Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday expressed sadness over the death of the highly revered Chief Imam of Lagos, Sheikh Garuba Ibrahim Akinola (Gana V). Akinola, who was turbaned and later given the official staff of office as the 9th Chief Imam of Lagos Central Mosque in 2000 died on Sunday in Lagos at the age of 79.
The Governor in a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna, described the development as a great loss to the Muslim Community, the State and the country in general. He said the late cleric would be sorely missed and remembered for his bold and courageous sermons which stood him out in the present-day Nigeria.
He said: “It is with deep sense of great loss but total submission to the will of God that I note the demise of the Chief Imam of our dear State, Alhaji Garuba Akinola. He was indeed a respected cleric who was always mindful of his integrity and used his sermons to engineer positive changes in the behaviour and character of his followers.
“He was a devout Muslim; humanist and bridge builder and would be remembered for his fairness, boldness and thought-provoking sermons.”
All Progressives Congress (APC) National stalwart, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has mourned the death of Chief Imam of Lagos State, Sheikh Garuba Akinola Ibrahim (Gana V). The former Lagos governor said the Imam would be sorely missed as he always put his deep knowledge and understanding of Islam at the disposal of many in Lagos.
In a statement issued Lagos by Tinubu Media Office, Asiwaju Tinubu said: “I’m deeply saddened by the death of the Chief Imam of Lagos. But as Muslims, we must take every occurrence as the will of Allah.
“As the leading Islamic scholar in Lagos, Sheikh Ibrahim will be sorely missed not only by Muslim faithful but by the people of Lagos and South-west.
“Sheikh Ibrahim always put his deep knowledge and understanding of Islam at the disposal of many. Through his sermon and ‘Khutbat’, he drew attention to the various societal ills and suggested corrective steps.
“As Lagos State governor, I presented him with the staff of office as the 9th Chief Imam of Lagos on July 30, 2000 following the demise of his predecessor, the late Alhaji Liadi Alade Ibrahim (OBE). I will miss him personally. He brought calming words during our period of turmoil.
“I mourn with members of his immediate family. I mourn with Muslim Ummah in Lagos, across the country and the world. May Almighty Allah grant him Al Jannah Firdaus.”
Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef has described the late Chief Imam of Lagos, His Eminence, Sheikh Garuba Akinola Ibrahim as an icon of religious tolerance who lived a life worthy of emulation. He stated this in a condolence message issued and signed by his media aide, Olalekan Murisiku in Lagos.
He said, “the Chief Imam of Lagos, His Eminence, Sheikh Garuba Akinola Ibrahim, may Allah be pleased with him, was a father of all, a pristine teacher of Islamic message, and a peace builder who played key roles in ensuring peaceful coexistence of people of different faiths in Nigeria.
“We are going to miss him. But we thank Allah for a life well spent. May Allah grant him Aljanah fridaous (Paradise). May He give his family and the Muslim community the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss”. Amin, he prayed.