Traditional worshippers known as Oro worshippers, Thursday attacked Muslims at Idi-Omo Mosque, Ilare, Ile-Ife, Osun state, and injured four persons.
The Imam of the Mosque, Alh AbduLateef Adesiyan, and three other Muslims were said to be injured seriously by the traditional worshippers.
It was gathered that the incident happened around 4 pm Thursday when Muslims were in Mosque to observe Ashri (middle day) prayer.
An eyewitness, Malam Bashir AbdulAzeez, said the incident was not the first one, saying that the traditional worshippers had attacked Muslims at the Ife Central Mosque sometime ago and beat them with a cane.
Narrating how the Thursday attack occurred, AbdulAzeez explained that the traditionalists ordered that people should stay indoors between 2 and 7 pm and Imam went to the palace to plead with them that they should allow Muslims to practice at least for the sake of Ramadan.
“They later went to the Mosque at Idi-Omo where Muslims were performing ablution inside the fence. They said people should leave the ablution place and go inside the Mosque. Imam Alhaji AbduLateef Adesiyan was coming to the Mosque at that time. One of them beat Imam with a cane to go back home. They beat Imam and hit him with a rod beside his eyes. Muslims ran away immediately.
“I was doing video coverage when one of them attempted to seize my phone but I resisted him. They said one of the Muslims, a Hausa man has died but I don’t believe it because we’ve not seen him since the incident.
“I called the Chief Imam when I discovered that four persons have been wounded and we went to report to the palace. They followed Imam to the Mosque. When the issue became noisy. Some Muslims came out. They were about 150 but when they see Muslims coming out en mass, they went away.
The spokesperson of the Osun police command, Yemisi Opalola, confirmed the incident, saying “we deployed our men to the scene and normalcy have returned to the area while we have commenced investigation to the alleged invasion of Mosque.
Meanwhile, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, in an announcement made by Lowa Adimula, said there would be spiritual cleasing between 1pm and 7pm on Thursday from Obatala shrine, behind the palace Enuwa to Ooni Ilare, Sabo Road 7, and warned both indigene and non-indigene to stay indoors.
When contacted, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, who spoke through his media aide, Moses Olafare, Friday said Ife Traditional Council is on top of the matter.
He said, “the leadership of the Muslim community in Ife is also involved in the peace meeting currently ongoing. Muslim, traditionalists, and Christians living in the town have been cohabitating in peace for centuries.”