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Sultan must be guarded jealously, Shettima tells Sokoto govt

Vice-President Kashim Shettima has told the government of Sokoto State that His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III. must be guarded jealously. The nation’s number…

Vice-President Kashim Shettima has told the government of Sokoto State that His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III. must be guarded jealously.

The nation’s number two citizen said this at the ongoing North West Peace & Security Summit, which is being broadcast live on Trust TV.

The event is ongoing in Katsina State.

“Our father who is a permanent picture in all developmental issues in this country, His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto. I want to use him as my 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 jealously guard, protect, promote, preserve and project for the good of our nation.”

Shettima spoke after the Executive Director of Muslim Rights Council (MURIC), Prof. Isiaq Akintola, raised the alarm that the Sokoto government is allegedly plotting to depose the Sultan.

Governor Ahmed Aliyu had earlier deposed 15 traditional rulers for various offences.

In his statement, Akintola said Nigerian Muslims would 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.

“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 NSCIA,” Akintola said.

Daily Trust reports that the Sokoto State Government is yet to react to MURIC’s allegation but it had earlier said there was a plan to amend section 76 of the local government and chieftaincy law to align with prevailing practices within the state.

Under the current law, the authority to appoint district and village heads lies with the Sultanate Council.

However, in practice, the Sultanate Council merely provides recommendations to the state government, with the governor ultimately making the appointments.

Nasir Binji, the state’s attorney-general and commissioner for justice, had clarified that the proposed amendment aimed to synchronise the legal framework with the customary procedure in Sokoto.

Addressing journalists after a State Executive Council meeting, Binji explained that 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.

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