President Muhammadu Buhari says he will resolve the tussle over the ownership of Obalende Muslim Prayer Ground between the Lagos State Jama’atul Muslimeen (Muslim Community) and security agencies.
To this end, he has set up a committee under the leadership of the Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari to advise him on the processes and all that needs to be done to do justice to all parties involved.
Speaking at the State House at a meeting with members of the Jama’atul Muslimeen on Wednesday, President Buhari said justice and fairness are principles very dear to him and he will hold onto them as long as he lives.
“I have listened to the enlightening historical details you have read. You will get justice as far as this is concerned. I commend you for adopting a peaceful approach to seeking justice, without heating up the polity. The Chief of Staff will get back to you in two weeks,” he said.
In their presentation, the group said they had come to the President as a last resort, having explored several avenues to get justice to no avail. In their account as rendered by the leader of the delegation Alhaji Sikiru Alabi-Macfoy, Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the organization, the Lagos State Muslim Community informed the President that their ownership of the land dates back to 1931 when the Nigerian Government made an “Absolute Grant” of 3.11 acres of the land in question to serve as Muslim Prayer Ground at the new Hausa Settlement, Ikoyi Plains, Lagos, now known as Obalende.
This, they explained, was much earlier than the arrival in the area of their neighbours, the Dodan Barracks, that came after the collapse of the First Republic.
The Lagos Muslim Community further presented documents to show approval of the ownership of the land, signed by the late Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, under Obasanjo’s Military Administration, affirming their ownership of the land.
They reported that “in the last few years, officials of the Department of State Services, DSS, at Dodan Barracks have been threatening to deny the Muslims access into the prayer ground because the Muslim Community was claiming ownership of it, apparently based on their erroneous understanding that the Prayer Ground belongs to Dodan Barracks.”
Other members of the committee set up by the President are the Minister of Defence, Works and Housing, the Chief of Army Staff, the Director General, Department of State Services and others recognised as stakeholders in the matter.
PRESIDENT BUHARI COMMENDS SPORTS MINISTER OVER ACHIEVEMENT BY ATHLETES, OTHERS
President Muhammadu Buhari has lauded the medal-winning efforts of several Nigerian athletes and their counterparts in other sports, saying that their dedication and commitment is awe-inspiring.
The President stated this when he received the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Chief Sunday Dare, who recently received “Special Recognition Award for Contributions to Sports Development in Nigeria and the Africa Region” from President Mohammed Solih of Maldives.
Speaking after receiving the trophy from the Minister, the President thanked him for the honour to the country.
He recounted the exploits of Nigeria’s national football team, Super Eagles, at national and international stages, noting he still hasn’t forgotten Nigeria’s absence at the Qatar World Cup 2022.
Commending Dare’s enormous contribution to sports development, the President expressed delight that he has been recognized and applauded outside the shores of the country.
The President noted that under Dare, Nigeria’s sports sector has developed from recreation to business, adding that with revamping of infrastructure, laurels have been harvested at international events by our athletes while harmony and unity of purpose have prevailed in several sporting associations.
The President also applauded the Minister’s commitment, dedication and service to the nation in a sector that brings young and old together, as well as athletes and fans.
He extended his best wishes to the Sports Minister, urging him to continue to give his best for God and country.
In his remarks, the Minister thanked the President for his tireless support towards sports matters in the country.
He cited the generous and timely funding from the government to all sporting organizations and their many local and international engagements, describing the recent donation of N200 million to Team Nigeria at the last Commonwealth Games as deeply inspiring.