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Confusion over sack of Chief Imam as police is drafted to mosque

The Chief Imam of Ikare Akoko community of Ondo State, Abubakar Muhammed has  been removed in controversial manner, as a letter said to be emananting from the council’s  chairperson, Adewale Abayomi, and the Secretary, R. Aiyegbusi affirmed the development

Penpushing reports that, the letter dated 10th October and addressed to the Chief Imam, the council claimed that the sack had the approval of the town’s monarch, Okukare of Ikare, Oba Saliu Akadiri Momoh IV.

The letter was reported to have equally been sent to all the heads of security agents in the state and the town, but in swift reaction the league of Imams rejected the removal of the cleric, warning of its consequences and urging for patience.

Penpushing further reports that, the league’s General Secretary, Abdurasheed Akerele, in a statement said the decision of the state government on pending issues within Ikare Muslim Community had been handled and settled.

“The problem which has been resolved by the Government should not be allowed to rear its ugly head again. The league of Imams and Alfas, Ondo State is not in support of the removal or sacking of the Chief Imam of Ikare Akoko which is being rumored about in the state’, the statement said.

“The league of Imams and Alfas Ondo stand firmly with the government verdict which its white paper was already out to the concerned groups. In the light of the above therefore, every individuals or groups should allow peace to reign in Ikare Akoko, Ondo State.”

Penpushing also reports that the Ondo Council for Islamic Affairs on its part said the information coming out of Ilare on the removal of the Chief Imam was unpleasant, and viewed the development as a very bad omen

‘The Council viewed this latest development as a very bad omen that could endanger the peaceful religious atmosphere in Ondo State. In order to forestall the breakdown of law and order in Ikare-Akoko and its environs, the Ondo State Government should call the Ikare Muslim Council to order, while the Ondo State League of Imams and Alfas under the leadership of Alhaji Ahmad Aladesawe should wade into the matter urgently’, the statement emphasised.

‘The Council appreciate the steps taken so far by the Ondo State Government led by Mr. Governor – Arakunrin Rotimi Odunayo Akeredolu SAN to cub the imbroglio that had been on for sometime now in Ikare-Akoko. As a way to find a lasting peace to the crisis’.

‘The Council stand by the Ondo State Government white paper on the crisis and we implored the Ikare Muslim Council/Town to do the same so that peace and harmony could return to Ikare-Akoko in particular and Ondo State as a whole.”

Penpushing reports that, following the ugly development, there has been apprehension among worshippers, while it was learnt that the mosque was locked in the early hours of Friday as Muslims prepared for the Jumat service.

The Ondo State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Funmilayo Odunlami explained that the deployment of security operatives to the mosque was not unusual, as they were usually deployed every Friday and Sunday at worship centres for protection.

‘The deployment is not unusual, and it is not because of any tension, we have always been doing that on Fridays at mosques and on Sundays at churches. On the crisis in the Muslim community in Ikare, no official report had been made, so the police is not aware of any impending crisis’, she said.

Penpushing further reports that, the Chief Imam while presiding over the Jumat service on Friday afternoon, appealed to all and sundry in Ikare to give peace a chance so the town can regain its lost glory/

The cleric pointed out that without peaceful coexistence, development could not take place and also advised all religious leaders and youths in Ikare to embark on fervent prayers for the peace and tranquility of the town, Ondo State and Nigeria in general.

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