By Dorcas Elusogbon
Mr Sakariyau Adesiyan, the Former Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Osun state, has said that there’s the need to end procession by adherents of Oro in daylight in Ile-Ife.
Adesiyan made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Ile-Ife.
“This must be the end of 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 are 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 attacked Muslims.
The Ex-NLC Chairman stressed that they want the perpetrators punished, adding that the people will continue their protest if those involved are not arrested.
Also, the Secretary, Nigeria Union of Teachers, (NUT), Ife Central, Mr Tajudeen Adesiyan, stated that the Muslims were about to observe Solat Asri prayer when they were attacked.
Adesiyan said 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 pool of blood of those injured. We are telling Nigerians that the constitution allows everyone to practice his religion as he likes,” he stated.
He observed that there has never been a day when Christians would ask Muslims to stay indoors for religion event, but the traditional worshipers were intolerant of other religions.
The Secretary emphasised that they are going to end the indiscipline act of the traditional Oro worshipers in Ile-Ife.
According to an eye witness, Mr. Bashir AbdulAzeez, “We were about to observe our Salatul Asr on Thursday evening around 4:30 pm, 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 have started to beat 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 Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ọjájá II, 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 is 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 that investigation is still ongoing in the case.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there was pandemonium at Idi Omoh Mosque, Ilare, Ile Ife, on Thursday, when Oro worshipers attacked Muslims. (NAN)