Asa Orisa Association- a socio-cultural forum of traditional religious adherents in Nigeria, has alleged people it called Muslim fundamentalists as the brain behind the attack on its members in Kisi, headquarters of Irepo local government.
A petition signed by the trio of Chiefs Abiodun Abioye, Ojebola Ojebisi Amao and Okejare Adisa and submitted to office of the governor of the state, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi, called attention to “the constant attacks from Muslim followers against Egungun devotees during the Egungun Festival in Kisi town. This is to foment trouble based on religious intolerance; therefore excesses should be checked, especially of religious fundamentalists, who see the whole of this country within the narrow prisms of their own religion.”
They alleged that a similar scenario where some religious fundamentalists attacked Christians occured in 2004, adding that “now it is the turn of Egungun devotes.”
According to the trio, ”On the 2nd of May 2017, during our traditional Egungun Festival at Koso area, when an Egungun (masquerade) was going on the road, one Alfa Lateef Saka blocked the road and his entire students (Omo Ile Keu) joined him to attack Egungun followers. The Police agents that followed the Egungun to maintain peace could not do so, due to insufficient man power. As a result of this, the Egungun devotees were freely attacked with dangerous weapons, guns, stones, machetes and clubs.
“While this attack was going on, leaders of the Egungun devotees, in their wisdom, decided to leave for the palace of Iba of Kisi and to the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the town, whose approval for the festival was received and the matter was amicably resolved with both parties pledging to maintain peace.
“As a follow up to the search for amicable solution to this crisis a meeting of both parties was organized by the Divisional Police Officer Kisi and The Area Commander Ogbomoso Kisi, while His Imperial Majesty, Oba (Dr.) Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, The Alaafin of Oyo sent a high powered delegation from Oyo to wade into the matter and all the parties pledge to uphold peace and tolerate each other.
The group, they noted, was surprised when the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, “came out with a lot of fabricated stories that didn’t truly reflect what actually happened than led to the main mayhem.
They urged the government to “set up a panel of enquiry to look into remote and the immediate causes of these problem with a view of finding a lasting solution, because it appears that the Muslim community are finding it difficult to tolerate our religions as the 2004 Muslim/Christians crisis readily comes to mind.”