GOVERNOR of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, has declared that he is not against Islam and will not do anything to bring the image of the religion or its adherents into disrepute.
The governor made the declaration on Saturday in Ibadan in a message to a forum provided by a thank-you visit of the proprietor of Olore Arabic and Islamic Reformation Centre, Ibadan, Khalifa Muhammad Olore, to the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Dawud Akinola, at his residence in Ibadan.
Khalifa Olore with his entourage was at the Muslim leader’s house to thank him for his intervention in his trouble with the state’s authorities after the recent uncovering of the disheartening condition of inmates at his facility.
The governor, whose message was delivered by the chairman of the state’s Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr Nureni Adeniran, said he did not harbor any negative feelings against Muslims and Islam, adding that his government had been very sensitive in handling the Olore “rehabilitation centre” saga which, he noted, had set the general public on the edge.
The governor said the government was still looking into the matter and it would do the needful to ensure that things were done in line with the provisions of the law and in a manner that would not bring any question.
“For the purpose of rehabilitation, there shouldn’t be any dehumanisation of anybody. The right to human dignity should be ensured. That is the provision of the law.
“The Oyo State government is passionate about the welfare of its citizens. This set of people [the inmates at Olore rehabilitation centre] is part of the responsibility of the Oyo State government. All the Oyo State government is after is to ensure that nobody is dehumanised or maltreated and that there is no illegality going on.
“The leaders of the Olore centre are already aware of this and they are thankful to the government for being magnanimous about the whole scenario and are trying to cooperate with the government to achieve peace and orderliness and ensure that every citizen enjoys the right to human dignity,” Makinde said.
Dr Adeniran intimated the audience of a project called Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) which, he said, was being facilitated by the Oyo State government and supported by the World Bank.
He said the project was targeted at out-of-school children, some of whom are the almajiris who are mainly the people at some of the Quranic centres located across the state.
“What we intend doing is to convert some of these Quranic centres to centres for the BESDA project, where instructional materials and all other useful materials will be provided for the purpose of ensuring that literacy is taken to them.
The Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Akinola, in his remarks, expressed gratitude to God that the controversy provoked by the Olore rehabilitation matter did not degenerate into civil disorder.