A clash between hundreds of Muslims and security operatives, was averted after the Imam at the Otu-Jeremi Mosque in Ughelli South local government area of Delta State, Mohammed Okotie, allegedly incited hundreds of worshippers at the mosque in a bid to attack a team of security operatives whom were trying to shut down the mosque for flouting the lockdown order.
The police team led by the Divisional Police Officer, DPO of the Otu-Jeremi Police station, CSP N. Uzorchukwu, had to hurriedly beat a retreat to avoid a clash with the Imam and worshippers who were already charged for a showdown.
Though efforts to speak with the Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya was fruitless, a senior police officer at the Otu-Jeremi police station confirmed the incident to newsmen when contacted.
The source who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “We got information that the Imam was holding Jumat service at the mosque while flouting the lockdown order and we mobilized to go and shut down the mosque.
“Upon our arrival, the Imam started shouting Allah ‘Akbar in a bid to incite the worshippers whom were in their hundreds against us.
“The Imam also brought out a dagger and threatened to stab the DPO with it if we do not leave the mosque.
This was just as the worshippers had already positioned themselves to launch an attack on the police team.
“To avoid a clash, we had to retreat for safety. As we speak, there are plans to arrest the Imam and he has already been invited by the Ughelli Area Police Commander, ACP Adamu Shinkafi for questioning.”