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Sokoto Governor’s ‘Plot’ To Dethrone Sultan Will Spark Nationwide Revolution – MURIC


Jun 24, 2024

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has threatened to resort to radical revolution against Sokoto State Governor, Ahmed Aliyu, if he deposes the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III.

MURIC issued the threat in a statement issued on Monday by its founder and Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, in reaction to Governor Aliyu’s reported deposition of 15 traditional rulers in the state.

MURIC also said that there is a sour relationship between the governor and the Sultan and that there is a rumour of impending dethronement of the Sultan by the governor.

It was gathered that Governor Aliyu was planning a new law on the appointment of traditional rulers that seeks to grant him absolute power to appoint and sack chiefs in the state.

According to the report, the governor has already had the proposed legislation approved by his Executive Council for onward transmission to the state house of assembly. 

The state’s Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Nasiru Mohammed Binji, told journalists that the Council seeks the amendment of the District Heads Appointment Law of 2008, which vests the authority of such appointments in the Sultanate Council to a new legislation that makes the act exclusive to be state governor.

In the statement, MURIC said that Nigerian Muslims reject any thought of deposing the Sultan, threatening that if the Sultan is deposed, it will lead to nationwide radical revolution as Sultan’s stool is not only traditional but also religious and his jurisdiction goes beyond Sokoto. 

Akintola said, “The governor of Sokoto State, Ahmed Aliyu, deposed 15 traditional rulers on 23rd April 2024. That was two months ago. 

“However, 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.

“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. 

“Therefore, any governor who tampers with the stool of the Sultan will have Nigerian Muslims to reckon with because the Sultan combines the office of the Sultan of Sokoto and that of the President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA).”

He warned, “Governor Ahmed Aliyu should not force Nigerian Muslims to take a drastically revolutionary measure. Having a traditional ruler as leader has been a condition Nigerian Muslims accepted a long time ago as a necessary weakness in the structure which they have to live with.  

“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.

“For the avoidance of any doubts, Sultan Muhammad Sa’d 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 threatened that “Nigerian Muslims North and South of the country may be constrained to pick Islamic scholars only as President General of the NSCIA and overall leader of Nigerian Muslims”. 

He said, “It will be 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 Colonel Yakubu Muazu and Ahmed Aliyu for ruining the chances of Sokoto.

“That will make it impossible for any governor to harass or intimidate the leader of Nigerian Muslims. The power and influence of governors over traditional rulers have become absolute and totalitarian in recent time. Nigerian Muslims must be given space to breathe some air of freedom like all other associations.  

“Once is happenstance, twice is a coincidence, 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 therefore called on the Sokoto State House of Assembly to either repeal or review the state’s chieftaincy laws by granting immunity to the Sultan.

It urged the state lawmakers to add 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 emirs including the Sultan.

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