By Onah Paulinus Ogbaru : The leader of the Hausa community in Onitsha, Anambra State and the Secretary of the Northern Traditional Rulers council, South East, South South geo-political zone, Alhaji Iliyasu Yushau has described as unfounded, frivolous and a handiwork of mischief makers the rumour making round that the Onitsha Central Mosque has been sold.
Alhaji Iliyasu who is also the Sarki Hausas in Anambra State made the denial at an exclusive Press interview at his No. 2 Moore Street, Onitsha.
I have received calls from important personalities from the North and other parts of the country about the rumour and I told them that it was not true. Look this place was given to my father who came and settled here in 1903, when this places are bush, and there was nothing like Main Market. I want to inform you that anywhere there are muslim community and there is no mosque they will relocate. We are living peacefully here and nobody is harassing us and we are not harassing anybody. Anything about our mosque in social media are white lies and the general public should discountenance such rumour because it was made in bad faith. They only want to hit up the polity and cause religious crisis in the country.
We have been enjoying cordial relationship with the government and people of Anambra State since time immemorial and apart from the incident of MASSOB protest in 2016 that led to the burning down some sections of the mosque we have never witness any harassment or disturbanace in our mosque. It will also be interesting to inform you that Governor Willie Obiano gave us money which we used to re-build the mosque. I completely disassociate myself and the Hausa community’s involvement in the rumour being peddled around and we had never negotiated with the claimed J.j. Ejison International Ltd for himself or his servants, privies, in any form relating to our mosque.
Meanwhile, the Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture yesterday briefed the press on the ugly development about the sale of the Onitsha Central mosque.
In a press release read by the President-elect of the Chamber, Mr Donatus Ebubeogu, who stood in for the President, Mr Uche Apakamma, the Chamber said that her attention has been drawn to an audio clip making round in the social media, alleging that the Chairman of J.j. Ejison International Ltd, Chief Joseph Ukeji has purchased the Onitsha Central mosque from the muslim community, who are also alleged to be preparing to relocate from Onitsha due to the recent ultimatum given to the Igbos to leave the 19 Northern State of the country by October 1, 2017 deadline.
The statement which was made available to pressmen reads in parts the Chambers is, therefore, using this forum to urge the general public to discountenance this allegation as it is nothing but a farce; a blatant tissue of lie. We have it on good authority that Chief Ukeji never contemplated for such transaction, let alone carry it out. The purveyors of this baseless information are simple mischief makers and idle minds, who are out to create needless confusion and tension in the state.
The Chamber’s interest in the matter borders on the fact that, as the voice of the organized private sector (OPS) in this part of the country and a responsible organization, which ceaselessly champions a peaceful society and conducive environment for business, and considering the sensitive nature of the false allegation, it is our responsibility to provide the public with the true fact of the matter to avoid any misguided interpretation that could jeopardize the peace and security of not only Onitsha but the entire state.
Chief Ukeji is not only a bone-fide corporate member of ONNIICIMA whose pedigree transcends the country but he is also a top most industrialist and businessman, who has over the years built a strong reputation and principles by sheer hard work and adherence to international best business practices.
Source: Anambra State Government