Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahamatullahi Taala Wa Barkatuhu.
Today is an epoch and history making day for all citizens of Kaltungo and Gombe State in general. The Project for the reconstruction of Kaltungo Central Mosque was borne from a general concern and desire of all Kaltungo people, regardless of religious affiliation. We felt that Kaltungo needed an ultra modern mosque befitting of the emerging image of Kaltungo. The old mosque was constructed to fulfil the wishes of the Late Ahmadu Bello, Sardaunan Sokoto, Premier of Northern Nigeria in 1968 with a capacity for 250 worshipers. Following the astronomical growth in the muslim population in Kaltungo and its environs this was found to be grossly inadequate, hence the need for a new one. The present Mosque Building Committee, is the fifth attempt by HRH Engr. Sale Muhammadu, Mai Kaltungo to reconstruct the mosque. Alhamdu Lillah, with your support, donations, contributions, suggestions, criticisms and prayers, we have today delivered on our mandate. The Committee of sixteen (16) members was constituted by HRH Mai Kaltungo in December, 2017. However, actual works on the site commenced in November 2018 with the demolition of the old structure. In addition to this the Committee erected a temporary Mosque for the Ummah.
Your Excellency, Chairman, Your Eminence, distinguished personalities, On the receipt of the design and bills to the tune of two hundred and fifty million naira only (N250m), the Committee engaged in aggressive fundraising efforts. This yielded sufficient results for the mosque project to commence. With your support and prayers, the construction site became so busy that we completed excavation of the foundation, the foundation itself and the super structure within a reasonable time. Unfortunately, we were forced to suspend activities on site due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic affected our activities on site, hence the delay of about eight months on our projected time of completion. The reconstructed mosque has the capacity for 2,500 worshippers. It has a women section, a library and conveniences (Toilets) for male and female: It has two minarets on which are mounted public address systems with a capacity to transmit up to 5-7 kilometres of sound. The mosque has sufficient premises to the northern and southern flanks to accommodate an additional 600 worshippers. In addition, the mosque has a second aquifer borehole and an overhead water tank with a capacity of 3000 litres, a 40KVA sound proof standby electricity generator and some poles fitted with solar lights. The interior of the mosque is sufficiently furnished and fitted with the necessary lighting facilities.
Your Excellency, distinguished eminent personalities, today, we are delivering a project that took only three (3) years to deliver with a total sum of two hundred and sixty-nine million naira (N269m) only. This is in spite of economic problems that forced price fluctuations for materials, other services and labour.
At this junction I wish to appreciate the entire Muslim Ummah and well-wishers, regardless of religious affiliation or creed for believing in the Reconstruction Committee. We also acknowledge your appreciation of our style of reporting progress on site. We have given a total of thirty-six progress reports of the Committees activities on site. This approach helped to earn the trust and confidence of our contributors and Ummah. To all of you, we say a BIG THANK YOU. We pray that Allah in His Infinite benevolence and mercies will replenish your resources.
It is with all sense of humility and respect that I recognise all contributors too numerous to mention here. Of particular interest is an anonymous contributor of N200.00 who had been consistent in finding out the state of the project and when the Masjid will be commissioned since it is completed. This contributor succeeded in putting us on our toes. He indeed inspired us to succeed in the delivery of the Masjid project. If you are among this huge crowd, I say a big Jazak Allahu Khairan to you. May Allah be pleased with you and accept your contributions as an act of your Ibadah.
Your Excellency, permit me to welcome all guests who have come from far and near to be part of this historic occasion. May Allah reward all of you abundantly. My Committee will not take your individual and collective sacrifice in the cause of Allah for granted. May Allah reward you and grant you Aljannatul fiddaus.
Let me particularly single out the presence of His Excellency, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, DAN MAJEN GOMBE, MATAWALLE KATUNGO, Governor of Gombe State, who despite his tight schedules, including serving as the North East Coordinator, Presidential Campaign Council of the APC, was able to accept our humble request to serve as the distinguished Chairman of this occasion.
Your Excellency, the Governor, thank you for honouring our invitation and adding colour to the occasion. The Honourable Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ibrahim Ali Pantami thank you for accepting to speak to this wonderful gathering. Your eloquence and insightful oratory will not only captivate but will surely educate and inspire the muslim Umma. May Allah reward you my dear Professor.
To our Distinguished Senators, Rt. Honourable members of the House of Representatives, the entire people of Kaltungo will never take your presence for granted. You have shown us love and support beyond our imagination. Our father and mentor His Eminence, the Shehu of Borno, Alh. (Dr) Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Al-Amin EL-Kanemi, CFR, your persistant prayers and well wishes have continued to encouraged us to realize our dream of constructing a befitting Masjid in Kaltungo. You have kept fate with us and honoured the commissioning with your esteemed presence. Your Eminence, thank you so very much for your love to the people of Kaltungo. We wish you long life in good health and prosperity. His Royal Highness, Emir of Gombe, Alh. (Dr) Abubakar Shehu Abubakar III, your endless goodwill and encouragement characterised by your contributions, pieces of advice and prayers kept us on our toes to deliver. Ranka ya dade Lamido Gombe, we will forever remain grateful. To all the other Royal Highnesses here present, your physical presence at this commissioning ceremony signify your deep hearted affection and love for one of your own, Mai Kaltungo, Engr. Saleh Muhammadu and by extension to the entire people of Kaltungo. We greatly appreciate you individually and collectively. May Allah reward you with Aljannatul Fiddaus.
To all Distinguished and Eminent invited personalities, we thank you most sincerely for honouring our invitation to be part of this historic event in Kaltungo. We lack enough words to appreciate you all. May Allah be pleased with you and accept your presence at this ceremony to be part of your good deeds to be rewarded by Allah (S.W.T). To other well-wishers, particularly the security agencies, vigilantes, Islamic Aids Groups, FOMWAN and other volunteers, we thank you all for supporting us to organize this ceremony. May Allah reward you abundantly.
Your Excellency, Distinguished Chairman of the occasion, permit me to recognise and appreciate our gentlemen of the media for the excellent coverage we have been receiving from inception of this project to date. The publicity the Kaltungo Central Masjid enjoyed from you is monumental and second to none. Your timely interventions with suggestions and pieces of advice have been very useful and remain indelible in our memories.
On behalf of the Building Committee of Kaltungo Central Mosque, I wish you all a wonderful time as we celebrate this edifice in the name of Allah (S.W.T)
THANK YOU ALL…….