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Don’t Attempt it; MURIC Tells Governor Over Alleged Plan to Depose Sultan of Sokoto

Don’t Attempt it; MURIC Tells Governor Over Alleged Plan to Depose Sultan of Sokoto

The Muslim Rights Concern 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.”

He cautioned that repeated actions against the Sultan would not be tolerated.

“Once is happenstance, twice is a coincidence, and the third time is enemy action. If the deposition of a Sultan and NSCIA leader happens a second time, Nigerian Muslims will not allow the embarrassment to happen a third time.”

MURIC called on the Sokoto State House of Assembly to review the state’s chieftaincy laws to exempt the Sultan of Sokoto.

“MURIC reiterates its call on the Sokoto State House of Assembly to either repeal or review the state’s chieftaincy laws by adding the phrase ‘except the Sultan of Sokoto’ to Section 6, Cap 26 of the Laws of Northern Nigeria which empowers the state governor to depose the emirs including the Sultan.”

Akintola urged Northern elites and Islamic scholars to intervene promptly.

“This is the time to lobby the Sokoto State House of Assembly and the governor himself. If the chieftaincy laws of Kano State can be repealed within 24 hours, nothing stops that of Sokoto State from being reviewed in favour of immunity for the office of the Sultan in a single day to save Nigerian Muslims from humongous embarrassment.”

The Sokoto State Government has not yet responded to MURIC’s allegations.

Previously, it announced plans to amend section 76 of the local government and chieftaincy law to align with current practices within the state.

Currently, the Sultanate Council provides recommendations for district and village head appointments, but the governor has the final authority to appoint.

The state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Nasir Binji, explained that the proposed amendment aims to synchronize the legal framework with customary procedures.

“Under the proposed amendment, the Sultanate Council would retain the power to recommend candidates, while the authority to appoint would be vested in the governor,” Binji said, following a State Executive Council meeting.

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