The Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde yesterday joined the Muslim faithfuls to observe the Jumah Service at the Adogba Central Mosque, Iwo Road, Ibadan.
The governor was accompanied by his deputy, Engr. Rauf Olaniyan; the Deputy Chief of Staff, AbdulMojeed Mogbonjubola; other appointees and top civil servants in the State.
Mr Makinde informed the Muslim faithfuls at the mosque that the decision to demolish the mosque to pave way for the construction of an interchange was part of government’s plan to make Ibadan a befitting state capital.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Taiwo Adisa, added that a church along the interchange area would also be demolished, refuting the insinuation that the demolition had religion undertone.
The governor also disclosed that not less than N8 billion would be spent to reconstruct the popular Iwo Road interchange in Ibadan, adding that his administration was committed to infrastructural development of the State, especially the state capital, so as to restore the old glory of the days when Ibadan was the capital of the Western Region.
He stated further that the State Government had made provision for a new land for the building of a befitting mosque for the Adogba congregation, promising to personally spearhead the finance for the building of the new mosque.
He said: “The main reason I decided to come here is, there are reports that the State Government wants to demolish the Adogba Mosque. Yes, it is true. The church that is close to this mosque will equally be demolished but I want it to be on record that, first, I worship in the mosque today. Second, what we want to do to this mosque can be likened to the popular saying that suggests that the palace of a king that gets destroyed can only get beautiful later.
“I make bold to tell you that we won’t demolish it and not rebuild a better mosque. They have looked for another land that is close to where we are and I will ensure that I donate personal money to begin the building of the new Adogba Mosque. I built a mosque at Omituntun House. The new mosque will be twice bigger in terms of size than this current one and will be a reference point. We will have a meeting with those that are running the mosque to see how we can achieve this.
“Also, we will try and cushion the effect of the demolition for those who trade around the mosque and may be badly affected by our action. We don’t want to run a government that will demolish and not compensate or make plans for those who may be affected.”
The Governor, therefore, appealed to the Muslim faithful to support the decision for the overall development of the state.