Confusion Rocks Ogun Muslim Community Over Suspension Of Chief Imam Of Egbaland
There is reportedly ongoing controversy in the Muslim community in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, following the news of the suspension of the Chief Imam of Egbaland, Alhaji Sa’ad Bamgbola.
The confusion reportedly started after some notable Muslims in Egbaland announced the suspension of Bamgbola last Monday, accusing him of “high handedness, administrative exclusivity, mishandling of funds and conflicting of interest between his position as the Chief Imam and a membership of another association.”
Naija News learnt that the aggrieved Egba Muslim chiefs, led by the former military administrator of Bauchi State, Navy Captain Rasheed Raji (rtd.), declared the Chief Imam suspended and immediately appointed a second-in-command.
The development has since unsettled top Muslim clerics in the Egba community as many of them reportedly rejected the suspension of the grand Chief Imam by the Chiefs. They frowned at the audacity of the chiefs, describing the suspension of their leader as an “embarrassment to the Islamic religion and an act capable of causing religious war in the town”.
Only Council Of Islamic Clerics Can Appoint Of Suspend The Chief Imam
In their submission, while reacting to the Bamgbola’s suspension, three principal Chief Imams, who make up the other three sections of Egbaland, faulted the purported suspension of the grand Chief Imam of Egbaland.
According to them, only the council of Islamic clerics in the town has the power to appoint or suspend the Chief Imam.
The Imams are: the Imams of Owu, Gbagura and Oke-Ona Egba, Alhaji Kehinde Sulaimon; Professor Kamaldeen Balogun and Alhaji Muslimudeen Nasirudeen.
Speaking on behalf of the Muslim community after a meeting at Kobiti Central Mosque in Abeokuta on Tuesday, the Chief Imam said the suspension of the grand Chief Imam was null and void.
He said the suspension did not follow the stipulated appointment and removal process of Imams in the land.
Balogun said the suspension was ill-conceived and capable of causing a religious war in the town, insisting that the four sections that make up Egbaland must be carried along in the appointment or suspension of the Chief Imam.
“We, the Chief Imam of Oke Ona, Alhaji Muslimudeen Nasirudeen, Chief Imam of Gbagura, Prof Kamarudeen Balogun and the Chief Imam of Owu, Alhaji Kehinde Suliamon on behalf on behalf of all Egba Muslims hereby pass a vote of confidence on the Chief Imam of Egbaland, Alhaji Alade Bamgbola as the only custodian of Islamic religion in Egbaland.
“We unequivocally condemn the action of the selected Chiefs in Egbaland to suspend the Chief Imam of Egbaland without proper consultations with all the Imams in all the sections of Egbaland.
“The selected Egba chiefs, led by Navy Captain Rasheed Raji have no power to suspend the grand Chief Imam of Egbaland who all custodians of Islamic religion unanimously appointed in Egbaland.
“The Chief Imam of Egbaland, Alhaji Bamgbola, should by virtue of all the principal Imams in Egbaland and by virtue of the position that you have taken here, the Imams and Alfas continue to carry out all the spiritual functions of the Islamic region without any hindrance,” the clerics maintained.
You Are All Suspended
The clerics, instead, declared that all the Egba Chiefs who took part in the suspension of the Chief Imam are all suspended.
“We hereby affirm and confirm that those who have suspended the Chief Imam are hereby suspended themselves.
“They are Baba Adinni, Navy Captain Rasheed Raji, Chief Abdulquadri Orunsolu, Seriki Egba, Chief Ibrahim Abudulateef Ayoola, Baba Isale Egba, Alhaji Usman Akanbi and Bada Egbaland, Chief Sherifdeen Ogunrinola, the Olori Ratibi, Durojaiye Afuape.
“Because they have done this without taking us along that is why we are dissociating ourselves from their decision, and they are hereby suspended until further notice,” the clerics said.