Urges religious, political leaders to preach message of peace
By Abubakar Yunusa Ojimaojo
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has assured that the FCT Administration will complete the ongoing rehabilitation of the Abuja National Mosque.
The Minister who, gave the assurance in Abuja on Wednesday, October 18th, 2023, when a delegation from the Abuja National Mosque Management Board, led by its Chairman, HRH Alh. Yahaya Abubakar, Etsu Nupe, paid him a courtesy visit in his office, said the FCTA will continue to give support to the Abuja National Mosque to ensure the preservation of the national monument.
According to the Minister, “There is no government that will hesitate to support the maintenance of a national monument, be it Islam, be it Christian. All of us, we are in authority; everyday, we say may God help us. If we say may God help us, what of the centres of worship of that God you call to help you. If that centre of worship is not there, how then do you begin to say may God help us?
“So, you also have a role to make sure that that centre of worship is well maintained for the worship of God. So, let me declare to you here, whatever assistance you think the previous administration or authority has been helping, if we do not surpass it, we will continue to do that.”
Speaking on the antics of some politicians to use religion as a tool to settle political scores and cause disaffection amongst the populace, Barrister Wike cautioned them to desist from such actions and instead preach the message of peace.
Citing the example of false narratives recently circulated insinuating that the visit of the Israeli Ambassador to the FCTA was in some way connected to the on-going Middle East conflict, the Minister explained that discussions held with the Ambassador during the visit centered on agriculture and not international politics.
He also said such visits were at the instance of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, adding that he does not determine the country’s international relations.
The Minister also used the occasion to once again reiterate that cattle rearing was restricted to the rural parts of the FCT saying that rearing of animals within the city center was an anomaly. However, meetings will be held with the herders to sensitise them and chart a better way forward, the Minister said.
Speaking on the three-month deadline given to land allottees in serviced areas in the FCT to develop their plots or risk losing them, the FCT Minister promised that concessions would be made for plots belonging to religious bodies to allow adequate time for development considering that thay had to source for the funds to complete their projects.
He also reiterated FCTA’s stance against unorganized markets and motor parks in the city centre, saying such would no longer be tolerated.
Earlier in his remark, the Etsu Nupe, HRH Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, commended the FCT Minister for his foresight, passion and commitment to the job and prayed that Allah would guide and give him the wisdom and good health to continue to pilot the affairs of the FCT.
The Chairman informed the Minister that the Abuja National Mosque was designated as a national monument by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, following which funds were raised to renovate it.
He said the FCDA, subsequently assumed the responsibility for its maintenance for which the Board was immensely grateful. The Etsu Nupe thereafter called on the Minister to complete the ongoing rehabilitation exercise.
Also present during the meeting were the Minister of State, FCT, Dr Mariya Mahmoud the Secretary General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs Prof. Ishaq Oloyeded and and other members of the National mosque Management Board and senior officials of the FCT Administration.