22 March 2019

Nigeria: All Hail Unilag's New Chief Imam

opinion

Before his installation last Friday as the chief Imam, University of Lagos (UNILAG) Muslim Community (UMC), four personalities/scholars had occupied the seat. They were Professors Nurudeen Alao, Abdulfattah Mabadeje, Tajudeen Gbadamosi and Murtala Aderemi Bidmos. But none was installed with a big feast as it happened for Dr. Ismail Akin Musa last Friday at the University Central Mosque. The size and caliber of dignitaries underscored the significance of the event described as first of its kind in the history of Muslim Ummah at the "University of First Choice and the Nation's Pride."

It attracted the principal officers of the University, members of the Lagos State Muslim Community led by the Baba Adinni of Lagos, Sheikh Afis Abou and the representatives of the Chief Imam of Lagos State. The Chairman, UMC, Prof. Lai Olurode, in his opening remarks, expressed joy at the level of development, which he said the Muslim community has recorded in the past few years.

Olurode, who said the UMC achievements were made possible by the supports of the University management and members of the Muslim community, urged Muslim faithful to continue to extend their supports towards the organization.

The Pro Chancellor of the University and Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Wale Babalakin commended the leadership of the UMC, while acknowledging the solid foundation laid by the past leaders of the community.

According to Babalakin, "when a society is properly led, it will be doing well. What come with power are great responsibilities. Men must use power to the glorification of Allah and service to humanity."

In a lecture titled "The Role of Chief Imam in The University Community," former Chief Imam, Prof. Tajudeen Gbadamosi emphasized the imperativeness of leadership of service that will meet the needs of the Muslim community.

He described the ceremony as historic, unprecedented saying, "This ceremony is one that has never happened in the University."

He urged the Chief Imam to be wary of "innovations."

"Things you have to be cautious of are fundamentally in the way of innovations. Innovation and fresh ideas should always be in compliance with the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet. Beware of innovations that can jeopardize the legacies that your predecessors have left behind," he said.

The Vice Chancellor , UNILAG, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe in his address, commended the University Muslim Community for upholding the spirit of love, peaceful coexistence and harmony among people of other faiths in the University.

He noted that gesture of love and friendship his administration has enjoyed from the University Muslim community was unrivalled in the comity of universities in the country.

Ogundipe however, urged the new Chief Imam to sustain the spirit of love and peaceful coexistence among other legacies that have been laid by the previous leaderships of the community.

Former Chief Imam of the University, Prof. M. A. Bidmus presented the staff of office to new Chief Imam while saying, "In the name of Allah, the UNILAG Muslim Community and on the authority of the Baba Adinni of Lagos, you are hereby presented the staff of office as the Chief Imam of the UNILAG Central Mosque."

Thereafter, Dr. Babalakin presented the certificate of appointment to the Chief Imam.

In his inaugural speech, Dr. Musa noted that his leadership would create more opportunities for people to have the access to the guidance of Allah.

"I have accepted the appointment as a responsibility to contribute to the development of the University and the humanity as a whole," he said.

In his goodwill message, a former Vice Chancellor of the University and one-time Chairman of UMC, Prof. Rahamon Adisa Bello, expressed the optimism that the new leadership would walk the vision of the Muslim Community and accomplish great heights.

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