The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, on Thursday, inaugurated the Organisation of Tadhamunul Muslimeen Mosque, Adogba, Iwo Road, Ibadan, built by the Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde.
Governor Makinde had, on October 19, 2019, promised to rebuild the Adogba Central Mosque from his personal resources, following plans to pull down the former structure to allow for the development of the Iwo Road Bus Terminals.
The Sultan commended Governor Makinde for making a commitment to build the mosque and fulfilling it, saying: “When you see the way this mosque was before and it actually turned out to be this, you cannot but thank Allah for the life of Seyi Makinde for thinking this way and also doing it.
“A lot of people say something but implementing it is always a problem,” he said.
The NSCIA president-general, who conferred his name ‘Sa’ad’ on the Oyo State governor for embarking on building a house for Allah in such a beautiful manner, said the new mosque, which also has an Islamic School, would help people to strive to be more educated for the world and thereafter.
He said: “I am the one called Sa’ad, but today I want to rename you Sa’ad. We thank Allah for bringing us to Ibadan for this very important programme.
“About three years ago when I spoke with the governor on phone, he told me he was building a mosque in a strategic place in Ibadan, and I told him I know where the place is. He told me I would commission the project and I assured that I would fulfill his request.
“I have moved around the whole area here and I can tell you that this is the most beautiful structure here. Whenever you pass along here, you won’t miss it and that is what we are supposed to be doing for the people. We should build houses of Allah in the most beautiful manner.
“The mosque is not just a place of worship but a school also. Now, having an Islamiya with a beautiful mosque, we cannot but strive more to be educated for the world and hereafter. So, let us use such facilities to educate ourselves, our brothers and sisters so that we live peacefully with one another as peaceful coexistence is important to us.
“Today, we are here by the will of Almighty Allah and this is a very good work, which we believe the governor has taken up. This is a good history we want to be replicated everywhere. So, we thank you, His Excellency.”
OYO NEWS reports that the Sultan charged that the edifice should be well-maintained.
In his speech, the Oyo State governor commended the Muslim Community in Oyo State for its support during the March 18 governorship election, reiterating his promise to run an administration that is fair to all religions in the state.
The governor explained that when he decided to pull down the Adogba Central Mosque and a church, which both stood on the spot where the state government is building its mega Bus Terminal, there was insinuation from the Muslim Community, as some people had already begun to view the appointments made by his government as one-sided.
He said: “I went to the mosque and I worshipped with the Muslim Ummah. I told them that the mosque and the church around it will be demolished, because we already put forward a roadmap for accelerated development, which means we had to focus on the development of our infrastructure.
“I understood the fact that there was trust deficit between the government and the people. So, before we even said anything, some people were already insinuating.
“But when I spoke at the mosque that day; I saw that 90 per cent of the people believed me and every time I ran out of money building this mosque, because it was built with my personal money, I always remembered those 90 per cent who believed me that I would rebuild the mosque as I promised.
“We are here today and I am sure that everyone knows the story. We actually completed this project before the election. But some people said I should not be re-elected because I am a Christian.
“Today, I can tell the entire world that I got over 70 per cent of the votes from the Muslim community in Oyo State.
“So, I want to take this opportunity to appreciate the Muslim leaders and the community for believing in us and I want to make that solemn promise that in the next three years and some months, we would run an administration that will balance out any leaning and ensure that people get what they are entitled to.”
Explaining his reason for building the mosque, the governor stated it was imperative to also cater to people’s spiritual needs by building what he described as spiritual infrastructure, after his administration has embarked on a massive building of physical infrastructure by connecting all zones of the state with good roads.
He noted that his government has also been taking care of what is known as ‘stomach infrastructure’ through the infusion of billions of Naira into the economy of the state on a monthly basis by paying salaries and pensions as and when due and had also implemented policies in the education and health sectors, which have yielded positive results.
Also speaking, the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo and Delta states, Alhaji Dawud Makanjuola Akinola, commended Governor Makinde, describing his act as something that will not be forgotten in the history of Oyo State.
“We gather here today to celebrate this mosque, which was personally built by our amiable governor with his personal money. How are we going to recognise a Muslim? If we confer on him the Amir’mumeen of Oyo State, I think he is worth it. When you see the worth of this mosque, that an individual built from his pocket, he deserves everything.”
The state’s Deputy Governor, Barr. Abdulraheem Bayo Lawal, equally hailed the governor for fulfilling his commitment, even as he appreciated the Sultan of Sokoto, who he described as the unifier.
Also in attendance at the grand inauguration were the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero; a former Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed; top Islamic clerics and government functionaries in the state.