Sheikh Teliat Yinusa Oluwasina Ayilara has reacted to an order by the office of Soun-in-Council, Ogbomoso, that asked him to step aside as the Grand Imam of Ogbomoso land, Oyo State.
In an exclusive interview with Equity News on Thursday, the embattled Chief Imam insisted that he is still leading the township central mosque irrespective of the decision of the council.
The Council had on Friday, January 20 issued a statement where it called for the removal of Sheikh Teliat as the Chief Imam of the ancient town, following controversies over his true identity.
The letter signed by Areago of Ogbomosoland, High Chief Sobalaje Otolorin, who is chairman of the council, said there are claims that Sheikh Teliat isn’t a true born of the Imam Ayilara House, whose slot he used to get to the position.
The council also noted it had received lots of petitions on the matter from the League of Imams and Alfas, various Muslim organisations and from the Ayilara family protesting his holding on to the office.
“Consequent upon receipt of these petitions and complaints coupled with previous unresolved rancour, the council and other traditional stakeholders held a meeting on Thursday, 19th January, 2023 and unanimously resolved that your good self and the entire Ayilara family should step aside from all the affairs of that position and other Islamic related activities pending amicable negotiations and resolutions which is ongoing,” the letter, read in part.
While speaking with Equity News, the embattled Chief Imam confirmed the authenticity of the letter but said a court sitting in Ogbomoso has put on hold the order of the Soun-in-Council till hearing is concluded.
According to him, “The letter is genuine, but the High Court in Ogbomoso has ruled today (Thursday) that the order from Soun-in-Council should be put to hold until court hearing on the matter is concluded.
“As we speak, I’m still incharge. I’m going to the mosque tomorrow (Friday) to lead Salatul Jum’ah. I’m currently in Oyo for the Janazah (funeral prayer) of the late Chief Imam of Oyo land, Sheikh Mashood AbdulGaniy Ajokidero III who died in the early hours of Thursday.”
When asked to speak on the allegation, the respected Islamic scholar was swift to reply, “I won’t say anything on the allegation for now, as it is not appropriate to speak on a matter that is already in court.”
Sheikh Ayilara was appointed the 13th Chief Imam of Ogbomoso land in November 2021, after the demise of former Chief Imam, Dr. Ashafa Abdulyekini Sanusi, who died on Oct 7, 2021 at the age of 87.