- Ooni calls for peace, religious tolerance in Ile-Ife
The Osun State Police Command has begun an investigation into the alleged attack on some residents of Ile-Ife by Oro worshippers.
This is as the former Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers and Nigeria Labour Congress in Osun State, Sakariyau Adesiyan, said that there was a need to end the procession by adherents of Oro in daylight in Ile-Ife.
Adesiyan made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Ile-Ife.
“This must be the end of the daylight Oro procession in Ile-Ife. This is not the first time they have been attacking Muslims and Christians in daylight.
“What happened yesterday (Thursday) was barbaric and satanic, because the person that was attacked was inside the mosque. Those who were praying were inside the mosque.
“They have once attacked people. So, we are saying enough is enough. The Muslims are not happy with what they did,” Adesiyan explained.
According to him, Oro adherents came into the mosque and allegedly attacked Muslims.
The Ex-NLC Chairman stressed that they wanted the perpetrators punished, adding that the people would continue their protests if those involved were not arrested.
Also, the Secretary, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Ife Central, Tajudeen Adesiyan, said that the Muslims were about to observe Solat Asri prayer when they were attacked.
Adesiyan claimed that the Oro traditional worshipers were returning from their shrine, when they forcefully entered the mosque and they were asking for Imam Lateef Adesiyan.
“It happened inside the mosque and the mosque was destroyed. There was a pool of blood from those injured. We are telling Nigerians that the constitution allows everyone to practice his religion as he likes,” he stated.
He observed that there had never been a day when Christians would ask Muslims to stay indoors for religious events, but the traditional worshipers were intolerant of other religions.
The Secretary emphasised that they were going to end the indiscipline act of the traditional Oro worshipers in Ile-Ife.
An eyewitness, Bashir AbdulAzeez, said, “We were about to observe our Salatul Asr on Thursday evening around 4:30pm when scores of Oro worshipers attacked us as we did our ablution.
“They attacked us and told us to move away. Before we could explain anything, they started beating our people.
“They invaded the mosque and destroyed the Quran and other properties,” AbdulAzeez stated.
According to him, the Imam and five other Muslims have been receiving treatment at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile-Ife.
When contacted, the Chief Imam of Ifeland, Alhaji AbdulSemiu AbdulHammed, stated that the Palace had intervened in the matter.
The Chief Imam indicated that the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, had called him to appeal to Muslims to be patient as the matter would be resolved amicably.
He emphasised that the Ooni promised to bear the hospital bills of the injured persons and rehabilitate the vandalised mosque.
He said the head of Olorisa worshipers would be arrested and brought to justice, and reaffirmed that there was a fundamental human right of freedom of religion in the land.
The Chief Imam urged Muslims to be law-abiding in their protest.
The Police Spokesperson for Osun Command, SP Opalola Yemisi, said that the attack was confirmed and that the Oloobatala people attacked the Muslims at their worship place.
Opalola said an investigation was still ongoing in the case.
There was pandemonium at Idi Omoh Mosque, Ilare, Ile Ife, on Thursday, when Oro worshipers attacked Muslims.
Meanwhile, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, has called for peace and orderliness in the ancient city of Ile-Ife and its environs.
Ooni, who spoke through his Second-in-Command, Obalufe of Ifeland, Oba Idowu Adediwura, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Ile-Ife.
He said as the royal father of Christians, Muslims and traditionalists and as a leader who championed peaceful coexistence globally, there was no reason why his home should be in disruption.
He believed there was no reason why people of different faiths should not live peacefully in tolerance.
He noted that the two major faiths and traditional worshippers had coexisted peacefully in ages past and that there should not be hostilities between them now.
Oba Ogunwusi promised to renovate the mosque that was affected as well as pay the hospital bill of the Imam of the mosque.
Four persons were reportedly injured when traditional religion worshippers attacked worshippers in a mosque in Ile-Ile on Thursday.
Traditionalists in the town had announced on Wednesday that the “Oro’’ cult would perform some rituals in some parts of Ife between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., advising residents to avoid the area.