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It is no secret that the Sokoto Caliphate established by the revered Islamic reformer Sheikh Usman bn Fodio is going through turbulent times. Intra-political wrangling is gradually but inevitably eroding the remaining glory and fame of the Caliphate because of leadership failure. The latest bout of the crisis is that of the resignation of the grandson of the Premier of Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardaunan Sokoto, Alhaji Hasan Ahmed Danbaba as Magajin Garin Sokoto, a position he held for 20 years.
From the media reportage of the crisis alone, the Sultan of Sokoto Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, has apparently failed in providing the requisite fatherly leadership role expected of him to even his immediate constituency – that is members of the Sultanate Council.
Instead of serving as an unbiased arbiter, the Sultan took a side in the conflict between his council members- Alhaji Inuwa Abdulqadir and the Ahmadu Bello’s grandson- thereby further bringing the Caliphate to public ridicule and infamy.
By allowing the conflict to snowballed to where it is today means that the Sultan has lost the respect of even his council members. Hasan Danbaba, as everyone in the Sultanate and beyond, are aware, contributed significantly through his influential patronage, to influence the appointment of Sa’ad Abubakar as the Sultan.
Not only that, Danbaba used the same influence in helping the Sultan in building ethnocultural and religious bridges across the country. It was, therefore, surprising that despite all this, the same Sultan would descend so low in doing the bidding of some political bigwigs in their desperate attempts to humiliate the Sardauna’s grandson.
The least that was expected of the Sultan is to reconcile Inuwa and the Sardauna’s grandson. But for obvious reasons, he deliberately refused to attempt any reconciliation effort. Instead, the Sultan was busy globetrotting.
While his Caliphate is burning, the Sultan was only seen frequenting the oil-rich Rivers State, seeking for pecuniary patronage from Governor Nyesom Wike.
In contrast, the same Sultan has never stepped his toes in the Boko Haram ravaged states of Borno and Yobe to commiserate with them. The reason is simple: these two states have no oil money to give him as the Rivers governor is doing.
The Sultan has abandoned his primary role of leading the Muslim Ummah in the country. His domineering instincts have forced other Muslim traditional rulers in the country to boycott meetings of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) AND Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI).
During President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, the Sultan reduced himself to the lowest ebb of becoming the “boy” of the former President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, purposely to curry financial favours from Jonathan.
He reduced the Sultanate to an annex of Wadata Plaza simply because he wanted President Jonathan to buy him a private jet like he did to Oritsejafor. He supported and campaigned for Jonathan, and maligned Muhammadu Buhari at the slightest opportunity.
For the sake of the planned gift of the private jet, the Sultan reduced himself to a clown by publicly exchanging banters with Oritsejafor in the most unbecoming manner of any serious monarch on national televisions.
Fortunately for Nigerians and unfortunately for the Sultan, Jonathan lost the 2015 elections which also ended the federal government plans to buy a private jet for him.
His management of the NSCIA and JNI as president -general is anything worthy. The two apex Muslim bodies in the country are plagued by gross fiscal indiscipline. For instance, when last did the NSCIA and JNI published their audited accounts? When last did they tell Nigerian Muslims the number, locations, and worth of the landed property these two organisations own?
Not only that, when last did the Sultan make public the audited accounts of his money-spinning NGO, the Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar Foundation? Who are the signatories to the foundation’s accounts? How much did the foundation realize as “donations” from politicians and foreign governments since its establishment?
As a leader of Nigerian Muslims, how many people has he elevated to certain positions inside and outside the country? Rather, he only takes solace in destroying successful people.
The Sultan’s recklessness knows no bound. In April, the Sultan had the nerves to betray the actual principles of the sultanate he’s heading to accuse northern youths of laziness.
By that callous and insensitive statement, the Sultan has really mocked the Northern youth, who are actually poor not because they are lazy, as the Sultan recklessly said, but because, their leaders and elites, which the Sultan is part of, have squandered and destroyed their commonwealth.
And only last week, while Nigerian Muslims are complaining of the rising cost of Hajj fare for 2017 because of the exchange rate, the Sultan once again exhibited his selfishness by asking the federal government to return the Amirul Hajj title to him.
Alto wrote from Sokoto, Sokoto State
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