- Sheikh AbdulGaniy Agbotomokekere, the chief Imam of Ibadanland, has led some Muslims to observe Eid prayer in Ibadan
- The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar, had on Tuesday, May 11, announced that the new moon was not sighted in Nigeria
- Abubakar urged the Muslims to observe Ramadan on Wednesday, May 12, according to the prophetic injunction
The Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh AbdulGaniy Abubakar Agbotomokekere, on Wednesday, May 12, defied the directive of the Sultan to fast because of their non-appearance of the new crescent of Shawwal.
Legit.ng's regional reporter in Ibadan, Ridawan Kolawole, reports Sheikh Agbotomokekere led a fraction of Muslims to pray at the praying ground Agodi area of the ancient city.
The Imam's media handler, Ustadh Idris Agbotomokekere, said the directive of the Chief Imam was upon the sighting of the new moon
The cleric, however, acted against the statement of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs under the leadership of its president-general and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar.
The Sultan had on Tuesday, May 11, informed Muslims in Nigeria that due to non-appearance of crescent indicating the beginning of Shawal, Ramadhan would end on Wednesday, May 12.
Eid prayer was, therefore, scheduled to hold on Thursday, May 13, according to a statement by the Sultan.
The Sultan’s directive was in agreement with Islamic jurisprudence of counting Ramadhan to be 30 in case of non-sighting of Shawwal.
However, Sheikh Agbotomokekere led some Muslim faithful to observe Eid making the end of Ramadhan fasting.
Among dignitaries present who joined the Imam at the praying ground included the deputy governor of Oyo state, Engineer Rauf Olaniyan, the PDP zonal chairman, Chief Taofeek Arapaja among others.
Those missing at the Eid praying ground were the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo and Delta, Alhaji Daud Akinola.
Speaking with Legit.ng, the social media handler of Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Ustadh Idris Agbotomokekere, said the decision of the Chief Imam to observe Eid was consequent upon his position as the leader of the league of Imams and Alfas in Ibadanland.
Ustadh Idris who is also the Chief Imam's son disclosed that Chief Imam based his decision to observe Eid on the basis that he is the chief Imam of Ibadanland, the grand Imam of Oyo state.
He further stated that he is also the grand patron for the league of Imams and Alfas in Yorubaland.
The cleric said:
“It is not compulsory that all see it but once somebody sees it and tells us, it is sufficient for us. The moon was sighted in Kaduna yesterday around 8pm and what we know is that once the moon has been sighted, we have the right to break our fast.”
Ustadh had on Tuesday, May 11, at 11:07 posted on the Chief Imam's Facebook page that Eid of breaking of fast would hold on Wednesday, May 12.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) told Muslims across the country to look for the new moon of Shawwal on Tuesday, May 11.
It was reported that the deputy secretary-general of NSCIA, Prof Salisu Shehu, made the disclosure in a statement issued via Facebook on Saturday, May 8.