A potential interreligious and interethnic conflict is gradually brewing in Ibadan [Video]

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On Friday, something serious happened at Sabo area of Ibadan. Someone recorded it and sent the video to IBPulse.

As we all know that on Fridays, Muslims go to the mosque for the Jumu’ah prayer, and I believe it is usually the most attended prayer of the week – just like the Sunday services are often the most attended church services. So, last Friday, instead of going to their respective mosques for the prayers, a group of Muslims in Sabo area of Ibadan decided to turn the middle of the road to their own mosque. They actually went ahead and held the entire prayer session right causing the traffic to be at gridlock. You think I’m lying? Check the video below.

This is a rather bizarre development and is quite strange because up till now, the only reason why people block roads in Ibadan is when there is a party and such roads wouldn’t be a major one like the one these worshippers decided to block until the entirety of their prayer session. Why do I think this is a potentially serious issue?

A road is a road because it is meant to take people from one point to another. When it is blocked for unannounced reasons, it could affect many things. People trying to rush a patient to the hospital maybe trapped in the traffic and those that are rushing somewhere may be agitated and angry at the same time. And where two or three agitating individuals are gathered, therein is a potential problem.

Since it is a religious group that is responsible for the road blockage, other religious groups too may become emboldened to start blocking roads and turning the highways to their places of worship. It could also become a Christian versus Muslim battle that could lead to altercations and street fights eventually leading to loss of lives and destruction of properties.

I strongly believe that this situation should not be allowed to escalate before something is done and those responsible for this breach of law and crime are not only warned, but brought to justice to serve as a deterring lessons to others that maybe looking at the roads in their neighbourhood as free smooth space for religious gathering.

Because of the sensitive nature of this issue, I got the video across to officials of the Oyo state government and when I asked Yomi Layinka, Special Adviser, Communication & Strategy to Governor Abiola Ajimobi, for comment, he said he will consult extensively and get back to me. Another state government contact that I sent the video to told me that the government has been talking to the leadership of Sabo Community.

My aim for trying to get them to comment isn’t really about the comment, it’s more about ensuring that they are aware which I can now say that they are and we should expect the issue to be decisively dealt with. If they don’t and the issue escalates, it would definitely tamper the governor’s major mantra – restoring peace and order to Oyo state.

PS: I want to appreciate the person that shot the video and got it across to IBPulse.com. If something is happening in your neighbourhood, do not hesitate to let me know and I’ll endeavour to get those that can deal with the situation informed. Reach me via paul@ibpulse.com.

Cheers

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