Clerics in Kebbi State disagree over government largesse

The Kebbi Government has ratified the resignation of the Chief Imam of the oldest Jumu’at Mosque in Birnin Kebbi, the “Wala Mosque”, Sheikh Rufa’i Ibrahim in controversial circumstances.

The Commissioner, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Aliyu, told reporters in Birnin Kebbi on Sunday that government has 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 acting capacity as directed by Birnin Kebbi Local Government Ciuncil.

He disclosed that the voluntary retirement of Sheikh Ibrahim on personal basis was accepted by the Birnin Kebbi local government council and approved by the state government.

The commissioner debunked insinuations that Sheikh Ibrahim left owing to a disagreement with his subordinates on the sharing of money gifted clerics by the state government.

“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,” said the commissioner.

The Commissioner for Information and Culture, Alhaji Yakubu Ahmad-Birnin-Kebbi, ruled out political undertones in the controversy.

“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 reason for the resignation of the chief imam are wrong. Sheikh Ibrahim relinquished his position on personal volition”, the commissioner explained.

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