Fokaidhoo islanders ‘hijack’ island council office

Islanders of Shaviyani Atoll Foakaidhoo have “hijacked” the island council since yesterday afternoon, a council member has told Minivan News.

Abdulla Nahid, one of the four Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) council members on the island told Minivan News that a group of middle-aged women and men entered the Council Office yesterday afternoon and refused to leave the office saying that they had hijacked the Council Office.

“They came here while we were having a council meeting regarding the issue of handing the power house of the island to the utilities company,’’ Nahid said. ‘’This is the real issue, there was a dispute between the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters and DRP supporters on the island about handing over the power house.”

He said that while the DRP supporters opposed the utilities company, MDP supporters demanded the council hand over the power house.

‘’We called for a vote to see what the majority of the islanders want, but MDP supporters boycotted the vote and more than 90 percent opposed the idea of having the utilities company run the power house,’’ Nahid explained. “The MDP supporters sent us letter and petitions so we went for a second vote, but DRP supporters boycotted that vote and more than 90 percent of the islanders present that time voted in favor of handing over the power house.”

He said yesterday the council was about to discuss the matter during the meeting but MDP supporters arrived and told the councilors that they would not leave the office unless the council gave them a final answer.

“We told them that we have to hold a council meeting to make a decision according to the law, but they did not allow us to have a meeting and are sitting inside the council office now as well, they were there all night,’’ he said.

Nahid said that they were not obstructing the work of the council members or being violent, but just sitting down inside the council office saying that they had hijacked the office.

“They threw paper rockets at us, and sometimes make noises using a loudspeaker, but most of the time they remain quiet,’’ he said. ‘’Because they did not leave the office last night, two council members stayed up in the office and this morning did not come for work, so today we were not able to hold a meeting and the matter is being delayed.’’

He said he personally supported the MDP supporters’ idea, and had told other council members to support the idea and put the politics aside.

‘’But according to the law, I need one more council member to support my idea before we can go for a vote – if the vote is equal the Chair of the council can vote but there has been no other member to support this,’’ he said.

Nahid added that the council members did not want to use the police to move the protesters out of the council office.


Dhiffushi divided: islanders concerned about anonymous man preaching Islam from bedroom

People living on Dhiffushi in Kaafu Atoll have expressed concern about an anonymous man living in the island preaching Islam to an isolated and growing congregation.

A authority familiar with the matter told Minivan News on condition of anonymity that the man claimed to be a resident of Male’, and said he had moved to Dhiffushi with his wife and two kids ”because he liked the island.”

He claimed the man “preaches Islam to people and convinces them to form an isolated congregations and to join him.”

”There are youths following and protecting him,” he said, ”he leads all the prayers, including Friday prayers, in his bedroom.”

He said the man claimed he is living the way Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) lived.

”He uses a mop stick as his staff,” the source said. ”People one day spied on them while they were doing the Friday prayers and found out that he gives the Friday speech standing on his bed with his crowd surrounding him,.”

He said the man and his followers had claimed that the imam of the government mosque was a sorcerer, and that there was a corpse buried under the mosque.

”Islanders are really angry with his behavior,” the source said. ”Some people have already told him to leave the island immediately.”

He said the man’s his acts were dividing the society of the island.

An official at the Island office said that the case had been reported to the Islamic Ministry and the Atoll Office.

”At first they did the Friday prayers in his room,” he said, ”now they do it secretly in other room.”

Spokesperson for the Islamic Ministry Sheikh Ahmadullah and Permanent Secretary Mohamed Didi said they had no information on the matter.