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By: Ade Adeleke
The Deji and Paramount Ruler of Akure kingdom, Oba Ogunlade Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi on Saturday hosted his annual IFTAR (break of ramadan fast in congregation) with Muslim community in the Ondo State Capital City, saying the step is to demonstrate his love for Muslim faithful and promote religious unity.
Oba Aladetoyinbo’s Iftar which is the second edition, was attended by dozens of faithful at his Palace.
The Monarch declared that religious harmony in his domain among different faiths was responsible for rapid development and economic prosperity being witnessed and experienced by inhabitants of the Ondo state Capital City.
On the occasion, the Royal father who said he decided to start the iftar last year’s Ramadan for the first time in the history of the Deji’s Palace, acknowledged fervent prayers of the Muslim community for the growth, tranquility and progress of Akure.
Oba Aladetoyinbo who spoke in Yoruba language, called for peaceful coexistence and tolerance among various religious groups in the country.
“I appreciate Muslims prayers for me and this town Akure, we must reciprocate this gesture in a little way. Since last year that I started this iftar, I can feel and I know the rate at which this town is witnessing progress and tranquility. Please don’t relent in praying for us, I know Muslims will always pray with their heart. I thank you for your prayers always”.
The traditional ruler who declared every 27th of Ramadan as “IFTAR DAY WITH THE DEJI”, said such date was necessary to institutionalize the Islamic programme.
In a remark, the Chief Imam of Akureland, Alhaji Abdulhakeem Yayi-Akorede described the gesture by the monarch as unprecedented in the history of the capital city.
Yayi-Akorede who also paid tribute to the immediate past Deji of Akure, late Oba Adebiyi Adesida who started the construction of first mosque inside the Deji’s Palace, said the disposition and love of Oba Aladetoyinbo to Muslims since he ascended the throne few years ago as legendary.
The Chief Imam who said the Deji always attends Islamic programmes in Akure despite being g a Christian, prayed for long reign and good health for Oba Aladetoyinbo to enable to further work for massive development of Akure.
The Cleric also commended the huge contributions of an Islamic leader, Shehu Kewugbemi to the growth of the religion in Akureland and beyond.
In a short address, the Caretaker Chairman of Akure South local government, Barrister Gbenga Olaniyi said the government of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu would continue to support every religious group and would not discriminate against Islam.
Olaniyi also pledged the support of the local government to the sustenance of the Deji’s Iftar every year.
Highlight of the event included the break of fast with the Muslim faithful by the Royal father