Archbishop of Kaduna apologizes to Gov El-Rufai over church demolition

The Archbishop of Kaduna Province,  Buba Lamido has apologized to Governor Nasir El Rufai for the social media campaigns that tried to turn the issue of the redevelopment of Sabon-Garin Zaria market into a religious matter.

In a statement issued by Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, Special Adviser on Media and Communication on Tuesday, Bishop Lamido expressed regret over the manner which the purported plan to demolish St George’s Cathedral of Sabon Garin Zari was handled.

Archbishop  Lamido, who led other Anglican Bishops from the North-West on a visit to Governor El-Rufai, further said that the church has no rift with the Kaduna state government.

Archbishop Lamido, who is also the  Dean of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, and Bishop of Wusasa, Zaria, distanced the Anglican Church ‘’from this campaign that has been whipping up baseless allegations of religious bigotry, explaining that the church sees itself and the government as partners.’

Lamido who spoke at a  closed-door meeting with el-Rufai expressed his gratitude to the governor for his decision to preserve St. George’s Cathedral.

The statement further said that the delegation had come to convey greetings from the Primate of the Church of Nigeria.

Adekeye quoted Lamido as saying that ‘’the meeting has afforded us a welcome chance to clarify matters and recalibrate our relationship in a mutual commitment to the peace and progress of Kaduna State, and harmony in its diverse communities”.

‘’We are grateful for the opportunity to remove the cobwebs of misunderstanding in an atmosphere of mutual respect,” the statement further quoted Archbishop Lamido.

Responding, Governor El Rufai recalled that in 2016,  Kaduna state government decided to preserve Saint George’s Cathedral when it chose a private company to fund the redevelopment of the Sabon-Gari market.

‘’Over 40 structures that were to be affected by the exercise were identified and assessed for compensation. Three years later, after it became clear that the private developer could not raise the funds, KDSG decided to ask its market development company to fund the project,’’ he said