– Fact checking the Egungun disciples’ claims
‘Attacks on Muslims, their Mosque premeditated’ – Group
Whoever committed a serious crime of murder, will have to pay for it – Osun CP
Muslim News, Nigeria’s most authoritative Islamic newspaper has launched an investigation into the circumstances that led to the attack on members of Qamaruden Society of Nigeria, during a special ‘Prayer for the Nation’ held on Sunday at the front of their mosque at Oluode Aranyin area of Osogbo capital of Osun, Southwest, Nigeria.
The mortal attack which claimed the life of one of the leaders of the group, Alhaji Salawudeen Moshood while several others, including children sustained varying degrees of injuries, was carried out by the Esuleke masquerade (egungun) and its followers.
During what members described as premeditated attacks, the Muslim body claimed the disciples of the Masquerade armed with guns and cutlasses damaged properties in the mosque, including a Toyota Camry car packed in front of the mosque.
Confirming the deadly attack, the Imam of the mosque and the organiser of the prayer, Alhaji Kazeem Yusuf said the leader of the group in Iwo, Osun State, Moshood Salawudeen, was shot in the head and died on the spot, while 14 others, including five children, were seriously injured.
Also speaking, Mallam Abdulganiy Sahid Olaide of Coalition of Muslim Rights Activists of Nigeria (CONRAN) condemned the attack in strong terms, saying, “There is no gainsaying that the attack was premeditated, well planned and clinically executed. That’s why there is no record of a single casualty on the path of the masquerade worshippers.
“This isn’t the first time the group would be attacked by these same masquerade worshippers. It happened in 2014, 2018, and now 2021. This time, we will not let it go like the previous incidents. We will push for the matter to be investigated and prosecuted to a logical conclusion. We therefore call for the immediate arrest and prosecution of Chief Kayode Idowu Esuleke and others that participated in the gruesome murder of Alhaji Moshood Salaudeen,” he added.
Victims’ names, ages
▪︎ Abdul Jeleel, 12 ▪︎ Adebayo Awolesin, 15 ▪︎ Taofeek Fatai, 17 ▪︎ Malik Abdulkabir, 17, ▪︎ Quazeek Al-Ameen, 12 ▪︎ Quazeem Aseyori, 47 ▪︎ Ayuba Abdulhakeem, 60, ▪︎ Abdulsalam AbdRauf, 39 ▪︎ Ajagbe Ishaq, 37 Owolabi Maruf, 45, ▪︎ Risiqat Zakariyahu, 45 ▪︎ Isiaq Ibraheem, ▪︎ Yahaya and ▪︎ Oladosu Halimat, 47
Muslim News learnt that the government of Osun State through a delegation led by Deputy Chief of Staff, Hon. Abdullah Binuyo visited UNIOSUN Teaching Hospital where those injured are receiving treatment. The government promised to take care of the hospital bill of the victims.
The corpse of the deceased has been released by the authority of UNIOSUN Teaching Hospital after autopsy was performed on Monday and he will be buried in his home town, Iwo after Solatul Asr on Tuesday evening.
Claim 1: But the custodian of the Masquerade, Ifashola Esuleke also confirmed the attack to Rave FM, Osogbo, in an audio report of an on the spot assessment of the crisis, saying that the members of the Muslim group intended to pull off one of the masquerades’ veil.
According to him, “on our way, they (Muslims) were battle ready to pull off the masquerade’s veil during the procession. If we go there with the intention of fighting, not even a chicken in the mosque will be spared. They gathered and were ready to hurl stones on the masquerade, we would have dealt with them the hard way, since they called for it.”
Earlier, Ifashola Esuleke had told The Punch online in a live video posted on Facebook on Monday that the young kids were hurling stones at them during the procession.
But, there is no where in the video evidence received by Muslim News showing the kids hurling stones at the worshippers. Rather, the followers of the masquerades were seen in the video throwing stones into the one-storey building mosque, damaging property and cars parked in front of the mosque. Watch
Claim 2: Mr Esuleke also claimed in The Punch interview that the Masquerade was peaceful and whenever he and his followers approach any mosque or church, whether service was ongoing or not, they’ll ask their drummers to stop and continue after leaving the religious centres.
But, video evidence proved his claim to be false. The continuous beating of drums could be heard as the masquerade and his disciples passed in front of the mosque while the Muslims had already started the ‘Prayer for the Nation’.
From the video also, when the attack started, Muslim News correspondent could hear the Imam (over the microphone) appealing to his members to stay under the tent, not to move out. You can also watch here >>
Claim 3: Esuleke also claimed in the interview with The Punch that nobody among their disciples left the house with any weapon, either cutlass or gun during the procession, but the sound of gunshots could be heard on two to three occasions in the midst of the crowd that were escorting the masquerade as they passed the mosque. The Muslim body claim the gun was shot in the air, which is their usual tradition, adding that they believed the same gun was used to carry out their henious crime.
In an interview with Rave FM on Tuesday, which was monitored by Muslim News’ correspondent in Osogbo, the Osun State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Olawale Olokode also confirmed the incident, but said both the Muslim body and Masquerade worshippers didn’t formally notify the police of their activities.
Speaking, Mr. Olokode said, “We were informed on Sunday that a Muslim Organisation, known as Qamaruden Society had a religious programme where they made use of a section of the road, to put canopies and chairs (in front of their mosque). Unfortunately, that same day, around the same time, the masquerade (and his disciples) were to make use of the same road enroute to their shrine.
“The account is that they passed through that place to their shrine, but when they were returning to the town, they still had to use the same route. There arose a clash, because at that point, their (the masquerade) religious worship got to a certain height and the Muslim organisation would not want them to pass through the place because of the height of their religious exercise. In a bid to stop them from disturbing their religious activity, there arose a clash that led to the death of Alfa Moshood Salawudeen, a very important preacher to them.
“The headquarters was neither aware of the Muslim activities nor the Egungun (masquerade) procession. Before this incident, there was a masquerade procession at Ede, there was another one at Ikire, the headquarters was notified of their activities and adequate provision for security was made. At the end, there was no such clash.
“But, this one is very unfortunate because whenever there was to be procession (in the State), the parties concerned would be interviewed and they will be made to sign an undertaking in order to avert any clash. This wasn’t known to the police headquarters.
“I also learnt there had been clashes in the past between them. This would be the third or fourth of such clashes, this got me surprised the more because of antecedents and that would have made the police make better arrangements as regards their movements.”
The Osun CP, however, said he hasn’t been informed of any arrest but added that the police force has commenced investigations into the clash and the perpetrators will pay for their crimes.
“Right now, I haven’t been informed of any arrest, but certainly, there would be arrests and some people would be made to pay for this crime. But I can assure you that investigation is on, because whoever has committed a serious crime of murder, will have to pay for it. I have asked the Assistant Commissioner of Police to personally handle the investigation and I will get feedback from him later today (Tuesday).” he concluded.
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