Follow us:

OOU Muslim Community Turbans New Chief Imam …honours retired don, Kamaldeen Balogun

Olabisi Onabanjo University Muslim Community has approved and ratified the appointment of Dr. Abdul Hakeem Adebayo Akanni as the new Chief Imam. Akanni, a don at the Department of Religious Studies, Faculty of Arts, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, succeeds the immediate past Chief Imam, Professor Kamaldeen Abdul-Azeez Balogun, who retired from the University recently after serving for 37 years.

The installation and presentation of staff of office to the new Chief Imam was held at the OGD Hall on Thursday, February 25, 2021. The event coincided with the retirement ceremony organised for Professor Balogun by the Muslim Community. The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde, who was the chief host at the event performed the presentation of staff of Office to the new Chief Imam. Representatives of the Chairman of the League of Imams and Alfas in Ijebu-land, Imam Ejalonibu, who was supported by other representatives of the League from three other divisions of the state – Remo, Yewa and Egba – performed the turbaning of Dr. Akanni.

From right: Chairman, OOU, Muslim Community, Prof. Lasun Gbadamosi; Prof. and Mrs.
Kamaldeen Balogun; The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ganiyu Olatunde; Ogun State Deputy
Governor, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele and Senator Adegbenga Kaka

Akanni, who joined the services of the University in 1996, was the most senior of the four Deputy Imams of the Muslim Community until his appointment. Before now, he has been delivering Khutbah (Friday sermon) at both the Mini Campus and Permanent Site mosques of the University. Also, he has been officiating at social functions of members of the University Muslim Community like weddings, naming and burial ceremonies. In addition, the new Chief Imam has always officiated at the University’s official functions, including students’ orientation and other programmes. He also saw to peaceful conduct of Muslim students on campus.

Dr Akanni was born into the family of late Alhaji Muslim Akanni Nosiru of Igosu compound, Owu Kingdom, Abeokuta. He attended Saint John Roman Catholic Mission Primary School, Lafenwa, Abeokuta for his elementary education and Unity High School, Ago-Ika, Abeokuta for his secondary education. Being the first son of the large family, the onus was on him to provide good leadership and example for his younger ones educationally, religiously and spiritually. He was, therefore, enrolled in traditional Qur’anic school in the neighbourhood.

Upon completion of his secondary education, he was enrolled at the then newly established Zulikha Abiola School of Arabic and Islamic Studies (Markaz) and, later, Zulikha Abiola College of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Abeokuta from where he obtained Diploma in Arabic and Islamic Studies in 1988. He later proceeded to University of Ilorin for his First Degree and Master Degree in Islamic Studies in 1992 and 1997 respectively.

In his acceptance speech, Dr. Akanni expressed gratitude to God for his successful installation and thanked members of the Muslim Community for considering him worthy of the appointment. The new Chief Imam solicited the cooperation of the Muslim Community, the University Management and all adherents of the Islamic faith to lead successfully, noting that he was stepping into a big shoe and would require the support of all. According to him, the position of an Imam is delicate.

“The position of an Imam generally is a delicate one, especially in this age of information when answers to questions are obtained online within seconds. That of the University Imam is a more delicate one as it requires vast knowledge, wisdom and patience, being a community of intellectuals.

Chairman of the occasion, Senator Adegbenga Kaka, while delivering his address

“The position of the Chief Imam of Olabisi Onabanjo University Muslim Community is much more delicate, having been occupied, and being vacated by someone who is well respected by all and sundry. It is a big shoe being occupied by a much smaller leg of mine. I would therefore need the guidance, tutelage and advice of the former Imam in the conduct of the affairs of University Muslim Community.”

“I also solicit for the support of my Deputy Imams, executives and the entire members of the Muslim community in paddling the ship of the University Muslim Community. I also seek the support of the University Management and the entire University Community. May the Almighty Allah ease our affairs for us.” “Dr Akanni urged all members of the Muslim Community to embrace love, peace and unity as enjoined by the Almighty Allah.

In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde, hailed the appointment of the new Chief Imam, describing him as qualified, competent and fit for the position. He further charged Dr Akanni to lead by example and with the fear of God. He also showered encomiums on the former Chief Imam, who was also one of the pioneer staff of the University, Prof. Balogun, and acknowledged his massive contributions to the development and growth of the University.

He said, “The development we have on campus is due to the prayers of Professor Balogun and his likes. I appreciate the Muslim Community for organizing this retirement and turbaning ceremony for our two distinguished colleagues here. I’m so happy that the Deputy Governor was here with us despite her very tight schedule. For us in the University, Prof Balogun may have retired, but he will continue to be of tremendous service to humanity by the grace of Allah for many years to come.”

Delivering his address as Chairman of the occasion, former Deputy Governor of Ogun State and one-time Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District,  Alhaji Adegbenga Kaka said he was happy to be  part of the epoch-making occasion. He stressed the need for members of the Muslim Community to practise Islam as it should be practised and represent Muslims the way they should be represented. The former Deputy Governor commended the retired Chief Imam for not betraying the trust reposed in him and prayed God to make his formal retirement from the University peaceful.

“Professor Kamaldeen Balogun was not introduced to me by anybody but in the course of Islamic relationship, I came across him. He changed my total orientation towards Islam for positive gains. He simplified all that is needed to be simplified and he made contact with those who are Muslims and non-Muslim alike. He indeed showed the way, how a Muslim must conduct himself within a given community,” Kaka stated.

At the end of the event, members of the Muslim Community presented a car gift to the retired Chief Imam as a token of their appreciation for his meritorious service.
It will be recalled that Balogun, who had been the Chief Imam of the University since 1983, served OOU in different capacities, including Head of Department of Religious Studies, Dean of Faculty of Arts and Director, Centre for Sandwich Programmes (CESAP), Provost, Postgraduate School, and member, University Governing Council, before his retirement. Several distinguished scholars, traditional, political, community and religious leaders as well as guests from all walks of life were also in attendance at this epoch making event.

Notable among the dignitaries are Governor Dapo Abiodun, who was represented by the Deputy Governor of the state, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele; Alhaji Adegbenga Sefiu Kaka, who chaired the occasion; the Chairman, Olabisi Onabanjo University Muslim Community, Professor Lasun Gbadamosi; Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Abeokuta, Professor Adewale Musa-Olomu; and the guest speaker, Professor Lanre Badmus.

Scroll to Top