It’s Ayilara vs Imam, Soun tells southwest powerful Islamic group, as mediation meeting deadlocked 

Image caption: Prince Hassan Ayilara, spokesman of the Ayilara family at the press conference the family held at Ibadan last week (left) and the embattled Chief Imam

It’s Ayilara vs Imam, Soun tells southwest powerful Islamic group, as mediation meeting deadlocked 




The Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Ghandi Afolabi Olaoye Orumogege III, has for the first time reacted publicly to the Chief Imam impasse rocking the Muslim community in Ogbomoso, Oyo state, which has seen the Chief Imam, Sheikh Teliat Yinusa Olushina Ayilara, accusing Soun of being the mastermind.


Oba Olaoye’s reaction, learned, was sequel to the visit of a mediation envoy of the Yorubaland Council of Islamic Preachers (ITIHAD).


This is as a peace meeting initiated by the group which met separately with Alfa Teliat Yunus and the Ayilara family which last week disowned him was deadlocked as each side reportedly remains “recalcitrant.”


The three man team comprising Sheikh Akeugbagold Taofeeq (Ibadan, Oyo state), Sheikh Abdullah Olounlomerue (Ede, Osun state) and Sheikh Sulaiman Olore (Ibadan, Oyo state), made the Ogbomoso Palace their first port of call on arriving the city.


Harping that the influential body had found out the matter did not involve the Soun, they noted, “We can’t come to Ogbomoso without paying courtesy visit to Your Majesty, out of deference and to intimate you of our mission since it is an issue that concerns your domain.”


Speaking, Sheikh Akeugbagold Taofeeq, said, ”The mandate of our council in Ogbomoso is to find amicable solution to the lingering crisis. That’s why we have come and we can’t come to Ogbomoso without visiting Your Majesty because we have seen you are not involved in the matter. Moreover, we must accord honour to whom it’s due.”


Continuing, he stressed, “We have been on this matter for over six months during which we reached out to the Imam to caution him. Let it be known that we stand for the truth. If we see anyone going astray we try to whip him into line. We always side with the truth, and promote religious understanding and harmony.”


The Islamic leader lauded the Soun over what he described as his peaceful disposition. “Seeing your mien shows you are a man of peace. We have walked with many traditional rulers and so, l know what l am saying.”


He further submitted, “We abhor any of us insulting a traditional ruler, so, we will summon him to Ibadan, if he comes so be it, if does not, so be it. But we will stand by the truth.”


Appealing to Soun, he declared, “We will abide by your decision on the matter, Kabiyesi. The Imam that you back will be our friend because in Yorubaland, religion is in the hand of the Oba.”


Also, Sheikh Olounlomerue, chairman of the council in Osun state, disclosed the group understood the crisis started before the enthronement of Oba Ghandi, asserting it was therefore wrong to drag the Oba into the fracas.


Olounlomerue noted Islam preaches peace “but it is the extremists who often provoke crisis,” while pleading with the monarch to persist to be tolerant.


In his short response, the Soun said he was baffled but unfazed that he became the butt of attack in the imbroglio which he reiterated was instigated before his ascension.


The monarch however stressed the Imam needs to clear himself with the Ayilaras on his true identity.


He emphasized Chief Imamship is based on rotation among six families like it’s with Obaship, noting “usurpation” has no place in the system.


He insisted and affirmed the battle is between the Ayilara family and the Imam, that it has nothing to do with him.


“He (the Chief Imam) is evading leprosy to treat guinea worm. He has a problem with the Ayilaras and it is those people he should face but because he has no point to defend himself against them he shifted the battlefront. It is not done.


”They claimed he does not share blood affinity with them, that is what he should rather prove. If you hear the Ayilara family’s press conference you will get the crux of the matter. They disclosed that in his defence, he had claimed to have come from four different lineages within the family, how can such stand? They asserted they don’t bear Olushina he said he is Olushina.


“It is the family he has problem with, not Oba Ghandi. There have been several violent clashes as a result of the crisis, Will l be happy about that?


“The recommendation made by the different panels and at least 8 letters written by different Islamic groups to me, requesting that he should step aside, l did not implement and kept him as Chief Imam. The next thing we heard is that he had sued us. But all what he is saying does not bother me.


“But he has to sort himself out with the Ayilara family because that is the family to produce the Chief Imam. The Chief Imam is produced by six families. it’s because l am from Laoye family that l am made the Oba, so also Imam, the Imam must come from a recognized family. So, if he is not from that family, he has to sort himself out. So, it is Ayilara versus Imam. I have no personal interest in the matter.”


Meanwhile, details of the separate meetings the delegate had with the Ayilara family and the embattled Imam could not be obtained as at the time of filing this report even though it’s affirmed it was deadlocked either side.


Sources informed that while the Ayilara family strongly rejected the appeal to “accommodate” or “adopt” the Imam, the Imam expressed strong reservation and discontent to the fact that the delegation discussed with Oba Ghandi on a “friendly basis” and thus accused them of bias just as he was said to have insisted he’s of Ayilara family.


Thus, “peaceful settlement remains elusive,” a source disclosed.


Giving a report of the visit, Alhaji Akeugbagold in his Facebook wall (Sheikh Akeugbagold Taofeeq) wrote, “THE YORUBALAND COUNCIL FOR ISLAMIC PREACHERS (ITIHAD) delegated 3 members in person of Sheikh Akeugbagold, Sheikh Olounlomerue & Sheikh Sulaiman Olore,to visit the ancient city of Ogbomoso on fact finding &to see to how to mend fence & return peace to the beloved Muslim community leadership.We appreciate His imperial majesty OBA Ghandi Orumogege for hosting us for 2 hours plus, his Eminence the Chief imam Toliha Yunus 2hours plus,the over one hour spent with us by AYILARA family ,the kind gesture of Senator Abdul fatai Buhari & the visiting of his new, ultra modern but yet to be commissioned mosque , the interesting re union and breakfast from Alh Ejide, the lovely dinner by Alh.Egbeji, the visit to us by many Islamic leaders in the city.We see light at end of the tunnel &pray those concerned summon courage to do the needful to let peace reign. We pray Allah to assist the ummah in returning peace & love to the central mosque.Quran says:” And reconciliation is better, and do good and fear Allah,surely Allah is well acquainted with what you do,” Quran 4 v128.Wajazakumullahu khairan to everyone.”

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