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There is an ongoing controversy in the Muslim community in Abeokuta, Ogun State, following the news of the suspension of the Chief Imam of Egba land, Alhaji Sa’ad Bamgbola.

It was reported that some notable Muslims in Egba land including the Egba Chiefs led by the former military administrator of Bauchi State, Navy Captain Rasheed Raji (rtd.), announced the suspension thereby 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.” and immediately appointed a second-in-command.

The development has led to unrest and mixed feelings as some of the top Muslim clerics in the Egba community 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”.

Furthermore, Three Principal chief Imams argued that 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 , 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 Egba land must be carried along in the appointment or suspension of the Chief Imam.

The clerics declared that all the Egba Chiefs who took part in the suspension of the Chief Imam are all suspended until further notice because they did that without carrying them along.

Naija news / Zainab .Y. Hamza

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