Concerns as another VIP dies in Ogbomoso, Chief Imam exposes ‘evil doers,’ blasts rumour mongers 

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Concerns as another VIP dies in Ogbomoso, Chief Imam exposes ‘evil doers,’ blasts rumour mongers

Oluwole AREO

The late Okumebo

Ogbomoso woke up again Thursday morning to the news of the death of another very important personality, the Grand Mufty of Oyo state, Alhaji Bashir Busari Okumebo.

Alhaji Okumebo, who was also Mufasir of Ogbomosoland, reportedly died at about 3am surrounded by his wives and children.

The late Mufasir, who was turbaned Grand Mufty of Oyo state in March this year in Ibadan, was 77 years old.

Meanwhile, his passage has spiked concerns in view of the deaths of eminent personalities increasingly being recorded in recent times in Ogbomoso.

It is recalled that between December and now, several eminent personalities have died including the Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III; a former governor of Oyo state, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala; Araba Awo of Ogbomosoland, Chief Olagoke Akanni; Baba Isegun of Ogbomosoland Chief Lasisi Awoniyi; a top Islamic scholar, Mallam A.K. Bello; a former president of Ogbomoso Parapo, Mogaji Adisa Adeleye; an academic, Professor Alex Gboyega; and Baale Ijeru, High Chief Elijah Popoola.

Many indigenes have expressed worry over the development with some referring to failure to perform some traditional rites after the transition of the late Soun as the cause while some point to the delay in the appointment of a new Oba.

Chief Imam Ayilara

However, reacting to the development while delivering the sermon yesterday at the burial ceremony of Alhaji Okumebo at his residence at Isale-Oja’jagbo, the Chief Imam of Ogbomosoland, Sheikh Teliat Ayilara, pointed accusing fingers at clerics, whom he accused of practicing ritualism just as he attributed the development to the will of God.

Sheikh Ayilara noted that many Alfas have derailed from the pious path averring this was the reason incessant deaths of VIPs are being recorded in the community.

He therefore urged his colleagues to retrace their steps, eschew sinful living and repair their relationship with God.

Stressing many clerics have abandoned the way of the lord, he asserted, “It is because of our poor relationship with God that we are being punished. God says he will punish us if we go against his instructions. Those clerics calling me, call yourselves. You are the ones involved in rituals and that is why eminent personalities are dying in succession.

“We Alfas must restore our relationship with God; Alfas joining occult groups, you are the cause, why are you shouting my name? Did I ask you to join secret societies or to carry sacrifices in the midnight? God says every time you refused to listen to me, I won’t answer you likewise. Alfas, when you close your doors, what do you consult in secret though praying to God in the open? You are the ones creating problem for us. You that worship Esu yet profess to be an Alfa you are the one bringing suffering to us in Ogbomoso; you consulting Ayelala, you are the cause of our travail. That is what God tells us, it is unambiguous.

“God says those of you who claimed you won’t hearken to him you will suffer greatly. Let’s turn away from our sinful way so as to be delivered from the burden you have put us into. No matter our level of prayer if we refused to repair our relationship with God we will only suffer more greatly.

“You that locked up Olugbohun in your room yet calling yourself Alfa you are the problem, Alfa in secret societies but leading Jumat, how will your prayer be answered? So, stop shouting my name, shout your own names, did I ask you to join secret societies? Why don’t you pull out? You are shouting Imam, Imam, you an Alfa but carrying sacrifices to junctions in the midnight, why? Why are you shouting my name? Shout your own names.” he warned.

During the burial of Okumebo

He was particularly furious, fuming that some people are attributing the untoward trend to his assumption of the office of Chief Imam.

“I don’t like to react to insinuations but I received three messages this morning that saddened me,” the Chief Imam had added, “We should refrain from acts that can cause sadness in others. Someone sent me a message that saddened me deeply this morning. The person noted that our community slipped into turmoil after my assumption of office as Chief Imam.”

This insinuation infuriated him a lot as he further slammed, “It is you provoking turmoil, it is not me. I have been hammering it since I came that you should eschew rituals but you refused to listen.”

Now, sufficiently provoked, Sheikh Ayilara took it on a cleric, Chief Pakoyi, whom he openly chastised, for furtively trying to restrain him, raising his voice, “Pakoyi, leave me alone, let me say the truth.”

So, continuing, he admonished, “I beseech you all, abstain from all misdeeds, you Alfas committing adultery, drinking (alcohol), smoking (hemp), carrying sacrifices, betting, sleeping with members of your Islamic women prayer groups, you are the cause (of the turmoil); those of you using charmed gourd, offering palm oil to idols, you are the cause.

“Let’s eschew all sinful involvements and repair our relationship with God. We lack love and unity among ourselves, how will our prayers be answered? We are all guilty including me. Let’s restore our relationship with God.”

The cleric described the deceased as an exemplary and fervent Islamic leader, who was distinguished for his impactful sermons, submitting, “He was a good father, who contributed a lot as Mufasir.”

He subsequently urged the congregation to pray for Ogbomoso “to ask God to put a stop to the death of iconic figures and youths. We want evil to stop in our land.”

Alhaji Raji Yinusa, a nephew of the late Alhaji Okumebo, under whose wing he disclosed he lived for 15 years, described his death as “a monumental loss to Islam, his family, Ogbomoso and Oyo state in general.”

His first son, Alhaji Engr. Bolaji Bashir Okumebo, recalling his last moments in a chat with, said he was hale and hearty and attended to people till about 10pm yesterday.

He said his late father even gave people appointments in the morning. “But at about 1am he called my brother, eventually, we were all gathered by his bedside, he spoke to us, and shortly after he was dead. We took him to a hospital, where he was confirmed dead by a doctor.”

Engr. Okumebo described the late Islamic scholar as a leader worthy of emulation, revealing he spent 23 years as Mufasir.

Several Islamic clerics, leaders and royal fathers attended the burial ceremony among whom were Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh Abdulganiy Agbotomokeke; AIG Sheu Babalola (retd); Sheikh Muhammed Bashir Otootimola, head of Tijaniyah Muslim Society; Engr. Open Salawu, Babalaje of Ogbomoso; Chief Imams from the five local governments in Ogbomoso zone; Iba Abogunde, Iba Tajudeen Ameen; and a delegation of Government House Mosque, Ibadan.



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