Muslims defy lockdown order in Delta, as Imam threatens DPO with knife

Muslims in Ekakpamre community, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta state on Friday defied the state government stay-at-home order to worship freely in their hundreds.

NaijaPledge gathered from reliable sources that when the information got to the DPO of Otu-Jeremi Divisional Police Headquarters of the Muslims worship, he hurriedly mobilized his men to the mosque at Ekakpamre where he met Muslims in their hundreds worshipping.

He called on the Imam, Muhammadu Young Okotie to know why he defiled the lockdown order, but he threatened the DPO and his men with knife with the assistance of some unknown military men on ground, if he dares arrest him.

To avoid possible crises with the military men, the DPO left with his men, while the worship continued.

In a telephone chat with the Imam of the Ekakpamre Mosque, Imam Muhammadu Young Okotie, he confirmed defiling the order, saying he did it to pass a message of marginalization of Muslims in Ughelli South Local Government Area to the world.

He however denied allegations of threatening the Otu-Jeremi DPO with a knife and military men. “Those saying I threatened the DPO with a knife are haters of Islam”, he said.

According to him, “when the government asked everybody to stay at home for 14 days, we obeyed but at the end when palliatives were sent to the local government area by the state government, Muslims in the local government area didn’t benefit because it was only Christian clergies that were appointed to share the items.

“So I deliberately opened the mosque for members to worship today (Friday 24 April, 2020) to draw the attention of the world that we are hungry. And since they refused to give us food stuffs sent by the state government, we have no option than to cry to our God for help through the Friday worship.

“We are all members of the local government area, so we have right to benefit equally. But when you constitute a committee with only Christian clergies as heads, they will only represent the interest of their religion. I as an Imam in the council area supposed to be part of the committee to represent interest of Muslims.

“If it is to make peace during Fulani herdsmen attack and elections, I will be called upon by those in authority. So today, I have been able to draw the attention of the world through the worship.

When contacted, at the time of filing this report, the PPRO, Delta State Police Command, Onome Onovwakpoyeya, said she has not been briefed of the incident but promised to get back to our correspondent.

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