NO fewer than four people reportedly sustained various degrees of injuries in a fresh clash between some Muslims fighting on who becomes the Chief Imam of Inisa Central Mosque.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that pandemonium broke out last Friday when Sheik Abdulakeem Muhammadu-Jamiu, who is at the centre of the crisis, entered the mosque to lead the congregation in Jumat prayers.
Muhammadu-Jamiu was led to the mosque by policemen around 1pm after some Muslim faithful had gathered in the mosque to observe Jumat prayer.
According to sources, tension pervaded the mosque when the congregation sighted Muhammadu-Jamiu entering the Chief Imam’s room, leading to the Minbar of the Inisa Central Mosque in preparatory for the delivery of his Jumat Sermon.
It was gathered that hot altercations ensued between supporters of Muhammadu-Jamiu and antagonists, who were questioning why he would be the one to lead the prayers when the crisis on the Chief Imam had not been settled.
The altercations, according to eye witnesses, resulted into free for all, in which four members of the Muslim community who are opposing the choice of Muhammadu-Jamiu as the Chief Imam sustained injury.
Also, Muhammadu-Jamiu was reportedly stoned by one of his antagonists, leading to the breaking of decorating glass of the Imam’s section of the mosque.
Findings revealed that it took the intervention of the Police to avert loss of lives in the clash.
Speaking with OSUN DEFENDER on the hospital bed at Osogbo Muslim Hospital, Osogbo, one of the victims of the clash, Mr. Abdulwaheed Usamot said he was attacked inside the mosque by supporters of Muhammadu-Jamiu, with an unknown object, making him to pass away instantly.
According to Usamot, he was attacked when he questioned why Muhammadu-Jamiu would be the one to lead the Jumat prayers when there had not been any agreement or discussion on stakeholders on the case.
He said: “We were in the Central Mosque last week Friday to observe our Jumat prayers as usual. We were expecting the Deputy Chief Imam of Ikirun, Alhaji Robiu Salaudeen, to lead us in the prayers. The League of Imams and Alfas in Osun had nominated Alhaji Salaudeen to be leading Jumat prayers for us pending the time we would settle the case on Inisa Chief Imam, and both parties agreed to it.
“Last week Friday, while we were in the mosque, we saw the Police leading Muhammadu-Jamiu to the Imam’s section of the Inisa Central Mosque. People started murmuring on sighting him, because we were not expecting him, we were expecting Deputy Chief Imam of Ikirun to lead us.
“We were questioning why it would be Muhammadu-Jamiu that would lead the Jumat prayers and in the process, one of his supporters suddenly unleashed punches on me. They later beat me with an unknown object and I fainted immediately. When I was resuscitated some minutes later, I heard my assailants saying they should take me to the Muslim cemetery for burial if I had died. Some of our people were also attacked.”
Other victims of the clash, Ismail Abdulazeez, Musbaudeen Kolawole and 62 years old Najeem Oyinlola, who were all admitted to the Muslim Hospital, Osogbo between Friday, October 8, and Monday, October 11, corroborated Usamot’s claim, saying they were all attacked by supporters of Muhammadu-Jamiu.
In his account, Abdulazeez said: “I was attacked inside the Central Mosque last week Friday by supporters of Muhammadu-Jamiu. I know all the people that attacked us; some of them were not even Muslims. I was rescued by the Police in the pool of my blood. It was from the Police Station that we came down to this hospital for treatment and we have been on admission bed since Friday till today, Monday.
“Muhammadu-Jamiu was not supposed to lead the Jumat prayers because there is a case in court.
When contacted, Muhammadu-Jamiu, the Chief Imam, said he did not know how pandemonium broke out in the mosque, accusing Usamot and Abdulazeez of masterminding the clash in the mosque.
Muhammadu-Jamiu claimed that he was the first person to be stoned by one of his antagonists in the mosque, noting that members of the congregation resisted the attack which led to free for all.
He said: “Before going to the mosque last week Friday, I went to the Police Station to show them the letter of authority from the League of Imams and Alfas, which recognised me as the Chief Imam of Inisa and the court ruling that struck out the case instituted against me by my antagonists.
“The Police were convinced and they followed me to the mosque. On entering the mosque, I went straight to the room where Imam usually sits before mounting the minbar for sermon. On sighting me through the glass, one of the people being used against me rose up and stoned me. Go and check the mosque, the glass of the Imam’s section was shattered.
“The Police intervened and restored peace. I later delivered my sermon and led the congregation in prayers.
Investigations by OSUN DEFENDER revealed that Muhammadu-Jamiu was installed the Ajanasi of the Central Mosque in August 11, 2017.
The quick succession, occasioned by death of three Chief Imams of the Inisa Central Mosque, led to controversies on the selection process of a new Chief Imam.
According to Muhammadu-Jamiu, he was next in line to be turbaned the new Chief Imam of Inisa by virtue of the succession arrangement on ground, following the death of the three Imams.
But the Muslim community opposed the selection of Muhammadu-Jamiu as new Chief Imam of Inisa, a situation that had put his turbanning on hold for over a year.
However, findings revealed that Muhammadu-Jamiu was turbaned the Chief Imam of Inisa on Thursday, September 30, 2021, after the withdrawal of a suit instituted against him and some other people by the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs in the suit were: Imam Mustapha Moh’d Jamiu and Alhaji Rasaki Hammed.
After his turbaning, which was witnessed by the Chief Imams of Okuku, Oyan, Iree, Iragbiji, among others, Muhammadu-Jamiu attempted to lead the Jumat prayers on October 1, but was stopped by the Police,who asked for Order of Enrolment from court and covering letter from the League of Imams and Alfas.
However, the League of Imams and Alfas, in a letter dated October 1, 2021 and signed by its Chairman, Sheik Musa Animasahun, who is the Chief Imam of Osogbo, recognised Muhammadu-Jamiu as the Chief Imam of Inisa, saying that the Imams and Alfas in the state have appointed Muhammadu-Jamiu as the new Chief Imam of Inisa Central Mosque.
The letter was written to the Commissioner of Police in the State, Mr. Wale Olokode and other necessary authorities.
Muhammadu-Jamiu took the letter and Order of Enrolment from court to the Police before he was allowed to lead the Jumat prayers last Friday.
But some other Muslims who are opposed to Muhammadu-Jamiu’s choice as Chief Imam, described his turbanning as kangaroo, saying that it was illegally conducted.
According to them, they withdrew the case in court based on the settlement term of the League of Imams and Alfas, noting that another case was immediately instituted same day the first suit was withdrawn.
But Muhammadu-Jamiu said there was no court injunction restraining him from being installed or parading himself as the Chief Imam of Inisa as at the time he was leading the Jumat prayers and till the time of filing this report.