By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
Disturbed by the threats allegedly made early this week by the Ekiti state Government on mosques marked for demolition in NIPCO Filling Station in Adebayo area of the state capital, Ado-Ekiti, Muslims in Ekiti on Friday stayed away from the marked mosque for their Juma’at service.
A petroleum dealer, Alhaji Suleman Akinbami, built the mosque and donated it to Muslim community.
Akinbami, who is the Secretary of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) recently addressed journalists over government’s plot to demolish some petrol stations built in residential areas in the state.
When New Nigerian correspondent visited the mosque on Friday, the gate of the filling station was shut to worshipers.
Worshipers were told to go to other mosques in Ado-Ekiti for Friday congregational prayers.
Meanwhile, Muslim clerics in Ekiti have decided to suspend the Friday congregation prayer till when they were able to have audience with the state Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose.
It would be recalled that government officials had on Monday marked the mosque for demolition.
The Commissioner for Lands and Housing in the state, Mr. Tai Otitoju had given reasons for the proposed demolition, as he claimed that worshipers could contract cancer from the radioactive emission from the petrol station.
The action caused outrage among worshippers,who embarked on protest on Tuesday to express their grievance.
In a statement made available to journalists in Ado-Ekiti, the clerics agreed to suspend the prayer at a meeting held on Wednesday.
The statement said, “The President –General, League of Imams and Alfas of South West Nigeria, Edo and Delta States, Alhaji Sheikh Jamiu Keulere Bello has directed that the forthcoming Jummat service of April 7 be suspended at the Adebayo Mosque situated at Akinbami petrol station,Adebayo, Ado-Ekiti.
“The President-General came to the conclusion after a meeting with the leadership of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in Ekiti State, Alh. Yakubu Sanni and the Coordinator of NACOMYO in the state-Barr Tajudeen Ahmed.
“The meeting, which had some other Muslim leaders in attendance, reviewed the present development concerning the demolition order of worshiping centres that are situated in petrol stations by Ekiti State Government and concluded that the forthcoming Jumat service be suspended until the Muslim leaders are able to have audience with Government of Ekiti State.
“The President –General directed Muslim worshipers at Adebayo Mosque to bear with the directive of the leaders and reach out to other available mosques in the state headquarter to observe the Jummat prayer.”
While urging Muslims to always toe the path of peaceful co-existence as enjoined by Allah; the President-General assured the Ummah that the Governor of Ekiti State is a listening leader that will listen to the plight of the Muslims.”