From left, representative of Grand Khalifa of Tijaniyya in Nigeria, Muhammadu Sanusi II, Vice Chancellor of University of Abuja, Prof. AbdurRaheed Na’Allah, Khalifa of Tijaniyya for Yoruba Land and Edo/Delta, Sheikh Salisu Adenekan and Sheikh Ameenullah Akoshile, Khalifa of Tijaniyya, Lagos State, at his turbaning in Lagos on Saturday.
By Our Reporter
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has harped on the need for continued peaceful coexistence and religious harmony among residents of the state.
Sanwo-Olu said this on Saturday at the turbaning of Sheikh Ameenullah Adedoyin Akoshile as the first Grand Khalifa of Tijaniyya for Lagos State, held at Lagos Central Mosque.
The Governor, represented by his Special Adviser on Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Abdullahi Jebe, spoke in the presence of His Eminence from Kaolack, Senegal, Sheikh Muhammad Mansur Ibrahim Niass who performed the turbaning, supported by Sheikh Muhammad Bashir Aliyou Cisse and representative of the Grand Khalifa of Nigeria, His Eminence Muhammadu Sanusi II.
Governor Sanwo-Olu reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to religious harmony through interfaith dialogues and extending of partnership support to religious organizations in the state.
He noted that the State government is committed to strengthening the existing peaceful collaboration among various groups through the National Inter-Religious Council, NIREC.
The Governor expressed delight at the remarkable work being undertaken by NIREC to create mutual understanding and tolerance among people of different background, ethnicity and religious faith in the state.
“Government is about the people and when you talk about the people, you talk about religion”, he said, adding that “there is no way they government can run a state without bringing together people of all religions”
Governor Sanwo-Olu said his administration welcomes suggestions from Khalifa Akoshile stressing that as the leader of a significant population of Tijaniyya in Lagos State, the Khalifa is a spiritual father and mentor to the citizens.
He expressed optimism that, as a Community leader, the Grand Khalifa “will bring the people nearer to the government and at the same time bring the government nearer to the people.”
Also speaking at the occasion, Vice Chancellor of University of Abuja, Professoor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah prayed God to grant Khalifa Akoshile the wisdom, strength, and enablement to discharge the huge tasks ahead of him.
He said the Khalifa played indelible roles in the development of University of Abuja when he was a member of the Governing Council of the University.
The turbaning was graced by the Grand Khalifa of Tijaniyya for Yoruba Land, Edo and Delta States, Sheikh Salisu Amao Adenekan, the Grand Mufti of Ilorin, Sheikh Farouk Sulaimon Onikijipa El-Miskin, the Chief Imam of Oro, Sheikh Mikail Onisan, and the CEO of NatureNews, Alhaji Aliu Akoshile.
Also in attendance were the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Sanwo-Olu, Alhaji Gboyega Akosile, the CEO of Lady B Custard, Alhaja Mariam Owolabi, and the Lagos State Ameera of Tijaniyya, Sayyida Rafat Muhammad Awwal.
Born in Lagos, Khalifa Ameenullahi Akoshile had his primary and secondary education in Lagos Island and Abeokuta, and later attended Abdullahi Bayero College Kano for a Diploma course in Arabic and Islamic Studies. He also earned a postgraduate Diploma from the London School of Journalism.
The Khalifa attended Ahmadu Bello University,Zaria where he bagged a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and served as President of Muslim Students Society (MSS), ABU Branch.
In recognition of his erudition and astuteness on the path of sufism, the Grand Khalifa of Tijaniyya worldwide and Sheikh al Islam, His Eminence, Sheikh Ibrahim Niasse personally awarded him the unique Salsalat wa Ijaazat el Taqaddum(the Certificate of Spiritual Lineage and Authorisation) in 1973.
In his remarks, Khalifa Ameenullah expressed gratitude to Allah and the leadership of Tijaniyya at all levels for the trust reposed in him, adding that about six million Tijaniyya in Lagos State will continue to promote peace, harmony and good governance in the state.
The Grand Khalifa promised to sustain the envaible legacies of his father, Sheikh AbdusSalaam Akoshile who was one of the earliest disciples of Sheikh Ibrahim Niass in Yorubaland through the mentorship of Sheikh Umar Abubakar Falke in the early 1950s.