Chief Imam of Lagos: Salu family now 3rd nominating house
The Lagos State Muslim community has extended the families producing Chief Imam of Lagos Central Mosque to three. The nominating families are: Nola family, Ibrahim family and Salu Onirakunmi family.
The Chairman and members of the Executive Council of Lagos State proclaimed this after Jumah service in Lagos Central Mosque.The council decided to re-incorporate Salu family back as one of the nominating families that would fill the position of chief imam of Lagos Central Mosque after the demise of the first chief imam.
Speaking at the proclamation, the General Sectary of the family, Alhaji Ademola Abass, said the family progenitor, Imam Salu was the first Chief Imam to lead the Jumat prayer in Lagos, who presided as the Chief Imam of Lagos Central Mosque.
“The emergence of Imam Salu as the Chief Imam of Lagos Muslim Community could be linked to the favourable disposition showed by Prince Kosoko who himself was a Muslim. The hallmark of Imam Salu period was the return and settling down at different places in Lagos of the former captives who were Muslims and the concomitant increase in the number of mosque in Lagos” he said.
He said that the civil war that occurred and rocked the traditional institution in Lagos. As a result of succession dispute between Kosoko and Akintoye, the two princes, in which the British displayed vested interest led to the ouster and exile of Kosoko from the throne of Oba of Lagos and installed Akintoye.
“The exile of Kosoko from Lagos in 1850 dealt some temporary setbacks on the Muslim community. Because of Kosoko’s patronage, protection and support for the Muslim community and himself a Muslim, some members of the Muslim Community decided to follow him and identified with him during his travails. Prominent among his entourage upon his exile to Epe was the Chief Imam, Alfa Salu and other eminent members.
He said after the situation of hostility, when they all returned to Lagos, Imam Salu was invited to occupy his post as Lagos State Chief Imam, but due to old age, he conceded that the acting Chief Imam should continue acting as the chief Imam.
Since then Salu family had been exempted from nominating candidate for Lagos Chief Imam.He said he was grateful to almighty Allah that the family was re-integrated into the system without going to court or leading to religious crisis.