RIVERS: Muslim cleric defends Wike over demolition of Port Harcourt mosque | Ripples Nigeria
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RIVERS: Muslim cleric defends Wike over demolition of Port Harcourt mosque

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Speaking on the alleged demolition of a mosque in Rivers State, Imam Ustaz Abdulahi, a Muslim cleric in Port Harcourt, has given assurance that Muslims are not under any form of attack in the state.

According to him, Muslims in the state are living in peace and going about their normal businesses without fear of molestation in the state.

Concerns had been raised on the safety of Muslims in Rivers following the emergence of a video on social media showing the alleged demolition of Trans-Amadi Central Mosque in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) had attacked the state governor, Nyesom Wike, for demolishing the mosque on the 20th of August, 2019.

In a statement by it director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, MURIC described the demolition as the most odious and insidious attack on an Islamic landmark in that part of the country in recent times.

However, Imam Abdullahi, speaking on Thursday, explained that the situation surrounding the demolition had been greatly misconceived.

“We (Muslim leaders) have been receiving lots of telephone calls from every state because there is a misconception about the issue of mosque demolition. Muslims in Rivers state are not under threat and the state is not hostile to the Muslim community,” he said.

READ ALSO: Muslim group calls Gov Wike an “established thug” for ordering demolition of mosque in Rivers

“We have over 130 major mosques in Rivers state, not counting the smaller ones in the streets, and I assure the Muslim leaders everywhere that there is no threat (to Muslims),” he added.

“There was an area called Rainbow Community along Trans Amadi area. Five to seven years or so ago the government of Rivers state gave a notice that they need the land. The issue went to court, there was a legal tussle and the state government won.

“The state government demolished everything there; churches, mosque, houses and shops.

“After some years again, the Muslim community resident in the area got another land from a local chief for over N11.5m. they built a mosque there – that was after the demolition of the first mosque, which affected all the residents, not only the Muslim community.

“Sometimes again, another demolition took place and they lost this mosque that was about five years ago. They didn’t leave the place, but are praying there every day and every week. It was when the state government went to clear there again that started this.

More so, he said because “Governor Wike addressed his supporters (on Ruga), assuring them that Rivers is a Christian state and he has no regret,” that was why many deduced that Muslims were under threat.

“I see the video in circulation which is not connected with the latest matter,” he added.

“I am calling the Executive Governor of Rivers state that he should continue to be the leader he his who does things accordingly. If there is a land bought for mosque and the government has interest in it they should replace it with another one.”

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