Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike has been described as a pathological liar by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).
The Islamic human rights organisation stated this in response to the governor’s denial of demolishing a mosque in Rivers State.
In a statement earlier, the group had accused Wike’s government of ordering the demolition of Trans-Amadi mosque. But the governor denied the claim, saying he only ordered for the destruction of illegal structures.
In its reaction to the governor’s denial, MURIC in a statement on Wednesday by its director, Isahq Akintola, wondered how the governor could be denying pulling down the mosque.
The group asked, “Was it (the mosque) knocked down by invading elephants? Was there a cyclone in Port Harcourt? Wike can say that to the marines. Nigerians have seen a manifestation of the five evils Chamberlain spoke about in Rivers State: brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution.”
The statement read in part, “Just two months ago (June 2019), he said, ‘Rivers State is a Christian state and I have no apologies for saying that.’
“A cleric from the South West who was in the gathering commended him for making such a declaration. Any reasonable person will tie the two incidents together. We are constrained to congratulate Wike for walking his talk. It was like, ‘I told you people that this state is a Christian state and you are still building a new mosque. Boys! Go and pull it down!’
“He admitted pulling down ‘an illegal structure’. But how can a building whose plan was approved by the state government before you came into office become illegal? For the avoidance of doubt, the survey plan number of the building is AI/RV2009/D13 and the building plan number is RTP/09/617. Both were approved by the state government since 2009.
“As far as Nigerians are concerned, those two documents are vital and a mosque is a mosque, whether it is a completed structure, half or quarter completed. Muslims congregate there and worship. There are uncompleted mosques all over Nigeria where Muslims worship daily. The case of Trans-Amadi Mosque cannot be isolated.
“Just yesterday, a church leader boasted that it planted 65,000 churches in six months. He has our best wishes but no state governor has the right to demolish our mosques no matter how poor they may appear. We cherish the devotion of Muslim worshippers and the serenity of our poor mosques more than any outward embellishment. Didn’t the Bible say ‘God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth? (John 4:24)
“Your Excellency, pictures do not lie. Neither do video clips, unless they are doctored. We watched three video clips where you declared that Rivers State is a Christian state. Can you deny that? We saw the rubble where there used to be a mosque structure. But you are now denying demolishing a mosque. Who does not understand semantics?
“Oh, we can see clearly. It became illegal because it is a mosque and it must go down because no new mosque must emerge after the ‘almighty’ governor has declared the state as a Christian state. A la l’etat c’est moi, n’est c’est pas? It had better not be. Even Louis XIV to whom that infamous declaration is attributed regretted his feudal absolutism on his deathbed when he said, ‘Je m’en vais, mais l’Etat demeurera toujours’, i.e. ‘I depart, but the State shall always remain’.
“Our message to Governor Wike is this: Your Excellency sir, verily indeed we say unto you, you have bulldozers, we have Allah. You may bring down our mosque. You cannot remove iman (faith) and piety (taqwah) from our hearts. Islam is in our lives and a million bulldozers cannot extirpate it.”
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