Islamic Leader Faults Wike’s Land Claim
The Rivers State Islamic Leader and Vice President General of Rivers State Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Nasir Ahwelebe Uhor has strongly condemned the demolition of a Central Mosque at Rainbow Town in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area on August 20, 2019 by State Government.
Alhaji Uhor who made the condemnation in an interview with our correspondent in his office in Port Harcourt said the demotion was uncalled for, outrageous and extremely provocative.
The leader who also totally rejected the claim by the State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike that the property on which the mosque was built belong to the state government, however said the claim was false and misleading, adding that the truth of the matter was that the owners of the mosque duly bought the property (land) from a landlord vender in Amadi Ama community and obtained the relevant documents for the development through the Ministry of Urban Development and other agencies for all approvals.
According to him, before now they were using the property as a praying ground with canopy as a mosque for their daily prayers as well as Friday prayers, and later decided to fence the land in order to secure it, but surprisingly, while the fencing work was on-going, the former Governor of the State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi during a visit stopped over and gave an order that the fence be demolished.
Alhaji Uhor further stated that documents were tendered to him but he did not listened to them before bulldozer was sent to demolish the fence, pointing out that when they took the documents to the Ministry of Urban Development, the workers could not say anything since the governor had given an order.
He noted that as if that was not enough, the governor later used bald-wire with a padlock to fence and locked the property so that worshippers would not have access to the place, thereby making it impossible to go in.
At this stage, the Islamic Leader explaining that the landlord now took it as a challenge on his property and sued the government for trespass and that later, the court ruled in favour of the landlord and ordered Muslims that the bald-wire be removed during which period the then Governor Amaechi tenure elapsed in 2008.
He hinted that after judgment, they waited for three months as required by law but there was no appeal from government and they now raise some money to start a fresh fence, but again it was demolished by the Urban Ministry that it was illegal.
The Vice President General also disclosed that for the third time, the Muslim community erected some pillars and started the building to a DPC level, while still using the place as their praying ground (mosque) was when the workers from Ministry of Urban Development came again on August 15th and 20th, 2019, using excavators to remove the pillars and everything, hence the uproar and condemnation.
He alleged that after pulling down everything they dug a big hole at the center of the property now filled with water so that no Muslim should go in and pray, saying “Nobody can say if there is any problem between the worshippers and the government”, and asserted that the said land does not belong to the government but if, who gave the approval of the land?
Meanwhile, the Governor of River State, Chief Nyesom Wike has challenged the Muslim community to show proves of ownership of the land and that there was no mosque built in the said land.