A recent trend of events in Ìwó demands urgent attention. All Ìwó sons and daughters, and everyone who has the best interest of the ancient town at heart must treat the matter with utmost urgency. Else, the town is at a risk of an impending religious crisis.
This impending crisis is being initiated and fueled by a political mercenary and militant group masquerading as a religious organization, the Jamatu Ta’awun Muslimeen. The Ta’awun, whose records and antecedent of religious violence are well documented in public domain has started issuing threats of religious violence in Ìwó.
In a release credited to their publicity officer, Lukman Ayyubi Solahudeen, which was widely circulated on social media yesterday, Ta’awun issued what they called “a last warning” to the body of Christians in Ìwó.
It should be recalled that the official Christian body in Ìwó, the local chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN had embarked on the laying of foundation for the building of a chapel on a piece of land within the premises of the Ìwó Local Government secretariat allocated for that purpose by the local government.
However, their activities were violently disrupted by Ta’awun, claiming that the Christians had no right to erect a chapel on the premises of the secretariat. This happened on Thursday, 3rd of June.
CAN, choosing to tow the path of peace reported the matter to the appropriate authorities and security agencies. It was this that prompted Ta’awun’s release yesterday in which they threatened full-scale violence.
According to them, Christians have no right to build a place of worship and fellowship at the secretariat even though the Muslims have a mosque there. Their argument that Christians only worship and fellowship on Sundays is not only flawed, but also indicates a lack of tact.
There are Christian workers at the secretariat who meet to fellowship and worship with one another at scheduled times during break. Should they be denied a convenient place to practice their faith because Ta’awun feels so?
Furthermore, it must be on record that in accordance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we are in a secular state. As such, it is an act of imposition to make reference to Ìwó as an Islamic town. There is no need for t demographic statistics to know that the population of the town consists of Christians, Muslims, Traditionalists and Atheists alike.
Ta’awun’s act of religious imposition is criminal, and they should be called to order.
Our fathers in their wisdom have a saying that “igi gogoro má gún mi lójú, àti òkèèrè ni a ti ń wò ó.” The Olúwòó should use his royal capacity to prevent these enemies of peace from unsettling the water of peace in Ìwó. Security operatives should also take note of this threat and act accordingly.
Ìwó ò ní bàjẹ́ o…