Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike has assured that he will complete the ongoing rehabilitation of the Abuja National Mosque.
The Minister who, received in audience, a delegation of the Abuja National Mosque Management Board, led by its Chairman, the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, said that the FCTA will continue to give support to the Abuja National Mosque to ensure the preservation of the national monument.
“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.”
Wike cautioned some politicians who use religion as a tool to settle political scores and cause disaffection amongst the populace, asking them to desist from such actions and instead preach the message of peace.
He cited 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, explaining that discussions held with the Ambassador during the visit centered on agriculture and not international politics.
He said that such visits were at the instance of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and that he does not determine the country’s international relations.
The Minister used the occasion to reiterate that cattle rearing is restricted to the rural parts of the FCT, saying that rearing of animals within the city center was an anomaly.
He said that meetings will be held with the herders to sensitise them and chart a better way forward.
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 reiterated FCTA’s stance against unorganized markets and motor parks in the city centre, saying that such would no longer be tolerated.
Earlier, the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar had 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 that the FCDA subsequently assumed the responsibility for its maintenance for which the Board was immensely grateful.
The Etsu Nupe appealed to the Minister to complete the ongoing rehabilitation exercise.
Present at the meeting were the Minister of State, FCT, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud, the Secretary General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Professor Ishaq Oloyeded and and other members of the National mosque Management Board and senior officials of the FCT Administration.