BREAKING: 200 alfas storm police station over Chief Imam Ogbomoso, see why, his reaction

BREAKING: 200 alfas storm police station over Chief Imam Ogbomoso, see why, his reaction

Ayoola TAIWO

Events took another turn Wednesday in the Muslim community Ogbomoso as clerics numbering over 200, under the aegis of League of Imams and Alfas, stormed Police Area Command Office, Owode, in solidarity with six Islamic leaders summoned by the police, over their opposition to the continued stay in office of the Grand Chief Imam of Ogbomosoland, Sheikh Teliat Yinus Olushina Ayilara 1.


It was alleged Sheikh Ayilara, the 13th Chief Imam of Ogbomoso, masterminded the “arrest” to intimidate and suppress “dissenters,” opposed to his continued stay in office.

Ayilara, appointed on November 11, 2021 had reportedly lodged the complaint in respect of the activities of some members of the League of Imams and Alfas in the five local governments constituting Ogbomoso zone considered inimical to his retaining the position.


This, his personal assistant, RK Teliat, however denied while speaking with on phone maintaining the Islamic head knew nothing about the police invitation.


Insinuation is rife that he is not a true born of the Imam Ayilara family which is currently serving its turn through him.

The march to the police station which took off at the front of the Ogbomoso Palace Oja’jagun began with about 70 clerics but the number progressively grew as they marched through the street.


By the time they reached the station the number had increased to over 150 even as many others joined at the station to hit over 200 Islamic scholars, alfas and other leaders demanding the Chief Imam step down.

Though devoid of the usual features such as hooliganism, solidarity songs, placards and so on the street protest snaked through Isale-Ora to the Owode Police Area Command Office where they met with the Area Commander.


It’s recalled the controversy broke out few months ago and so ”conspiracy” ominously whirled that he should be sacked.


He was several times summoned by various Islamic councils to defend the serious allegation. He attended some he ignored others. Several documents were released to substantiate the claim against him, petitions by various groups and individuals were written to counter him to bring him to his knees. Many of his traducers vowed he would be removed but he has managed to trudge on.


At a time in response to a petition submitted to it the Soun-in-Council also constituted a committee to look into the matter.


But some of his backers have been pulling strings to ward off the dangerous scheme. Security agents are also allegedly drafted in to suppress dissenting voices.


In the heat of the hullabaloo, the Chief Imam issued a “family tree” which unveiled his genealogy within the Imam Ayilara family.


However the matter continued to fester to the extent that security agents both conventional and unconventional now provide security during Jumat service at the Central Mosque on Fridays to forestall any untoward eventuality and breakdown of law and order.


But while it’s thought the matter had settled some fiery clerics began to post recorded audio messages on social media targeting the embattled Chief Imam and his backers. One of the clerics who identified himself simply as Busari of Lobanika compound, indeed was unsparing, going ahead to rain curses on those supporting “the malady” and dismissing them as “Manafiki Adinni.”

He warned that unless the “right thing” is done there won’t be peace.


While the struggle persisted identities of some turncoats were unveiled (names withheld) while stickler for “righteousness” on the vexed issue remained relentlessly determined on getting him booted out. further learnt that the latest round of crisis was triggered by the unmitigated push to unravel the true identity of the Chief Imam.


He had been summoned again by the League of Imams and Alfas to further prove his origin. Perhaps he was exasperated and so he allegedly petitioned the Area Command Office leading to the invitation of six leaders of the group.


That was the spark for the Wednesday march to the police station.


In solidarity, others resolved to accompany “the six” to the station to answer the summon.


“I received an invitation to report at the Area Commander’s Office along with others,” Alhaji Subair Mohammad Taofiq, disclosed while speaking with at the Owode Police Station.


“It is in respect of our activities to right the wrong as per the Chief Imam of Ogbomoso, Teliat Yinusa Ayilara.”


Alhaji Taofiq went ahead to explain the rationale for his opposition to the Chief Imam.


According to the Lobanika-born Islamic cleric, “The crisis we are having now is as a result of someone attempting to appropriate what does not belong to him.


“You know when someone lays claim wrongly to an inheritance he will be forced to narrate distorted history. The bone of contention is that the person occupying the position of Chief Imam is not a bonafide member of the family whose turn it’s to fill the position. He has no connection whatsoever whether via mother or father to the family.

Alhaji Taofiq Lobanika

“We suspected this from the beginning and we cried foul warning those saddled with choosing the Chief Imam to be wary but they spurned the advice.


“I even wrote two different letters at the time urging that we eschew taking a wrong step on the matter but they went ahead to choose him by playing a fast one. They changed the date the selection process was to be concluded and surreptitiously took him to the palace for ratification (that was during the lifetime of our Baba, the late Soun) and subsequent installation though family members did not also support the choice.


“Now, it has emerged that some powerful people in the town are propping him up, insisting that he would retain the position which is an obvious anomaly not only to the town but against Islam as well. Since the crisis began, strange things have been unfolding like police and Amotekun guarding the mosque, and it has engendered rupture in many families.


“That is why l, Subair Taofiq, wrote Islamic leaders to intervene to avert crisis and restore normalcy. And after my letter the body started their investigations.


“We now founded a platform called Ogbomoso Muslim Justice Forum on December 6, 2022, as at today, December 28, our number has soared to over 780. Let’s say we have about 300 not totally loyal, invariably the remaining 580 are agitating demanding for justice having seen the truth.


“But we have been containing them appealing to them not to let it degenerate into war. Imagine the 500 being asked to bring 5 persons each in support of the cause, we will be talking of a large number of people and it can lead to conflict.


“And so in order to avert the matter degenerating we reported to our fathers, leaders of Islamic faith to look into it. And as good elders they invited us to hear our side of the story. They made me swear with the Quran. I had no fear since l know l am saying the truth.


“They also invited youth of the Ayilara family, in fact their parents came down from the north, they also swore with the Quran that they would speak only the truth, this is as witnesses were engaged.

Chief Imam

“On the third day when the Chief Imam was to come we waited all day but he didn’t show up, he refused to come. The Imam -in – Council, his appointees, also begged they won’t be able to come.”


In the same vein, Imam Suleiman Abina, an Islamic leader who is a member of the League of Imams and Alfas pointed out that the supreme body of alfas and imams in Ogbomoso zone received petitions that “since the installation of Teliat (Chief Imam), the community had been enmeshed in inauspicious occurrences. And so they pleaded we do something about it. We therefore invited him and the petitioners with the aim of resolving the matter.


“But he shunned the meeting. Instead, he reported us at the police station and we received invitation to come. We are not fighting or do you see us brandishing cutlasses?” he asked Ogbomoso Insight, rhetorically.


“He refused to come as well as those who put him forward because they are afraid of swearing by Quran that he is truly from Ayilara family. One of them, (names withheld), who also refused to come has meanwhile said he told them of the consequences from the beginning which they refused to heed and that the consequences are manifesting now.”


But RK Teliat, personal assistant to the Chief Imam, calmly debunked the allegation that his boss orchestrated the “arrest” by the police just as he noted the issue of origin of the Chief Imam had been settled with the family tree.


Hear him, “What we found out is that due to their agitations, maybe some concerned people in the town felt they should report to the police so they can intervene (to prevent the matter escalating).


“That is what we found out and the Area Commander wrote to invite them. We didn’t know anything about it. Will people who are arrested be walking freely on the street? Is that how police make arrest? They were on invitation to the Area Command Office and they had a discussion. Quite unfortunately, he did not invite anybody from Chief Imam side and that is why we are not privy to what was discussed there.”


On the issue of the root of the Chief Imam the PA insisted a family tree tracing his origin had been made public refusing to be drawn into further discussions on it.


Meanwhile, learnt that the police noted it was a matter for the court to resolve urging it should not be allowed to snowball further following which the “protesters” marched back to their various homes.


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