Chieftaincy crisis rocks Ijebu Ode Muslim community

  • Group pitches tent with Mayaleeke, alleges conspiracy


Crisis is brewing in the Ijebu Ode Muslim community over contest on who clinches the Eketa Adinni of Itun- Mefa Quarters chieftaincy title. While the youths were said to have thrown their weights behind Shaykh Abdul Rasheed Mayaleeke who was described as a fiery Islamic scholar, the elders were allegedly against his emergence. Rising under the auspices of the Itun-Mefa Muslim Community Youth Forum (IMCYF), the youth wrote a petition in which they complained of alleged move to frustrate efforts to ensure emergence of Mayaleeke as the holder of the Islamic title. Crisis is presently brewing in Ijebu-Ode as the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has warned the Awujale to steer clear of the Itun- Mefa Muslim community. Corroborating the position of the IMCYF, Islamic human rights organization, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) maintained that the youths complained that the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, was meddling in the affairs of the Itun-Mefa Muslim community.

Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, who said this in a statement called for a resolution of the crisis. Charging communities where Shari’ah panels are yet to be established to enpanel one as soon as possible, Akintola advised kings who are Muslims to submit themselves to Imams who are the recognized spiritual authorities. Akintola who craved attention of Muslims to give due respect and high regard to their royal highnesses like all other subjects, maintained that this is an area where it must send a very strong message to all Yoruba kings about meddling in the affairs of Muslims.

“The appointment of Imams and Islamic title holders is solely the prerogative of Muslim communities. No king, whether Muslim, Christian or traditionalist, has the right to interfere in the internal affairs of the Muslims. By the way, can any king appoint or reject a bishop in his domain? Have kings ever been allowed to control affairs of churches around them? Then why do they pick on Muslim communities? Why do they use policemen to harass Muslims inside the mosque? “This is not about the Awujale alone. We are addressing a common phenomenon in Yorubaland where the kings assume a priori that they are the final authority in Muslim communities. For example, the former Ooni of Ife, the late Oba Okunade Sijuwade had the temerity to order the closure of the Ansar-Ud-Deen Mosque for several months simply because the Ansar- Ud-Deen appointed a non-indigene as the Imam.

“This was a serious infraction and Sijuwade’s action was unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional but nobody told him so and nobody was bold enough to challenge him. The mosque therefore remained locked up for months until an indigene was produced and the Imam-elect was removed. Akintola said:

“Contrary to Section 5 (3) (c) of the Constitution of the Ijebu-Ode Muslim Community which confers the power to appoint the Eketa Adinni on the ward, the Awujale is trying to impose another person on the Itun-Mefa Muslim community after the ward had chosen Shaykh Abdul Rasheed Mayaleeke as the Eketa Adinni of Itun-Mefa Quarters. “This is unacceptable. The Awujale is a royal father who deserves the respect of the adherents of all faiths. It is not advisable for him to interfere in the affairs of any group, talk less of imposing a candidate after one has been picked.”

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