims to protest against alleged imposition of Akinwunmi Ambode by the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the next governor of the state.
Speaking at his residence at Ogba area of Ikeja, southwest Nigeria, Alhaji Hamzat stated that the report was nothing but the evil machinations of fifth columnists out to destroy not only the cordial relationship and the mutual respect that existed between him and Asiwaju Tinubu, but are also out to cause disaffection in the party ahead of the 2015 election in the state.
Giving full details of the meeting of the Islamic clerics where the decision to protest against Tinubu allegedly took place, Alhaji Hamzat stated that most politicians have forgotten the fact that he is the Chairman of the state chapter of the United Muslims Council (UMC).
“Over the years, we have found out that the UMC is losing the purpose of its establishment which are mainly to foster good relationship between Muslims and Christians, and to guide national issues in terms of policies and other issues of national importance. The only thing members are doing now is just to do the weekly devotional prayer meeting popularly called Asalatu. UMC has not been responding as expected to issues affecting our country,” he explained.
According to him, there have been agitation by some younger elements in the group for the elders to be pro-active on issues affecting the country.
“A group of youths came to me on the matter and I told them that I will call a meeting in my capacity as UMC chairman in the state. When I did not call the meeting after two weeks, the group came back. It was then the meeting involving Imams and other Islamic clerics was called and held at the Alausa Secretariat mosque,” the APC chieftain explained.
At the meeting, Alhaji Hamzat told participants that whatever complains and observations they have, they must not resort to violence or act that can threaten public peace or heat the polity, and that “we must respond to the issue of national security which is affecting the fabric of the nation.
“The issue for the agitation for a Christian governor in the state came up. I told them that the best thing was for a delegation to be set up to meet Asiwaju Tinubu and Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, on the matter and listened to them, so that we don’t rely on rumors”.
The APC chieftain stated that how can such meeting organised in his capacity as a religious leader be termed as mobilising Muslims to protest against the APC National Leader.
“In fact, the first thing I did at the meeting was to call on Imams at the meeting to pray for Asiwaju Tinubu and Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, and they obliged, praying for good health and longevity of life. Some people are just jealous of the mutual respect and cordial relationship existing between us and they are bent on destroying it for their selfish end,” the APC leader concluded.