Dr. Suleiman Muhammad Adam, emerged the Chief Imam of Sultan Bello Mosque

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Dr. Suleiman Muhammad Adam, emerged the Chief Imam of Sultan Bello Mosque

Dr. Suleiman Muhammad Adam, emerged the  Chief Imam of Sultan Bello Mosque

Kaduna News Online gathered from credible source that a substantive new Imam has finally emerged in the embattled leadership tussle of Sultan Bello Mosque, Kaduna.

It would be recalled that this paper published a report OCTOBER 29, 2016
(LEADERSHIP CRISIS: Police Surrounds Sultan Bello Mosque Angwan Sarki, to Prevent Crisis between Muslim Groups).

Following the appointment of Dr Khalid of JNI as the interim Imam of the mosque.

Influential cleric in the mosque person of Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Abubakar Gummi then rejected Dr. Khalid Aliyu and faulted the way and manner he was appointed. They said stakeholders of the mosque were not consulted. Gummi’s rejection of Khalid has then triggered resistance from majority of worshippers in the mosque and the students of the famous Sheikh Abubakar Mahmud Gumi school which has been part of the mosque since the days of the late revered Islamic scholar, Gummi senior.

As the crisis degenerate and became a huge security issue with the two sides vowing to hold to their position, Governor Nasir el-Rufai intervened timely. The governor during a meeting he summoned in late October last year at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House with all the stakeholders including the emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, Sheikh Dr Ahmad Gumi, Dr. Khalid Aliyu, representatives of the JNI and the Sultan Bello Mosque Committee as well as security chiefs in the state said his decision to intervene on matters of religion is purely for security reasons and that as the chief security officer of the state, he cannot allow issues of security concern to deteriorate to the level it was in the mosque when he summoned the meeting. El-Rufai reportedly said during the meeting that as the governor he valued every single live in the state and vowed that the full wrath of the law will be deploy to anybody found culpable in causing or instigating the crisis in the highly revered mosque.

Mr. El-Rufai after listening to the emir of Zazzau, Sheikh Gumi, Dr. Khalid, Chairman of the mosque Committee, Sa’idu Kakangi and other stakeholders present at the meeting like Gen. AbdulQdir Gumi, Wazirin Zazzau, Mal Tukur Mamu, Mal Hamis Yau etc decided to take a final decision on the imbroglio. Sheikh Gumi insisted during his submission that while the JNI was founded over forty years ago by the likes of Sir Ahmadu Bello, his father, Sheikh Abubakar Mahmud Gumi etc with the Emirs invited to serve as grand patrons, the JNI was registered only three years ago by the present leadership of the JNI and that Sultan Bello Mosque was incorporated along with the JNI despite he (Gumi’s) objection of the public notice earlier placed by the JNI in some national dailies. But El-Rufai while responding reportedly said the issue of who actually owns JNI is not an issue for his government and that it is not within his powers to determine that but that the issue of concern to him as the governor is to restore permanent peace in the mosque.

Kaduna News Online can authoritatively state contrary to the claim that Dr. Khalid voluntarily step aside as the interim chief Imam of the mosque “to give room for peace, it was indeed Governor El-Rufai that asked him to step down for peace to rain after hearing from all the parties during the said meeting. El-Rufai’s position, Kaduna News Online can report is because his government is convinced that Mr. Khalid is widely rejected by the worshippers and that the lingering crisis and the overwhelming resistance by the worshipers whom reports indicates are loyal to Sheikh Gumi was due to his (Khalid’s) appointment as the interim Imam.

It was then that Governor El-Rufai instructed Dr. Khalid to step down and recommended that a committee involving all stakeholders should be constituted to determine and select an Imam that will be accepted by all. The governor this medium gathered suggested that the Zazzau Emirate who usually and by tradition oversee selection of Imams in the state should bring six persons, the JNI as stakeholders in that regard to bring three people, the mosque committee and Sheikh Gumi school representing late Sheikh Abubakar Mahmud Gumi institute to bring three persons each while the Kaduna State Government appoint the secretary of the committee. Our source made it known that Sheikh Gumi complained to El-Rufai then that the composition of the committee as he suggested is lopsided and that the Gumi school will be left with only three against twelve persons seen to be united to achieve a common goal. But El-Rufai advised Gummi to allow the composition as it is. He gave the committee two weeks to conclude and prepare it’s report.

Kaduna News Online further learnt that on the side of the Zazzau Emirate, Alhaji Shehu Idris presented Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammad Aminu (Wazirin Zazzau), Dalhat Kasimu Imam (Chief Imam of Zazzau Emirate), Mohammed Sani Yakubu (chairman JIBWIS Zaria), Aminu Dantsoho Abdullahi  (Shamakin Zazzau), Dr. Bello Abdulkadir  (Salanken Zazzau) and Balarabe Sa’idu Yahaya  (Mukaddas). The influential Gumi school submitted the names of Sheikh Ahmad Gummi, Brig Gen. AbdulQdir Gumi and Mallam Tukur Mamu  (Dan-Iyan Fika). The JNI presented one Umar Ahmed Zaria, Yusuf Ahmad Bida and Yusuf Sa’idu Mohammed while the Sultan Bello management board presented a former perm sec, Balarabe Idris Jigo, Capt Mohammed Joji and Alhaji Jibrin Mohammed.

The committee started sitting on Wednesday, November 9th with so much anxiety and tension. Kaduna News Online gathered that the Sheikh Gumi school led by Sheikh Ahmad Gummi knowing the number disadvantage they have insisted that voting must not be applied in determining scores or percentage of the candidates. They recommended that individual merit base on qualification, competence and ability to do the job must be applied if the intention is to bring out the best. There was alot of disagreements, intrigues, verbal exchanges of hash words and even politics by the committee members before agreement was reached on the scoring partern. Eventually most of the criteria given by Gummi was accepted and was harmonised with the ones brought by the JNI. Throughout the committee sitting this paper learnt that the representatives of the Zazzau Emirate with the Wazirin Zazzau as the chairman acted professionally, responsibly and unbiased. As a result the whole process went well without the initial suspicion and power play. The committee at the end agreed that three of the committee members including Sheikh Gumi, one each from the Zazzau Emirate and the JNI were selected to determine and give scores to the candidates.

The list of the candidates seeking the position of chief Imam of the mosque and as presented by Sheikh Gumi Kaduna News Online gathered are Dr. Suleiman Muhammad Adam, Alaranma Usman Muhammad, Ustaz Hussein Zakariya Yawale, Imam Usman Abubakar, Mallam Umar Osamat Idris and Mallam Sa’idu Abubakar. The JNI presented Dr. Lawal Sule Abdullahi, Mallam Muhammad Rabiu Zakariyau, Dr. Abdulmalik Ahmad Jafar and Mallam Sa’idu Abubakar Muhammad as their candidates while Mallam Aminu Abdullahi Yusuf, Mallam Aminu Yusuf Abdullahi, Mallam Abubakar Sani Hussain and Mallam Aliyu Al-Hafiz Muhammad applied separately in their individual capacity.

At the end of the very rigorous exercise, this reporter can reveal that the secretariat under Governor El-Rufai’s Director General on Interfaith, Engr. Namadi M. Musa have done a transparent job that saw the emergence of what many believe was the most qualified, acceptable and a consensus candidate among all the thirteen candidates that applied.

We gathered from credible official source that the committee has submitted it’s report to Governor El-Rufai and the emir of Zazzau in late November, 2016. Top on the lists of the candidates that emerged winner after the interview is one of candidate presented by Sheikh Ahmad Gummi. Dr. Suleiman Muhammad Adam who authoritative source told this medium scored the highest 80% mark has finally been presented with his letter of appointment as the substantive chief Imam of Sultan Bello Mosque by the Kaduna State Government and the JNI today, 4th January 2017. The JNI letter was signed by HRH Shehu Idris who quoted the President General of the JNI, Sultan Saad Abubakar as having approved Dr. Suleiman’s appointment. The letter a copy of which was seen by our source said the appointment takes immediate effect and that Dr. Suleiman will be formally turban Thursday, 5th January by the emir of Zazzau at his palace in Zaria. The letter had also specifically instructed Dr Suleiman to start leading the Jumaat prayers this Friday, 6th January, 2017.

A breakdown of the scores of the interview as exclusively obtained by Kaduna News Online shows that Aliyu Al-Hafiz got 52%, Dr. Lawal Abdullahi 78.7%, Abubakar Sani 78.7%, Dr. Ahmad Jafar 74.7%, Umar Osamat 55.3%, Aminu Abdullahi Yusuf 54.7%, Mohammed Zakariyau 48%, Aminu Yusuf Abdullahi 62.7%, Usman Ahmed 68%, Sa’idu Abubakar 60%, Dr Suleiman Muhammad Adam 80% and Hussain Zakariya Yawale 60%.

Our investigation reveal that the new chief Imam, Dr. Suleiman Muhammad Adam has an intimidating CV far above his other colleagues that contested for the highly influential seat of the Sultan Bello Imam. Dr. Suleiman is a holder of two PhDs in Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) and Arabic language. He also has Masters Degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies, Bachelor of Arts (LLB), Degree in  Sharia Law. He studied in Madina, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Nigeria. He attended many international conferences and presented many papers. He is presently a senior lecturer in the Department of Islamic Studies at the Kaduna State University, KASU. Dr. Suleiman was born on 14th June, 1962.

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