Four gubernatorial candidates in Ogun state have reached agreements with Muslims to respect their rights to religion including the use of hijab in public schools, non-return of public schools to the missionaries and involvement of the Muslims in governance of the state.
The four candidates among whom were: Mr Ridwan Oduneye of the Peoples’ Party of Nigeria (PPN), Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Hon. Dimeji Bankole of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), and Mr Oluseyi Gabriel Olufade of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), gave the pledge at an interactive session organised by the Muslim community for candidates held at the Egba Central Mosque, Kobiti Abeokuta, the state capital.
The candidates, while speaking, promised to immediately put mechanism in place to bring to fruition the promises made during the interaction session if elected as the governor of Ogun State. They all promised not to return public schools in the state to the missionaries.
Isiaka of ADC, while speaking, promised to hold education summit within the first 30 days of his administration where all stakeholders would take critical decisions about further education directive of his administration.
When asked to respond to issue of return of public schools, Isiaka assured the Muslim community on not returning public schools in the state to the missionaries. He said that his administration will give the Muslims sense of belonging.
Bankole of ADP, in his response to questions, said he did not see any reason students should be denied from using hijab as he said his antecedents as the speaker of the House of Representative speaks volume of his capability and capacity to move Ogun State to the next level.
Bankole, who narrated how he had benefited immensely from Islam and Muslims, said his government would provide mass employment to address all manners of problems bedevilling the development of the State.
Oduneye promised not to return public schools to the missionaries with assurance that the use of hijab will be allowed in public school if elected as the governor of the State.
The PPN candidate, who promised to give priority to moral education as a way of addressing many challenges confronting the state, also promised to adopt Public Private Partnership (PPP) model at revamping the education and health sectors.
Olufade wondered why students would not be allowed to choose to dress modestly as sanctioned by their faith.
He pledged to carry the Muslim community along in his government through periodic engagement and appointments of qualified Muslims into his cabinet if elected as the governor of Ogun state.
Chairman of the occasion, Professor Tajudeen Gbadamosi, in his welcome address, described the interactive session as first of its kinds in the history of Ogun State, explaining that the programme provides a platform for Muslims to contribute to national development.