“Stop Attacks On Muslims, Mosques In Ogun” – Imams Tells Gov Abiodun
The League of Imams and Alfas, Ogun State chapter, has called on the Gov Dapo Abiodun-led government to put an end to the alleged incessant attacks on Muslims and mosques by suspected traditional worshippers in some parts of the state.
According to them, “the attacks have left serious physiological and psychological damages not only on individuals affected and their family members but also on the entire Muslim community.”
A statement signed by the Secretary-General of the League, Shaykh Tajudeen Mustapha Adewunmi, and made available to HORLIQS-ENT on Tuesday said “the most recent occurrence happened in Ipokia, Ikenne, Iperu, and some other areas of Ogun State”, alleging that “in all the occurrences over the years, culprits have not been treated in a manner that could serve as a deterrent to others.”
HORLIQS-ENT recalls that the Muslim community in the state has recently been at war with traditionalists after clashes with Oro, Agemo, Eluku and Egungun worshippers.
Police in Ogun State in September arrested nine persons who allegedly attacked Christians and Muslims at Idiroko in Ipokia Local Government area of Ogun State, during a traditional festival.
Recently, Eluku worshippers were also alleged to have attacked Muslims and reportedly vandalised a mosque in Iperu, which is Gov Abiodun’s hometown in Ikenne Local Government area of the state. The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has since condemned the incident.
In his statement, Adewunmi alleged that the traditional worshippers have been imposing curfews on people for more than 10 years, “closing down all commercial and academic activities for days, all in the name of celebrating their festivals without consideration for other religious adherents.”
He expressed worries that the attacks had continued despite a court injunction that imposition of such curfews by the traditional worshippers during daytime was illegal.
The Islamic leader urged the state government to ensure the safety of lives and property of all citizens, especially against unwarranted attacks.
Adewunmi said: “The League of Imams and Alfas in Ogun state feels very disturbed and sad over the recent and continuous attacks on Muslims in some parts of the state by the Oro, Agemo, Eluku and Egungun worshipers without any provocation, more so, when there was no instance where Muslims in any part of the state have stopped them from practicing their choice of religion.
“Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) section 38, under the title; Fundamental Human Rights, states clearly and emphatically that Muslims, as well as every other person of other religions, should be able to practice their religious beliefs without being molested or prevented by any person or group.
“The situation in Ogun State is contrary to that constitutional provision, given the plethora of attacks on Muslims by some traditional worshipers in many parts of the state at various times. We have it on good records that such unprovoked attacks by the traditional worshipers have been on repeatedly in the last 10 years.
“The most recent occurrence happened in Ipokia, Ikenne, Iperu, and some other areas of Ogun State. In all the occurrences over the years, culprits have not been treated in a manner that could serve as a deterrent to others.
“Freedom of religion is a fundamental right. It is the exercise of this right that the traditional worshipers who attacked the Muslims were exercising when they carried out their nefarious attacks. Does it then mean that the fundamental rights of the Muslims in that community are circumcised to the rights of the traditional worshipers?”