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No, claims that the minister for Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory has marked the Abuja National Mosque for demolition are false

IN SHORT: Some Facebook posts are claiming that the National Mosque in Abuja will be demolished by minister Nyesom Wike. But these reports have been refuted by the authorities.

The federal capital territory (FCT) minister, Nyesom Wike, will destroy the National Mosque located in Nigeria’s capital Abuja. This is according to the Facebook page Nigerian News Hausa. The post is written in Hausa but was translated to English by Facebook’s translation system.

The machine-translated post from 18 October 2023 reads, in part: “Minister of Wike has given the secretary of workers and development of the federal city Abuja Engr Shehu Ahmad Hadi 24 hours after he came out to explain to the people why the mosque will be demolished.”

The post has over 1,000 comments, many also written in Hausa, and has been shared by over 900 users.

The appointment of Wike as the minister of Abuja split opinions among Nigerians. People in Abuja are predominantly Muslim and Hausa-speaking, while Wike is a Christian from southern Nigeria.

Since his assumption of office, the minister has ordered the demolition of unapproved buildings in the capital. Comments on social media have shown that some Nigerians are displeased with these activities.

The minister was also rumoured to have demolished a mosque as the governor of Rivers State in 2019. Wike, however, denied the rumour. 

Posts claiming that Wike wants to demolish the National Mosque can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But is this true? We checked.

False post about Abuja National Mosque

Development authority refutes reports

The Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) has denied that Wike has ordered a partial demolition of the National Mosque in Abuja.

According to a statement published by the Leadership newspaper, “there was no time whatsoever that the honourable minister of the FCT directed the demolition of the National Mosque nor did the executive secretary receive any directive pertaining to the demolition of the National Mosque”.

The minister in another report made it clear that the mosque was a national monument and he would support its maintenance.

In the same report, it was revealed that the mosque had been given three months to start development on some of its land or face revocation, or losing that part of the land. 

According to the report, work had started on the land but had been in part suspended because of a directive from the capital authority. The authority said an “expressway passes through the plot based on the Abuja Master Plan”.

A portion of the mosque’s land will be affected and the minister will compensate the mosque for this.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, the National Mosque also denied the reports of partial demolition of the mosque.

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