MURIC condemns invasion of Idi-Iroko mosque, demands justice
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has reacted to the invasion of Umar Bin Khattab Mosque in Idi-Iroko in the Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State on Saturday, July 27, by traditional worshippers of Olosha Oba and Oro Cult.
The Islamic human rights advocacy group said the invaders entered the mosque during the afternoon Zuhr prayer and that their aim was to kill the Imam, Alhaji Abdul Waliy Abdul Azeez Abata who later escaped.
MURIC in a statement signed by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, said the attackers assaulted the Imam and his congregation with stones, and damaged equipment worth millions of naira before they took to their heels.
Professor Akintola described the attack as audacious, provocative and barbaric.
The statement reads in part: “We are confounded by this invasion. Places of worship should be held sacred. This attack is audacious, provocative and barbaric. It is impunity on the highest pedestal. We denounce it in the strongest terms and we demand justice. The culprits must be fished out and dealt with according to the laws of the land.
“Not only that, Umar Bin Khattab Mosque must be repaired, all vandalized equipment must be replaced and the hospital bills of all injured Muslims must be fully paid or refunded. We want the perpetrators arraigned in court. Somebody must be held accountable for this in Ogun State Government (OGSG) truly desires peaceful coexistence.
“This is about the third time within one year that Muslims are targeted for attacks in Ogun State alone. Masquerade worshippers publicly removed the hijab from a Muslim woman’s head and beat her up in Abeokuta just two months ago, on 18th June 2019 to be precise (http://freepress.com.ng/2019/06/19/masquerade-brutalizes-sister-on-niqab-in-ogun-state/) What is happening in Ogun State? Who declared Muslims persona non grata? Why must Muslims become endangered species in a state where they are in a comfortable majority?”
Recalling the incident that happened in 2016 and similar attacks on mosques in other places in the Southwest, the Director noted: “On September 16, 2016, Oro worshippers truncated the Id al-Kabir prayers in twenty communities of Ipokia Local Government. The attackers ensured that no Salah prayer was held anywhere in the local government, including Ifoyintedo, Atan-ota, Ita-ege, Iledu, Imule, Iropo, Akopin, Madoga, Ilagbe, Kajola, Osooro, Asipa, Ikorodu/Bola, Idologun, Araromi, Idomogun, Igbo-Atan, Oke – Iwo, Ajelende and Akinde Elepo-Temu/ Kusika (https://thenationonlineng.net/eid-el-kabir-three-arrested-oro-worshippers-attack-muslims-christians-ogun/). ”
MURIC blamed the police for failing to protect Muslims and their properties in Ogun State and called on the Inspector General of Police (IG) to take note of the nonchalant attitude of his officers to the criminal activities of Oro worshippers and other traditionalists in the South West.