Ooni urges Osun Muslims, traditionalists to live in harmony
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, has urged people of different faiths in Osun to live in harmony and maintain peace and orderliness in the ancient city of Ile-Ife and its environs.
Ooni made this call through his Second-in-Command, Obalufe of Ifeland, Oba Idowu Adediwura, in Ile-Ife while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday.
The royal father said, as a custodian of religions including Christians, Muslims and traditionalists and as a leader who preached harmonious coexistence globally, his home must be an example of peace for others to emulate, calling on people of different faiths to live peacefully in tolerance.
While explaining that the two major faiths and traditional worshippers had coexisted peaceful from time immemorial, he noted that there should not be hostilities between them now.
Oba Ogunwusi, however, promised to renovate the mosque that was affected as well as pay the hospital bill of the Imam of the mosque.
It was learnt that four persons were reportedly injured when traditional religion worshippers stormed the worshippers in a mosque in Ile-Ile on Thursday.
It was said that 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 areas.
Recounting how it played out, one of those in the mosque, Mr Abdulazeez Bashir said, Oro worshippers broke through the fence and began flogging worshippers with canes, instructing them to leave the ablution area.
“One of them even attacked the Imam, Alhaji Abdullateef Adesiyan while coming into the mosque. He was beaten with a cane and hit on the face with a rod.
“When I discovered that about five persons had been injured, apart from the Imam of the mosque, I had to call the Ife Chief Imam, Alhaji AbdulSemiu AbdulHammed to intimate him with the happenings.
“The situation could have escalated into a big crisis when other Muslims began to gather around, but the traditionalists eventually left. The victims were later taken to a hospital for treatment,’’ Bashir said.
When contacted, Osun Police Command spokesperson SP Yemisi Opalola confirmed the incident, stating that an investigation into the mosque invasion had been launched.
The Chief Imam of Ifeland, Alhaji AbdulHammed, told NAN on Friday that the trouble had been settled.
AbdulHammed called for maintenance of fundamental rights of religion, speech and peace among others.
“There is no family throughout Africa that practices one religion.
“There should be freedom for individuals to practice whatever religion they choose without coercion,’’ he said.
The Chief Imam then called on residents to let peace reigns during each festival in the town, noting there is nothing to achieve from violence.