By Abdulwahab Abdullah
A few days after late Sheikh Busari Haruna III was laid to rest, another chief Imam for the Ibadan Muslim Community has been named. He is Shelkh AbdulGaniyy Abubakar. Until his appointment, Sheikh Abubakar was the most senior Alfa (Alfa Agba of Ibadan-land). Abubakar, 80, an Islamic and Arabic teacher is now the 18th Chief Imam of Ibadan land. He replaced Sheikh Busari Suara Haruna the former Chief Imam who died on April 9 at the age of 93 after serving for 20 years.
Unveiling the new Chief Imam at a news conference on Wednesday in Ibadan, Chief Bayo Oyero, the Chairman, Ibadan Muslim Community, said that Abubakar’s appointment followed due process. He said that the Muslim Community in Ibadan in conjunction with the Imam-in-Council of Ibadan land unanimously approved and ratified Abubakri’s appointment.
Oyero said the new Chief Imam would be turbaned at a grand ceremony on May 15 at Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan, adding that the appointment was well received by all Muslims without any grudge. In his address, Abubakar, promised to strengthen the existing unity and progress of Muslims in the city and solicited the support of Muslims in Ibadan.
He said that the announcement of his appointment was unique in the history of Imamship in Ibadan as there was formal pronouncement and unanimous decision of all the stakeholders. Dignitaries present at the occasion were Prof. Dawud Noibi, Executive Secretary, Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria, Alhaji Lateef Oyelade, Asiwaju Musulumi of Yorubaland.
Others were Alhaji Ishaq Sanni, Chairman Muslim Community of Oyo State, Alhaja Sekinat Adekola, Iya Adini of Yoruba land , Alhaji Yekini Adeojo, Seriki Musulumi of Yoruba land, Islamic titled holders, scholars and Muslim groups.