The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has reacted to criticisms it received after a memo granting approval for the release of N30 million for the construction of a mosque, surfaced online on Thursday, May 20.
Senator Dino Melaye shared a copy of the letter on social media ad condemned the Ministry for spending so much money to erect a mosque.
”What!!!!! Despite all the challenges facing food security, building a mosque is the Federal Ministry of Agriculture’s priority! To pray for Rain or what? How did we get here for Heaven sake. What has Government got to do with churches or mosque?
Other Nigerians condemned the Ministry for appropriating money for a religious center.
In a statement released by its Director of Information, Theodore Ogaziechi, the Ministry said the worship center was approved for herders evicted by Boko Haram from their Borno settlements. Ogaziechi said the mosque was built in response to a special request from the community made through the Borno State Government.
The memo, according to Ogaziechi, is an official document that is open to public inspection and analysis.
”To put the facts straight, the memo is authentic and appropriate in all ramifications.
It is original and was issued by the Ministry for the construction of a worship center for a community of livestock farmers who were sacked and displaced in Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents and are being resettled in Ngarannam/Mafa local government, Borno State.
Apart from the mosque, other common facilities provided for the livestock farmers in the community include Solar Powered Boreholes with Overhead Tanks and Drinking Troughs for their cattle and small ruminants, Water Harvesting Structures, Milk Collection Center, Resettlement Abode, as well as other infrastructure to properly settle and rehabilitate the displaced livestock farmers.
The construction of the mosque was a Special Request from the community through the Borno State Government to avoid moving too far from the settlement, areas for prayers and also to ensure their safety and contact with the insurgents. The Memo is an official document and is available for public scrutiny and review. It is therefore unfortunate for anyone to presume that the memo leaked.
The Ministry is in no way perturbed about the matter because it received appropriate approval, carried out a due needs assessment, and ensured due process in the execution of the project.”