Wike/Gumi feud takes dangerous turn

Nyesom Wike, Gumi, APC

*Campaigners allege plans to demolish National Mosque, recruit Israeli agents in FCT

*N’Delta militants warn Gumi

  • Clerics say rumours designed to cause disunity


Amidst rising concerns, numerous unfounded rumours have been circulating, alleging that the Minister of FCT, Nyesom Wike, has ordered the partial demolition of the National Mosque, a significant religious and cultural landmark in the nation’s capital, the Abuja National Mosque Management Board, has debunked the news of partial demolition of the National Mosque.

The Director of Finance and Administration of the National Mosque, Ambassador Haliu Shuaib and Imam of the mosque, Dr Muhammad Adam who addressed a press conference hosted by Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority FCDA, Engr. Shehu Ahmad, in Abuja, said the Mosque is, hereby, debunking the news of partial demolition of the National Mosque.

“It has come to the attention of the Abuja National Mosque Management, of a news item making the rounds in social and print media regarding the purported partial demolition of the National Mosque which is creating tension and anxiety amongst the Muslim Ummah in the country and beyond. The Mosque is, hereby, debunking the news of partial demolition of the National Mosque and wishes to set the record straight.

“His Royal Highness, Etsu Nupe, Chairman, Abuja National Mosque Management Board, and his delegation paid a courtesy visit on the Hon. Minister of the FCT. The delegation was warmly received, and the discussions were constructive as well as cordial, and issues of mutual interest were discussed as follows:

“Development of Plot 99: The Minister was briefed that the development of the plot was receiving serious attention to the extent that the design of the project to be executed had been approved by the Development Control Department of FCDA.

“Development of Plot 63 – opposite Yar’aduwa Centre: The Chairman also briefed the Hon. Minister that the Management of the Mosque was informed that substantial part of plot 63 had been consumed by the proposed Inner Northern Express Way. The Chairman, therefore, requested to know the current status of the plot and also that the remaining part of the plot be re-allocated to the Mosque and appropriate replacement of the fost portion be given to the Mosque and the Hon. Minister’s response was positive.

“Renovation of the Mosque: The Chairman used the opportunity to appeal to the Hon. Minister to use his good offices to complete the rehabilitation/renovation of the National Mosque, which the Hon. Minister promised to look at the issue.

“The National Mosque wishes to inform the general public that during the meeting between the Board Chairman and the Honourable Minister, there was never a time the Honourable Minister mentioned the demolition of any part of the National Mosque. He, however, gave an example of demolishing of a mosque in Port Harcourt, which did not exist when he was a governor. Like what happened now, he revealed that social media can cause confusion in society if care is not taken.

“The general public should, therefore, ignore the social and print media campaign and completely disregard the fake news in circulation.”

Dr. Adam warned the media and residents against spreading unfounded allegations noting that it would not only sow seeds of discord but will also undermine the unity and harmony within our diverse society.

The warning comes at a time when misinformation and fake news pose a significant challenge in maintaining public trust and harmony. This statement serves as a reminder of the importance of fact-checking and responsible information sharing within society.

Similarly, the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) has categorically denied these claims, emphasising that no such decision has been made or even considered.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, the Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Shehu Ahmed, said that there was no point the Minister ordered him or any agency of government to demolish any part of the National Mosque.

Ahmed, however, issued a stern warning against the proliferation of false information and a campaign of calumny targeting the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in relation to the National Mosque.

Recall that a media organisation (not Daily Times) published a misleading information that the FCT Minister ordered a partial demolition of Abuja National Mosque.

“Following the courtesy call on the Minister of FCT, Nyesom Wike by the management of the Abuja National Mosque, led by His Royal Highness, Etsu Nupe, Chairman, Abuja National Mosque Management Board, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, in the last two days there have been viral on social media and other reactions to the misleading publication.

“The issue of undeveloped plot which the National Mosque was involved. Plot 99 had no problem, but plot 63 has an issue.

Already, the National Mosque and the National Christian Centre have been declared national monuments, so they have been given time for development.

Plot 63 is the plot directly opposite the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre which has a portion for a future road, the Inner Northern Express Way, INEX which transverses the Abuja city Centre and continues to Kubwa and Dei Dei.” Ahmed said

The Executive Secretary of FCDA, said the minister had told his guests that he has not been briefed about the status of a plot belonging to the mosque, part of which is affected by a road interchange.

Accordingly, Wike gave the FCDA 24 hours to being him up to speed on the issue with a view to compensating the mosque for the portion of its undeveloped land, Plot 63, lost to the road interchange.

“We have complied with the directive and have briefed the minister and he has immediately approved that the excised portion be taken note of and re-issue a title to compensate them for the lost portion.

“Indeed, as a further demonstration of good faith, the Honourable Minister of the FCT, Barr. Nyesom Wike assured the delegation of the support of the FCT Administration in the maintenance of the National Mosque as well as the National Christian Center which are all National Monuments.

“The above explanation is the true and correct reflection of what actually transpired and this could also be further confirmed from the National Mosque Management Board. It is therefore, hoped that this explanation will bring a closure to the so-called National Mosque demolition fallacy”, he stated.

All these are coming on the heels of recent public condemnation of the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike by Islamic cleric, Sheikh Gumi, who has been criticising the appointment of a southern Christian as the Minister of FCT, declaring that southern Christians can never be trusted.

Aside the talks about demolition of the National Mosque, strong perceptions are also being peddled about the plans of the FCT Minister to engage Israeli security experts to provide security in Abuja.

But in a twist of fate, a group under the aegis of ‘Hausa People of Hausa Land in Nigeria’ have declared support for the move by FCT Minister Barrister Nyesom Wike to employ an Israeli security outfit in Abuja, and any other security measures deemed necessary.

This was contained in a statement issued Friday and signed by leader of the groups, Haj. Kalthoum Alumbe Jitami of (Hausa People of Hausaland Emancipator), made available in Kaduna.

“We support the rumored information that you intend to employ an Israeli security outfit in Abuja, and any other security measures you deem necessary. We suggest the recommendation of similar measures be made to the President, considering the current state of insecurity in the country.

“We reject the misleading notion by the Fulani Elites and clerics that Israel is the enemy of Muslims. We identify the Fulani elites and clerics as the sources of discord in both Christianity and Islam.

“We are with you, praying for your divine protection and success. We anticipate your triumph in this country and believe in your ability to ensure peaceful co-existence. We support your vision for the FCT and trust in your leadership to restore Nigeria back to her previous days of glory.

“We urge vigilance against the Fulani’s efforts to dominate both Christianity and Islam in Nigeria for their selfish manipulations. We maintain our commitment to progress, security, peaceful co-existence, education, and fostering unity among different ethnic, religious and tribal groups. May God’s presence never depart from you.”

Earlier, in the statement titled: “Open Letter to The Honourable Minister of FCT, Abuja, Barr. Nyeson Ezenwo Wike”, Kaltum Alumbe Jitami”, the group assured Wike of their unwavering support while acknowledging their commitment and courage to doing justice; good leadership with patriotism.

“Your Honour Sir, We, the Hausa people of Hausa land in Nigeria, extend our hearty congratulations and gratitude to you for the security measures you are taking in the FCT administration.

“We assure you of our unwavering support while acknowledging your commitment and courage to doing justice; good leadership with patriotism.

“In view of the ongoing attacks to your person and character assassinations by disgruntled elements of the Fulani ethnic group with intent to incite ethno-religious acrimony over your appointment as the FCT Minister, it is important that you understand the difference between Fulanism and Islam.

“It is in the spirit of Fulanism that Fulani clerics like Sheikhs Ahmed Gumi, Abdalla Gadonkaya, Isa Pantami, and Ibrahim Kaduna, continue to portray your person and administration in negative terms. We remain resolute in our support for you and your administration.

“This is so because we understand the distinction between religion and politics. Nobody can use us to unleash terrorism against any individual or group of persons.

“We therefore call on Nigerians to promote unity through elections by supporting worthy candidates irrespective of their religious or ethnic backgrounds. We pray for continued success of your leadership and hope that the presidency be your future achievement.

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“We strongly suggest the inclusion of Hausa social media team in your information management to ensure accurate communication. This will protect your administration against any media propaganda using Hausa language and to assist you in the proper enlightenment of the public.

“We prioritise peaceful co-existence and the preservation of basic human rights, which have been undermined due to the Fulani penchant for propaganda and misinformation”, it stated.

In another development, some ex-militants from the Niger Delta region has equally condemned Gumi for picking on the Minister.

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