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Conflict over the removal of the top imam in the Ondo community

Conflict over the removal of the top imam in the Ondo community

At the Central Mosque in Ikare, in the Akoko North East Local Government Area of Ondo State, worshippers were concerned about the outcome of the day’s Jumat ceremony on Friday as a result of tensions related to the purported dismissal of the town’s Chief Imam, Abubakar Muhammed.

As Muslims got ready for the Jumat service on Friday morning, it was heard that the mosque was shut.

To maintain law and order, armed police officers and troops were also seen guarding the mosque’s entrances.

Tension in the neighborhood had been caused by rumors that Mr. Muhammad had been fired. However, the state’s league of imams and alfis had opposed the cleric’s dismissal.

The troubled cleric led the prayers at the Jumat session, however with sufficient security.

The Ikare Muslim Council, which claimed that Mr. Muhammad’s dismissal was due to the council’s decision on October 9th, was responsible for orchestrating the removal of the grand cleric of the town.

Adewale Abayomi, the Council’s chairman, and R. Aiyegbusi, the secretary, both signed the letter of dismissal.

The council stated that it had decided to end the cleric’s position in a letter dated October 10 and written to the Chief Imam.

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Additionally, it stated that Saliu Akadiri Momoh IV, the Okukare of Ikare and the ruler of the town, had given his consent to the sack.

All of the state’s and the town’s security chiefs also received copies of the letter.

Funmilayo Odunlami, the police public relations officer for the Ondo State Police Command, noted that the deployment of security personnel to the mosque was not unusual as they were often stationed at places of worship every Friday and Sunday for safety.

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