Give Muslims alternative place of worship, NGF tells Rivers State
Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Kayode Fayemi, has appealed to the Rivers State government to avail the Registered Trustees of Trans-Amadi Mosque an alternative place of worship.
Fayemi, who is Ekiti State Governor, undertook a joint assessment of the disputed land with Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike yesterday, describing the controversy over the purported demolition of a mosque in Port Harcourt as a storm in a teacup.
He said this was because he could not see any evidence that a building existed on the disputed land in Rainbow Town, Port Harcourt.
Governor Fayemi said that his visit was necessitated by a call to Governor Wike after the controversy on the disputed land broke out, adding that when the controversy started he called Wike who told him that no Mosque was demolished.
“If they cannot have this place that is in contention and they have gone to court and you have respected their right to go to court, if they want to come back and request to have another place, I plead that you should oblige them.
You cannot allow people to build on a sewer. Even in Ekiti State, I will not allow people to build on a sewer. There is no Governor that I know that would allow that to happen.
“If they are willing and prepared to have a place of worship elsewhere, that shouldn’t be too much of a request. It is important for us to promote harmony, rather than discord,” Fayemi said.
Responding, Wike noted that even his Ekiti State counterpart had confirmed that there was no Mosque as was wrongly reported, and wondered why people politicise everything in the country.
“I want to thank Chairman of the NGF for at least coming to see things for himself. He called me while he was away and I told him, you know that I can’t do something like that and he said okay, when he comes back, he was coming to see me and he has fulfilled that promise. That shows leadership and from what he has seen, there was no Mosque.
“There is no way I will see a Mosque and order the Ministry of Urban Development to demolish a Mosque. Assuming that there was even a Mosque and that government doesn’t want it at that location, we will invite them and say look, we don’t want a Mosque there, can we find you an alternative place, but there was no Mosque. I don’t know why people should make politics out of the issue. It is not important,” he stated.
Wike assured of the state government’s readiness to give an alternative place of worship to the Muslim community if they so desire.
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