Elias Estate, Owode in Ikosi-Isheri Local Council development Area of Lagos State has been playing host to several visitors since Tuesday September 3, while Dawis Central Mosque has become a Mecca of sorts with people trooping down there to catch a glimpse of three different images said to have appeared on its walls, including those of two neighbouring buildings in the community.
One of the buildings share the same compound with the Mosque, while the other one is located behind the Mosque.
Most of those visiting do so for different reasons: to offer prayers or to satisfy their curiosity over the appearance of the images which have become a subject of controversy.
According to sources, the appearance of the three images on the wall of the mosque was first noticed by an Hausa worshipper who raised an alarm that attracted neighbours and passers-by. Some worshippers promptly identified the images as those of three Shehus (leaders of Islam): Shehus Ahmadu Tijani, Ibrahim Niyas and Jamiu Bulala who died some years back. According to them, Liyas died in 1975, Tijani died about five decades ago, while Bulala died less than a decade ago. But news of the appearance of the images created panic among residents, leading to a stampede.
According to reports, last Thursday, there was repeated shouts of Allah Hakibaru (Allah is the greatest). Women who came around were compelled to cover their heads before being allowed to enter the Mosque. Also, many of the onlookers were seen holding Tesbiu and Al-Quran, claiming they visited the scene purposely to pray to God Almighty.
Some of the worshippers said that the development prompted some individuals to convert to Islam. One of them, as claimed, was a trader at Owode-Onirin who was immediately christened Yusuf.
President-General, Dawis Alhaji Ibrahim Samad and General Cordinator Dawis, Alhaji Idera Afolabi, claimed the images were first noticed during the 2013 Ramadan but the worshippers kept the knowledge to themselves until last Tuesday when the Hausa worshipper raised the alarm.
‘’About a week to the end of Ramadan, we saw the images on the wall during a prayer session which prompted us to change our system of operation. Since then, the Mosque open only during prayer hours until last Tuesday when a an Hausa worshipper came here to pray and was baffled at the images. Since then, people have been thronging the place on daily basis,’’ they chorused.
Some traders also seized the occasion to do brisk business as photographs of the images are now being sold at N100 each.
Asked if government was informed about the development in the light of the absence of security agents to control the surging crowd, Alhaji Afolabi said the services of Sherif Guards were employed to maintain orderliness. ‘’When we saw the crowd today (last Thursday), we went to Mile 12 Under-bridge to get five soldiers. We were also able to get 20 Sherif Guards who have been helping in crowd control. Also, the Divisional Police Officer at Ajegunle was contacted but his boys only came to satisfy their curiosity,’’ he said.
A sign of the end time
Alhaji Afolabi also dismissed the notion that the images represent a miracle, saying that they are intended to show the steadfastness of the Shehus. ‘’The essence is not to record miracles but to tell us the end has come because God is revealing Himself in an unusual way. Shehu Niyas once appeared in Agege about three months ago, the images are there to show that Allah is alive,’’ he said.
Resident debunks story
However, an occupant of the building at the back of the Mosque where some people were seen crying, praying and taking photographs of the supposed images, John Oche, debunked the story, saying: ‘’My sister, it is a rumour; the crowd has been touching our wall, claiming they saw an image but I’m yet to see any image on this wall O. The crowd has been gathering day and night but I am yet to see the images’’.