By Stephen Adeleye
The Ohimegye Igu Koton karfi, Agaa-baidu, His Royal Majesty, Alh. Abdulrazaq Sani Isakoto, has performed the historical laying of a foundation stone of a 3,200 capacity worshippers for the proposed redevelopment of Koton karfi Central Mosque (Masjid) of Igu Kingdom.
Speaking shortly after performing the ground breaking in Koton karfi on Tuesday, the Royal father said that the project was conceived out of Muslim ummah inherent desire to construct a modern Mosque for the Muslim community of Koton karfi and its environs.
”Today, we have done the grand breaking ceremony of the central masjid of Kotonkarfe Igu Kingdom.
”Today, we have achieved a lot because of the foundation laying; we have been able to tell the general public especially the Muslim Ummah of Kotonkarfi, that a new direction where every Muslim will now face the Qibla has been ascertain and that is where I went to lay the foundation stones.
”Secondly, as unifying factor we have never had a beautiful mosque in Kotonkarfe, and so I pray that this one would be the mosque that will redefine us”, Isakoto said.
The traditional ruler thanked everybody who had contibuted financially, morally and spiritually towards the foundation laying ceremony.
The monarch added: ”We pray as time goes on, we will call you again to come for the dedication ceremony of the mosque”.
Speaking on high rising insecurity across the country, the monarch stressed the need to go back to homes to family units, and address the moral decadence, saying ”if we can tackle that we will be able to fight insecurity.
”I have said this in so many fora that I am not a believer that poverty can leads somebody to crime. If you look at leadership as our problem today, you will get it wrong”.
”One other thing is to support governance either good or bad; pray for our leaders and security services; whether it is socioeconomic or political crises, we will be able to overcome it.
”In the situation where you ethicized and politicised crime, you will never get an answer. There is no ethnic group that is not involved in banditry, kidnapping or whatever”, he said.
The royal father, therefore urged people to address family decadence and admonished parents to ensure that their wards get education, stressing that it would help to reduce illiteracy, poverty, insecurity and social vices.
In his welcome address, the Chairman Local Organising Committee, Prof. Ibrahim Aguye, commended Muslim community for their efforts and called for adequate support to ensure timely completion of the project describing it as a unfying factor.
Architect Alhassan Abdulmumin, the Project Engineer, noted that the old central mosque structure had been in existence for over 30 years with so many challenges.
”We felt we could not continue to live in an unsafe building, and we proposed that the old structure be demolished, and new one be constructed to meet the modern challenges.
”The complex is divided into two main structures; the mosque indoor with capacity of about 1200 worshippers, while the outdoor area can take about 2000, making altogether 3200 capacity worshippers”, he said.
He added that the masjid would have shopping mall where Islamic books and other things would be sold to help in support for maintenance, including classes where children could be trained.
He noted that the expected completion period of the mosque would be 12 months with proposed cost of about N400 million.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Kogi State Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Amb. Usman Bello, commended the monarch and the people of Koton karfi for their commitment to building a modern mosque for worshippers.
He also commended Gov. Yahaya Bello for his promise to build the mosque, saying, ”Gov Bello is a man of his words, I know he will fulfil the promise he made to His Royal Majesty of ensuring that Koton karfi have a befitting central masjid”.
The master of ceremony (MC) of the event, Alh. Muhammad Wandana, the JNI Coordinator Kogi State, applauded the Ohimejwe for his foresight in conceiving the idea of building a befitting central mosque for Muslim community.
Other dignitaries at the event include: Kogi Local Government Chairman, Hon Isah Abdulkareem; Kogi State Grand khadi, Hon. Justice Abdulkareem Aruwa, represented by Justice Danladi Isah Yakubu of Kogi state Shari’a Court of appeal; JNI Secretary, Alhaji Isah Adeboye; Reverend Father Yaro Mai kyau of Catholic Church, Koton Karfe, top Goverment officials, traditional title holders, among others.
It would be recalled that a Fund Raising ceremony towards the building of the proposed redevelopment of Koton karfi Central Mosque, was organised by the Ohimegye Igu Koton karfi, held at his palace on May 3, 2021.
During the fund raising, His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello, promised to build the Koton karfi Central Mosque for Muslim community.
The occasion also witnessed the presence of former Kogi Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, who donated the sum of N5 million, and Gen. M.C Ali (rtd), who also donated a sum of N10 million. Many other donations were also received from, individuals, groups and organizations.