The difficulty experienced by Governor Akinwumni Ambode to secure a second term ticket may have been deepened by the recent development among Muslim leaders in the state.
Our correspondent gathered that there is a strong contention among the Muslim leaders to seek an alternative in the next election.
According to them, a cursory look at Ambode’s administration created more problems in the state than ever.
Among the major issues they highlighted against the governor are those of the recent harassment of Muslim students for putting on hijab to school and sealing of mosques over alleged noise pollution.
At a recent meeting held by leaders of the Lagos State Muslim Community, it was learnt that the leaders expressed willingness to back another candidate that may favour the Muslims.
“It is better to work for someone that will protect our interest. This regime is too lawless. Why should the issue of hijab still be on up till now if we have a serious governor,” one of the elders who do not want to be named said.
“His time is up for us. We don’t know him before, it is Abdulhakeem (Lagos Commissioner for Home Affairs) that we know and he is aware of our grievances. We have told him that there is little that he can do and he knows that between God and man that we have given this government enough support, more that we gave when we had a Muslim Governor,” another respected Islamic scholar told our correspondent on the telephone.
On Tuesday when news broke that some students were being harassed for wearing hijab to Isolo Senior Grammar School, many of the Muslims took to the social media to protest.
They vowed not to support the All Progressives Congress (APC) if it fields Ambode as its candidate.
“No Alfa can come and tell us to vote for Ambode again. It is glaring that this man is not capable of managing people,” one of them identified as Adam said.
According to a report by iwitness.com, an online news platform, the Principal of Isolo Senior Secondary School, Mrs. Sadare J.O, removed the Assistant Head Girl of the school for being a Muslim.
The principal also reportedly stopped Muslim students who put on their hijab to school.
One of the eyewitnesses said: “Isolo Senior Secondary School new principal, Mrs Sadare J.O, threatened students not to come with hijab today. Those that came with it were harassed, many of the Muslim girls agreed not to wear the hijab but three of them were steadfast and ordered to come with their parents.
“When the parents and members of Muslim forum of Isolo Kingdom and MSSN got there, she insisted that the students will not be allowed.”
Amir (President) of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit, Dr Saheed Ashafa, in a press statement warned that based on the Court of Appeal judgement on the use of hijab, no student is expected to be punished, harassed or stopped from attending classes.
It will be recalled that a Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos had in July 21, 2016 unanimously set aside the judgment of a Lagos High Court, which banned students in public schools in the state from putting on the hijab with their school uniforms.
The court presided over by Justice A.B. Gumel held that the appeal was meritorious and should be allowed.
Gumel held that the use of the hijab was an Islamic injunction and also an act of worship, hence it would constitute a violation of the appellants’ rights to stop them from wearing it in public schools.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the appellate court, the Lagos State Government approached the Supreme Court, but no judgement has been delivered yet.
“It is a common principle in law that when there is a subsisting judgement by a court, in the absence of a contrary judgement the subsisting judgement remains valid,” Ashafa added.