Encomiums as Sultan marks 10 years on the throne
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) and the Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN) have congratulated His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji (Dr) Muhammad Sa‘ad Abubakar III on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of his ascension to the throne.
The two organisations, in separate statements signed by their heads, Professor Ishaq Akintola (MURIC) and Abdur-Rahman Balogun (MMPN) also expressed felicitation “with the government and good people of Sokoto State, the Sultanate Council and the entire Muslim Ummah in Nigeria and beyond,” for the commemoration that was due on Wednesday, November 2, 2016.
While MURIC anchored its congratulatory message on the understanding that “Nigerian Muslims only began to raise their heads with pride after the current Sultan came on board,” MMPN praised the Sultan for his selfless service to humanity. “As a leader, he has demonstrated to all Muslims irrespective of their religious bents that he is a father to all irrespective of tribe, sects or beliefs.”
What endears the monarch to Nigerians, according to the groups, are his sterling virtues of being a completely detribalized Nigerian, a true bridge-builder and a man of peace. “He brought the Muslim Ummah closer to their Christian neighbours. Leading by example, he taught us love, forgiveness, and tolerance. A patriot primus inter pareil, he laid special emphasis on the need for peaceful coexistence in the past ten years of selfless service to his country. There is no gainsaying the fact that the current Sultan is a great asset to the people of Sokoto, the North and Nigeria as a whole.”
Specifically, MURIC canvassed a special recognition and a befitting status to be accorded the Sultan, advocating the repeal of Section 6 Cap 26 of the Laws of Northern Nigeria, which empowers the state governor to depose any ruling Sultan.
It argued, “Without prejudice to the executive powers of the governor of Sokoto State, we contend that since Article 7 (a) of the constitution of the NSCIA confers the leadership of Nigerian Muslims on the Sultan of Sokoto, the latter’s office and status transcends the Sokoto Sultanate. He is the bona fide head of all Muslims in the country. Therefore, the deposition of a Sultan has far-reaching implications. Apart from being an embarrassment of no little dimension to Nigerian Muslims, it is capable of causing both religious and constitutional crisis.
“As a mark of respect for Nigerian Muslims and in a bid to save the Ummah from such embarrassment and constitutional crisis in future, MURIC calls on members of the Sokoto State House of Assembly to quickly set the machinery in motion for the amendment of the Chieftaincy Laws of Sokoto State. Such amendment should exempt the Sultan from the dethronement clause.
“Section 6 Cap 26 is a sword of Damocles dangling on the heads of the entire Nigerian Muslims and Islamic organizations in the country. It must be amended. Sokoto must not kill the goose that lays the golden egg.”