Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi has denied evidences that a building existed on the disputed land in Rainbow Town, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where the government demolished a Mosque.
Fayemi, who addressed reporters after a joint assessment of the disputed land with Governor Wike yesterday, described the controversy as a storm in a tea cup.
He said: “With what I have seen here, I cannot see any evidence of any building that was demolished. 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.”
Fayemi said his assessment visit was necessitated by a call to Wike after the controversy on the land broke out.
According to him, he called Wike when the controversy started and he (Wike) emphasised that no Mosque was demolished. He noted that the Rivers State Governor explained that the dispute began during the Amaechi administration though it was already in court.
Fayemi added: “You cannot allow people 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 who 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.”
Governor Wike thanked Fayemi for exhibiting leadership by visiting the state to see things for himself. According to him, Fayemi’s visit has confirmed that no Mosque was demolished as was wrongly reported.
He said: “I thank the Chairman of my forum for coming to see things for himself. He called me and I said you know I can’t do something like that. He promised to come see me and he has fulfilled that promise; that shows leadership.
“From what he has seen, there was no Mosque here. There is no way I will see a Mosque and order the Ministry of Urban Development to demolish it. Assuming there was a Mosque and government doesn’t want it there, we will tell them to look for alternatives. But there was no Mosque here. I don’t know why people should make politics out of the issue; it’s not important.”
Wike promised the state’s readiness to provide an alternative place to the Muslim Community if they desire it. He urged the people not to create discord among the religions as they worship the same God.
The governor has also appointed Alhaji Abdulrazak Deprieye as the Sole Administrator of Rivers State Muslims Pilgrims Welfare Board.
The appointment takes immediate effect, a statement by the governor’s media aide, Simeon Nwakaudu, said.