The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs has issued a press release on the alleged demolition of the Trans-Amadi Mosque in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Below is the press release;
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The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) under the leadership of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni., wishes to inform the Muslim Ummah in particular and all Nigerians in general that, right at the time the news broke on the purported demolition of the Trans-Amadi Mosque in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the position it took has been the one enjoined by the Qur’an in Verse 6, Chapter 49, that, “Believers, when an ungodly person brings to you a piece of news, carefully ascertain its truth, lest you should hurt a people unwittingly and thereafter repent at what you did”. The NSCIA refrained from making a public statement on the matter until it was done with its investigations and findings. These are still going on and contacts and talks are being made on the matter at the highest levels. However, the deluge of reactions and counter reactions and the emotions, sentiments and heat generated thereby have made it necessary to make a public pronouncement on it. So far, as its investigations proceed and as issues around the matter continue to unfold, the Council is only further being convinced and satisfied that the position it has taken is surely the rightful and most appropriate one.
In the first instance, the Council hereby states categorically that, unless it is based on mutual understanding and for the purpose of an agreed upon public interest and common good (maslaha) the demolition of a place of worship ( synagogue , church or mosque) is certainly provocative, condemnable and unacceptable under whatever guise. As it were, it has the potency of generating hate, hostility and even violence in the society. It is, therefore, not surprising that the Trans-Amadi Mosque issue has generated a great deal of tension and unprecedented hostile exchanges in the mainstream and social media. In this regard, the Council hereby calls upon Muslims to continue to exercise restraint and to avoid taking laws into their hand while it handles the matter and prosecutes it to its logical conclusion.
While this Press Release was not meant to divulge to the public the findings of the investigations of the Council, it is pertinent to state here that so far, it has become clear that the best way to resolve this matter is through high level dialogue and consultations which the leadership has been doing for the past several days. It is on this note that the Council calls upon all parties, stakeholders and interest groups involved in this matter to avoid making public pronouncements that will keep on heating the polity thereby generating avoidable tension and fears in the country.
Finally, the Council wishes to further assure the Muslim Ummah that it will go to any length and will never relent in pursuing the matter and ensuring that it is resolved peacefully and just-fully. We pray unto Allah that as we enter the New Islamic Year peacefully so shall it continue to be up to its end and even beyond.
May Allah make it a very prosperous year full of divine blessings and grace from Him. He is the Most Gracious, Most Praiseworthy.
Prof. Salisu Shehu