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How Aisha Buhari ordered closure of Villa Chapel children’s church

As controversy over the closure of the children’s wing of the Villa Chapel located inside Nigeria’s presidential quarters rages on, DAILY POST has uncovered fresh facts on the matter.

On Sunday, our correspondent was given an insight into the power play that has been going on inside the villa for weeks by Borno-based Pastor, Kallamu Musa Dikwa.

Dikwa, it could be re-called made the allegation that President Goodluck Jonathan gave the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) the sum of N7billion to support his re-election bid.

The Pastor, who is also Executive Director, Voice of Northern Christian Movement, made the disclosure following an earlier allegation by Rivers State ex-Governor Rotimi Amaechi that CAN received N6billion.

In a chat with DAILY POST on the Villa Chapel saga, he expressed dismay that President Muhammadu Buhari was yet to act on the fate of the children’s church despite the nationwide outcry.

Earlier in the month, presidential adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina denied the closure of the church by tweeting photos from service held on Sunday, September 6, 2015.

A tweet via his handle, @FemAdesina said: “President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) orders Aso Villa Chapel shut? There is no such thing. It’s only a rumour spawned by fecund imagination gone into overdrive. PMB respects freedom of worship.”

However, speaking, Musa Dikwa challenged the presidency to also release most recent photos of the children’s church.

“Let them not deceive Nigerians. I can confirm to you that that section of the church has been converted to a storage room by Mrs. Aisha Buhari, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I don’t want to think that the President authorized her action, Nevertheless, he should have done something by now because it is a serious matter.”

Asked to state what items were being kept at the building, he responded: “I really don’t know, but I was reliably informed that she brought some items to the villa and could not get a place to keep them.

“To our dismay, she directed some staff to move the items inside the children’s church and then ordered it locked. The security operatives that initially blocked its entrance did so with her knowledge and I dare her to publicly deny.

“What my source told me is that Mrs Buhari said the children’s church is a safer place to keep the items. This is not right. Why would she insist on that particular building in a place as big as the villa? Is she saying there is no other safe place apart from a place of worship?”

The media had reported that due to the shut, the kids now use the office of the Chaplain, Pastor Joseph Sheyi Malomo, for their normal service.

But Musa Dikwa, called on Buhari to take action immediately to forestall disunity among Christian and Muslim communities in Nigeria.

“He promised to unite Nigeria; he promised not to marginalize any religion but what is going on inside Aso Rock is different.

“People like me that were security risks for throwing our weight behind President Buhari are now at risk again because of this action of his wife.

“I have lost count of the number of calls I have received since the news concerning the children’s church broke out. While some are threatening me, some are mocking me that I and others endorsed Buhari who seemed to have turned blind eye to this act.

“They are saying ‘see the man you said will bring change, are you seeing what is happening now. We hope you are satisfied. After all, we warned you but you didn’t heed our advise.’”

Continuing, the cleric recalled how he told the world that President Jonathan gave CAN N7billion.

“It is because we were tired of the corruption going on; we believed in the change mantra. So you can guess what I am going through in the hands of those who alleged that Buhari had a hidden Islamic agenda”, he added.

Musa Dikwa said he, however, believes Buhari will call his wife to order to avoid further damage.

He urged the president to remember the vow he made to Christian leaders he met before the presidential election in March.

The cleric further cautioned Buhari against punishing Christians for the refusal of CAN to grant him audience after he made the request in the build-up to the general polls.

“CAN is a body of Christian leaders, but it doesn’t even form 0.1 percent of the entire Christian community in the country.

“Besides, I have the document containing his own statement. He gave clear assurances and we will hold him by his words because no religion is greater than the other,” Musa Dikwa declared.

Mr. Adesina did not take the call by our correspondent, even as he was yet to respond to a text message to confirm the true state of the children’s church as at the time of filing this report.

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