By Henry Okonkwo
Civil rights group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, has slammed Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, for spending N30m to build a mosque in Borno State for farmers.
HURIWA is a statement on Friday also lambasted the ministry’s explanation for embarking on the project, saying that such stance fuelled the notion in many quarters that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had an agenda to islamise Nigeria.
They asked the Agric Ministry to ensure balance and fairness by also providing a N30m chapel for Christians and a shrine for African tradition worshipers.
The statement read partly, “HURIWA has rejected the tepid and illogical explanation regarding the illegal appropriation of public fund to build a place of worship for just a section of farmers.
“This provocative decision apart from being discriminatory and offensive to section 42 (1) of the constitution is a gross breach of section 10 of the constitution which prohibits the elevation of any religion as the state religion.
“The Minister of Agriculture was secretly designated by President Muhammadu Buhari as the minister of Islamic affairs for him to dip his hands into money belonging to the agricultural sector to promote religious interest of a section of Nigeria.
“It was inexplicable why officials of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration are proving right the groundswell of allegations that President Buhari’s agenda is to transform Nigeria into an Islamic state.
“We are by this public notice, demanding from the Minister of Agriculturethat he approves about N30m each into two places for the building of a church to be used by displaced farmers in Benue State and a befitting shrine for use by African traditionalists who are farmers in any part of Southern Nigeria deemed appropriate by the farmers.
“We are giving the minister a week to approve the funds to build a church and a shrine or we will mobilise Christian farmers and farmers who are African traditionalists to file a suit against this obviously unconstitutional and discriminatory policy.”