By Simeon Nwakaudu
Very fundamentally, no Mosque was demolished by the Rivers State Government. This has been established by all the stories published after the initial falsehood by Daily Trust and The Nation Newspapers generated National Attention. This reality can no longer be controverted.
Rather than apologise to the country for allowing the media to be used to peddle malicious falsehood, some media organisations have continued to rationalise the falsehood. A lie is a lie. No amount of rationalisation can transform a lie into the TRUTH.
The truth about the lie of the non-existent Mosque at Rainbow Town in Port Harcourt is the fact the story was SPONSORED by some political elements to attain a political goal. Otherwise, the TRUTH stared everyone in the face. The mischief of Alhaji Tobacco and his sponsors was clear.
Some news outlets attempted damage control. But then , the damage control was weak and self serving. The malicious falsehood had further destroyed the credibility of several of them.
A reporter from the cable called me and I informed him pointedly that no demolition was carried out. He informed me that he was in Port Harcourt and I asked him if he saw any Mosque at the said location. He admitted that no Mosque existed.
I told him that being a Pro-APC news outlet, I never expected The Cable to exhibit courage in its reportage of the falsehood. He argued back and forth. He asked for the judgment of November 2018 which conferred ownership of the said land on Rivers State Government and I availed him the report. This had the Suit Number, Date of Judgment and Name of the Judge that delivered the judgment.
The following day the same reporter called me and said that Scannews had published the news report on the judgment I sent to him. I urged him to go to the State High Court with the suit number and name of the judge to obtain certified true copy of the judgment, if his office doubted the judgment which was already in the public domain . He didn’t reflect the judgment in his damage control report and claimed that he couldn’t do so because it was published in Scannews. This is a reporter that claimed he was in Port Harcourt to investigate the non-existent Mosque.
Beyond that Justice G.O Omereji’s judgment, the Registered Trustees of Trans-Amadi Mosque have appealed the judgment. In Suit Number CA/PH/189/2019, the Registered of Trans-Amadi Mosque said that Justice G.O. Omereji erred while delivering judgment on Suit Number PHC/986/2012, when he declared that the Rivers State Government’s title was superior to the ownership claim of Chief Amadi who sold the land to them.
The Rivers State High Court declared that the land in question belongs to the Rivers State Government. The Court also declared that the Registered Trustees of Trans-Amadi Mosque had no approval to construct any structure on the disputed land.
The Cable and her reporter were not diligent to confirm from the Rivers State High Court and the Court of Appeal. Having lost in their plot to misinform and mislead Nigerians, they struggled desperately to justify the lie.
Whatever is said, we must have the courage to admit the truth. There was no Mosque on that plot of land. The plot of land has always been owned by the Rivers State Government.
Despite speaking to the Former Rivers State Governor through his media aide David Iyofor, Cable and other pro-APC media still attempted to promote the malicious falsehood about the NON-EXISTENT MOSQUE.
Hear Amaechi through
“Facts are being twisted and misrepresented. Amaechi as governor of Rivers state did not demolish any mosque on that site. We recalled that during one of his many project inspections around the city of Port Harcourt, Amaechi noticed that some persons were in the process of building on government land,” iyiofor said.
“He stopped the work they were doing and directed the relevant Rivers state government ministry liaise with the builders to determine the veracity of their claims that they(builders) have legal rights to the land. The outcome of the government investigation at that time confirmed that the land belongs to the state government and there was no government approval for anyone or body to build on that parcel of land”
From the above, the narration remains consistent with today’s reality. The land belongs to the Rivers State Government and no approval was given to the group for any construction. They didn’t obtain any from Amaechi and no approval was given by the Wike administration.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum and Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has assessed the location. He found out that no Mosque existed at that location. This entire story was concocted with ulterior political motives. This explains the warped statements by some political leaders, who climb the political ladder using religion as a major tool.
Fayemi said : “With what I have seen I cannot see any evidence of any building that has been demolished here. If you are somebody who wants a place of worship, you should find a way to oblige them. I know within your capacity, it will be possible to find a place for them.
“From what I have seen here, I think it is a storm in a tea Cup. There is nothing to warrant this kind of media hype that has been given to it”.
Those who plotted this malicious falsehood and sponsored the negative media mileage have been disappointed. God and the truth have failed them. The mayhem they intended to achieve failed to kick-start.