By Demola Atobaba, Ado-Ekiti
The President, League of Imams and Alfas in the South-west, Edo and Delta states, Alhaji Jamiu Kewulere, has decried the frosty relationship among notable Muslims clerics in the Ekiti State.
Speaking during the commissioning of the ultra-modern central mosque built by Akinbami Islamic Foundation in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital, the foremost Muslim leader lamented that disunity among Muslims had deprived the Muslim Community of its rights in the past.
The 500-seater capacity mosque is located at Federal Polytechnic road and is expected to host Friday Jumaat prayer and serve as Centre for Quranic Education. It is the third in the series built by the Foundation.
The occasion attracted notable Muslims leaders in Ekiti. Among them were President Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Yakubu Sani, his predecessor, Alhaji Afolabi Ogunlayi, and Imams of major towns and villages in the state.
Alhaji Kewulere, who is also the Grand Imam of Ekiti State, urged Muslims to overlook the shortcomings of one another in the spirit of Ramadan and forge a common front.
He warned those fueling the embers of discord among clerics to desist forthwith or be prepared to face the wrath of God.
According to him, tale-bearers and fifth columnists have no place in Islam except that the rewards of their good deeds shall be consumed in the day of reckoning.
The Grand Imam regretted the unhealthy rivalry between him and another senior cleric in the state and Missioner of Ansar-ul-Deen Society of Nigeria ,Ekiti State Chapter, Alhaji Hadi Adebayo, re-assuring that such sad episode would not be re-enacted .
His words: “Although, it is very sad to recall, but I must acknowledge that we, the Muslim leaders have let the Muslim Community down on many occasions and this is due to the needless supremacy duel and unhealthy rivalry among us. Through this needless war, our rights have been deprived and Muslims have been short-changed in the state .”
He added: “I thank God today that we have overcome those era and we have opened a new chapter. Never shall we be divided by mundane issues. Our duties and responsibilities is to lead and guide the Islamic Ummah and this we shall do.”
He promised to use his new position to further unite Muslims in the state and spread the tentacles of the religion.
Another highlight of the event was the confirmation of Ustaz Ashiru Ayobami as the substantive Chief Imam of the new mosque by the Grand Imam.
In his lecture entitled: “The Virtues of Ramadan,” Alhaji Adebayo admonished Muslims to strive hard to attain the full benefits and rewards promised by Allah (SWT) in the glorious month.
The cleric established the importance of Ramadan in the glorious Quran. He pointed out that all prophets and messengers of God had at one time or the other observe fast .
Earlier in his remark, the donor of the Mosque and Founder of the Foundation, Alhaji Sulaiman Akinbami, appreciated the grace of God in his life and promised to do more for Islam.
Akinbami hinted that he was inspired by generosity of spirit and philanthropist instinct of Arabians who always love to share whatever they have with the poor.
He therefore urged well-to-do individuals in Nigeria to always assist the poor and downtrodden so that the nation can banish poverty.
He added that the event was a turning point in the history of Muslim Community in the state, as it would go down in the history as a unity summit.