LAGOS AT 50: MUSLIMS AT THE RECEIVING ENDS!
The very first time Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode would announce his intention to become the Governor of Lagos State, he did so at Gbagada area of Lagos with Hon. Abdulateef Abdulhakeem raising up his hand before the crowd at that event.
The idea behind Hon. Abdulateef as a publicity anchor man for Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode was simply to gain the approval of we Muslims, who have the numerical strength upon which Mr. Ambode, and indeed anyone can become the Governor. Lagos is culturally, a Muslim State, and going by the politics of that time, NO MUSLIMS, NO GOVERNOR!
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has never disappointed the Lagosians since his assumption of office. He campaigned to Lagosians based on a Tripod of Empowerment, Infrastructure and Security. He kept all the promises. Any visitor to Lagos State today, will no doubt wish that Lagos was his home.
The height of his campaign was to announce the creation of #25bn Sovereign Wealth Fund to create massive employment and empowerment for all categories of Lagosians. No one took him serious on that, but again, HE KEPT THE PROMISE!
Today, except someone is very far away from the reality, no matter what you are doing, there is fund available for all categories of business. With Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Lagos State under His Excellency, Gov. Ambode has demystified the spirit of unemployment. Even for a Startup business, there is fund available. From as little as 200,000 to as much as 5 million Naira.
Unfortunately, and quite worrisome, Muslims cannot benefit from this Fund, except those Muslims that would wage war against Allah! Yet, the 25bn is TAX PAYERS money, which major contributors are Muslims!
The fund is released on 5% interest. No bank in this country can give anyone such gesture. But small as it is, it is poisonous for Muslims! The result is that we Muslims are to perpetually remain in economic recess!
The most disturbing thing to me is that, no Islamic advocacy group, as much as they are, ever feel concerned about this matter. We would rather fight over the type of “hijab” or “minhaj” we adopt. It is not the duty of Gov. Ambode to make case for us, it is ours.
So far, more than #1bn has been disbursed to more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, out of #6.4bn earmarked for the first year ended December 2017. I was at Blue Roof to witness the official flag-off of the event. I equally sent a letter to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund to make case for Muslims in regards to the issue of interest. But there it ended.
Those who matter in Lagos Islamic Environment such as Muslim leaders of opinion, Muslim organisations and groups and Jaiz Bank should come up with a template upon which the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund can accommodate the Muslims in their pure form.
I particularly want to appeal to Hon. Abdulateef Abdulhakeem, going by his closeness to this Government to immediately set up an economic brainstorming process on this matter.
If however, we fail to initiate a positive process that can avail us this wonderful opportunity, we must know that Allah Ta’aala has helped us with our conditions but it is we that refused to change our conditions.
Lagos at 50… Itesiwaju Eko lo je wá lógún!