I have read the account in the book written by Ustaz Yoonus Abdullah, the former grand khadi of Kogi State, titled “IMAMSHIP OF EBIRA CENTRAL MOSQUE, OKENE” In this book, so many beautiful pasts of Ebira Muslims were narrated.
Of relevance here is the imamaship tussle. The then Ohinoyi of Ebiraland had the power to appoint the Chief Imam without contention. Crisis started in 1956 when the Atta Ibrahim was deposed and Imam Tajudeen RA also passed away. Sheik Ahmad Rufai RA was then the Naibil Imam.
People thought he should automatically become the chief Imam, But the political party that held reigns of power then (ITU) wouldn’t allow that for some reasons, The leadership of ITU then was dominated by Christians and they are not too concerned about what happened in the mosque, Sheik Ahmad Rufai RA was in NPC while Sheik Abdulraheem Tajudeen was in ITU, Sheik Abdulraheem is the son of sheik Yahaya Tajudeen, The ITU has the notion that since they wanted to crown the younger brother of Sheik Ahmad Rufai RA, Alhaji Sani Omolori as the next Ohinoyi of ebiraland, they wouldn’t afford to give two leadership positions to a single family. So sheik Ahmad Rufai RA was denied Imamship based on the above factors and not because he was a tijaniya leading scholar.
On the emergence of Imam Musa Galadima as the Imam, lmam Galadima was brought in to settle the dispute as a result of the imposition of Sheik Abdulraheem Tajudeen RA over Sheik Ahmad Rufai RA.
Both sheik Ahmad Rufai and sheik Abdulraheem Tajudeen suggested Alhaji Musa Galadima as an Imam and this was only ratified by asking him some basic Islamic questions, which he responded satisfactorily. He never contested with anyone, Imam Galadima was a student of sheikh Tajudeen RA.
Sheikh Ahmad Rufai RA, was asked to nominate the Naibil Imam, and he nominated sheikh Abdulrahman Naibi which he did till his death.
It was after the death of Sheik Abdulrahman Naibi that Sheik Salihu came to the scene as the Naibi to Imam Galadima.
Also Read: Biography of Imam Yahaya Tajudeen (The First Chief Imam In Ebiraland).
What is more disturbing and disuniting is comments coming from some quota that Naibi has no basis in Islam when Allah himself addressed Sayyidina Abubakar RA as “thaniya ithnayni izhuma filgar” in verse 40 of suratul tauba. Meaning “he being the second of the two when they were both in the cave”. This was one of the bases why he was appointed as the leader of the Muslims after the death of the Prophet because he was second to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi Wa sallam.
First, it would be recalled that immediately after the death of the Holy Prophet, Sayyidina Abubakar RA was unanimously appointed as the leader of the Muslims in the absence of Sayyidina Ali RA, and when he returned, he gave his acceptance, The Prophet was reported to have said” I’m the city of knowledge and Ali is it’s gate”. The point here is that leadership has never been by inheritance as that was never the teaching of our beloved Prophet sallallahu alayhi Wa sallam.
If Were it by inheritance, the three companions that let the Muslim for over 17 years would have been allowed by the Muslims before the the coming of Ali RA who was the cousin of the Prophet and the gate to the Prophet’s city of knowledge. If Sheikh Salih Abere didn’t meet the requirements of being an Imam, will he had been allowed to deputize late Imam Galadima or even lead the congregation in prayer on his behalf in many cases as he had done abinitio?.
So why Now?
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w) said power should not be given to whoever is desperate of it.
Let there be peace in our land
Wallahul Musta’an your mind?