Blast Rocks Mosque In Sapele, Delta State

Channels Television  
Updated December 11, 2011
Map of Sapele Region

Area of Delta State as worshippers were gathering for the morning prayers. This was the first record of an explosion in a mosque in the southern part of the country.

Though there were no reports of deaths from the incident, an injured victim, identified as Tanko Musa, was said have been rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin, where he is receiving treatment.

Musa was said to have initially been taken to the Delta State Teaching Hospital in the neighbouring Oghara town where he was reportedly referred to the UBTH.
The blast damaged the interior of the mosque with a large part of the ceiling and portions of the roof blown off.

There were, however, conflicting reports on what caused the explosion, with some people claiming that a Niger-Delta militant group planted the explosive device that caused the blast. Others feared that the blast might have been the handiwork of Boko Haram.

Sources say that there has been some misunderstanding in recent times over the mode of language in which official prayers in the mosque should be conducted.

It was unknown whether Saturday’s blast was connected with the disagreement, which allegedly arose when the Imam of the mosque introduced prayers in Hausa, English and Arabic.

The Chief Imam of the mosque, Alhaji Mohammed Yusuf, said the blast was targeted at worshippers.

He, however, denied that it was associated with the Boko Haram sect and did not confirm whether there was any disagreement among the worshippers on the mode and language of worship.

Police spokesman,Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Charles Muka, said the police were investigating the incident with a view to unravelling the perpetrators.

He said it was an insignificant incident that should not be overblown as it was not a bomb that was thrown in the mosque.

His words, “If it is a bomb, we will see the particles, we have combed the place, we found nothing to show it is a bomb”.