Muslims in Ado Ekiti, capital of Ekiti state, on Tuesday protested government’s plan to demolish a mosque built at Adebayo area of Ado Ekiti.
The protesters, under the aegis of National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations (NACOMYO), described the proposed demolition as an attempt to oppress them by the government of Mr Ayodele Fayose.
They said the mosque was built by a petrol dealer in Ado Ekiti Alhaji Suleman Akinbami within the premises of his petrol station in Adebayo and donated to Muslim community.
It was gathered that the Commissioner for Lands, Mr Taiwo Otitoju, had visited the mosque at about 5pm on Monday and marked it for demolition, on the premise that worshipers could contact cancer from the radioactive emission from the petrol station.
The youth marched from the Central mosque at Oja Oba to Odo Ado Area
to brief the Chief Imam of Ekiti State, Alhaji Jamiu Kewulere before taking a detour and moved to the palace of Ewi, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe and Adebayo area, where the mosque was located.
The Grand Imam, who spoke on behalf of the protesters, assured that he would continue to liaise with government for peaceful resolution of the issue.
He added, “Islam is a religion of peace and we have respect for leadership, so I beg that you allow the Muslim leaders to look into this matter. We don’t want you to take laws into your hands, because this state belongs to all of us.
“We are going to meet with the governor to actually get the true position of things and we will do all that we need to do for peaceful resolution of this issue," he said.
Condemning the plan, the Coordinator of NACOMYO in Ekiti, Barr Tajudeen Ahmed, said the government could not afford to do this to them after allegedly shortchanging them with low appointments of Muslims in his government.
Ahmed accused Fayose of taking the action for political reasons, urging him to have a rethink in the interest of peace.
“The proposed demolition is curious and we see it as an attempt to further oppress us. Governor Fayose made appointments and he put very abysmal numbers of Muslims into his government despite that we constitute 35% of the population in Ekiti.
“We are not violent people and we believe in leadership. We want to plead with Governor Fayose to reverse this action. How can a mosque located behind a petrol station constitute a health hazard to worshipers? Besides, it has been in existence for over a decade and if it can affect the worshipers, what would then happen to those selling the product?" he asked.
He added: “If truly this issue is not having political undertone, why did the government fail to issue requisite notices? Islam is not a riotous organisation, we will continue to dialogue but this action is worrisome," he said.