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Buhari Wades Into Obalende Muslim Prayer Ground Tussle



President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday promised to resolve the tussle over the ownership of Obalende Muslim Prayer Ground between the Lagos State Jama’atul Muslimeen (Muslim Community) and security agencies in two weeks.

He met with members of the Jama’atul Muslimeen at the Presidential Villa and raised a committee, chaired by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, to advise him on all that needed to be done to do justice to all parties.

Buhari assured the group: “You’ll get justice as far as this is concerned. I commend you for adopting a peaceful approach to seeking justice, without heating up the polity. The Chief of Staff will get back to you in two weeks,” he said.

The group said they came to Buhari as a last resort having explored several avenues to get justice to no avail.

The leader of the delegation, Alhaji Sikiru Alabi-Macfoy, Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the organisation, the Lagos State Muslim Community, said their ownership of the land dated back to 1931 when the Nigerian Government made an “Absolute Grant” of 3.11 acres of the land in question to serve as Muslim Prayer Ground at the new Hausa Settlement, Ikoyi Plains, Lagos, now known as Obalende.

He said this was much earlier than the arrival in the area of their neighbours, the Dodan Barracks, that came after the collapse of the First Republic.

The group presented documents to show approval of the ownership of the land, signed by the late Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, under Obasanjo’s Military Administration, affirming their ownership of the land.

“In the last few years, officials of the DSS, at Dodan Barracks have been threatening to deny the Muslims access into the prayer ground because the Muslim Community was claiming ownership of it, apparently based on their erroneous understanding that the Prayer Ground belongs to Dodan Barracks.”

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