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01/03 TANKE : Tension Envelopes Ilorin Over Brewing Religious Crisis
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TANKE : Tension Envelopes Ilorin Over Brewing Religious Crisis

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01/03/2017 | 10:06am CEST

Palpable tension Monday enveloped the busiest Oke-Odo, Tanke area of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital over the purported plan by Muslim and Christian groups to engage in religious crisis in the area.

The Oke-Odo, Tanke area is one of the busiest areas housing many students of the University of Ilorin.

The purported religious crisis according to THISDAY checks, however was quickly averted by men of the state police command and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) to the area.

It was gathered that the crisis started when some Muslim youths in the community had resisted a plan by a Christian group to convert a structure meant for another purpose in the area to a worship centre, which nearly resulted in altercation.

THISDAY further gathered that the Muslim group was said to have been uncomfortable with what a source referred to as a "subtle move" to build a church near an existing mosque built almost two decades ago.

Some Muslim leaders, it was learnt, had earlier reported the brewing crisis to security agencies in the event that the structure is turned to a worship centre contrary to the approval it obtained from relevant government agencies.

Sources said that Christian worshipers were said to have trooped into the structure with the intention to worship on Christmas day but were vehemently resisted by the aggrieved Muslim youths, leading to palpable tension.

Some leaders of the Christian group were said to have reported the incident to the police at 'F' Division, Tanke, following which a team of armed policemen was drafted to the scene.

The arrival of the police team was said to have doused the tension while normalcy was restored.

However, a copy of a letter written to the state Director of DSS and signed by General Secretary, As-Sunnah Academy of Da'wah and Research, Alhaji Musa Jibril Sahban, alleged that the Christian group planned to cause mayhem with their intention to start worshiping in the structure.

"The Jammah (Congregation) wishes to bring to your notice that it is important and extremely urgent to intervene on the persistent and provocative conversion of a structure meant for another purpose in the name of Christian evangelism.

"It should be noted that this peace loving Islamic organisation located at As-Sunnah Street, Opposite Bekandims Hotels, Tanke Oke-Odo, Ilorin has written series of letters to the appropriate authorities in charge of religious matters as well as briefing different law enforcement agencies.

"It is on record that we wrote a letter titled 'Sensitisation Letter' dated March 1, 2009 to the Chairman, Kwara State Committee on Religious Affairs stating the implications of locating a church near an existing Mosque, which has been on ground over the years.

"Astonishingly, after almost a decade of our various correspondence with Kwara State Committee on Religious Affairs and security agencies, a church named Redeemed Church emerged on December 23, 2016 to conduct a noisy programme, drumming, singing, clapping and constituting other environmental nuisances.

"Again, on December 24, 2016, our breathen in the controversial church cheaply blackmailed our organisation, engaged in campaign of calumny and gave a false report/statement at F Division Police Station that we have attacked them and make the entire Oke-Odo ungovernable which led to police rapid response from F Division to As-Sunnah Street only to be discovered by the DPO led team on arrival that the allegation was nothing but a falsified blatant lies.

"In the light of the above bitter, irritating and provocative development, we deem it fit to brief the appropriate authority for urgent intervention in order to avert religious disharmony in our peaceful and loving society where Mosque has been in existence for almost two decades without any problem. This we have envisaged and complained in our letters under reference, which a group of Christian has persistently treated with ignominy while inciting disturbance of public peace.

"As law abiding citizens and good ambassadors of religion of Islam, which connotes and preaches peace, we are of the view that a stitch in time saves nine and it is better to make hay while the sun shines as we continue to struggle for our constitutional rights," the letter partly read.

When contacted, the spokesman of the state police command, DSP Ajayi Okasanmi, said men of the state police command had been drafted to the area to maintain law and order.

Copyright This Day. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com)., source News Service English

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