My Mission is to promote peace in Nigeria and unity among the Moslems -Sarafa Tunji Ishola (Baba Adinni of Yoruba) - SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE MAGAZINE


Saturday, June 6, 2020

My Mission is to promote peace in Nigeria and unity among the Moslems -Sarafa Tunji Ishola (Baba Adinni of Yoruba)

My Mission is to promote peace in Nigeria and unity among the Moslems -Sarafa Tunji Ishola (Baba Adinni of Yoruba)

By Charles Segun Adegbite

Chief Sarafa Tunji Isola was the Minister for Mines and Steel Development in Nigeria between July 2007 and October 2008. Until then he was the Secretary to the Ogun State Government(2003-2007) In this interview he speaks on his new religious position as the father of Moslems in Yorubaland, Edo and Delta States. Excerpts:  

How do you feel,on your installation as the Baba Adinni of Yorubaland, Edo and Delta States?

It is a great honour when you look at the past holders of such title. The first person being late Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola, that will tell you the kind of position we are talking about.

It is also important to mention that the main objective of Baba Adinni in this context is to bring about unity among the Moslems. And that is number one.

Number Two: It is to work towards neutralising intra-religious conflicts. And to also work towards promoting religion harmony through inter-religions cooperation. As you and I know that security is very gamine in our day-to-day activities. And religion conflicts should be properly managed in such a way that it doesn’t lead to crisis because when crisis erupts it doesn’t discriminate between members of all religions.

For instance, Boko Haram. The word Boko Haram means Western Education is sinful. If you say Western Education is sinful, it means Moslems who had western education become targets. Christians who had western education become targets. Even African tradition religions worshipers who had western education become targets.

That’s why we keep saying Boko Haram is not a Muslim organisation because Islam appreciate knowledge. And that knowledge is not limited to the Holy Quran or Islamic Religious Knowledge. If you really look at it, there are a lot of numerical numbers that we have today that originated from Arabic. Even a lot of modern architecture too also originated from Arabic, and so on and so forth.

So when you look at issues, knowledge in any way is not anti-Islam. So if anybody says western education is anti-Islam that one cann’t be talking of Islam which is a religion of peace. And that is what we call Islamic extremists. These extremists that we have are in all religion without exception. 

As Baba Adinni I have to advice people so that we don’t lose some of the Islamic adherence to extremism.

How do you handle the balance you are talking about, so that it can actually be achieved?

When I was being turbaned, we had set the machinery in motion. There was a conference. At that conference four topics were properly dissected by Islamic scholars and renown professors of Islamic Religion Studies.

Prof K.K. Oloso who is the Head of Department of Islamic Studies in the University of Ibadan, spoke on elites and imams, on how they can collaborate together so that when the alfas and imams appreciate the roles between both of them, it brings better harmony.

Prof Ishaq Oloyede who is the Secretary-General of Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs spoke on “Islam in a multi-religious society” How do we make sure that we exist peacefully and live among other adherents of other faiths: Christianity, even Africa traditional religions, so that we can peacefully co-exist.

We had Prof Kamal Balogun. He was Dean Post Graduate School at Olabisi Onabanjo University, who spoke on “Unifying the practice of Islam, particularly in the South West”. What are those things we can do that our culture permits and it is not opposed to Islam? So that we don’t lose our identity as Yoruba people. And that we must stop dwelling on culture of Arabs. He spoke on the need for us to separate between the culture of Arabs and Islam.

What are those things that would make us maintain our cultural identity and that are not anti-Islam? For example, how do we bury in Yoruba-land? What aspect of our burial are in conformity with Islam. How do we conduct our weddings and naming ceremonies that are not against Islam injunction?

And these people are professors of professors. Because one thing is to be a professor and another thing is to be a professor who have produced so many professors. We had Sheikh Habibllah Adam El Ilory who spoke on “The Duties and Responsibilities of Imams As Leaders”?

With that we were able to start setting the tone towards making sure that we achieve unity among the umars. And we appreciate the roles, both interdependent and independent roles, so that all gear towards one thing: maintaining religion harmony in the country, either trough intra-religion or inter religions activities.  To me that is the primary duty of Baba Adinni.

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