The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Abubakar (III), on Friday in Maiduguri, Borno State, led 20 emirs to commission the city’s Central Mosque.
The structure was recently completed, 32 years after its foundation was laid.
The sultan was accompanied by the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido-Sanusi, and others from across northern Nigeria.
The building of the mosque located in front of the Shehu of Borno’s palace, commenced in 1986 when the then existing structure was pulled down.
The initial estimated cost for the completion of 10,000 capacity mosque was put at N800 million.
But due to lack of funding, the mosque was abandoned and was left at 65 per cent completion.
Upon assuming the throne as the 20th Shehu of Borno, the current monarch, Abubakar Elkanemi, began the call for public support to get the mosque completed.
The major move for the completion of the mosque came in June 2011 when a popular politician in the state, and two-time governorship candidate of the PDP, Kashim-Imam, made N200 million donation to kick start the process.
The Borno State government later took over the project and sustained funding until it was completed last year.
Speaking at the commissioning of the mosque, the Shehu of Borno said he was proud and fulfilled that the mosque was completed during his lifetime.
He thanked the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, for ensuring the provision of funds.
Mr Shettima called on residents to utilise the mosque well.
He also commended the sultan and other top monarchs who attended the opening.
He said apart from pursuing Islamic education, the people of the state “must embrace education because the world is changing and Borno must key in”.
He said his government has built more schools with modern facilities which he said the president, Muhammadu Buhari, will commission after the elections.
The sultan commended the Shehu of Borno and the government for promoting Islam in the state.
He said the building of the mosque was historic ”due to the time it took to build it”.
“This is not an ordinary mosque; it is also a resource centre for Islamic education,” he said. “This is how our mosques should be designed; a worship place and centre for education.”
He also called on the political leaders to always assist traditional institutions ”being the custodian of cultures”.
Earlier, the state commissioner for religious affairs, Mustafa Fannarambe, said the mosque and Islamic Resource centre is equipped with modern facilities, conference centre, library, 500kva transformer, 200kva generator, eight mega water reservoirs; two decked prayer hall to accommodate 10,000 worshippers and an outside yard to take 5000 persons.
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