By Jimoh Ahmed, Ikare Akoko.
The Olukare of Ikare, Oba Akadiri Momoh whose appointment of an Acting Chief Imam for Ikare-Akoko Central Mosque drew the ire of the Ondo State government has backed down from his high horse.
Reliable palace sources in Ikare told The Hope yesterday, that the 85-year old monarch has not only rescinded the appointment of the Acting Chief Imam, but has tendered a remorseful apology to the state government.
The source who spoke on behalf of the monarch who is said to be away in Saudi Arabia on Lesser Hajj to Mecca, said Oba Akadiri is a very personable personality who will not trade anything for the peace of his domain, disclosed that the palace has also been shut against any religious prayer as directed by the government.
The state government had in a letter signed by the Acting Governor, Lucky Ayedatiwa ordered the Olukare to rescind the appointment of an Acting Chief Imam in town within 24 hours or face sanctions.
Commenting on the appointment of the Acting Chief Imam, the source said the Olukare acted in good faith in the bid to find a lasting peace to the unceasing crisis in the Ikare Muslim Community.
According to the source, the crisis started as a result of lack of transparency in the running of the affairs of the council by the Chief Imam.
Commenting further, the source said when all efforts by the Olukare to settle the issue and the insistence of members of the Muslim Community on the removal of the Chief Imam as the only way to have peace, the monarch had no choice than to grant their request.
He stated that since the said Chief Imam is from Iyometa and has been given a separate entity by the upgrade of the Owa Ale Chieftaincy title, the people of Ikare felt the Chief Imam should go to his community, Iyometa, and operate as a Chief Imam there.
The source further explained that since the Eidl-Fitri prayer is coming, the Olukare acted by giving an approval to the appointment of an Acting Chief Imam by the Ikare Muslim Community.
He said the monarch who is currently in Mecca for the Lesser Hajj has since abided by the order of the state government.
In the same vein, the Chief Imam, Sheikh Abbas Muhammed Abubakar, has denied all the allegations of not carrying the executive of the Muslim Community along in his administration or any case of mismanagement of the Ikare Central Mosque fund or misuse of any property.
Sheikh Abbas commended the state government for the steps it took to settle the crisis.
Meanwhile, an unusual disquiet has pervaded the town since the news of the state government’s letter broke out.
Although there was a peaceful protest in the commercial capital of the Akokos on Sunday by some youths of the town against the government’s letter.
The youths who marched through major streets of the town carried placards saying they were not ready to accept the government’s order asking the Muslim Community not to congregate during the Eidl praying ground or offer any religious prayer in the Olukare palace.
When The Hope visited Ikare on Tuesday, the Olukare’s palace which used to be the venue of the daily Tafsir programme every Ramadan period was deserted.
A source in the place said this was so because the state government has ordered that such programme should not hold until the Ikare Muslim Community crisis is resolved.
Efforts to get the Grand Mufti of Ondo State, Sheikh Batuta and the Acting Chief Imam, Sheikh Abu Bisiriyu to talk on the issue were not successful as they were said to be too busy to talk to the press.
In the same vein, the Chairman, Ikare Muslim Council, Alhaji Jimoh Adewale could not be reached at the time of filing this report.
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