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Kebbi Government urges calm as Chief Imam of oldest Juma’at Mosque in Birnin Kebbi resigns

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By El-Yakub Dabai, Birnin Kebbi

Kebbi State Commissioner for Religious Affairs, Architect Muhammad Sani Aliyu, has called on the people to dispell rumours alleging Government forced the Chief Imam of Wala Juma’at Mosque, Birnin Kebbi, Sheikh Rufa’i Ibrahim to resign his spiritual leadership role.

Arc Aliyu was responding to questions from journalists following the resignation of the Chief Imam as circulated on the pages of social media following a dispute with the Imam, his lieutenants and government officials over issues related to Ramadan palliatives that the Iman repotted to the office of the DSS.

The Commissioner said the Iman had resigned on personal ground which was accepted by the Birnin Kebbi Local Government and approved by the State Government and had endorsed the appointment of the deputy Imam, Mallam Mammam Nata’ala Yahaya to assume Imamship of the Mosque in acting capacity.

He therefore urged Muslim faithfuls to go about their normal religious activities and use the holy month of Ramadan to pray for the growth of Kebbi State, explaining that “we have requested the Gwandu Emirate Council to put machinery in motion for the appointment of substantive Chief Imam for the Wala Juma’at Mosque.”

In his contribution, the Commissioner for Information and Culture, Alhaji Yakubu Ahmad Birnin Kebbi, ruled out political undertones in the saga of the former Chief Imam.

“We are in a democracy, Imams can profess political ideologies different from the ruling administration without molestation or harassment. Our governor is all accommodating, every indigene of Kebbi State is dear to him.

“Those peddling political differences as reason for the resignation of the Chief Imam are wrong. Sheikh Rufa’i Ibrahim relinquished his position on personal volition”, the Commissioner explained.

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