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Pastor, Soldier Son in Iseyin Brutally Assault Muslim Man and Wives on Ileya Day

Iseyin, Oyo State What was meant to be a day of celebration turned into a nightmare for the family of Mallam Sulaiman Abdulazeez during the Eidul-Ad’ha festivities on June 16, 2024.

The family’s joyous Eid, commonly known as Ileya Festival, was disrupted by a violent assault involving Pastor Busari Stephen of the Christ Apostolic Church and his son, Damilola Stephen, a soldier, supported by additional soldiers.

The incident occurred in the Barracks Area of Odo Omu, Iseyin, around noon, as Mallam Sulaiman Abdulazeez was performing the traditional slaughter of a goat outside his residence.

This act, a common practice among Muslims during Eidul-Ad’ha, sparked a conflict with Pastor Busari Stephen, whose church is located 20 meters from Abdulazeez’s home, separated by a road.

Pastor Busari objected to the slaughtering activity, questioning why it was done facing his church. Despite Abdulazeez’s explanations, the pastor escalated the situation by calling his soldier son.

Damilola Stephen arrived with three companions, all dressed in military attire and one armed. They have been identified as Ogunwale Olayemi Samuel, Olusesi Blessing, and Azeez Taofeeq.

A brutal altercation ensued. Witnesses report Damilola Stephen severely beating Abdulazeez with a large stick, while his wives, both in niqaab, tried unsuccessfully to intervene.

The assault intensified as Pastor Busari hit one of Abdulazeez’s wives, Hajia Nafeesah Imraan, causing a severe head injury. The second wife, Hajia Haajar AbdurRazzaq, who is pregnant, was dragged across the church’s staircase by the pastor and soldiers, resulting in significant leg injuries.

Amid the chaos, Abdulazeez and his wives were rushed to Fadoks Hospital for emergency treatment. The violence did not stop there. Damilola mobilized more individuals dressed as soldiers, who attacked Abdulazeez’s home, assaulting his elderly mother and brother, Daud Abdulazeez, leaving them with injuries.

The incident has been reported to the Iseyin Divisional Police headquarters. Pastor Busari and his accomplices were arrested, arraigned in court, and granted bail, with one individual detained in a Nigerian correctional center. Pastor Busari reportedly remains defiant, allegedly boasting that he and his co-accused will face no consequences.

Local reports suggest that prominent Christians in Iseyin are attempting to downplay the incident. However, Muslim legal advocate AbdulWaahid A. Olowonjaye has taken steps to ensure justice, filing petitions with the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State Command, and the Inspector General of Police, among others.

Copies of the petition have also been sent to the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 2nd Division of the Nigerian Army in Odogbo, Ibadan.

Tensions between the two families have been ongoing, rooted in past disputes over noise complaints from late-night church vigils and attempts to resolve the issues through community mediation.

The current conflict has exacerbated these longstanding grievances, marking a tragic interruption to what should have been a day of communal celebration and peace.

The investigation continues, and the community awaits further developments on this disturbing incident.

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