Imam, others injured as traditionalists attack mosque in Osun
From Lateef Dada, Osogbo
The Imam of Idi-Omo Mosque, Ilare, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Alhaji AbduLateef Adesiyan, and three other worshippers have sustained injuries after an attack on their mosque by traditionalists participating in an ‘Oro’ festival in the town.
It was gathered that the incident happened around 4 pm Thursday when Muslims were preparing for Ashri prayers. An eyewitness, Malam Bashir AbdulAzeez, said the incident was not the first one, saying that the traditionalists had attacked Muslims at the Ife Central Mosque sometime ago, beating them with a cane.
Narrating how the Thursday attack occurred, AbdulAzeez explained that the traditionalists ordered that people should stay indoors between 2 and 7 pm, noting that the Imam had gone to the palace to plead with them that they should allow Muslims to practise at least for the sake of Ramadan.
“They later went to the mosque at Idi-Omo where Muslims were performing ablution inside the fence. They said people should leave the ablution place and go inside the mosque. Imam Alhaji AbduLateef Adesiyan was coming to the mosque at that time. One of them beat Imam with a cane to go back home. They beat Imam and hit him with a rod beside his eyes. The Muslims ran away immediately. “I was doing a video coverage when one of them attempted to seize my phone but I resisted him.
“I called the Chief Imam when I discovered that four persons have been wounded and we went to report to the palace. They followed Imam to the mosque. But the issue became noisy. Some Muslims came out, and when the traditionalists saw that the Muslims were coming out en masse, they went away.”
Spokesperson of the Osun Police Command, Yemisi Opalola, confirmed the incident. He said: “We deployed our men to the scene and normalcy has returned to the area while we have commenced investigation to the alleged invasion of the mosque.
Meanwhile, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, in an announcement made by Lowa Adimula, said there would be spiritual cleansing between 1pm and 7pm on Thursday from Obatala Shrine, behind the Palace to Ooni Ilare, Sabo Road 7, and warned both indigenes and non-indigenes to stay indoors. Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, on Friday, said the Ife Traditional Council was on top of the matter.
Speaking through his spokesperson, Moses Olafare, the monarch said: “The leadership of the Muslim community in Ife is also involved in the peace meeting currently ongoing. Muslim, traditionalists, and Christians living in the town have been cohabiting in peace for centuries,” he added.