Prof. Sabit Ariyo Olagoke: An all-rounder religious leader

Prof.Sabit Ariyo Olagoke: An all-rounder religious leader

By Akinbola Osunsami

Prof. Sabit Ariyo Olagoke: An all-rounder religious leader

It was a remarkable day on Monday 22 August 2022 when I went to have an

interactive session with the founder and grand missioner of Shafaudeen in Islam,

Prof. Sabit Ariyo Olagoke, JP at his Wakajaye, Ibadan residence.

One of his staff took me on a facility tour of the Shafaudeen in Islam

complex which is a stone throw to the founder’s residence before I came back for

the interview. On inquiry from someone who has had years of relationship with

the founder, he assured me Professor Olagoke will be ready and be able to answer

any question I would like to ask him on anything under the sun and that he won’t

take offence on any of the questions.

I was so happy with the assurance and I was sure it was going to be a

rewarding experience. And indeed, I got more than I bargained for. Meanwhile,

what I saw during the facility tour had given me an inkling of the stuff Prof

Olagoke is made of. A big mosque sits comfortably at the center of the complex

housing various other structures like Shafaudeen Group of Schools – the Nursery,

primary, and Comprehensive College, Cote D’Ivoire Embassy (for comfort of

members resident in Cote D’Ivoire), Centre for Religious Cooperation and

Tolerance (CRCT), Super mart, Media Resource Centre housing, Library/Audio

Visual Studio and editing room, Fashion Design Institute, Soap-making factory,

shoe making/nylon cutting, medical center for members and the community;

catering services and cafeteria, inclusive of two events Center (in different sitting

capacity depending on what individuals can afford).

Excerpt on the interview are rendered below.

At the interview proper, I asked Prof Olagoke to allow me to first peep into

his background, and by the time he delved into it, I was taken aback by the story of

someone who was born into a polygamous home but detests the idea of

polygamous marriage because of management challenges. A versatile man who

has authored more than 35 books on various topics and still counting; an all-

rounder who believes in the wholesomeness of man, an erudite scholar, initial

radical who was skeptical about religion but now a deeply religious man of the

Puritanism mold. An encounter with Prof Olagoke is bound to erase certain

erroneous impressions one might have had about the Islamic religion and Islamic


Clerics. If for anything, the founder, spiritual head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen

in Islam is a new and unique tree in Nigeria’s religious forest.

Sir, can I have a peep into your background?

Prof. Sabit Ariyo Olagoke: An all-rounder religious leader

I was born at Adeoyo Maternity Hospital at Yemetu in Ibadan after which I

was carried to Abanla, my father’s village in Oluyole local government of Oyo

State. I rounded off the 4 Th football team of my father’s 44 children.

I started schooling at age 10 at Christ Church School II, Mapo in Ibadan. At

that time, after getting to primary 3, you go to Odinjo to complete your primary

education but I was lucky to complete my own at Mapo. From 1972-1976, I was at

Prospect High School, Abanla after which I spent one year at Polytechnic, Ibadan

before I proceeded to read Chemical Engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University,

Ile Ife (Great Ife) from 1977-1982. I chose engineering because of the oil boom

and due to constructions going on in the country at that time.

All this time, I didn’t have God. I was a radical and a keen follower of Tai

Solarin, Wole Soyinka, Ayodele Awojobi, and Chinua Achebe. Imagine, without

having God, Tai Solarin removed corpses from the street which no Pastor or Alfa

ever did. I felt that religious Clerics were no role models and that was why I

became radical but I later discovered that even if you disown God and He wants to

use you, He won’t disown you. At a time, I wondered why Israel and Saudi Arabia

could not use the instrumentality of the Bible and the Quran to unite the world

Prof. Sabit Ariyo Olagoke: An all-rounder religious leader

My marriage

Meanwhile, I got married in April 1982 while I sat for my final exam at

OAU in July 1982. During my time, it was Operation Find a Girl, then you bang

and go. After that, it was Operation Find a Partner who of course, was supposed to

be a virgin who you intend to settle down with as your wife. And that was exactly

what I did in April 1982 being an overaged student. I had considered that my wife

was working and that in a few months later when I started collecting the NYSC

allowance, it would be enough to sustain my family. That was how I got married

because Nigeria was predictable at that time, unlike now that you are not sure of

the time you will receive the call-up letter to the orientation camp.

I was posted to Rivers State but I didn’t know when and how a relation of

mine changed the posting to Ogun State. I was posted to Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro

and the institution retained me. At a time, I was asked to do a spiritual consultation

for a successful marriage and happy home. From my mother’s side, it was an


herbalist. From my father’s side, it was an Alfa, from my wife’s side, it was a


The babalawos were telling me about my past, present and future. They said

if you fail to use their prescription, you will run mad. Alfa shouted on me. The

prophetess told me I needed not use herbal concoctions (oogun) and she counselled

  1. I asked prophetess which sect she wanted me to join and she said when it was

time, God will guide me.

Prof. Sabit Ariyo Olagoke: An all-rounder religious leader

My journey into godliness and puritanism

At the christening of my first child, two of my friends suggested we should

form a prayer group and I fell for it. Five of us prayed and I was the only one that

saw a vision. I ran to the prophetess and she told me that’s the vision of the

organization she told me about. She was my religious mentor and that’s why I am

completely unbiased about religion. If we try to wait on the Lord, what is not

enough will soon be more than enough. On the day of my wedding, I went to the

registry with torn shoes. People wanted to lend me a pair of shoes but I declined

the offer. And I told them they should let my history be told the way it was. I

didn’t even inform my father about the wedding until two days to go. If not that he

insisted on being present, he would not have been there because he was a little bit

indisposed at that time.

I obtained a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of

Ibadan in 1989 and it was after that I ventured into religion fully. I obtained Ph.D.

in Comparative Religion from Staton University, Florida, United States in 1998

while I was able to obtain a professorial chair in Administration from Bradley

University, United States in 2010.

Full Time Evangelical Ministration

I had to retire prematurely from the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro five years ago so as

to concentrate fully on the effective running of the organization. And I was happy

that at my inaugural lecture, the Rector remarked that I had the cleanest record

among the staff

When you run an organization, it has to be productive and beneficial to

mankind. God gave us two scenarios – flies that cluster which cause cholera; and

bees that cluster which produce honey. We naturally and sensibly chose the latter.

Our belief is that if you must pursue any religion, it has to be through puritanism

and religious leaders must be umpires. There is culture, there is education and there

is religion. We must come to the realization that without functional education, you

won’t manage religion well. And if you don’t have functional education, you can’t

have good political gladiators. And there will always be leadership, management

and administration challenges.

Prof. Sabit Ariyo Olagoke: An all-rounder religious leader


Future Projection for Shafaudeen in Islam

We were existing as a group without a name before the name came through a

vision in December 1983. I was more of a street person before God called me. We

have acquired about four acres of land for the proposed Minaret University at Omi-

Adio, Ido Local Government of Oyo State. We have introduced education

assessment. We give you a spiritual counselor and form and prayers you have to

do for six months if you want to become our member. It is a critical act of sin to

profess a thing without backing it with action. About 99% of people who engage in

religion don’t know what they are doing. There is the need to marry education with

religion. We go to houses of God without changes because there is no assessment

or evaluation. You don’t measure religion by number of worship centers but by

compliance with doctrine of your faith. For instance, you don’t become an

engineer until you are certified by Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria

(COREN) and it’s after then you can use engineer to prefix your name.

Prof. Sabit Ariyo Olagoke: An all-rounder religious leader

2023 Elections

Has God given you a vision about the 2023 elections?

All the three presidential candidates seem to be using religion to achieve their goal.

One thing we leave behind is consulting God. Voters hardly ask God about the

right person to vote for but they are rather bedeviled by sentiments. In Ibadan

chieftain rites, an intending Oba will be ushered into a retreat where he will be

asked to open a calabash and if he should open a negative one, there will be a

propitiation. What matters to God is that you are able to deliver but we don’t move

close to that God, we only pay lip service about Him. I want campaign proper to

start before asking God. But let me tell you, God will never back anyone who

acquired power fraudulently. If you manipulated yourself in, you will be ridiculed

out. No religion teaches evil. No religion teaches you to kill. Voters shouldn’t take

laws into their hands. We no longer want poverty and squalor in Nigeria. There is

need to overhaul all sectors for the political sector to be okay.

Arole Ogunelu, Mogaji Agba, Aare Alasa Dynasty


I learnt that you became the Mogaji of your family a few months ago and I

started to wonder about the correlation between religion and the traditional


I wrote a book recently about My Root. I don’t hustle for anything but in

December 2021, some people came to appeal to me that I should not leave them

alone concerning the Mogaji title and I made a positive confession to them that

I’ve already become their Mogaji. I saw it in a dream that we should rebuild the

family compound. I saw the immediate past Olubadan telling me that I have

already become the Mogaji but I have to spend money. I saw about 24 journalists

at the ceremony and then woke up.

I did a lot of research and investigation and went to Ejigbo on 15 February

2022 to find out about my root from Ogiyan of Ejigbo. I got to know that our

progenitor, Ogunelu came from Ejigbo in 1796. Later, the issue was politicized by

some people who wanted to edge me out. I became convinced that I should not

derail from the path of holiness for Allah like the story and record of Oba

Akinyele, a great religious leader and a highly committed Christian, who became

Olubadan of Ibadan land and I am sure I will involve God and godliness in my

administration. When I observed that open defecation was still the norm in my

family compound, I said never again and I built six toilets and in my effort to turn

everything around, the renovation of the family compound has gulped #51 million

from my pocket.

I only uphold divine communication of a perfect man – God relation based

on concept of puritanism in my process of upholding just worship in the present

digital world because other forms of seeking for atonement is presently totally

analogue. A good reference to the following verses of scriptures is a case point.

Matthew 7.7-10, Q 2:186, Q 40:60, Q 25:57, Q 3:187, Q 11:51, Matthew 10:7-13. I

engage in prayer and prayer alone.

Reference to the ordeal faced by the dynasty, I was destined to serve, some

diabolical elements attacked through spiritualist missiles and hate speech but for the

fact that any man of God must be able to serve anywhere he finds himself without

being corrupted.

They attempted my life but God saved me. Despite this, I need to reconcile

the warring factions of Ogun-Elu Aare Alasa, bring about empowerment programs

for their capacity building needs, change and beautify the environment and further

engaged in the reconstruction of collapsed or dilapidated buildings to modern-day

taste, as well as achieving in the areas of value restoration of our glorious past in

the dynasty.

Prof. Sabit Ariyo Olagoke: An all-rounder religious leader

The writer of this amazing interview could be


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