Kebbi State Government Reacts As Chief Imam Of Oldest Mosque Resigns

By Damilare Adeleye

The Kebbi Government said it has accepted the resignation of the Chief Imam of the oldest Jumu’at Mosque in Birnin Kebbi called “Wala Mosque”, Sheikh Rufa’i Ibrahim.

The Commissioner, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Aliyu, made this known while briefing newsmen in Birnin Kebbi on Sunday.

This is as he asked the Gwandu Emirate Council to put machinery in motion for the appointment of a substantive Chief Imam for the Wala Jumu’at Mosque.

Sani-Aliyu also endorsed the appointment of the Na’ibul Imam (Deputy Imam), Mallam Mammam Nata’ala to takeover the leadership of the mosque in an acting capacity as directed by Birnin Kebbi Local Government Ciuncil.

He said that the former chief imam resigned from the position on a personal basis which was accepted by the Birnin Kebbi local government council and approved by the state government.

The commissioner debunked insinuations that Sheikh Ibrahim left his position on monetary issues of being short-changed by his subordinates.

“Gov. Nasir Idris in his compassionate disposition gave financial support to Imam (leaders) of Jumu’at Mosques in the state to assist them cushion the effect of present economic hardship in the country and help those around them.

“Government has never received any report of sharp practice in the sharing of the money; therefore, the allegation of short-changing the former chief imam by his aides, is untrue,” he said.

On his part, the Commissioner for Information and Culture, Alhaji Yakubu Ahmad-Birnin-Kebbi, ruled out political undertones in the entire saga.

“We are in a democratic setting, Imam can profess political ideology different from the ruling administration without molestation or harassment. Our governor is all accommodating, every indigene of Kebbi is dear to him.

“Those peddling rumour of political differences as a reason for the resignation of the chief imam are wrong. Sheikh Ibrahim relinquished his position on personal volition,” the commissioner added.