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Tinubu, Ashafa, Obasa, others mourn as Lagos chief Imam is buried


Shaykh Garuba Ibrahim Akinola

The entire Muslim community in Lagos State was thrown into mourning yesterday when the body of the Chief Imam of Lagos, Shaykh Garuba Ibrahim Akinola, was laid to rest.

At the Lagos Central Mosque, venue of the burial rites, led by Chief Mufasir (Head of Islamic scholars) of Lagos, Sheikh Tijani Gbajabiamila, the crowd wept over the exit of the Islamic icon, who was described as the pillar of strength for the Muslim community.

Akiola, aged 79, was the ninth Chief Imam of Lagos Central Mosque. He passed away at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) after a brief illness.


The All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, said Akinola would be sorely missed as he always put his deep knowledge and understanding of Islam at the disposal of many.

Tinubu said: “I am deeply saddened by his death, but as Muslims, we must take every occurrence as the will of Allah. As governor of Lagos, I presented him with the staff of office on July 30, 2000 following the demise of his predecessor, the late Alhaji Liadi Alade Ibrahim (OBE). I will miss him personally. He brought calming words during our period of turmoil.”

Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, described the deceased as an honest cleric and a worthy leader, who stood for nothing but the truth.

Also, Senator Gbenga Ashafa has expressed condolence over the passage of the Chief Imam of Lagos. In a condolence message yesterday, Ashafa described Akinola as a good man who lived an exemplary life in service of God, humanity and Lagos.

The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State president, Saheed Ashafa, described him as a worthy leader. Ashafa urged other Islamic leaders to emulate the deceased, saying that his promotion of unity was outstanding.

For the president, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Ishaq Akintola, “the late Shaykh was a great scholar, pious and widely travelled.”

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