29th June, 2023




The Muslim Rights Concern ((MURIC) has warned politicians in Osun State against desecrating the Muslim prayer ground. The warning came after the clash between the state governor, Ademola Adeleke and Senator Ajibola Bashiru at the Oshogbo Muslim prayer ground yesterday, Wednesday, 28th June, 2023.



The Executive Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, who spoke on Thursday, 29th June, 2023, described the incident as a show of shame.


He said:


“A clash occurred at the Muslim prayer ground, Oshogbo, yesterday, Wednesday, 28th June, 2023 between Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State and a prominent senator, Ajibola Bashiru.



“Senator Ajibola Bashiru allegedly arrived at the Muslim prayer ground, Osogbo, earlier than the governor. Reports say he sat on the reserved front-row seat but a protocol of Adeleke approached to inform him it was the seat kept for the Governor.



He changed his seat to another front row seat, which the protocol still opposed. In our opinion, that was the first wrong step and it was taken by the governor’s protocol.  



“We strongly believe that a senator is also a distinguished personality who should not be disgraced at such a public function. Therefore the governor’s protocol should have allowed him to use the second seat occupied by him. Our sincere position is that the senator had respected the governor by leaving the seat which the protocol claimed was reserved for the governor.



“There was no need for the governor’s protocol to insist that the senator should leave the front row completely. The governor’s protocol was overzealous and he threw diplomacy to the winds. It was at that point that the wrong step was taken. A senator is not a Mr. Nobody. He should have been accorded his own respect as well particularly since he had respected the office of the governor by leaving his (the governor’s) seat.



“Unlike in other places of worship, no front rows are reserved for any individual inside mosques because all are equal in Islam. The Glorious Qur’an 49:13 says, ‘Oh mankind, We created you from a single male and female and made you into nations and tribes so that you may know each other. The most honoured among you in the sight of Allah are the most righteous and Allah has full knowledge of what you do.’



“Even Prophet Muhammad asserted clearly, emphatically and authoritatively that all men are equal. ‘You are all equal’, he said, ‘like the teeth of a comb. There is no difference between an Arab and a non-Arab except by righteousness (taqwah)…’



“Therefore there is nothing wrong if both the governor and the senator are on the front row. In fact there is nothing like entitlement to front row seats in Islam. The president, the governors, senators, etc may be given the front rows just for security reasons. Neither does Islam entertain imperial mentality inside the mosque or on Muslim prayer ground.



“What happened yesterday at the Muslim prayer ground in Oshogbo was a show of shame. It is also a security lapse because the state security apparel should have foreseen that ugly development and made adequate provision for it. There would not have been a clash if the governor’s protocol and the state’s security apparatus had worked together on the arrangements and taken strategic positions before the arrival of worshippers.



“MURIC condemns this manifestation of political Islam in negative form. Governor Adeleke should not have left the prayer ground if he was there to worship Allah, no matter what happened. Adeleke should tell us loud and clear where he belongs. All politicians should drop their political garbs in their party secretariat. They are brothers and sisters once they enter the prayer ground as Muslims, if indeed they truly belong to the Islamic faith.



“Politicians in Osun State should not desecrate the Muslim prayer ground again. They should not use political differences to permeate and consequently rupture the fabrics of the Muslim community.”






Professor Ishaq Akintola,

Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).


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