The Muslim Rights Concern has accused the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, of renaming the Adogba Central Mosque in Iwo Road, Ibadan after himself.
The Islamic human rights organisation made the allegation in a statement by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
In the statement in the early hours of Friday, MURIC said the mosque was demolished by Makinde’s administration in 2020 and was recently rebuilt.
MURIC said it was thereafter renamed after Makinde.
It, however, demanded that the Governor must remove his name from the mosque and return its original name.
It said Makinde has no moral right to name the mosque after himself because it was a replacement of the original mosque, which was demolished by him.
MURIC advised the governor to effect the change before the gubernatorial election on Saturday to avoid protest vote.
It said: “Our attention has been drawn to the name of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State which has been conspicuously printed on the newly rebuilt Adogba Central Mosque, Iwo Road, Ibadan. It had better not be. It is an insult on the corporate dignity of the Muslim community of Oyo State in particular and the entire Muslim Ummah in Nigeria.
“We demand that Makinde removes his name from that mosque. It does not belong to him. It is an attempt to rewrite history. Adogba Central Mosque was built for the Organisation of Tadomunul Muslimeen by the Saudi-based Haramain Islamic Organisation.
“The mosque was pulled down by the Makinde administration despite protests by the Muslim community. The demolition was one of the governor’s anti-Muslim actions. Within six months of his resumption of office in 2019, Makinde became known in Muslim circles as a serial mosque destroyer.
“He threatened to pull down Olore Mosque, turned Bodija Muslim praying ground to a recreation centre and bulldozed Adogba Central Mosque. To date, we are not aware of a single church that Makinde demolished. MURIC warned in November 2019 that Makinde should leave Muslim mosques alone but he went ahead with the demolition and promised to rebuild it.
“The governor has rebuilt the mosque in another location but he renamed it after himself. We are shocked to our marrows. What audacity! It is desecration of our place of worship. We cannot worship Makinde. We will worship Allah alone. It would have been right if he had not destroyed our mosque ab initio. But now we can still ask him ‘Where is our mosque?’ It is highly immoral. His action also lacks tact.
“Makinde can only be justified to name the mosque after himself if the money spent on its construction belonged to him personally. He needs to prove that to us but he has not. He used our common patrimony. That money belongs to the tax payers of Oyo State. It is not Makinde’s money. Therefore he has no moral right to name the mosque after himself. It is daylight robbery. It is abracadabra: the more you look, the less you see. Makinde has robbed Peter to pay Paul.
“Apart from the immoral angle, the governor has exhibited ulterior motive. Even the timing of the completion of the mosque was calculated to coincide with the 2023 electioneering period. Seyi Makinde has played on the intelligence of the Oyo State Muslim community. It is outrageous.
“Unfortunately the governor does not know that the Muslims are not pleased with his action. The best advice we can give him at this point is to remove his name from the mosque and replace it with the original name of the mosque which he destroyed, viz, Adogba Central Mosque.
“MURIC is known for dialogue and non-violence. Our motto is ‘Dialogue, No Violence’. Neither do we issue threats or give ultimatum. But the best time for the governor to effect the change of nomenclature is before the gubernatorial election coming up next week, Saturday, 18th March, 2023 in order to avoid protest votes on that day.
“We say capital ‘NO’ to ‘Makinde Central Mosque’. It is a rogue nomenclature. Our mosque is ‘Adogba Central Mosque.’ Engr Seyi Makinde has no mosque.”