By Chesa Chesa
A recent donation towards the building of a mosque in Calabar, Cross River State by
Senator Gershom Bassey has sparked controversy among some of his constituents in Cross River State following his donation of some building materials towards the building of a mosque in the state.
The Senator, who represents Cross River Southern Senatorial District and known for his philanthropic gestures to many Christian organisations in the state, is now being accused by a few persons for unwittingly promoting an Islamic agenda.
Bassey had handed over 200 bags of cement to his Muslim constituents who requested his assistance towards the construction of a mosque.
But his critics, especially political opponents have viewed this negatively and are reportedly bent on making political capital from it to discredit him ahead of the 2019 election.
Responding to this on Friday, Bassey, who is the Vice Chairman of Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources, Upstream, has declared that he has no hidden agenda as his gesture was just a show of his sincerity and belief in religious tolerance and harmony.
His Senior Legal Adviser to the Senator, Essien Ita, stressed to newsmen in Abuja that the donation was meant to carry along all the constituents in Cross River South without discrimination.
He recalled that the Senator had made contributions to different Christian religious denominations in the State and Abuja, and even donated hospital equipment worth over N70 million to 10 health facilities across the seven local government areas in the senatorial district
According to him, “Senator Bassey believes in religious harmony and unity of the country. He has donated a brand new Toyota Haice bus to the association of persons living with physical challenges in the senatorial district.
“He has made over N213 million in cash donations as support to numerous constituents’ school fees, rent, burial ceremonies, medical treatments, yuletide celebrations, weddings, child dedications, sports development, vocational trainings, travel expenses etc.
“Over N5 million donations have been made to various churches – Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholics and several pentecostal churches and over N5 million donated to indigenous constituent associations across the seven local government areas of the senatorial district.”