Members of the Muslim community in Ile-Ife, Osun State, on Friday, staged a protest following the alleged invasion of a mosque in the Ilare area by some Oro adherents. The protesters said on Thursday, the traditionalists entered the mosque, where some Muslims had gathered to observe the 4pm prayers and attacked those they found in the building.
Beside the chief imam of the mosque, Abdul-Lateef Adediran, who was reportedly injured in the face, five other worshippers were allegedly stabbed during the attack. An eyewitness, who identified himself only as Kareem for security reasons, said, “We were in the mosque to pray. Some people were performing ablution when the Oro worshippers entered the mosque.
“We were aware that they would be going around with Oro and we didn’t meddle in their affairs. They had passed through the area. They later returned and entered the mosque. The imam was trying to ask what their mission was, but they didn’t even allow him to talk before they started beating every one of us. Six people were stabbed. Our imam sustained injuries on his face. All those injured were taken to hospitals in Ile-Ife.”
During the Friday protest, the protesters, who moved through major streets in the town, visited the palace of the Ooni of Ife, but the royal father was not available. They demanded the arrest of those behind the attack. One of the protesters, Tajudeen Adesiyan, who spoke to journalists, said a petition had been written to the police, adding that the worshippers also came under a similar attack in November last year.
The spokesperson for the Osun State Police Command, Yemisi Opalola, said normalcy had returned while investigation would continue to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the incident. The spokesperson for the Ooni, Moses Olafare, said the Ife traditional council was on top of the matter.
“The leadership of the Muslim community in Ife is also involved in the peace meeting currently ongoing. Muslims, traditionalists, and Christians living in the town have been cohabitating in peace for centuries.
“Baba Ooni is calling on all those involved to allow peace to reign. Security agents, leaders of the traditionalists and the leadership of the Muslim community are meeting to address the issue,” Olafare added.