The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has ordered the reversal of the renaming of Adogba Central Mosque in Iwo Road, Ibadan after him.
The reversal is coming barely 24 hours after an Islamic group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), criticised the renaming of the newly reconstructed central mosque after Mr Makinde.
The state government demolished the mosque in 2020 to allow the construction of a bus terminal on the location.
After the mosque was rebuilt in a new location, it was renamed after Governor Makinde.
However, some Islamic organisations, including MURIC, kicked against the new name, threatening to campaign against the reelection of the governor if his name was not dropped from the mosque before Saturdayâ€™s governorship and state house of assembly elections.
In response to the threats, the owner of Agidigbo FM, Oriyomi Hamzat, on Sunday reportedly led a government delegate to the central mosque to erase the governorâ€™s name from the mosqueâ€™s signboard.
The Executive Director of MURIC, Ishaq Akintola, in a statement on Monday, lauded the governor for bowing to criticisms on the issue.
â€œReports reaching MURICâ€™s Lagos headquarters say Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has removed his name from the signboard of Adogba Central Mosque, Iwo Road, Ibadan. The governor gave orders for the removal yesterday, Sunday 12th March 2023 after MURIC criticized the governor for inscribing his name on the rebuilt mosque,â€ he said.
â€œIt will be recalled that Adogba Central Mosque was demolished by the Makinde administration in 2020 despite our protestations. The governor promised to rebuild it and it was recently rebuilt. But the governor renamed the mosque after himself and MURIC asked him to remove his name,â€ he added.
â€œWe advised him to delete his name and leave the mosqueâ€™s original name there before the fast-approaching gubernatorial election of Saturday, 18th March 2023 to avoid protest vote from Muslims in the state. The state branch of MURIC has confirmed that the governorâ€™s name has been removed from the inscription on the mosque which now reads â€˜Adogba Central Mosqueâ€™. This was done yesterday, Sunday, 11th March 2023,â€ Mr Akintola confirmed.
â€œAccording to a newspaper report, the removal of the name was carried out by some workers led by the governorâ€™s media aide, Oriyomi Hamzat, the owner of Agidigbo FM,â€ he said.
â€œWe appreciate Governor Seyi Makinde for complying with MURICâ€™s advice. MURIC may be radical but it is rational. We affirm that we are not confrontational or militant. Neither are we unnecessarily difficult to relate with once the relationship is based on mutual respect and once no attempt is made to trample on the Allah-given fundamental rights of Muslims. We believe that the adherents of different religions can peacefully coexist in this country and work together towards making Nigeria great.
â€œMay Allah continue to protect and bless Governor Seyi Makinde. We are satisfied with the removal of his name from the mosque. No more bitter feelings, no more distrust. MURIC will continue to pursue cordial relations with both government and private institutions in Nigeria as long as they continue to give Muslims their rights and dues and as long as they allow their actions to be guided by the principles of equity, fairness and justice,â€ Mr Akintola said.