Adogba:‘We are surprised Makinde did this for Islam despite being a Christian’

Worshippers, notable Muslims speak on new Adogba central mosque, Ibadan, built by Oyo gov

Adogba:‘We are surprised Makinde did this for Islam despite being a Christian’
Adogba:‘We are surprised Makinde did this for Islam despite being a Christian’

If the eyes of Nigeria’s history are sunken, it is partly because of the horrid things it has witnessed Nigerians do to one another in the name of religion. This is why it amounts to toying with the tiger’s tail for anyone to do something that remotely looks adversarial, especially towards any of the two major religions in the country, Islam and Christianity.

However, the governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, trod the slippery path of religion recently — albeit in the name  of infrastructural development — and the undertaking has turned out as something of a legend, even to the most ardent, in religious circles in his state.

Mr AbdulHameed Dawud is a middle-aged man who worshipped at the old Adogba Central Mosque in Iwo Road, Ibadan. The mosque belonged to the Organisation of Thadomunul Muslimeen (OTM). In October 2019, on a Friday, he was one of the faithful who had gathered at the mosque for the weekly Juma’at prayer.

The Juma’at service turned out to be one like no other: it was joined by an August visitor, the governor of Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde.

“What is our governor, a Christian, doing here? This is a Juma’at prayer. What could have brought him?” That was the question running through Dawud’s and many other worshippers’ minds that afternoon. Their curiosity soon gave way to a complete loss of hope.

“On that fateful Friday, His Excellency, Engr. Seyi Makinde, came to the old Adogba Mosque during our Juma’at prayer. He sat with us and prayed with us. I was at a loss as to why a governor who is a Christian came to be part of such special prayer and what his mission was. When it was time for him to address us, he declared his plan to demolish our mosque. The general feeling that greeted that declaration was one of despair. ‘Our brotherhood at Adogba mosque has been broken up irretrievably. Our brotherhood by virtue of this mosque is over’. This was the thought in my head. The entire congregation was, to say the least, shocked at the governor’s announcement. When the bulldozers arrived and began to pull down the structure, many of us wept. I did. We thought a citadel of knowledge was gone. I thought to myself: ‘So, just like that, Adogba mosque is done for?’ Although the governor promised to build a new structure for us, because of our long-standing misgivings about politicians and their promises, no single one of us believed that our mosque would ever be rebuilt.

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