In a bit to clear the Rivers State Government of allegation of demolition a mosque in the state, Governor Nyesom Wike has taken the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) on a tour of the site where the mosque was allegedly demolished in the Trans Amadi area of the state capital, Port Harcourt.
The governor, who has been widely criticised for the alleged demolition, declared that he has nothing against the practice of Islam in the state.
A statement by the spokesman of the NGF, Abdulrazag Barkindo, quoted the governor to have made the comment while taking Kayode Fayemi, on an inspection of the site.
The Rivers governor had maintained that there was no mosque on the site.
According to Barkindo, Wike advised those chastising him for demolishing a “non-existent mosque” to verify any story before jumping to conclusion.
“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”, Wike said.
The statement further stated that “Governor 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 judgement on the matter.”
Also, a statement by the spokesman to Governor Wike, Simeon Nwakaudu, quoted Fayemi as saying he could not see any evidence that a building existed on the disputed land.
“With what I have seen I cannot see any evidence of any building that has been demolished here. If you are somebody who wants a place of worship, you should find a way to oblige them. I know within your capacity, it will be possible to find a place for them.
“From what I have seen here, I think it is a storm in a tea Cup. There is nothing to warrant this kind of media hype that has been given to it.
“If they cannot have this place that is contention and they have gone to court and you have respected their right to go to court, if they want to come back and seek a request to have another place, I plead that His Excellency should oblige them.
“You cannot allow people to build on a sewer. Even in my state I will not allow people to build on a sewer . There is no Governor that I know that will allow that to happen. If they are willing and prepared to have their 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 reportedly said.
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