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Alleged trans-Amadi mosque demolition: Sultan calls for caution 

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Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar


President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has called for caution over the alleged demolition of Trans-Amadi Mosque in Rivers State, stating that the authority was in dialogue with the concerned parties to resolve the matter amicably.

The Sultan, who commented on the matter for the first time, yesterday, stated that “as at the time the news broke on the purported demolition of the Trans-Amadi Mosque in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the position it took has been the one enjoined by the Qur’an in Verse 6, Chapter 49, which stated that “Believers, when an ungodly person brings to you a piece of news, carefully ascertain its truth, lest you should hurt a people unwittingly and thereafter repent at what you did.” 
 
He said the NSCIA refrained from making a public statement on the matter until it was done with its investigations and findings. “These are still going on and contacts and talks are being made on the matter at the highest levels,” he noted.  He, however, said the deluge of reactions and counter reactions and the emotions, sentiments and heat generated made it necessary for him to make a public pronouncement on it. 

“In the first instance, the Council states categorically that, unless it is based on mutual understanding and for the purpose of an agreed upon public interest and common good (maslaha) the demolition of a place of worship (synagogue, church or mosque) is certainly provocative, condemnable and unacceptable under whatever guise. 
 
“As it were, it has the potency of generating hate, hostility and even violence in the society. It is, therefore, not surprising that the Trans-Amadi Mosque issue has generated a great deal of tension and unprecedented hostile exchanges in the mainstream and social media.“In this regard, the Council hereby calls upon Muslims to continue to exercise restraint and to avoid taking laws into their hand while it handles the matter and prosecutes it to its logical conclusion,” he said.

Although, he said his comment was not meant to divulge the findings of the investigations of the Council, the Sultan noted that so far, it had become clear that the best way to resolve this matter was through high level dialogue and consultations, saying the leadership had been doing that for the past several days.
   
“ It is on this note that the Council calls upon all parties, stakeholders and interest groups involved in this matter to avoid making public pronouncements that will keep on heating the polity thereby generating avoidable tension and fears in the country.

“The Council wishes to further assure the Muslim Ummah that it will go to any length and will never relent in pursuing the matter and ensuring that it is resolved peacefully and just-fully. We pray unto Allah that as we enter the New Islamic Year peacefully so shall it continue to be up to its end and even beyond,” he said.


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