Following a fight between traditional worshippers and Muslims that left many people hurt, Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife, has urged calm and order in the ancient city of Ile-Ife and its surroundings.
Via his deputy, Obalufe of Ifeland, Idowu Adediwura, Mr. Adeyeye delivered the order on Friday.
He claimed there was no justification for his home to be in upheaval as the royal father of Christians, Muslims, and traditionalists and as a leader who promoted peaceful coexistence around the world.
He asserted that he believed there was no reason why people of different faiths couldn’t live in peace and tolerance as a direct descendant of Oduduwa, the Yoruba race’s founder who also advocated for peaceful coexistence.
He pointed out that traditional worshippers and the two main religions have coexisted peacefully in the past, so there shouldn’t be animosity between them now.
The attack on worshippers in a mosque in Ile-Ile on Thursday by followers of the ancient religion “Oro” reportedly left four people hurt.
On Wednesday, traditionalists in the town warned locals to stay away from certain sections of Ife where the “Oro” cult would be performing rituals between 2:00 and 7:00 p.m.
Abdulazeez Bashir, who was inside the mosque, claimed that Oro supporters burst past the gate and started caning worshipers as a warning 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,” Mr 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.
Mr Ogunwusi promised to renovate the mosque that was affected as well as pay the hospital bill of the Imam of the mosque.
The Chief Imam of Ifeland, Mr AbdulHammed, told NAN on Friday that the trouble had been settled.
He confirmed that the traditional religion worshippers assaulted the Imam of Idiomo Mosque, Ilare, Alfa Adesiyan, inside the mosque.
Mr AbdulHammed called for the 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 appealed to indigenes to ensure that they maintained peace and orderliness during each festival in the town, stressing that there is no profit in violence.