By Uche Amunike
Former Spokesperson for the Nigerian Senate, Senator Ajibola Basiru, has reprimanded the Osun state governor, Ademola Adeleke, for the feud witnessed by Muslim faithful at the Osogbo Central Eid Praying Ground in the state, as chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains clashed over seating arrangements.
The confusion had erupted at the praying ground as Basiru, who arrived early and already seated at the front row among other dignitaries, was told by a PDP Chieftain to vacate his seat for Senator Ademola Adeleke, who was yet to arrive, but was on his way to the playing ground.
The former spokesman refused to stand up for Adeleke, which made supporters of both parties confront one another. As Governor Ademola Adeleke’s delegates’ convoy finally arrived at the playing ground, he was forced to leave eventually, because the seating arrangement had still not been resolved, even as at the time of his arrival.
Some provoked PDP loyalists attempted to attack Basiru but his opponents resisted them.
Reacting through a statement signed and released by Senator Ademola Adeleke spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, he claimed that the incident was an assassination attempt on the life of the governor.
After the incident, Basiru advised Adeleke not to allow non-state actors to take over his protocol or security apparatus.
His words: ‘I don’t know the story they are saying. I’m a Muslim. I came here to observe religion and not politics. I just want to sound a note of caution to the governor of Osun state. He should not allow non-state actors to take over his protocol or security.’
‘I was in government at the state level for eight years and at the national level for four years, if a governor or a VIP is to be at a place, the protocol has to be arranged, having regard to dignitaries that would attend that particular function. This concerns being modest.’
‘Nobody can say I’m not a dignitary in this town. I was a two-term commissioner and I serve as a senator of the federal republic of Nigeria. So, I want to employ the governor of Osun state to take charge of his government by using proper officials not louts to organize his affairs.’
On their part, Islamic leaders in the South-West also condemned the clash. The Wakeel Muslimeen, South-West, Edo and Delta States, Sheikh Israel Awwal sounded a warning to politicians against turning Eid prayer grounds and mosques into political battlefields.
Speaking to newsmen in Abeokuta, Ogun State, he urged Senator Ademola Adeleke and other politicians in the state to respect religious leaders. Hear him: ‘All Muslims in the South-West condemn what happened in Osogbo. We condemn the clash at the Eid prayer ground. They should not take politics into Eid prayer grounds or mosques. Politicians should respect religious leaders and the religious leaders should respect political leaders. They should all fear Allah and know that Allah is above everybody; be it governor or senator.”