The Archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province (Anglican Communion), Dr. Emmanuel Chukwuma, has described the allegation that the Enugu State Government was building an Islamic Centre at Uwani, Enugu, as untrue and misleading.
Archbishop Chukwuma who spoke when the family of the Anglican Bishop of Nsukka Diocese, Rt. Rev. Aloysius Agbo, held a Thanksgiving Service and Dedication of their twins, at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Nsukka, disclosed that what the state government is building is a Christian Chapel at the Government House, Enugu.
The cleric warned those peddling falsehood in the state to desist from such act capable of undermining the existing peace and good governance in the state, saying: “We don’t want rumours anymore in Enugu State”.
He urged the people of the state to continue to pray for successful trajectory of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration and for the governor to fully actualize all his people-oriented programmes in the state, which he is pursuing vigorously.
The state government and the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) had earlier debunked the allegation of an Islamic Centre in the state, calling on the public to disregard it entirely.
In a statement by the State Secretary of CAN, Apostle Dr. Joseph Ajujungwa, the Christian body disclosed that the state government “recently approved to build a Chapel of Worship at the Government House, Enugu, not an Islamic Centre, as being mischievously peddled on social media”.
Apostle Ajujungwa stated that CAN is happy with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, for being the first governor of the state to construct a Centre of Christian worship inside the Government House, Enugu, stressing that the feat is proof he is a true and committed Christian who serves God faithfully.
The CAN State Secretary, therefore, warned “those behind this fake news to desist from such act that could divide us by spreading rumours that are false”.
In its reaction, the state government in a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Nnanyelugo Chidi Aroh, described the allegation as “unfortunate, malicious, wicked and false”, stating that “there is no truth in the said story”.
The information commissioner added that “the story is only aimed at distracting the state government from its widely acclaimed determination to deliver massive infrastructural development and good governance to the people of Enugu State”.
Aroh pointed out that the state government, in keeping with its commitment to open and transparent governance, always “abides by strict due process in the approval of any government project and expenditure”.
He said the people of the state are briefed regularly on projects the state government approved for execution as well as the financial value of such projects, such as the recent approval for the construction of a modern Christian Worship Centre in the Government House Enugu, “the first of its kind since the creation of the old Anambra State”.
According to him, “while the state government will continue to respect the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion as guaranteed by Section 38 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, we urge all these agents of mischief and falsehood to join hands with the government in its widely acclaimed effort to improve the standard of living of the people of Enugu State and continue the massive road construction and infrastructure works.
“These include the New Secretariat Building in Nsukka, the Unity Park/garden, the road network at the New Golf Estate Annex, and the unique efforts to provide security and protect lives and property in line with the oath of office which obviously has resulted in the provision of vehicles, motorcycles, modern fire fighting vehicles and equipment and the procurement of rapid response vehicles in the State”.
While calling on the public to disregard the false allegation, the commissioner maintained that “the state government will continue to do all within its powers to ensure positive development in the state and encourage harmonious co-existence of all residents”.