Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) has described as false, reports by some sections of the media, that the FCT minister, Nyesom Wike, has ordered a partial demolition of the National Mosque in Abuja.
The authorities made the rebuttal in a statement signed by its head of public relations/information, Mr Richard Nduul, in Abuja yesterday.
The statement reads, “The attention of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) has been drawn to an online news story that the FCT minister, Mr Nyesom Wike, has given the executive secretary, Mr Shehu Ahmad, 24 hours to explain the government’s position concerning the partial demolition of the National Mosque.
“The FCDA wishes to state unequivocally that as far as it is concerned, the news is fake or at best mixed by the reporter.
“There was no time whatsoever that the honourable minister of the FCT directed the demolition of the National Mosque nor did the executive secretary receive any directive pertaining to the demolition of the National Mosque.”
The statement explained that members of the Abuja Mosque Management Committee led by the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, visited the minister on Wednesday.
It explained that during the visit, the chairman appealed for more time to develop the two plots of land allocated to the National Mosque by the FCT Administration.
“One of which (plot 63) is substantially affected by a future road development – the Inner Northern Expressway (INEX) and for which an alternative or replacement is being awaited. This is in view of the recent revocation of land title allocations which have remained undeveloped over time.
“It was in the light of the above therefore that Wike who at the time was yet to be briefed on the development, directed Ahmad, to immediately brief him within 24 hours on the issue of the National Mosque Lands.
“It is pertinent to state that the minister’s directive on the status of the lands allocated to the National Mosque was contrary to what the reporter portrays as the demolition of the National Mosque,” it explained.
The statement added that as a further demonstration of good faith, Wike assured the delegation of the support of the FCT Administration in the maintenance of the National Mosque.
This, he said, includes the National Christian Centre which are national monuments.