8 February 2013

Nigeria: Religious Tension Mounts in Oyo Community

Ibadan — THERE are strong indications that a religious unrest is brewing in Sepeteri community of Oyo State over alleged burning down of Oore Ofe Baptist Church, Oke Taasi by some Muslim Youths.

However, for peace to reign, the Obalufon of Sepeteri, Oba Abdul-Kareem Oyesiji Akanji Alatise III, a Muslim, said the land acquired by the Baptist Church on Odo-Ode Road directly opposite Ibaadu Rasheed Technical School of Arabic and Islamic Studies, has been seized in the interest of peace.

According to the monarch, also, acquired land by the Muslim Council on Ibuya Road directly opposite Christian Galilee has equally been seized.

He added that suitable and more comfortable land would be made available to each body.

Meanwhile the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has petitioned Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and the state Commissioner of Police over the burning down of Oore Ofe Baptist Church, Oke Taasi.

Sepeteri branch of CAN in a letter by its Chairman and Secretary, Rev. Bola Oyetunji and Francis Ogunlola, alleged that despite the maturity displayed after the incident, the same set of people had threatened to burn the new the church was erecting.

According to CAN, the church was burnt down on December 20, 2012, and to prevent breakdown of law and order, they want the Commissioner of Police and the Governor to intervene before the issue could degenerate.

In the petition, the association claimed that the genesis of the crisis was an "acquired land property in the Ode Area of Sepeteri in the Saki East Local Government as far back as 1973 with the consent, approval and imprimatur of the Baale of Sepeteri, the family of the land owners, as well as the representatives of the church.

Several other steps were taken since then to concretise the hold by the church without any opposition until 2011.

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