Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, in keeping with his earlier directives, on Friday, formally handed over to the Muslim community in Nsukka, two mosques rebuilt by his administration which were hitherto affected following a protest that erupted in the area, late last year.
Ugwuanyi, on the heels of the unfortunate crisis, immediately dispatched the Chairman of Nsukka Local Government Area, Hon. Cosmas Ugwueze and the security agencies to the scene to restore peace and normalcy, which resulted in no loss of life and minimal damage to property.
Ugwuanyi further directed the immediate rebuilding of the two affected mosques and consequently detailed the council chairman to liaise with the leadership of the Muslim community in Nsukka, to redesign and construct new mosques for them.
Handing over the rebuilt mosques to the Nsukka Muslim community, led by Chief Iman, Nsukka Central Mosque, Alhaji Yakubu Omeh, yesterday, Ugwuanyi, represented by the Chairman of Nsukka LGA, Hon. Ugwueze, thanked God that the incident did not lead to any loss of life.
The governor thanked the Christian and Muslim communities for sustaining the existing peace in Enugu State, reassuring them of his commitment to continue to protect everybody resident in the state.
In a message of appreciation presented by Prof. Momoh Mumuni, the Muslims expressed their profound gratitude to Gov. Ugwuanyi for rebuilding and inauguration of the mosques, stressing that the governor has “shown a high level of compassion, tolerance, resilience, dedication, commitment, bridge-building spirit; and has exhibited a sincere passion for which we have known you since your days; and harbour no grudges against anybody living in your domain”.
They said that the governor is “more of a father, brother, mentor and bridge-builder to us in Enugu State”, adding that “you (Ugwuanyi) have demonstrated unparalleled record for your kind gesture, by quickly putting together and deploying all your arsenal, energy, strategies and dragnets to ensure the avoidable crises that led to the miscarriage of annoyance to our worship place (mosque) did not reach the point of no-return”.
“We will continually pray for God’s wisdom, direction and strength upon you as you pilot the affairs of this great state. Thank you for extending your unreserved help to all kinds of people in the state irrespective of their state of origin, religion, belief and race.
“Despite the political jingoism and all forms of a fragile environment, you remain much focused on the service of humanity all to the glory of God. What a perfect gentleman! What a trusted ally!! We sincerely appreciate you and God bless you, sir”.
The Muslim community equally thanked the Chairman of Nsukka LGA, Hon. Ugwueze for the role he played during the incident, pointing out that he demonstrated wisdom and maturity in calming all frayed nerves.
In his remarks, the Chief Imam, Nsukka Central Mosque, Alhaji Omeh, also thanked God that nobody died during the protest and lauded Gov. Ugwuanyi for his prompt and rare intervention.
Speaking on behalf of the Bishops of Catholic and Anglican Dioceses in Nsukka, as well as the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Nsukka Chapter, Rev. Fr. Dr Emeka Ngwoke commended the governor’s gesture towards promoting peace and harmonious co-existence of Nigerians in Enugu State, urging residents of the state to continue to live in peace and harmony for other states to emulate.
In his goodwill message, a Northern-based wealthy farmer, an indigene of Mbu in Isi-Uzo LGA, who recently relocated his farming business to Enugu State, Alhaji Sani Friday Nnaji, expressed delight at Gov. Ugwuanyi’s timely intervention, restating that it was because of the peace entrenched by the governor that he relocated a lot of his investments to Enugu State.