Amid jubilation of residents, particularly the Shehu’s palace, religious leaders and elders, the Maiduguri Central Mosque, the largest in Borno State, started 33 years ago, is to be commissioned on Friday, following its completion and remodeling by Governor the Kashim Shettima’s administration.
The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar, Ibn Umar Garbai Al-Amin Elkanemi in an announcement said the mosque would be commissioned on Friday by the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar in Maiduguri.
Governor Shettima, whose administration had rebuilt churches, once explained during an assessment visit to the Central Mosque, that “government is about addressing peculiar needs of every society and to Borno people, meeting religious needs is as important to them as providing other basic needs,” hence his involvement in building places of worship in areas where such projects seem beyond citizens.
According to history books, Borno was the earliest to institutionalise Islam in Nigeria, more than 500 years before the 1804 Jihad of Usman Dan Fodio. Borno has been a gateway to Islamic scholarship in Nigeria.
The Maiduguri Central Mosque was first built in 1918 before it was demolished in 1986 for the purpose of expansion and remodeling. Wealthy citizens and successive governments had tried to complete the mosque but the project was stalled until it was restarted by Governor Shettima about three years ago and completed in late 2018.
The central mosque, renowned to be amongst the most beautiful and expansive in Nigeria is under the custody of the Shehu of Borno. Besides the central mosque, five other Juma’at mosques spread across the state capital would also be commissioned on Friday.
“His Royal Highness, the Shehu of Borno and Deputy President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji (Dr) Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Al-Amin Elkanemi, warmly invites the Muslim Ummah to the historic commissioning of the Maiduguri Central Mosque which was completed and remodeled by the administration of Governor Kashim Shettima, after 33 long years since the mosque was started.
“His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, will insha’Allah commission the Maiduguri Central Mosque on Friday the f February 8, 2019,” a statement from the Shehu of Borno’s palace reads.
Four other mosques to be commissioned on the same day, the statement adds, include “Umar Bn Khatab Jum’a Mosque and Islamiyya school in Bulumkutu, Kalimari Jumma’a Mosque in Shehuri South, Mafoni Jumma’a mosque and the Abujan Talakawa Jumma’a mosque.”
Governor Shettima had clarified that another mosque located around Kasuwan Shanu in Maiduguri is among those to be commissioned too.