•Governor, Deputy join Lagos Muslim community at 100 Years remembrance of late Imam Ibrahim Ankuri
The role played by the Muslim community in shaping the socio-religious values of Lagos dates back to the period of introduction of Islam to Yoruba land, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said.
The Governor said the unbroken service by the House of Chief Imam of Lagos towards strengthening the peace and tolerance in the State over the centuries has elevated Lagos Central Mosque (Moshalashi Jimoh) as a critical faith institution promoting the stability in the State.
Sanwo-Olu spoke at the ceremony organised by the Lagos Central Mosque to mark 100 Years Remembrance of the late Chief Imam Ibrahim Ankuri and 170 Years of the Turbaning of the late Chief Imam Nafiu Gana.
The Governor, his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, and members of the State cabinet physically graced the event held in the mosque hall at Nnamdi Azikiwe Street, Lagos Island.
Sanwo-Olu said Lagos Muslim community had built centuries old legacy of religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence, stressing that the community’s deployment of Islamic and conventional teachings to strengthen the moral ethos fundamentally transformed the State’s moral values.
The Governor urged the community to continue to emulate the values bequeathed by the late Imam Ibrahim, asking the Muslims to devote themselves to activities that would protect the legacy laid down by the House of Imam.
He said: “The centenary anniversary prayer of the former Chief Imam of Ibrahim Ankuri presents a unique occasion that brings together all Muslims in Lagos to reflect on the historic legacy bequeathed by the spiritual leader of this great Islamic institution in our State. This centenary event is a significant moment in the calendar of Lagos Islamic community, which has become a critical institution that laid a good foundation that we are all enjoying today in our State.
“For me, there is no better show of appreciation and love to the Muslim community than to physically come to the Lagos Central Mosque and join them in reflecting on the good legacy passed down to us. The essence of this event is woven into the history Lagos, because the Chief Imam’s dynasty has endured for centuries, shaping socio-religious values and strengthening the peaceful coexistence. I enjoin our Muslim family in Lagos to protect this good legacy and pass it on to the next generations.”
Sanwo-Olu described religious institutions as stakeholders in governance process, noting that religious leaders played critical roles towards enhancing social order and justice.
He pledged that his Government would continue to engage with the faith organisations and draw from their teachings to foster understanding and unity in the State.
The Governor directed immediate restoration of water supply in the Lagos Central Mosque in response to the request by the Muslim community.
The late Chief Imam Ibrahim Ankuri, born in 1825 in lga Iduganran, was a distinguished Islamic figure who hailed from the family of Chief Imam Nofiu Gana of Isale Eko.
Ibrahim’s exposure to Islamic teachings ignited his passion for the faith, fostering a deep and profound understanding of Islam.
In 1891, the late Ibrahim was appointed the Chief Imam of Lagos Central Mosque based on his devotion to promoting Islamic faith within Isale Eko community and beyond.
Imam Ibrahim’s influence played key roles in exposing Muslim children to western education. Under his guidance, the first Muslim school – Government Muslim School – was officially inaugurated in 1896, after which Islamiyah Grammar School was founded on Bamgbose Street, Lagos Island.