CLAIM: “70% of my re-election votes were delivered by the Muslim Community”
CONTEXT: On Thursday, 16 November, 2023, the Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, hosted the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero and the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo and Delta states, Alhaji Dawud Makanjuola Akinola, at the grand inauguration of the Organisation of the Tadamul Muslimeen Mosque, Adogba, Ibadan.
The Mosque, which comprises an Islamic Centre, a Research Library and an Event Hall, was built by Governor Makinde, after the erstwhile Adogba Central Mosque was pulled down for the Iwo Road Interchange.
WHAT MAKINDE REALLY SAID: At the event, the governor appreciated the Muslim community for supporting him during the election, stating that despite being a Christian, he got 70 per cent of Muslims’ votes.
QUOTATION: “Some people, very small in number though, said Seyi Makinde must not be re-elected by the Muslim community. But, today, I can tell the entire world that I got close to, maybe over 70 per cent of the votes from the Muslim community in Oyo State.
“It has never happened before in the history of democracy in Oyo State where one’s opponent lost in his father’s house, his own house and polling unit, in his mother’s house, in his village, in the town and everywhere around Ibadanland. This is from the people that they claimed were not going to vote for me.
“So, I want to take this opportunity to thank the Muslim community for believing in us and also to make that solemn promise that in the next three years and some months, we will run an administration that will balance out any leaning…”
VERDICT: The claim that the governor said 70% of his re-election votes were delivered by a religious group is FALSE. It was clearly a case of misinterpretation, which could border on a genuine mistake or mischief.
The governor did not and could not have deliberately impugn on the support of any religious group, as he campaigned to and enjoyed the massive support of Christians, Muslims and Traditional Worshippers in the March 18, 2023 governorship election.
All the same, the misinterpretation should not be allowed to take the shine off the achievement of Governor Makinde with regards to religious harmony, as the governor has always insisted that religion cannot divide residents of Oyo State.