By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
Ogun State Police Command has arrested nine Oro worshippers who attacked Muslims after imposing an illegal curfew.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi identified the suspects as Dondo Sunday, Nurudeen Lawal, Idowu Desu, Monday Akinlolu, Dele Dada, Raimi Jacob, Abiola Azeez, Olarewaju Akerele and Tetede Jamiu.
It will be recalled that the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), an Islamic human rights organization had called for the arrest and prosecution of Oro worshippers in its press statement issued last week (4th September, 2019) for invading a mosque, injuring the Muslim worshippers and damaging mosque properties.
Commenting on the arrests on Tuesday, 10th September, 2019, MURIC hailed the police for arresting the culprits.
The Director of the group said, “We commend Ogun State Police Command for making these arrests. It is long overdue. Oro worshippers have for long exhibited reckless impunity. They had become the Alpha and the Omega in Ipokia. They gave adherents of other religions no peace.
“How can they be declaring curfew at will and usurping the authority of both the local and state governments? How can they be attacking and maiming people of other faiths and even destroying properties without anyone calling them to order. This arrest serves them right but it must not end there. They must be made to pay for damaged mosque properties.
“They must also appear in court. This case must not end at the police station. They have serious cases to answer: breaking and entering, premeditated damage, occasioning grievous harm and contempt of court. Ignorance and religious bigotry are their major problems and they must be taught a lesson.
“The way the police handles this case will determine whether or not there will be a lasting solution to the problem. Oro worshippers must be made to realize that there is a constitution in this country. In particular, the traditional ruler of the community must be told in black and white that he is not the absolute ruler in the land and that he himself must submit to the authority of the local, state and federal governments. Gone are the days when traditional rulers brandished unlimited power and feudal tyranny.
“Above all, both the traditional ruler and the Oro worshippers must submit to the supremacy of the law. In this regard, they must obey subsisting court ruling on the modus operandi of their Oro by restricting their operations to the hours between 12 am and 4 am or risk going to jail.
“MURIC calls on police formations in the South West to borrow a leaf from their Ogun state counterparts because the imposition of illegal curfews by Oro worshippers is not restricted to Ipokia alone. It is very rampant in the sub-region. Ikorodu in Lagos State has also been the hotbed of acrobatic extremism and gymnastic criminality on the part of Oro worshippers. What the police needs to do in order to subdue Oro worshippers and their hooliganism is to manifest gallantry and professionalism.
“In our closing remarks, we commend Ogun Police Command for effecting the arrest of Oro culprits. We strongly demand their arraignment in a court of proper jurisdiction. We urge other police formations in the South West to deal with violent and recalcitrant worshippers of Oro in their domain in like manner.”