Islamic Groups Criticize Soun Of Ogbomoso For Querying Chief Imam Over Religious Issues

Daud Olatunji

The Soun of Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Oba Ghandi Olaoye, has come under intense scrutiny from Islamic groups following his recent actions against the Grand Chief Imam of Ogbomosoland, Sheikh Teliat Yunus Ayilara. 

The conflict, which has sparked a broader debate on religious freedom and traditional authority, has led prominent Muslim organisations include No Dull Moment In Islam  to demand intervention from Christian leaders to address what they see as an overreach by the monarch.

PLATFORM TIMES reports that the  controversy began earlier this year when Oba Ghandi Olaoye issued a series of formal queries to Sheikh Teliat Yunus Ayilara, the highest Islamic authority in Ogbomoso. 

It was learnt that the first two query letters, issued in May and June, were in response to the Imam’s involvement in the appointment of various Muslim figures.

 However, the situation intensified with the issuance of a third query, which criticised the Imam for embarking on the Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia without prior notification to the palace.

According to PLATFORM TIMES’ observation, the queries raised by Oba Ghandi Olaoye questioned the Imam’s adherence to his oath of office and sought to challenge his authority. 

The monarch’s actions have been perceived as an attempt to disrupt the religious leadership of the Muslim community in Ogbomoso, with allegations that the queries were part of a broader strategy to provoke religious conflict in the town.

In a statement released on Friday, the Muslim advocacy group ‘No Dull Moment in Islam (NDMI)’, led by Professor Abdurazaq Kilani and Barrister Mojeed Abolore Oloyede, condemned the monarch’s actions. 

The group characterised the queries as an affront to the entire Muslim ummah of Oyo State, denouncing them as a violation of the established religious and traditional boundaries.

The NDMI statement read, “Imam Yunus Ayilara was accused of embarking on his journey to the holy land and appointing a surrogate to act as the Chief Imam Agba Ogbomosoland without informing the palace as prescribed by the said Oath of Office.

“This is not only an insult to the Chief Imam of Ogbomosoland, but the entire Muslim Ummah of Ogbomosoland.”

The group’s statement further asserted that Oba Ghandi Olaoye’s actions were part of a deliberate campaign to undermine the Chief Imam’s authority and sow discord among the religious communities of Ogbomoso. 

The NDMI called upon the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), where Oba Ghandi was ordained as a pastor, to intervene and curtail the monarch’s interference in Islamic affairs.

“We request that Oba Ghandi immediately withdraw the query and cease the threats to review the appointment of the Chief Imam. 

The provocative shenanigans against the Imam must stop forthwith,” the statement declared.

NDMI also challenged Oba Ghandi to provide evidence of any specific violations of the Imam’s oath of office, arguing that the accusations are unfounded and driven by ulterior motives. 

They criticised the monarch for exploiting religious differences for personal or political gain, accusing him of manipulating the traditional oath of office sworn to by Imam Ayilara under the previous Muslim Oba, late Oba Jimoh Oyewumi.

In response to the growing tension, several Islamic leaders and organisations have rallied to support Sheikh Teliat Yunus Ayilara, calling for unity within the Muslim community and urging for a peaceful resolution to the dispute.

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