Coalition of Northern Youth Groups (CNYG) has denied the alleged demolition of a mosque in Port-Harcourt, capitals of Rivers state allegedly on the order of Governor Nyesom Wike.
It also called on northern youths across the country, to resist attempts to use them to stir religious crisis in Nigeria.
The coalition told reporters on Tuesday that the hoax about the alleged demolition was orchestrated to stir religious crisis.
Convener of the coalition, Comrade Mohammed Sanni, said: “We have observed with patriotic disenchantment the worrisome trend of some politicians capitalizing on falsehood to fan the furnace of ethnic, religious or regional division, just for self- serving and fiendish gains, while endangering the collective goodwill and peace.
“The recent wild rumor of an alleged demolition of a mosque located at Trans Amadi Road, GRA, Rivers State is not only false and misleading but intended to draw religious ire, stir political tension and widen the chasm of national division, which rather requires healing and bonding at this point in time.
“It should be noted that, we immediately swung into action on hearing the disturbing news and have conducted an on the spot visit to the said location and our findings are very contrary to the falsehood being peddled.
“A diligent assessment of the location showed that, even though structures were demolished around that area, none of such structures was or is a mosque building.
“On further interaction, with residents and the Muslim community in the area, we gathered that, the said location being labeled as a mosque building belongs to an individual who was building his personal structure without government approval.
“The said fellow had gone ahead to erect a foundation on the site ostensibly to wade off government action, he thereafter proceeded to unilaterally label the location as a mosque.”
The youths added: “Further findings led us to the clear revelation that the matter has been properly addressed by the relevant Courts and the government was acting within the precincts of the law.
“Judging from this, rationality should only dictate that, if the property owner has/had any issue of contention, the courts were and are still open to address his grievances rather than resorting to inflaming the polity with tense religious passions.”
They described Wike as a religiously tolerant governor, stating “his policies are friendly and his administration operates an open door policy irrespective of your region and religion.
“And what else did you expect from a nationalist like him? We are aware of the plot against him and we shall enlighten our fellow youths from northern part of the country against such plot!
“We have also seen the gusto with which political horse traders and religious alarmists have taken the matter and have therefore deemed it of prime importance to address our youth throughout the North and also those residents in Port Harcourt to remain calm and maintain the peace as we are still in wide consultations.
“It should not be lost on everyone that the Governor of Rivers State – Chief Nyesom Wike is a very good friend of the North and a brother to the Muslim community.
“Records show that he has always maintained a very cordial relationship with the Muslim community in Rivers state.
“It is therefore nothing but high pitched mischief for anyone to go about town with the anti-Muslim narrative.
“We wish to assure our brothers from the South that, they can and should go about their businesses within the Northern States peacefully and confidently, as we have commenced a series of proper sensitization of our youths.”