Eight injured as rival sects tussle over Chief Imamship position in Okene

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No fewer than 8 people on Friday were fatally wounded as members of two Islamic sects clashed at the central mosque in Okene over Imamship position.

The clash that occured on Friday was a spill over of the impending lingering crises between Tijania and Sunni sects over who become the Chief Imamship following the demise of the former occupant of the position Alhaji Musa Galadima who died in the month of April , 2019.

Our Correspondent who was in Okene town on Saturday and Sunday to unravel the causes of the recent crises in Okene central mosque reported that during the Juma’at prayer at the Okene central mosque few minutes to the commencement of the Juma’at hutuba by the Chief Imam, Mallam Bello Hussaini a member of the sunni sect who offered pre- hutuba sermon refered to Sheik Salihu Abere as the acting chief imam when he entered the mosque.

The statement was said to have infuriated a member of Tijania group by name Momoh Jimoh who is demanded for apology from the Sunni member for being rude to the Chief Imam.

Altercation however ensued and the Sunni members allegedly pounced on Jimoh and beat him to stupor leaving him with serious injury on the head.

The fight became free for all as many people who were in the mosque to observe juma’at have to escape by whiskers.

The crises was said to have last for almost one hour before the policemen and soldiers intervene and disperse the two groups with no fewer than eight people from both side sustaining injuries.

Speaking on the ugly incident a civil servant Abdulsalam Mohammed Bashir who was in the moaque during the fracas described the incident as unfortunate .

“I was there when the Sheik Salihu Abere the Chief Imam entered the mosque to preside over the juma’at prayer.

“To the surprise of many people in the mosque , Bello Hussaini stopped his pre-hutuba Sermon and announced that the acting imam is around instead of him to said the Chief Imam. This was the cause of the mayhem that resulted to fight where Ibrahim Ochi, Ibrahim Ojivo , Momoh Jimoh and one other person was severely injured” he said.

He called on the state government and the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland Dr Ado Ibrahim to do the needful by turbaning Sheik Salihu Abere who has been chosen to occupied the position of the Chief Imam of Ebiraland to end the bickering surrounding the position.

Reacting on the allegations leveled against Sunni group , ustaz Bello Hussaini who was at the centre of the saga said the governor of the state Alhaji Yahaya Bello last years after the death of the former chief imam directed that Sheik Salihu Abere should occupied the position of Chief Imam on acting capacity, saying since then there was no further statement that made him a substantive Chief Imam .

“Momoh Jimoh challenged me for refering to Salihu Abere as acting chief imam and altercation set in and crises erupted and four of our members were seriously injuried while their shops was vandalised” he said.

Meanwhile Kogi State Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello has summoned the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland , the five Ohi(s) in the district and eminent personalities from the zone to Lokoja with a view to find a lasting solution to the crises of Chief Imam of Ebiraland.

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