By Imam Abdrasheed A ABDULAZEEZ
The story of Adogba Tadomunul Muslemeena OTM Central Mosque and Islamic Centre remains an indelible landmark in the political sojourn of Governor Seyi Makinde. But that name resonates well with his quality as against the misdemeanor of human characters that engendered controversies as politics garnered momentum at the tail end of Omituntnun 1.0. Emotion ran riot ignorantly and wrongly at many ends. The protagonist in his usual but unmistaken calm and composed personality remained unperturbed, carried on with his God-sent philanthropic and exemplary delivery of dividends of democracy while the dramatis personae at the mosque management level also displayed gratitude and understanding of the political shenanigan. All of these leave one wondering how the edifice generating these diverse emotions answered to such a nomenclature ‘Adogba’ literally meaning ‘we are equal’ – are we truly equal?.
ADOGBA – Can we truly be equal in fulfilling promises?
Sincerely yours, we can’t be equal. Some are born great while some achieve greatness through hard work and doggedness. Even fingers, they say, are not equal. Some answer ‘honourable’ while they are nothing near ‘honour’, others are hailed ‘Your Excellency’ when they are not excellent in the real sense of the word. The mosque’s name is therefore paradoxical while its metamorphosis is also phenomenal.
Away from the preamble, we are honoured to have GSM at the helm of affairs of our dear pacesetter state with excellent virtues of faithfulness and trustworthiness. Every time one reads through Qur’anic verses such as Qur’an Chapter 19 verse 41 to 60 that chronicles the life and time of the best of human beings among Allah’s prophets and messengers, you cannot but appreciate Allah’s favour on personalities like Governor Seyi Makinde, GSM. Standing tall among them is Prophet Ibrahim (ABRAHAM) – Peace be on him – who was revered as The Father of Faith because of his dealings with his Creator and fellow humans. Yet, his trustworthiness even in the face of adversities was unrivaled. No wonder almost all generations who descended from him are connected to monotheism. Today, both Christianity and Islam lay claim to the Abrahamic origin. From Ishaq to Ya’qub to his children until Isa (Jesus) the son of Maryam (Mary) – May Allah be pleased with them all – were from a branch of the Abrahamic family while Ismail and Muhammad – May Allah be pleased with them – were from another. These are the blessed and anointed ones to which religions today pledge their allegiance and should necessarily adhere to for spiritual direction. Muslims are honoured with rites of worship that emanated from actions of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) as he delivered on his promises to Allah, his wife, son, etc.
GSM is again lucky to have hailed from a background that exposed him to both Islam and Christianity. The exposure endeared him to virtues known with the best of Islamic leaders in history. He is faithful and trustworthy to a fault. In governance of Oyo State, he has won the hearts of the good people of this State for being a PROMISE KEEPER. He has always kept his promises to the generality of the people and the Ummah of Islam in particular as exemplified by the ADOGBA MOSQUE story and even before and after. He has kept his promise in the following areas of public good delivery:
1). GSM before his election in 2019 had promised not to abandon whatever good work he met on ground as engineered by his predecessors. He kept to this faithfully by completing all projects ongoing as of May 29, 2019.
2).He promised to make basic and secondary education free in the state. Immediately he was sworn in, he ended the era of N3,000 school fee that had kept the number of out-of-school children increasing in the state before then. Today, the story of Oyo State on the dent of out-of-school children has changed for the better.
3). The success of the above would have been eroded if there were no commensurate teacher population to handle the mass enrolment witnessed. GSM promised to employ more teachers and regularize some haphazard employment in that sector. About 6,000 new teachers were thus appointed into the Teaching Service Commission, more officers were equally employed into the Ministry of Education.
4). The administrations before GSM were notorious for mass retrenchment. GSM, on the contrary, clearly declared he shall return the workers sacked before he was sworn-in, and almost all of them have now been reinstated.
5). His promise to end the LAUTECH debacle has been fulfilled. He even went further to make the school’s presence felt across all the zones of the state where no higher institution had existed before him. LAUTECH now runs a multi-campus system to the delight of communities housing the satellites.
6). The governor promised Oyo State indigenes of roads that shall connect all zones in the states. Today, that is another promised delivered. Oke-Ogun, the agricultural base of the state has now been networked in terms of modern roads to connect Ibadan, Oyo, Ogbomoso and Ibarapa. (Okeogun /Oyo, Okeogun/ Ogbomosho, Ibadan/ Iseyin. Ibadan/Ibarapa/Okeogun).
7). GSM also promised not to allow federal-State roads dichotomy put his people to unwarranted hardship and anguish. He said he would fix such roads as and when due. He has been doing this to the satisfaction of Oyo people.
8). GSM promised to pay salaries regularly and timely. Since his assumption of office, he has adhered strictly to payment on the 25th of every month (GSM date) to the delight of civil servants who have even nicknamed the governor Mr 25th.
9). GSM also promised to appreciate workers with 13th Month Salary and he has religiously ensured this from the beginning of his administration till date.
10). As a result of the subsidy removal, GSM in line with the proposal that workers be awarded additional wage to reduce the negative impact on the economy, has approved wage award of N25,000 and N15,000 to workers and retirees respectively. The payment has already started in Oyo State, thanks to the promise-keeping Governor.
11). Some of the promises faithfully and honorably kept by His Excellency concern the Muslim populace in Oyo State than others. One of such was his assurance to the 150 intending Hajj pilgrims in 2022 who missed the exercise due to few Hajj allocations given to Oyo state. He promised them they would perform the rites without paying any dime in addition. He fulfilled this as the fund increased from about 2.5 million naira paid in 2022 to about 3 million in 2023 and they were lifted without additional payment.
12). The appointment of the new Chairman, Oyo State Muslim Pilgrims Board, Alhaji Hashim Atere, was in display of his sterling quality of trustworthiness. He had engagements with different sections of the Muslim Ummah and that appointment is in line with the outcome of the engagement.
13). GSM in his election bid in 2019 saw the efforts and contributions of the Muslim bloc and thus promised to reciprocate duly. He fulfilled this by instituting the office of SA Islamic, the first of its kind.
14) . It was in his using human-face administrative style that he chose to visit all those affected by the planned capital projects at Iwo Road and other axis. He had to visit the then Adogba Mosque and even had to join in the Friday prayer where he interacted with the faithful after listening to the sermon and performing two rakats prayer. He promised to personally fund a new and befitting Islamic Center in place of the affected one. Today marks the formal commissioning of that promise. We cannot but appreciate His Excellency for his good nature and kind-heartedness. We also thank Allah for His guidance and support which have continued to show our beloved leader the right moves.
Let us for once call on each other to begin to put humanity first in all that we do. Religion is expected to connect us to our Creator and use His divine teaching as true believers to make our world a better place to live for everyone. Bigotry, hatred, war, insecurities, and all other vices in our societies should be at the lowest ebb if we decide to be Godly in addition to being religious. This Islamic Centre in its old place and even here has always been a centre of enlightenment, development, spiritual uplifting, and social bonding. These and many other positive roles are what our mosques should serve. It is our hope that well meaning Muslims in this clime will emulate this great gesture of GSM and provide befitting mosques with convenience, academic arenas and other modern facilities that a mosque should basically have. Allahu Akbar. May Allah reward our talk and do Governor abundantly. Aamin.
Imam Abdrasheed Adewale ABDULAZEEZ is the SA ISLAMIC AFFAIRS to Gov Seyi Makinde of Oyo state.