No reprisal killing, burning of mosque in Enugu
February 25, 2006

The attention of the Government of Enugu State has been drawn to a report in the Punch Newspapers and another broadcast media, purporting the reprisal killing of one and burning of a mosque in Enugu against the now well controlled anti-cartoon attacks which started in some cities in Northern Nigeria, last week.

We want to state categorically, and as can be attested to by religious leaders and other social observers, that there was no such thing anywhere in Enugu State. Indeed, safe the withdrawal from city areas of some members of the Hausa Community, the people of Enugu State had remained largely unaware of the magnitude of the tension generated by the ill-advised publication.

This report, which we consider the handiwork of political anarchists, could have come from the fancy of any revisionist who saw the peace in Enugu so oppressive and would thus attempt to throw the State into chaos.

It is on record that at the outbreak of violence in some Northern cities over the said ill-advised cartoon by a Danish publication, Enugu State Government had taken measures to ensure that the reactions did not spiral into the State.

His Excellency, Governor Chimaroke Nnamani, had maintained close contacts with religious and community leaders and had remained resolved in his determination to ensure that tempers did not flare. Last Thursday, a government team, led by the Governor himself, had delivered good quantities of relief materials to members of the Hausa community who, for fear of such ugly development getting out of hand, took refuge in the Headquarters premises of the 82nd Division of the Nigeria Army.

The government is fully aware of the intricacy of the development as it is aware of the intensions of the fabricators of the story of killing and burning of a mosque.

Government, therefore, maintains that Enugu is calm and people are advised to go about their normal businesses without fear of molestation, which goes with the warning that in the event of noticing any unusual movements, especially ones tending to the highly suspected report given by that national daily, people must not hesitate to report same to the law enforcement agencies which are well apprised of the development and are quite ready to contain mischief makers however they manifest.

It is worthy of note that Enugu State has maintained a strong interest in building a well received cosmopolitan image to ride the government intensions in applying the influx of people to expanding the economic base of the State.

Such sustaining political and economic policies cannot, therefore, condone those primitive attitudes suggesting the derision of any segment of its vital population.

Igbonekwu Ogazimorah
Commissioner for Information, Culture & Tourism


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