The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Thursday confirmed the leaked memo as being authentic and stressed that it built the mosque for livestock farmers.
It disclosed this in a statement issued by the Director Information, FMARD, Theodore Ogaziechi, adding that the livestock farmers were sacked from their settlements by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, PunchNG reports.
It said, “To put the facts straight, the memo is authentic and appropriate in all ramifications.
“It is original and was issued by the ministry for the construction of a worship centre for a community of livestock farmers who were sacked and displaced in Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents and are being resettled in Ngarannam/Mafa Local Government, Borno State.”
The ministry went ahead to state that apart from the mosque, other common facilities provided for the livestock farmers in the community include solar-powered boreholes with overhead tanks and drinking troughs for their cattle and small ruminants.
Others include water harvesting structures, milk collection centre, resettlement abode, as well as other infrastructure to properly settle and rehabilitate the displaced livestock farmers.
“The construction of the mosque was a special request from the community through the Borno State Government to avoid moving too far from the settlement areas for prayers and also to ensure their safety and contact with the insurgents,” the FMARD stated.
It added, “The memo is an official document and it is available for public scrutiny and review. It is therefore unfortunate for anyone to presume that the memo leaked.
“The ministry is in no way perturbed about the matter because it received appropriate approval, carried out due needs assessment, and ensured due process in the execution of the project.”
The ministry advised that in the future, due diligence and restraint should be observed before publications of this nature, as it argued that it was meant for public good and security.