The National council of Muslim Youth Organisation says the governor’s assertion that Rivers state is 100% a Christian state is not correct.
The state secretary of National Council of Muslim Youth organisation and the President National Association of Ikwerre Muslims (NACOMYO). Alhaji Akaraka Abu Ibrahim Asuru stated this in a statement signed by him on behalf of the organisation.
He said ‘’Governor Nyesom Wike’s recent statement that Rivers state is 100% a Christian state was very unfortunate and goes a long way to show that the governor does not possess the historical knowledge about the existence of Islam in the state. For the purpose of clarity and better understanding, it is pertinent to go into archive.
Alhaji Akaraka revealed that ‘’There was the presence of Islam and Muslims in the state before the creation of Port Harcourt 1912. Even when Major Galway visited Elele in 1896, Mr A.B. Harcourt whose name was used in naming the present city of Port Harcourt, reported the presence of Muslims at Elele in large number. History has shown that Elele Central Mosque, being the oldest mosque was built before 1896.
He added that, ‘’Chief Dikko who was the leader of the Muslims was appointed by the governor General, sir Frederick LordLugard as a warrant chief of Ikwerre Native court of Appeal that sat at choba. Among the early revers to Islam were some natives from Ibaa and Elele in 1902 which include not limited to such persons as Musa Banwo, Suleiman Otopo and Musa Wokah.’’
‘’The above historical fact apart, it is rather startling to hear the governor make claim under reference in the face of over 120 mosque and Islamic schools in River state some of which are under the Imam-ship of Rivers indigenes.
‘’The above fact is just but a little insight into the falsity in the rather distorted claim without delivering into the presence of other religious group within the state. (PR by NACOMYO)