Niger earmarks N3.2bn for Christian, Islamic centres in Minna

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Minna – Gov. Babangida Aliyu of Niger, on Wednesday, said the state government would establish a Christian and an Islamic centre in Minna to ensure peaceful co-existence among the people.

The governor made the disclosure in Minna when he inaugurated the Christian and Muslim centres’ boards of trustees.

He said that the centres would gulp N3.2 billion, noting that “the Christian centre will cost N1.5 billion, while the Islamic centre will cost N1.7 billion.

“The centres will be of international standard with modern facilities, libraries, staff quarters and commercial centres, among others.

“The state government will contribute 50 per cent of the cost of building each centre, while the board of trustees will partner with members of their faith and other private investors to raise the 50 per cent balance.’’

According to Aliyu, the centres, which will be established at the three arms zone in Minna, have 4.5 hectares of land for the Christian centre and 5.7 hectares for the Islamic centre.

He said work on the sites would commence as soon as government redeemed its pledge of 50 per cent of the total amount to the two boards.

He stressed the need for people of the country to live together and co-exist peacefully.

He added that “if you think your religion is better than the other one, then continue and do not disturb others. However, we need to come together to create peace, love and unity among us.

The governor said that part of the problems of Christians and Muslims in the country was that they have refused to study the religion properly, adding that “most people claim they know the religion because they were born in it and their parents practise it.’’

Responding, Mr Abraham Yisa, the Chairman of the Christian Centre Board of Trustees, promised the board’s commitment to do everything possible to ensure its success.

He commended the government for initiating the projects, saying the centres would promote peace and unity among people of the two faiths in the state.

In his response, Sheikh Ahmed Lemu, the Deputy Chairman of the Islamic Centre Board of Trustees, said the projects would encourage peaceful co-existence among Muslims and Christians in the state. (NAN)

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