Felix Ikem, Nsukka
Hon. Cosmas Ugwueze, the Executive Chairman of Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu has promised to rebuild the two damaged mosques by some protesters in Nsukka last Saturday.
It would be recalled that a misunderstanding between a tricycle operator and a Muslim man in the Barracks Junction area of Nsukka town last Saturday had resulted into fight after it was alleged that the Hausa man stabbed the tricycle operator with dagger wounding him seriously.
The youths who in retaliation resorted to
violence protests, setting Nsukka central mosque at Edem road ablaze and demolished another mosque at Barracks Junction, a situation that made Muslims in the area to scamper for safety.
Ugwueze who paid unscheduled visit with members of his cabinet to the Muslims community on Monday to ascertain the level of damages on the two mosque, said that nothing will stop the age long peaceful coexistence between Igbo and Muslim community in Nsukka.
He condemned the attack on the two mosque and other property belonging to Muslim, stressing that misunderstanding between two people ought not to have degenerated into attacks on Muslims and their worship centers.
The chairman who equally donated assorted food items to the Muslims appealed to them to preach love and peaceful coexistence to the their members and discouraged them from engaging into reprisal attack.
“What happened last Saturday was unfortunate because for many decade there has been a peaceful coexistence between the Muslims and Igbo community here in Nsukka.
“I want to assure you of government determination to make Nsukka habitable for all irrespective of tribe or religion.
“Government will rebuild the two damaged mosques and replace all the looted property inside it,” he said.
He commended the Muslims leaders in Nsukka for their maturity in handling the unfortunate situation.
“I commend your leaders for the manner through which this matter is been handled, call back your members to return to their lawful and legitimate business without fear of attack or harassment as government has restored normalcy,” he said.
In his response, Yakubu Omeh the Chief Imam of Nsukka Central Mosque who thanked the Chairman for the visit and his promise to immediately rebuild the damaged mosques said that the attack on their worship centers will not damage the good relationship that exists between Muslims and Igbo in Nsukka LG.
“We will play our own part to make sure that their is peace and harmony across all tribe and religions.
“I was surprise on attack on our mosque because the Muslim community has enjoyed cordial relationship with Nsukka people as some of us are indigenes of the LG.
“For many decades we have been living as brothers and sisters.
“Your visit today and promise to rebuild the damaged mosques have shown the volume of care and love the council has for Muslim community in Nsukka,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Ibrahim Ugwu, Nsukka Moslem Youth leader commended the council chairman, noting that the had assured them that safety of Moslems in Nsukka were guaranteed.
“with this visite we can now tell our members who have been hiding and are afraid to come out that peace has been restored that they should go about their normal businesses as their security are guaranteed.
“The youths are happy on government’s decision to rebuild the damaged mosques by tricycle operators,” he said.
Ugwu who is also the deputy Imam of Nsukka Central Mosque expressed appreciation to Christians in Nsukka town who harboured many Muslims in their homes to ensure their safety.