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Traditional worshippers, Islamic leaders clash over suicide victim’s corpse

There was a clash between Islamic leaders and some traditionalists on Tuesday in Sagamu, Ogun State, over the custody of the corpse of a 32-year-old man who committed suicide.

The deceased, Muhammed Jamiu, an electrician and father of one, reportedly killed himself in his room on Yakubu Habibu Street, Agura, Sabo, Sagamu, on Monday night.

It was gathered that although the deceased was a Muslim, some traditionalists attempted to take possession of his remains shortly after the news filtered out.

The traditionalists reportedly insisted that a ritual must be performed to avoid any repercussion of the death in the area.

Speaking with reporters, the Imam of Aduragbemi Mosque in Agura Sabo, where the deceased prayed before his death, Nurain Ilyas, said his members were shocked by Jamiu’s death.


He noted that they became more worried when the traditional worshipers attempted to take over his corpse.


Ilyas said, “His name is Muhammadu Jamiu. He was 32 years of age. He was an electrician. He was married with one kid, but divorced many years ago.

“He was an easygoing person. He used to pray in my mosque and I always admonished him to make his faith stronger. I think he hanged himself.


“The police came to inspect the scene after it happened on Monday night.”

Ilyas said no suicide note was found around the scene of the incident.


On the clash between the two religious groups, another Islamic leader, Imam Sonubi Dauda, said the matter was later taken to the palace of the traditional ruler in the area.


According to him, representatives of the traditional worshipers requested contributions for a ritual to be perfomed

“They asked for about N150,000 before they reduced it to N25,000; but we refused and did not give them a dime.

“We collected the key to the room where the man hanged himself from them. I don’t know their problem since the police had ordered that the corpse should be buried,” he added.


Dauda said the man was later buried according to Islamic rites.

The leader of the Osugbo-Remo in Sagamu, Ifasola Opeodu, confirmed the incident as well.

Opeodu reported that some of his members were at the scene for a ritual, adding that they left the body after the intervention of the palace authorities


When asked why the traditionalists wanted to take over the body of a Muslim, Opeodu noted that there were laid down traditions for anyone who died by suicide.

He said, “If anyone committed suicide in the olden days, Oro worshipers and traditionalists would perform rituals. But things have changed now. We now have other religions.


“The Muslims will perform the rites; our people left the body for them.

“At the end of the day, our members were settled; they were settled at the palace.”


The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the clash between the religious groups was not formally brought to the police.

He said, “The deceased has been buried according to Islamic rites; the Imam and family members of the man visited the police divisional headquarters at Sagamu to thank the police after the burial rites.


“The police heard that the traditional ruler in the area resolved the matter and normalcy has returned.”

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