DEMOLITION OF TRANS AMADI CENTRAL MOSQUE, PORTHARCOURT BY RIVERS STATE GOVERNMENT: GOVERNOR WIKE’S SYSTEMATIC RELIGIOUS CLEANSING, PERFECTION OF CHRISTIANIZATION AGENDA AND IMPUNITY TAKEN TOO FAR
The Muslim Ummah in Nigeria, especially those residents in Portharcourt, Rivers State, woke up on Tuesday, the 20th day of August, 2019 to witness surprisingly, illegal demolition of an ultra modern Trans Amadi Central Mosque, Port Harcourt by the Rivers State government led by Mr. Nyesom Wike.
It needs to be stated clearly that the land upon which the mosque was built is not in any dispute while its Survey Plan No. AI/RV2009/D13 and Building Plan No. RTP/09/617 were duly approved by the same Rivers State Government.
One then wonders why a religious place of worship accomodating more than ten thousand worshippers should be demolished without any understandable cause.
But then we recall that the Rivers State Governor, Mr Wike on some occasions in the recent past boasted that Rivers State is hundred percent Christian despite the presence of a good percentage of Muslims who are not only residents but indigenes of the State. Could this wanton destruction be an attempt to fulfil Gov Wike’s stated interests in making Rivers a 100% Christian state? What might follow? Killing of Muslims? How far can Gov Wike go?
Will we wake up one day to see a government orchestrated mass killing of Muslims in Rivers State? Indigenous Muslims and non-indigenes alike? Has Governor Wike started a journey into mass murder of Muslims or is he just playing high level politics with people’s lives and properties?
We really don’t know how far Gov Wike is willing to go in pursuance of whatever is driving him but we call on all well meaning Nigerians, Muslims and non Muslims alike to call him to order. An attempt to lean on dangerous religious sentiments to gain some political popularity is a very low level that all men of decency should avoid.
We deem it important to note that we have read in the newspapers that Governor Wike claimed he did not demolish a mosque but agreed that he demolished a structure purportedly without a government approval. This is a clear lie, again a low level that a governor should not be descending to. The property is duly approved by the Rivers State Government with Building Plan No RTP/09/617.
Conclusively, we the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) B-Zone condemn in the strongest term the illegal demolition of the central mosque. It is insensitive, unwarranted and uncalled for. It is a flagrant disregard to the right of Muslims in Rivers State to freedom of religion as well as right to own immovable property.
Section 38 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) gave right to freedom of religion and it stated thus:
“Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance”
In a similar vein, Section 44(1) of the constitution gives freedom to own property whether moveable or immovable anywhere in Nigeria to all Nigerians irrespective of their tribe, ethnicity or religion. The said Section 44(1) stated thus:
“No moveable property or any interest in an immoveable property shall be taken possession of compulsorily and no right over or interest in any such property shall be acquired compulsorily in any part of Nigeria except in the manner and for the purposes prescribed by a law”
We therefore call on the government of Rivers State, to as a matter of serious urgency, apologize to Nigerian Muslims for subjecting their brothers and sisters in Rivers State to this psychological torture and agony by demolishing an ultra modern mosque worthy of several millions of Naira.
We also demand for immidiate payment of enough compensation to the authority of Trans Amadi mosque for reconstruction of the mosque on the same land.
We use this medium to also call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, leadership and entire members of the National Assembly, Religious leaders, Traditional rulers, religious groups, human right groups, media houses to condemn this act of impunity and call Governor Wike to order and not put Nigeria into another avoidable crisis.
Long live Rivers State, Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Qaasim B. Odedeji
Alh. Abdul Jalil Abdul Rasaq
Engr. Bashir Momoh
Public Relations Officer