Osun mosque attack: Worshippers attempted unmasking our masquerader, says custodian

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The leadership of the Kamorudeen Society of Nigeria and adherents of the Esubiyi masquerader, on Monday, traded accusations over a clash at the Oluode Aranyin’s compound, Osogbo, which left one man dead and 19 others injured, even as a Muslim group gave the Osun State Government 72 hours to arrest the perpetrators.

The deceased, Moshood Salawudeen, from Baale’s compound, Iwo, was said to be the Baba Ijo of the Kamorudeen Society of Nigeria.

He was said to have been shot in the head in front of the mosque on Sunday during the clash and died on the spot.

Many residents of the area declined to comment on the incident, but one of them, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said when he heard the noise and rushed to the scene, the followers of the Esubiyi masquerader were initially chased back, but returned with more men.

“It was a free-for-all between the two groups. They have a history of clashes that predates now. I was inside when I heard the noise and rushed out. The followers of the masquerader were standing a few meters away from the mosque after they had been chased back by members of the Islamic group. They later mobilised and returned with more men.”

But while narrating what transpired at a press briefing, the Chief Imam of the society, Qosim Yunus, admitted that the group had a frosty relationship with the followers of the Esubiyi masquerader, which resulted in litigation in the past.

Yunus said the group was having a special prayer for the country under a canopy in front of the mosque on Sunday, adding that the event had progressed without any hitch until the Esubiyi masquerader and his followers got to the area.

He said, “Almost three hours into the prayer, commotion enveloped the hitherto peaceful environment of the mosque. Alas, members of the society, who were praying for peace, ended up as causalities as the masquerader’s adherents, led by an Ifa worshipper, who is also an APC stalwart in Osun State, stormed the mosque and unleashed mayhem on the Islamic faithful, leaving one person dead and scores with gun wounds; the mosque was vandalised and vehicles and other properties of the society destroyed.

“The remains of the deceased, Alhaji Moshood Salawudeen, have been deposited in the morgue of the UNIOSUN Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, and the injured are presently receiving treatment at the same hospital.

“The masquerader was led to our area by four policemen and they initially passed without any quarrel. They later came to where we sat and attacked us. The deceased was shot dead; our people were attacked with machetes.

“The following are some of our members, who were injured: Abdul Jelleel, Adebayo Awolesin, Taofeek Fatai, Malik Abdulkabir, Quazeek Al-ameen, Qauzeem Aseyori, Ayuba Abdakeem, Abdusalam Abdrauf, Ajabge Ishaq, Owolabi Maruf, Risiqat Zakariyahu, Isiaq Ibraheem, Yahaya and Halimot Oladosu.”

But while reacting to the allegations, the custodian of the Esubiyi masquerader, Fashola Esuleke, accused the Muslim group of masterminding an attack on the masquerader during a visit to the area.

Fashola, who said his father, Chief Kayode Esuleke, owns the masquerader, alleged that members of the Islamic group attempted to unmask the masquerader during the attack, adding that the police and men of the Agbekoya group later intervened and rescued some of the adherents, who were held hostage by members of the Kamorudeen Society.

He said the masquerader was in the area to greet a family member and after he had prayed for the man and left his house, the procession came under attack as a member of the Islamic group attempted to remove the veil on the masquerader.

Denying killing or causing bodily harm to anyone during the clash, Fashola said the leader of the Islamic group had a history of attacking masqueraders and burning their regalia, adding that five followers of the Esubiyi masquerader were injured.

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