Ogun State Government has ordered the Oro sect in Remo to restrict its festivals and rites to some areas.
Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Muyiwa Oladipo, said this at the end of a peace meeting between the Muslim community and the sect in Abeokuta on Wednesday night.
Fears of clashes between Muslims and the cult members on Tuesday gripped the people of Ilishan Remo and Ikenne in Ikenne Local Government over a three-day restriction of movement imposed by the sect in the area.
Muslims in the two towns had threatened to flout the order.
The state chapter of the Muslim Rights Concern had petitioned the paramount ruler of Remoland, Oba Michael Sonarinwo, over the development.
Oladipo, however, said the meeting resolved that the sect should restrict its activities to the areas where their rites would be held rather than imposing a no-movement order on the whole town.
The commissioner said the restriction would allow for peace to reign and ensure free movement of the people.
He added that the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikemefuna Okoye, would deploy policemen in the area.
Oladipo said, “Development has come, it is not everything they do in those days that you have to do. Nobody is asking you not to practise your religion but it has to be done with some decorum; restrict yourself to your area so that you will not disturb other people, especially students in the area.”
The leader of the cult group in Ikenne, Ola Bello, had said the festival would last for nine days while there would be total restriction of movement between Friday midnight and Sunday morning.
Bello added that the restriction on movememt of persons in the town had always been the norm.
But the Chief Imam of Ikenne, Alhaji Rasheed Mubarak, argued that a situation where people would be restricted for about 24 hours because members of a particular religion want to observe some rites was unacceptable, especially during the Ramadan.
The two groups however agreed at the end of heated arguments that no particular sect should infringe on the rights of others.
The commissioner however said the meeting was convened to avert a religious crisis in the state.
Oladipo said, “What we have resolved here is for the good of everyone because you don’t gain anything from a crisis. When there is a crisis, there is no development, there is no progress.
“Ogun State needs peace for investment to thrive. That’s why the conclusion is well accepted and we on our own side, we have to monitor it.”
The newly sworn-in Chairman of Ikenne Local Government, Tajudeen Salako, promised to hold further meetings with the the two groups and impress on them the need to accommodate one another.
“Apart from the meeting, we are going home to talk to them as a body and jointly. From the look of things, all the groups are ready to accommodate one another. We are known for peace in the South West, especially Ogun State and we should continue to maintain that peace” he said.
– The Punch