Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesome Ezenwa Wike has advised those who are chastising him for demolishing a non-existent “mosque” to verify any story before jumping to conclusions or issuing reprimands.
The governor made the remark while showing the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode John Fayemi the sewage site, which Muslims all over the country have been saying was a demolished mosque site.
Wike said “I have nothing against Islam or any faith for that matter and as you can see there was never a mosque on this ground instead it is a sewage site, which has been in contention between the state government and “some groups because they want to develop on prohibited land.”
The Sultan of Sokoto and president of the Jaamatul Nasir Islam, the umbrella body of all Muslims in Nigeria, Sa’ad Abubakar, had earlier called for caution and restraint by Muslims in their reaction to the alleged demolition of a mosque in the Trans- Amadi area of Port Harcourt.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III In a statement issued in Kaduna, said that caution and restraint was necessary to allow the leadership of the Muslim Ummah “find a lasting solution with wisdom” on the said demolition of the mosque.
But when Fayemi visited the disputed land under very heavy downpour in Port Harcourt yesterday, in company of Wike and the Director General of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Mr. Asishana B Okauru, it became clear to him that those who yelled about the demolition were being plain mischievous as there was nothing there to show that a mosque ever existed on the site.
Although the Sultan had enjoined Muslims to be guided by the Qur’anic teaching of introspection and perseverance, truthfulness and sincerity in his statement, which was signed by Imam Khalid, it was apparent that truth had taken flight from the minds of those who spread the rumour.
Wike thanked the Chairman of the NGF who took time to visit in order to verify for himself what he was hearing and praised his leadership style which he described as exemplary because he did not join those who rushed to judgment on the matter.