Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, on Monday, distanced himself from claims that he ordered the demolition of a mosque in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
An Islamic Right organisation, Muslim Right Concern, MURIC, had fingered Wike in the demolition of the Trans-Amadi Central Mosque in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
The mosque was said to have been demolished by the Rivers State Government on August 20, 2019.
Reacting to the development, Wike described the claim as unfortunate.
Addressing journalists at the location on Biambo Street, Off School Road by Mami Market Junction, near Rainbow Estate, Wike said the claim was the handiwork of mischief makers attempting to create disaffection.
The governor maintained that there was no Mosque on ground, hence nothing was demolished.
According to Wike: “I received calls from several prominent Nigerians on the fake news being circulated online. I have come here with reporters and you can see there was no Mosque here.
“It is most unfortunate that fickle-minded persons will claim that a Mosque was demolished at this place, when no Mosque existed here. The story was concocted by mischief makers to score cheap points”.
Governor Wike explained that some persons started erecting illegal foundation at the disputed land, even though they had no approval to embark on any construction work.
“They came here to erect illegal structure. There was no approval from the State Government for any structure to be erected here.
“The persons who started the foundation had already dragged the State Government to court on the disputed land. The Rivers State Government won the case. What they attempted to do was to start the illegal construction to tie the hands of the State Government. “
Governor Wike said that the State Government operates within the rule of law, stressing that the State Government will not be distracted by the illegal circulation of fake reports.
Wike stated that several Mosques constructed on the approval of the State Government exist across Port Harcourt and other major towns of the State.
He added; “The government gave them notice not to do anything on the land. But they went ahead with the illegal foundation and the relevant agency stopped them.
“Why would we want to bring down any Mosque, when there are other Mosques across the State? What is the Special interest on this one?”