The Adogba Central Mosque, which the Oyo State Government demolished, had tons of history attached to it. Those who knew what transpired at that time would confirm what I am writing here. This story, I’m very sure, no one has ever told Governor Seyi Makinde.
In the initial stage, the Adogba Central Mosque was built by Haramain Islamic Foundation. Haramain, a Saudi-based humanitarian organization, in those days, embarked on many lofty programmes, targeted at the poor and less privileged. All these happened in the early and late 90s.
One of the cardinal programmes of Haramain was the building of central mosques across some major towns in Yorubland. Oyo, Ibadan, and some towns were the beneficiaries.
There are some mosques we see today, but some of us don’t know their origin. For example, the central mosque at Oja Oke in Ilora, Araromi Market Central Mosque in Oyo, Alegongo Central Mosque in Akobo, Ibadan, and Adogba Central Mosque were all built by Haramain Islamic Foundation.
After Chief Olusegun Obasanjo became Nigeria’s President in 1999, he became uncomfortable with Haramain’s humanitarian activities. The hatred and animosity Obasanjo nursed towards Haramain became so unbearable. Eventually, Obasanjo sent them packing from the shores of Nigeria.
The management of Haramain, in their wisdom, deemed it worthy of handing over some of their properties, including their mosques, to some Islamic organizations.
Alegongo Central Mosque was given to The Muslim Congress (TMC). Araromi Market Central Mosque was given to the Ahlus-sunnah Group in Oyo. Oja Oke Central Mosque was shared between the TMC and Ilora Muslim Community. As for Adogba Central Mosque, it was handed over to the Organisation of Tadomnul Muslimeen (OTM).
For the sake of clarity, all these mosques were properly transferred to those organizations, and they became the rightful owners. Among the mosques that were a bit contentious is the Oja Oke Central Mosque, which was dragged between Ilora Muslim Community and the TMC in Oyo.
People were praying in those mosques without any hindrance or hitch. Each mosque has(d) its chief imam. The Chief Imam of Adogba Central Mosque was Ustadh Abdul-Kabir Hamzah. I know him. I had prayed in the mosque before it was demolished.
When Governor Seyi Makinde assumed office as the governor of Oyo State, part of his plans was to build some bus terminals in Ibadan. Iwo Road, due to its strategic location, was marked as one of the locations of the terminals.
In the course of mapping out strategies to implement this programme, it was discovered that Adogba Central Mosque would be demolished, in order to give space for the construction of the new bus terminal.
Eyebrows were raised when the Oyo State Government raised the issue with the management of Adogba Central Mosque. However, the Governor himself waded in and convinced the management that a more befitting mosque would be built for the management, in replacement of the demolished mosque.
Therefore, a new site was allocated for the mosque building and work commenced. After waiting for a long period, the mosque was eventually built and completed. Many Muslims were happy and praying for the Governor.
This kind gesture would have earned Governor Seyi Makinde widespread accolades from the entire Muslim Ummah of Oyo State, which would have transformed into more votes for him at the poll if he had stuck to the earlier agreements he had with the mosque’s management.
Sadly, the Governor reneged on his promises and earlier agreements. The mosque was named “Seyi Makinde Central Mosque”. Habaa! This is a breach of trust. From the aforementioned story, the mosque and its management belong to the Organisation of Tadomnul Muslimeen (OTM). It does not belong to the Governor.
Although, we know that the Governor, being a Christian, would not pray in the mosque. Nevertheless, records have to be set straight. I am sure the Governor would not have taken this wrong step if he had been properly briefed by those Muslims who are close to him.
The Special Assistant to Governor Seyi Makinde on Religious Affairs, Alhaji Abdulazeez AbdurRasheed, who happens to be my cousin, should present this post to his Principal and advise him accordingly. Therefore, the new Adogba Central Mosque should be properly handed over to the Organisation of Tadomnul Muslimeen (OTM).