Masqueraders invade Mosque, attack fasting Muslims in Ekiti

There is tension in Ikun-Ekiti in Moba Local Government Area of Ekiti State following a deadly attack on the community’s Central Mosque on Wednesday carried out by suspected masqueraders which left five Muslims wounded.

The masqueraders who were celebrating this year’s Egungun Festival in the town reportedly swooped on the mosque at about 7.00 pm when many of the Muslims had gathered to observe the Maghrib prayer after the Iftar, the breaking of the fast at sunset.

The attackers who were said to be armed with cudgels, axes, machetes and other dangerous weapons laid siege to the mosque for about four hours before carrying out the attack.
The hoodlums also smashed the windscreen and destroyed the two cars parked at the entrance of the mosque with axe and stone.

The Muslim Community in Ikun-Ekiti are accusing the community’s traditional ruler, the Onikun, Oba Olatunde Olusola of allegedly ‘supervising’ the attack on them.
The Muslim community accused the traditional ruler of the town, Oba Olatunde Olusola, of supervising the attack on them.

Efforts to speak with Oba Olusola to get his reaction was not successful at press time as the royal father did not respond to phone calls and text messages sent to him. One of the victims of the attack was the Acting Imam of the mosque, Alhaji Abdul-Rasak Abubakar Bello who sustained head injuries. He was rushed to the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital for urgent medical attention.
Bello who spoke from his hospital bed, said: “There was no way we could escape because they waiting for us outside after initially attacking us inside the mosque with iron and woody rods. When we succeeded in locking ourselves inside the mosque, they started throwing stones at us.”

He accused the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Moba Divisional Headquarters of failing to respond to distress calls made to him by the Muslim community.
The state chapter of the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations (NACOMYO) has condemned the attack accusing the Onikun of Ikun-Ekiti, Oba Olatunde Olusola and the Police of complicity in the attack in the incident.
In a statement on Wednesday signed by the state NACOMYO Coordinator, Tajudeen Ahmed, and the Secretary, Musa Tijani, the group claimed that the monarch had earlier warned the Muslims to keep their women away from the mosque on Tuesday being the final day of their masquerade festival.

“HRH David Olatunde Olusola, was said to have written a letter to the Muslim Community of Ikun Ekiti to ensure that their women are kept indoors.
“The Muslim Community of Ikun Ekiti ensured total compliance by keeping all their female members indoor.
“While the innocent and fasting Muslims were being tormented, the Muslims made frantic efforts to reach out to the police authorities at Ikun and Moba Local Government Area respectively to come to their rescue but the DPO turned down the invitation of the Muslims and dissuaded the police from going to the scene on the basis that the Onikun of Ikun Ekiti has confirmed to the DPO that there is no crisis whatsoever at Ikun Ekiti.

“On our part, we condemn the invasion of the Ikun Ekiti Central Mosque by the masqueraders and the monumental assault meted on the fasting Muslims. We see the invasion as an abominable act that is most sacrilegious. It is a clear cut defilement of the sacred mosque and an unnecessary provocation of the Muslim faithful.”



The Nation Newspaper



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