Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has warned against disruption of prayers and other religious activities at the Benin Central Mosque, insisting that persons or groups found disturbing the area will be dealt with, accordingly.
The governor gave the warning during a meeting with Muslim leaders in the state, led by Speaker of the House of Assembly, Kabiru Adjoto, and the Otaru of Auchi, Aliru Momoh Ikelebe III, at the Government House, in Benin, the state capital.
Obaseki said he was aware of the leadership tussle at the Benin Central Mosque, involving Edosomwan and Fatai Enabulele, adding that he refused to interfere, with the hope that both parties would resolve their differences internally.
“As a government, we saw the development, challenges and crisis as an internal matter that needed to be settled by members of the faith. The death of Edosomwan should have naturally resolved the matter, but, I was disappointed that the crisis continued. I am glad the issue has been addressed.
“I will inform the Director of State Security (DSS) to make adequate security arrangement at the Benin Central Mosque, to stop the disruption of prayers and other activities,” he said.
Assuring the Muslim community of his administration’s support, he urged them to go about the practice of their faith peacefully.
“Let me warn, at this point, that anybody or party that disrupts activities at the Benin Central Mosque, henceforth, will be dealt with according to the law.”
Governor Obaseki also commended the Otaru of Auchi and other Muslim leaders in the state on how the leadership tussle was handled and the subsequent turbanning of Enabulele as chief imam of Benin Central Mosque.
“You’ve done what the faith asked you to do by turbanning Imam Enabulele as the chief imam of Benin Central Mosque, so be it.
The government has no choice, but to recognise him as the chief imam,” he noted.
Obaseki expressed confidence in the leadership of the Otaru of Auchi and Adjoto, and assured he will continue to consult them for advice relating to affairs of Muslims in the state.
The Otaru of Auchi explained what led to the leadership tussle at the Benin Central Mosque and noted that the issue has been laid to rest with the death of Edosomwan.
He condemned the disruption of activities at the Benin Central Mosque and noted that a true Muslim should not subscribe to thuggery.