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Buhari orders return of Obalende prayer ground in Lagos to Muslim community



President Muhammad Buhari has ordered that the control of the Obalende Eid prayer ground be returned to the Jama’atul Muslimeen Council of the Lagos Central Mosque.

The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, confirmed the development in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

The president gave the directive just a few hours before the expiration of his tenure as Nigeria’s leader.

According to the statement, the president’s approval followed a report of a special committee he set up to investigate the conflict between the Lagos Muslim Community and Federal Government agencies over the control of the land.

The committee is headed by the Chief of Staff to the president, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.

Other members of the committee were the Minister of Works and Housing, the Minister of Defence, the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), the Chief of Defence Staff, and the Permanent Secretary in the State House.

The affected federal agencies are those stationed at the Dodan Barracks in the Obalende area of the state.

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Buhari, therefore, directed the government agencies to recognize and respect the fact that the Obalende Eid prayer ground legally belongs to the Jama’atul Muslimeen Council of the Lagos Central Mosque.

The statement read: “The president directed that the ‘desecration of the Obalende Eid prayer ground by its profane use as a dump site should stop with immediate effect and ordered the Dodan Barracks authorities to remove all containers and debris from the prayer ground.

“He also directed that the Dodan Barracks authorities to ensure that the Muslim communities and their agents have unrestricted access to the Obalende Eid prayer ground at all times.

“The president advised the Lagos State Government to, ‘if deemed fit, (to) grant the Jama’atal Muslimeen Council a Certificate of Occupancy over the area identified in the Survey Plan.”

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