Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti state, says there is no evidence that Nyesom Wike, his Rivers counterpart, demolished any mosque in Port Harcourt.
Simeon Nwakaudu, spokesman of Wike, quoted Fayemi to have made the comment when he visited the site of the mosque which was allegedly demolished.
Wike has been under for fire allegedly demolishing a mosque in the Transamadi area of the state capital but the Rivers governor had maintained that there was no mosque on the site.
“With what I have seen I cannot see any evidence of any building that has been demolished here. 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,” Fayemi reportedly said.
“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, who is also chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, was quoted as saying his assessment visit was necessitated by a call to Wike after the controversy on the disputed land broke out.
“If they cannot have this place that is contention and they have gone to court and you have respected their right to go to court, if they want to come back and seek a request to have another place, I plead that His Excellency should oblige them,” he said.
“You cannot allow people to 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 that 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.”
On his part, Wike advised those chastising him for demolishing a “non-existent mosque” to verify any story before jumping to conclusion.
He said he had nothing against Islam and would ordinarily not antagonise Muslims.
“I have nothing against Islam or any faith for that matter and as you can see there was never a mosque on this ground instead it is a sewage site which has been in contention between the state government and some groups because they want to develop on prohibited land,” Wike was quoted to have said.
“Governor Wike thanked the Chairman of the NGF who took time to visit in order to verify for himself what he was hearing and praised his leadership style which he described as exemplary because he did not join those who rushed to judgement on the matter.”
TheCable had visited the site for an on-the-spot assessment and findings showed that indeed a structure was demolished but it was at foundation level. However, residents said Muslims have been praying there for many years.