As Muslims celebrated Eid-Fitr peacefully through out the country on Friday, reverse was the case in Igboora town in Ibarapa East Local Government Area of Oyo State where two Muslim communities; Igboora and Igbope engaged one another over claims of right to Eid praying ground, a situation that left several people injured.
Trouble started when the Chief Imam of Igboora, Alhaji Alobalowo went to Igbole praying ground, said to have been donated to the Muslim community, to lead prayers, but met stiff resistance from the Chief Imam of Igbole and his supporters who said that Alobalowo had no right to the ground because it was situated outside his community.
The Igbole Praying Ground, it was gathered was said to have been given to Igboora Muslim community by the traditional ruler of Igbole.
The argument over who has the right to lead prayers at the ground reportedly broke into a fracas.
The situation it was gathered on Saturday took the intervention of the Area Commander of Ibarapa Area Command, ACP Sola Oketuyi, who led policemen and operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to the two communities to put the situation under control.
Our correspondent gathered that no fewer than seven people among whom are Chief Imams of Igbole and Igboora have been arrested, while five motorcycles said to have been used to convey those who fomented trouble to the scene were also recovered, along with some dangerous weapons.
A source who gave a background details said that the fight had been on for about seven years after the death of the Chief Imam who was leading the two communities in prayers.
The source said, “Two people have been fighting over the leadership of Muslim faithful during Islamic festivities, after the death of the former Chief Imam. The case was taken to court and the Chief Imam of Igboora won”.
He said that the two groups did not use the praying ground in 2017, but this year, Chief Imam of Igbole reportedly approached the Baale of Igbole to plead with the Chief Imam of Igboora for the usage of the land, pending the time the court case would be finalized, which was agreed to.
He said that, the Chief Imam of Igboora and his supporters, having won the case, decided this year that instead of using the central mosque as was being done before, this year’s prayers should be held on the praying ground.
Spokesman of the state Police Command, Adekunle Ajisebutu, confirmed the arrest, saying that peace and normalcy had been restored in the two communities.
He said, “It was an intra-religious clash between two Muslim communities of Igbole and Igboora. As soon as the report was received, policemen were drafted to maintain law and order.
“Seven suspects, including the two chief Imams, have been arrested and some dangerous weapons, such as cutlasses and axes used during the clash were recovered.
“The state Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Odude has directed the State CID to carry out discrete investigation into the incident”.
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