Worshippers Come To Blows Over Status Of Imam

Eight people were injured last Friday in a clash between members of two Islamic sects over the Imamship of Okene Central Mosque in Kogi State, Nigeria. It was a spillover of the lingering crises between Tijaniyya and Sunni sects over who becomes the chief imam following the demise of the former occupant in 2019.

The trouble started a few minutes into the sermon when a Sunni member referred to Sheik Salihu Abere, who has been superintending over the mosque as "the acting chief imam." This statement infuriated a member of Tijaniyya group who demanded an apology from the Sunni member for being rude to the chief imam. With none forthcoming, there followed a free-for-all fight with many of the faithful scampering for safety. The mayhem lasted for more than an hour before police intervened.

A civil servant, Malam Abdulsalam Mohammed Bashir who spoke to journalists on the matter described it as an unfortunate and sad development.

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