Tragedy has been averted at Livestock Central Mosque in Aduwawa Community, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area, Edo State.
The unrest was the latest bout of violence by some youths who allegedly trespassed into the premises of Mosque, claiming ownership of the land, housing the worship Centre which was built 20 years ago.
This was after some unidentified individuals had dumped some trips of sand, gravel and blocks at the premises of the Mosque, ostensibly to commence construction work on the land, a development, which some concerned Nigerians, described as an invitation to anarchy.
Investigation revealed that rather than resort to self help during the incident, the some worshippers at the market, alerted the Priest (Ohen Oba’ro) of Aduwawa Community, Nosakhare Odomore who prevailed on the worshippers who are mainly traders at the market to shed their sword during the melee.
Briefing journalists on Saturday, the Priest (Ohen Oba’ro) of Aduwawa Community, Nosakhare Odomore, fears that the incident could escalate to a religious war if not checked.
According to Odomore who is the spiritual and traditional head of the Community, “the Islamic people just remain quiet because they are my tenants. They waited just to report the incident to me. Assuming they did not use their sense, the disagreement would have turned into a religious war.
“They broke into the Mosque. The youths were led by one ‘Agbontaen’ who was a former Odionwere under my leadership.
‘Agbontaen’ has no right to do so”, expressing worry that over 10,000 people could be affected.
He accused the Local Government authorities of playing the ostrich by encouraging act of lawlessness in the Community.
The Priest told journalists that their appointments were based on their experience and commitment to peace building in the area over the past 34 years.
He also admonished them to control their faithful and shun violence by supporting peace and development of the area.
Condemning the alleged trespass, Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim, the Chairman of the Mosque Committee, sued for peace and understanding.
He also commended the role of the traditional institution under the watch of His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II for being a father to all indeed.
“We want peace and unity. We do want religious crisis or anything that will make anybody to lose his life and property. We after it. That is what the Ohen said is what we want. We have always obeyed rules and regulations. If we offend you, rake us to court where the truth will be established.
“We are not happy that they want to demolish our mosque. We want settlement. They should give us time.
“They gave us the land measuring 500 by 600 feet. After we took over the place, we built our market and built the Mosque.
“Why should they want to come and destroy our mosque when we pay revenue to the government?”, he asked.
The Spokesman of the Nigeria police, Mr. Chidi Nwabuzor, could not be reach for comment as at the time of filing this report.