IMCA averts religious crisis at Ogbara central mosque

What could have resulted into a potential crisis between the jammah (members) of the popular Ogbara Central Mosque, Sabo, Ikorodu, and Izlaatul Bid’ah group, an Hausa Muslim society, was recently averted by the Ikorodu Muslim Community Association (IMCA).

According to report gathered, the Izlaatul Bid’ah group, which has its mosque closely located opposite the Ogbara Centra lMosque and mostly populated by Hausa Muslim faithful, was said to have been going about their worship activities peacefully in the last 30 years without any fuse until recently, when they mooted the idea of commencing Jumah service, an action said to have been considered an affront by members of the Ogbara Central Mosque known as the main mosque for Jumah service in the area.

While the members of the Izlaatul Bid’ah group were said to have been hell bent on going ahead with their plan, their Ogbara Central Mosque counterparts were said to have lodged a complaint on the matter with IMCA, the umbrella body for Muslim groups and societies in Ikorodu. In its reaction, the leadership of IMCA reportedly wrote a letter of cease and desist to the Izlaatul Bid’ah group, ordering them to halt their plan to establish Jumah prayer in their mosque. The letter was said to have been signed by the IMCA Coordinator and the Mufti and copied to the Ayangbure of Ikorodu, Chairman, Ikorodu Local Government, Chief lmam of Ikorodu Central Mosque, Chief lmam of Oriwu Central Mosque, DPO, Igbogbo Road Police Station, DPO, Sagamu Road Police Station, and Ogbara Central Mosque.

While the letter was said to have been acknowledged by those copied, Izlaatul Bid’ah allegedly refused to accept its own copy, an indication that the group was not ready to shift ground on the issue. However, on Friday, October 2, 2020, the scheduled day by Izlaatul Bid’ah to hold the first Jumah service in their mosque, a peace meeting was held at the Sagamu Road Police Station at the behest of the Chief Imam of Ikorodu division, Sheikh Seifudeen Olowooribi, to resolve the issue.

The meeting, which was presided over by the DPO, Sagamu Police Station, was attended by the representatives of Ogbara Central Mosque and Izlaatul Bid’ah group as well as Secretary to the Ikorodu Local government, IMCA Deputy Coordinator, Alhaji Erubami, IMCA Director of Business, Alhaji Rinu Anifowose, IMCA Secretary, Ustaz Jamiu and Alhaji Luqman Ogbara. 

The leader of Izlaatul Bid’ah, while speaking at the meeting, said that they have been performing their daily solat prayers and other worship activities separately and peacefully in the vicinity in the last 30 years and did not see anything strange in their plan to commence Jumah service. He cited a similar case in Agege in Lagos, where a Muslim group established a separate Jumah service close to a Central mosque and the group still exists in the vicinity without any opposition from members of the said Central mosque.

While claiming that they had already been invited separately by Oba Kabir Shotobi, Ayangbure of Ikorodu, and Sheikh Seifudeen Olowooriobi, Chief lmam of Ikorodu Central Mosque, on the issue and claimed that both of them could not understand the opposition by the members of the Ogbara Central Mosque to their plan to hold Jumah service, after listening to their case, the Izlaatul Bid’ah leader insisted that they have resolved to go ahead with their plan even at the expense of their lives.

 But the leader of the Ogbara Central Mosque at the meeting, Sheikh Uthman Zubair Tapa, in his own presentation, said that the Agege case cited by the leader of the Izlaatul Bid’ah is not known to lslamic injunction.

According to him, any Muslim group or society that is willing to establish a Jumah service must acquire a land and must not go about the process to cause division within the Muslim community.

Sheikh Tapa said that members of the Izlaatul Bid’ah group did not acquire any land and yet, they are insisting on establishing a Jumah service. He accused the group of attempting to cause trouble and division with the Muslim community with their action.

The DPO of Sagamu Police Station, in his reaction, appealed to both parties to sheath their swords and allow peace to reign and warned that the Police will not condone any act of violence in any form.

After hours of deliberation and intervention by the Police and others, the Izlaatul Bid’ah agreed to drop its plan to float a Jumah service. Also, representatives of both parties agreed and promised to maintain peace and follow due process and values of Islam in their respective activities as laid down by the Chief Imam of Ikorodu division and Ikorodu Local Government.

They were also made to sign an undertaking to that effect.

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