HomeCover StoriesSultan of Sokoto must be jealously protected, says Shettima

Sultan of Sokoto must be jealously protected, says Shettima

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Vice President Kashim Shettima has emphasized the significance of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, referring to him as an institution that must be carefully guarded and protected.

This statement comes in response to an alarm raised by Prof. Isiaq Akintola, Executive Director of the Muslim Rights Council (MURIC), who claimed that the Sokoto government is allegedly plotting to depose the Sultan.

On Monday, Akintola asserted that Nigerian Muslims would reject any attempts to remove the Sultan, especially following the state’s Governor, Ahmed Aliyu, deposing 15 traditional rulers for various offences.

READ ALSO: Sultan of Sokoto, Sir. Siddiq Abubakar III, KBE, GCON: 33 Years After

Speaking at the ongoing North West Peace & Security Summit in Katsina State, Shettima addressed the Sokoto government, highlighting that the Sultan is more than just a monarch; he represents an idea.

“In all developmental issues in this country, His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, I want to use him as a point of reference to recognise and appreciate all our royal fathers present here.

“And to the deputy governor of Sokoto, I have a simple message for you: Yes, the Sultan is the Sultan of Sokoto, but he is much more than that; he represents an idea, he is an institution, that all of us in this country need to jealousy guard, protect, promote, preserve, and project for the growth of our nation,” Shettima stated.

The Muslim Rights Concern Raises Concerns

Ealier, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has raised concerns about an alleged plan by the Sokoto State Governor, Ahmed Aliyu, to depose the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III.

In a statement on Monday, MURIC’s Executive Director, Prof. Isiaq Akintola, expressed alarm over the potential move, which comes amid controversy and tension following the deposition of several monarchs in Kano State. Governor Aliyu had previously removed 15 traditional rulers for various offences.

Akintola stated, “Nigerian Muslims reject any thought of deposing the Sultan. Feelers in circulation indicate that the governor may descend on the Sultan of Sokoto any moment from now using any of the flimsy excuses used to dethrone the 15 traditional rulers whom he removed earlier.”

He stressed that the Sultan’s role is not only traditional but also religious, extending beyond Sokoto to cover all Nigerian Muslims as their spiritual head.

“MURIC advises the governor to look before he leaps. The Sultan’s stool is not only traditional. It is also religious. In the same vein, his jurisdiction goes beyond Sokoto. It covers the whole of Nigeria. He is the spiritual head of all Nigerian Muslims,” Akintola said.

Akintola cautioned Aliyu against provoking Nigerian Muslims into drastic action, citing historical precedent.

“A military governor, Colonel Yakubu Muazu, exposed this soft underbelly when he deposed Sultan Ibrahim Dasuki on 20th April 1996. Nigerian Muslims will be forced to make a hard decision if Sokoto governors continue to diminish the authority of the Sultan.”

He further stated, “For the avoidance of any doubts, Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar is not only the Sultan of Sokoto but the Sultan of the Nigerian people. His performance and style of leadership have warmed him into the hearts of Nigerians.”

Akintola suggested that if Sokoto’s leadership continues to undermine the Sultan, Nigerian Muslims might shift towards selecting Islamic scholars as their leaders instead of traditional rulers.

“It will be a farewell to the leadership of traditional rulers over the NSCIA and an irreversible departure from Sokoto’s privileged leadership position. But history will not be kind to Col. Yakubu Muazu and Ahmed Aliyu for ruining the chances of Sokoto.”

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