Leaders of the Muslim community in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, have condemned the demolition of Rainbow Town Central Mosque located at the Trans-Amadi, accusing state officials of harassment.
The chairman of the mosque, Alhaji Abdullahi Musa Tabaco, told Daily Trust the mosque was demolished on August 20 by government officials.
He said the officials, who came with armed policemen, pulled down the fence and the foundation of the mosque which had gone up to DPC level, citing non-compliance with the state urban development laws.
He said: “We bought the land about four plots from one Chief Amadi in 2008 and approval was given for the building in 2009. In 2010, we started putting up pillars and fencing of the land; while the foundation of the mosque was laid in 2010. The first demolition was carried out by (former Governor) Amaechi on the 5th of February, 2010 and this resulted in litigation between Chief Amadi and Rivers State Government.
“On November 2, 2017, a judgment was delivered in favour of Chief Amadi. Rivers State did not appeal the judgment and we started another round of construction of the building in 2018.”
He appealed to the state government to allow them to use the property for worship, noting that “the mosque is the only worship centre in the whole of Trans Amadi area where more than 4,000 worshippers worship every Friday”.
Also speaking the leader of the Hausa community in the state, Alhaji Musa Saidu, condemned the demolition of the mosque, Daily Trust reports.
The imam of the mosque, Alhaji Haroon Muhammed, said: “This is the most populated mosque. Muslims all over the world can see what has happened to a mosque that is duly approved by the state government. We have been harassed three times now – once on the 29th of last month, then on August 16 and 20 without any formal notice.”
When contacted, Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Information, Polinious Nsirim, said, “I am not aware of the demolition of the Mosque. I have no information on this.”