Oyo Governor Seyi Makinde has stated he never interfered with the appointments of judges, adding he only ensured due process was followed to the letter in the exercise.
The Governor, who stated this while hosting Oyo Muslim Ummah at his residence in Ibadan, added his government has continued to be fair and just to all religions.
He said he has always ensured merit and excellence were considered for appointments and recruitments in the state.
He added although some elements had been trying to cause confusion along religious lines, they have not been successful because the government has been transparent and fair.
He said rather than dissipate energy on religious differences residents of the state should unite to fight the challenges of poverty and hunger, which, according to him, know no religion.
Makinde said: “I didn’t interfere in the matters of judges but I always like to know those who will be appointed because of the approval I need to make – to know if due process was followed and that has been my approach.”
The Governor equally challenged those alleging he wrote a letter to block a particular person from being appointed as a judge in the state to produce the letter, adding his focus has always been on merit, capacity and performance.
“If they say I want to block a particular person, am I God? I was alleged to have written a letter indicating that the appointments of one Muslim and three Christians should be balanced out.
“We just finished fasting and I am saying before you that when they came to meet me, I insisted that the person that came first in the interview must be included. I didn’t even know if the person was a Christian or a Muslim.
“As a matter of fact, those who know me know I don’t consider religion in my appointments. My focus is always on merit, performance and delivery.
“So, I challenge anyone that saw such a letter anywhere in the system either from me or the Attorney-General, to bring the letter out. I want to see it.
“When we went for the PDP, South-West Congress, the two powerful positions, which they gave to us – the zonal chairmanship and women leader slot, were occupied by Muslims and that was the recent thing we have done.
“In building our state, the greatest challenges we have to fight are poverty and hunger because other things are directly under the two. And the two things don’t know religion,” the Governor added.