The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has agreed with leaders of the Muslim community not to demolish four mosques built in filling stations in Ado Ekiti.
A petroleum dealer in Ekiti, Alhaji Suleiman Akinbami, built the mosques and donated them to the Muslim community.
The matter was resolved at a meeting held in the Government House in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, with the delegation of the Muslim community led by the President General of the League of Imams and Alfa for South-West, Delta and Edo, Sheikh Jamiu Kewulere Bello.
Also at the meeting were the President of the Supreme Council For Islamic Affairs, Ekiti State, Alhaji Yakubu Sanni, and the Coordinator of the National Council of Muslim Youths Organisations, Ekiti, Mr. Tajudeen Ahmed.
Fayose clarified that there was no political bias in his government’s plan to demolish mosques or churches built inside petrol stations.
He said the mosques marked for demolition were being attended by many Muslim worshippers; a development which he said was very risky in the event of any fire accident.
The governor promised that he would not demolish the mosques if they were used for private worship and not for public use.
Fayose said, “I would have sent security operatives to enforce the order to demolish the mosques but because of the respect I have for you (Sheikh Bello), despite the barrage of insults that some Muslim groups have hauled at me on the Internet and in the papers. Some of them even went to the point of holding rallies and protests and turned the matter to politics, but I kept my cool.
“I would have arrested them because those holding the rallies have overstepped their boundary but we honour you. Please caution those doing that so they don’t rubbish you.
“No one who is in APC can say I have harassed him in the state and I don’t allow any of my people to harass them because I don’t play politics of bitterness.”
Fayose said, henceforth, it was an abomination to build either a mosque or church within the premises of petrol stations.
“Tell our people, our patience does not mean we can’t fight. As for those (mosques) in existence, I will allow them to operate for private use only. No violation of this condition,” he stressed.
The governor said he had been fair to Muslims in his government, adding that his father’s Muslim name was Jimoh.
“If anything is wrong, let us look at it together. If it is for private worship, I can tolerate it but if there is traffic there, I won’t.
“Any mosque built for private use will not be demolished. But when hundreds are going there, the mistake of one man can cause big tragedy for all.
“I am not after anybody; if there is any government that has paid attention to Muslims in this state, I am one. I considered the new Chairman of Ado-Ekiti because he is a Muslim,” Fayose added.
Earlier, Bello, who addressed the governor on behalf of the delegates, said, “We appreciate your immense support for the Muslim community in Ekiti. It was with your support and that of God that we got the position we have as leaders of the community in the South-West, Delta and Edo. Your decision to bring fortunes to all shall be rewarded.
“Though, we were surprised that one of our mosques would be demolished, we know you have a listening ear and there must be a reason for your actions.”