A dispute over who becomes Imam of the Sultan Bello Mosque in Kaduna led to a division that disrupted Juma’at prayers at the mosque yesterday DAILYTRUST reports.
Police however quickly intervened to prevent breakdown of law and order.
A witness, Zubairu Shan’una, said there was a division in the mosque over who should be Imam.
He said: “The Deputy Imam of the mosque, Malam Ibrahim Isa, who served under the past Imam, commenced with the ‘Huthuba’, preaching in Hausa before the Friday prayer. After he finished preaching, he started the prayer but was disrupted after the first Raka’a.
“The police came in and started shooting rubber bullets and tear gas. People ran for dear life and some old people got injured in the commotion. After that, Dr. Khalid and his followers went into the mosque and started another Juma’at prayer.
“When the youths got wind that another prayer was taking place, they stormed the mosque and disrupted the prayer and the other set of worshipers had to disperse. Unfortunately, neighbouring houses that had no business with the happenings in the mosque where affected by the tear gas.”
The police spokesman, ASP Aliyu Usman, confirmed the incident but said the police did not tear gas worshipers.
He said the police were drafted to the mosque to forestall a breakdown of law and order.
He stressed that the police were neutral, adding, “We do not have power to decide who the Imam should be as there is an authority saddled with that responsibility. All we did was provide security for lives and property.”