31st March, 2023
ATTACK ON MOSQUE IN IFE: MURIC APPEALS FOR PEACE
An Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has appealed to the people of Ile Ife to allow peace to reign. The appeal followed an attack on Muslims inside Idi Omo Mosque, Ilare, Ile Ife yesterday, Thursday, 30th March, 2023 where four people were seriously injured following a curfew imposed by Oro traditional worshippers.
MURIC’s appeal came through the Executive Director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
He said :
“Muslims conducting tafsir (exegesis of the Glorious Qur’an) inside Idi Omo Mosque, Ilare, Ile Ife were attacked by Oro traditional worshippers yesterday, Thursday, 30th March, 2023 inside the Idi Omo Mosque, Ilare, Ile Ife, Osun State. Four Muslims were seriously injured in the attack.
“Among the injured were the Imam of the mosque, Abdul Lateef Adesiyan who had cutlass cuts all over his head and face. Mr. Abdullah Abdul Wahab and two other Muslims were also severely wounded.
“The attack was sequel to a curfew imposed on the town by Oro traditional worshippers on Thursday, 30th March, 2023 from 1 – 7 pm. The Oro adherents invaded Idi Omo Mosque where Muslims were conducting tafsir for violating their curfew. Tafsir by Muslims is very common and well known during Ramadan.
“MURIC appeals to the Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, as the Chief Security Officer in the state to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order. We also urge the Commissioner of Police and the Area Commander to do the needful. The attackers must be apprehended and prosecuted in the interest of peace.
“We remind the police and the Department of State Services (DSS) that no religious group has the right to impose a unilateral curfew on people of other faiths. Chapter 4, Section 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended 2011) stipulates that every Nigerian is entitled to move freely throughout the country. Therefore, Oro worshippers have no right under the law to unilaterally impose a curfew in a multireligious community.
“Only the state government on the advice of the state commissioner of police can impose curfew but even then, the curfew must be based on negative security report. The curfew imposed by Oro worshippers on the city of Ife on Thursday 30th March, 2023 was therefore illegal, illegitimate, unlawful and unconstitutional.
“Legal precedent occurred in Ipokia High Court where the Chief Judge ruled on 30th January, 2018 that Oro cultists have no constitutional rights to impose any curfew on the general populace and that such action is illegal. This judgement became stare decisi since it was not challenged at a higher court.
“Nonetheless, we appeal to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi , Ojaja II, to wade into the matter. As a human rights group whose motto is ‘Dialogue, No Violence’, we believe the issue can still be resolved peacefully through dialogue. The people of Ile Ife have peacefully coexisted for decades, they should not allow religious extremism or differences to throw the community into crisis.
“Finally, MURIC appeals to the Muslim community in the great ancient town, particularly the youth, to follow the words of the Glorious Qur’an which counsels against retaliation. It says, ‘Good and evil cannot be equal. Repel evil with what is better and you will see that the one that was your enemy before will become like a devoted friend (Qur’an 41:34).”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)