The longest service Chief Imam of Borno State, Imam Ibrahim Ahmed, has died.
Ahmed died in an Egyptian hospital on Wednesday after a protracted illness. He was aged 90.
The late imam was born in 1924 in Yerwa, the present day Maiduguri to the family of late Imam Ahmed Talib. The deceased started his career as acting chief imam between 1951 and 1956. He was subsequently appointed the Chief Imam of Borno in 1956 after the demised of his father by the 17th Shehu of Borno, Shehu Kyarimi El- Kanemi.
He became the longest serving chief imam of the ancient empire, Borno after serving for 63 years.
There is no other imam that has served that long since the Sayfawa dynasty to the El-Kanemi ruler ship of the empire.
Ahmed had since 2010 delegated the authority of leading Friday congregational prayer to his son, Alkali Baba Imam who later died in July 2013, which made another son of his, Alhaji Zannah Laisu Imam, now the District head of Masba in Konduga local government area to take the mantle of acting as the chief imam to date.
In a statement issued by the family and signed by Alhaji Zannah Laisu Imam, the death of the Chief Imam was announced.
According to the statement, the Chief Imam further will take place today in Maiduguri after the arrival of his corpse from Egypt via Abuja yesterday. He is survived by three wives, many children, grandchildren and great
grandchildren, including Air Commodore A. T. Imam, Zannah Laisu Imam, Kashim Imam Ibrahim among others. Meanwhile people have started paying condolences to the late Chief Imam.
The state governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, in a statement by his Special Adviser Media, Isa Gusau, described him as one of the very strong pillars of Borno whose demise will be eternally missed especially at a moment when the state was facing challenges that require his prayers and leadership guidance.
He said Ahmad was a "rallying point who helped in uniting Borno people through his spiritual guidance and mediation on religious matters as someone that led Muslim worshipers in congregational prayers for over 50 years."
Shettima said the late Imam played a crucial role in laying a solid foundation in the course of justice and the advancement of Borno's legal system.
Also paying condolence, the Minister of State for Power, Hon. Mohammed Wakil, described the late Chief Imam as a great scholar and dedicated muslim, and prayed that Almighty Allah grants him aljanatul firdaus.
He said: "The best way to immortalise the late Imam is to continue to pray and work collectively to restore peace to our state. We submit to the will of Almighty Allah."