Two Islamic groups narrated their grievances
The Police in Plateau State said on Monday that its intelligence department foiled an attempt to disrupt Eid-el-Maulud celebrations in parts of the state.
The police said the disruption was to be carried out in Jos, the state capital, by some Muslim groups who are opposed to the celebration of Eid-el-Maulud.
The celebration of Eid-el-Maulud, Prophet Muhammed’s birthday, is a contentious issue among Muslims who are divided on whether it should be celebrated or not.
The Plateau State Commissioner of Police Plateau state, Chris Olakpe, in an interview with journalists in his office on preparations for a hitch free celebration, said some persons were planning to disrupt the religious event due to difference in denominational believes.
He called on all Muslims in the state to ensure a peaceful celebration, pointing out that security agents were on red alert to curtail any act of indiscipline.
He said the police had already met with leaders of various Islamic groups including the Terika and Izala on the celebration.
Mr. Olakpe noted that violence has never been the solution to any problem and appealed to all the parties to always dialogue to ensure peace reigns in the state.
Leaders of two of the groups present spoke on the cause of disagreement between them.
“Even though the celebration has been going on for many years, in no time has the celebration has been disrupted,” the National Publicity Secretary of JIBWIS (Izala), Ahmed Muhammad, said. “But the preparation by the Terika group this year was unprecedented; and has been done to a provocative level.”
He accused the Terika of provoking his group by placing posters and decorations around JIBWIS mosque and the house of their spiritual leader, Yahaya Jingre, on Sarkin Mangu street; knowing they are against the display of pictures and decorations.
Mr. Muhammed said his group had to alert the DPO of Laranto Police Station of the happenings.
In his response, the secretary of the Terika group, pointed out that the Maulud celebration has been in practice for about 43 years in Jos, and there has never been a day the Izala group disrupted it, even though they have never been in support of the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday.
He said it is possible that some miscreants want to cause disaffection between the two groups by provoking the Izala followers; assuring that precautions would be taken by all means to ensure that the celebration goes on smoothly.
He appealed to law enforcement agencies to assist in checking the activities of youth in the state so as to maintain peace.