The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has expressed its condolences to the Muslim Ummah in Zaria and the nation at large following the tragic collapse of a section of the Zaria Central Mosque, which resulted in significant loss of life and injuries.
Additionally, the apex Christian group has urged the government and all stakeholders to conduct a thorough investigation into the tragic incident with a view to preventing future occurrences and ensuring the safety of worshippers nationwide.
CAN noted that the historic Zaria Central Mosque, an edifice with over 150 years of religious and historical significance, was bustling with worshippers during a Friday prayer session when a section of the structure gave way.
The unfortunate incident led to the deaths of at least 10 worshippers, while 25 others sustained injuries.
Archbishop Daniel Okoh, the President of CAN, said in a Saturday statement, “It is with shock that we received the news of the untimely demise of these worshippers. We offer our sincere prayers and condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones in this unfortunate incident. We also extend our thoughts and prayers to the injured, and we pray for their quick and complete recovery.”
Recognizing the deep emotional connection of the Muslim community with the mosque, CAN expressed solidarity with the bereaved and injured, emphasizing the shared grief.
“We stand united as one people, acknowledging the importance of mutual respect, understanding, and peaceful coexistence among the various religious communities in Nigeria,” Okoh added.
Commending the swift response of relevant authorities and emergency services in rescuing survivors and providing necessary medical attention, CAN also reiterated the need for a thorough investigation into the causes of the incident.
“We urge the government and all relevant stakeholders to ensure a thorough investigation into the causes of this incident, with the aim of preventing such accidents in the future and ensuring the safety of worshippers in all places of worship across the country,” Okoh stated.
In the wake of the tragic event, CAN also called on religious leaders of both Christian and Muslim faiths to deepen interfaith dialogue and understanding, fostering a society where faith can be practiced freely and peacefully.
“May the souls of the departed rest in eternal peace, and may the injured recover quickly. Let us unite, support, and comfort each other during this difficult time. May God grant us all strength and peace,” concluded Okoh.