Someone claimed that our Central Jumu’ah Mosque has been closed to worshippers and I asked whether the person is indeed very sure that the Mosque has been closed from worshippers and other daily religious activities or services?
I am aware that there have been threats of skirmishes, and serious breach of peace in and around the Mosque since the death of our respected Imam.
And if succession is the cause, I think, this is unnecessary.
The government and, or the committee saddled with seeking for new Imam are hereby urged to take a look at these options;
Set up an unbiased panel to test aspirants for the position of imam on all aspects of Islamic beliefs and practice. The knowledge of Al-Qur’an Kareem, and Al-Hadith. And other Islamic law which guided our daily practice if necessary.
The best, and winner from this outcome can be so appointed as our new imam based on knowledge!
There’s no denial that the current Naibi, following tradition, has been deputizing as Imam even when our respected Late Imam was alive! On many occasions, the current Naibi stood-in for the Late Imam on so many instances when he (Late Imam) was physically present in such congregation.
And if this was so, then following the practice and sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), the Naibi can be confirmed as the new Imam without competition!
Lastly, following the current practice by the management of the two grand Mosques in Makkah and Al-Madina Munawara, the selection committee can expand the imamship by selecting 1 Imam each from the other 4 LGAs in Central and pick the present two contenders from Okene, i.e. Naibi and Alh Luqman, thus making a total of 6 imams for the Central Mosque. This will accommodate all contending forces, and satisfy the fact that this Mosque is Ebira Central Mosque and not Okene Central Mosque.
Finally, let those in charge be quick in taking decisions about this in order not be in perpetual error in this matter, and thus minimize tension in the community.
The grand Mosques in Makkah and Madina have more than one Imam, and follows established schedules for their daily exercise of Imam activities in the two Mosques without problem.
And, therefore, this can be established here too, as this is Ebira Central Mosque, and not OKENE central mosque!!!
We must be seen to encourage peace in our life time.
And why the do or die, if really our interest and intention is to serve Allah SWT, and not self and pride?
Let those leading these two groups be reminded that, they will give account here and in the hereafter and therefore should resist the worldly temptation of encouraging violence in the manner recorded so far.
These, my options or views, are subject to errors, and I expect criticism that will make them better for consideration.
Rt. Hon. Abdullahi Bello
Ex-Acting Kogi Governor and Former Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly.