Group faults imposition of Chief Imam, says selection must be purely religious, not political

By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo

The lnisa Muslim Elites Association (IMEA), in Odo-Otin Local Government area off Osun State  has faulted the alleged imposition of a less qualified candidate to be the Chief Imam of lnisa Central mosque.

Addressing journalists in Osogbo, the chairman of the association, Alhaji Kasali Adeyemo, who pleaded with Governor Ademola Adeleke not to interfere in the selection of the next Chief Imam of the town, stressing that the selection process should be in consonance with the dictates of the Holy Qur’an, Hadith and Sunnah and without any form of secular or political interference.

Adeyemo called for a credible, fair and transparent process that is in line with Islamic dictates should be allowed for the selection of a new Chief Imam.

According to him, “We like to state clearly, that the Chief Imam of Inisa, is not just the leader of the Inisa Central Mosque, but the leader of all Muslims of Inisa extraction all over the world. That being so, he must be primus inter pares (the best/first among equals), and he can come from anywhere, so long as he is a Muslim, knowledgeable, exposed, pious, experienced and a native of Inisa.

“Imamship is a huge responsibility and is also considered as a trust, so it requires a qualified person in terms of sound knowledge, life experience, wisdom, piety and good character to occupy it.

“It is also against Islamic tenets and unacceptable for a person with criminal and/or occultic tendencies and/or record to ascend the position of Imam.

“We therefore, plead that people of goodwill should intervene to ensure a credible process to select the next Chief Imam of Inisa. If all internal mediation and conciliation fail, there is a Sharia Panel in Osun State that this matter may be referred to. We however, believe that we can peacefully resolve this matter without undue external interference of interlopers.

“Our cause is not in support of any group in the contestation for Chief Imamship of Inisa. We are only concerned with the towing of the path of decency in line with the dictates of the Holy Qur’an, the Hadith and the Sunnah in the selection of a Chief Imam for our community;

“It is unheard of that a secular government chooses for, or imposes a Chief Imam on a community. We are assuming that His Excellency, Governor Ademola Jackson Adeleke has not been availed of the facts in this matter, and, therefore, plead with him to allow this simple matter to be resolved without any political interference; We are aware that this matter has been in court for about three years, for which reason, the court restrained parties in the civil suit from leading the congregation at the Central Mosque.”

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