The faction of Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Obafemi Awolowo University branch, controlled by the Salafiyah Group has claimed that OAU Chief Imam, Alhaji A. Sanusi assaulted one its members.

This was contained in a statement titled “The rejection of the imposed and fake executives for MSSNOAU at their sham inauguration”.

In the statement, the group, often tagged as ‘Awo brothers’, claimed that there was no violence on the part of its members during the inauguration.

It, however, noted that “Interestingly, the first step to initiate violence, albeit unsuccessfully, came from the person, old and venerated, the least expected to make such a move. It was disappointing. The Chief Imam of OAU was the person. He attacked a brother who raised his hand to ask a question.”

While some Muslim students argued in favour of the statement, others insisted that it was not a true reflection of what transpired.

However, an investigation of a video obtained by the iWitness NG on the incidence showed the Chief Imam approaching the student before falling down.

Before the imam approached the student, the audience had earlier shouted ‘NO’ when the student was approaching the mimbar.

Close to the mimbar were imams of OAU, representatives of MSSN at all levels in Nigeria, Professors, lecturers and executives of the University of Ife Muslim Graduate (UNIFEMGA) among others.

Also, the executives who were to be newly inaugurated were standing there.

According to eyewitnesses, the students allegedly approached the mimbar in an “aggressive” manner.

One of the eyewitnesses said, “Even before the imam stood to block him, we all shouted ‘no’ to his action. Before him, someone raised his hand to ask question and the imam acknowledged but told him to hold on.

“Just as that one was putting down his hand, another brother from the Salafiyah group called ‘CSO’/’Engineer’ started approaching the mimbar aggressively. We were all scared with his manner of approach. Even when the imam raised his hands to stop him, he still refused to pause. After then, protest started, we pushed the brother away and the inauguration continued. After that, everyone began to argue.”

Narrating how the incident occurred, the statement read, “The sham inauguration of their attempting-to-be-imposed executives was yesterday, slated for after the jumuah prayer. The Muslim students of this university, present there, usually made up the bulk of those who filled up the mosque for Jumuah. And they waited, enraged within but peaceful, while the drama to impose an alien set of boys on them as executive was commenced.

“The Imam gave his speech and concluded, spinning the usual lies. The mic was given to one of the imported outsiders bent on controlling OAU’s Muslim students affairs at all cost, who did what he knows how to do best: poor sophistry married with a speech that pitiably displays his blind ignorance of the OAU reality. Our good brothers and sisters simply kept mute and watched. Many were already bemused. It was an exhibition.

“His talk over, a brother raised his hand to ask a question. He raised his hand: a gesture clear, one that everybody saw. And the Chief Imam of OAU, in his eminence, launched himself at the brother!

“Hands clawing at the brothers jalab, a head blow to his chest, the brothers and everybody watching never saw it coming! The Chief Imam of OAU wanted to wrestle a surprised son to the ground!

“Chief Imam! Chief Imam!” was one of the cries that dominated the air. Lost in the standing crowd, holding the brother in a grip from his hands and claws, the Chief Imam would never let go until he pushed him deep into the entreating crowd. The crowd of fellow students was those who came to the brother’s rescue: quickly pulling him, dragging him, almost carrying him, to safety outside the mosque!”

Recall that new executives of the MSSN OAU were officially inaugurated on Friday, August 12.

Before the inauguration, MSSN in OAU was operated by the Salafiyah group who allegedly
refused to align with the higher hierarchy of MSSN both at central branch, Area council, Area Unit and national levels for over 10 years.

“They said the bye-law of MSSN is against
Sunnah and kitaab and we told them to create
their own group with their preferred law but they refused. I advised them to reconcile first and then make case for amendment but they rather said we are saying ‘nonsense’,” the Imam of OAU Central Mosque said.

According to reports, such inauguration held last in OAU around year 2000.

The National Amir of MSSN. Mallam Jameel Muhammad, who attested to the inauguration in a facebook post urged the newly inaugurated executives to ensure unity.

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