This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Monday, November 14, 2016
DEATH OF EX-SULTAN DASUKI: WE ARE DEVASTATED
15th November, 2016
DEATH OF EX-SULTAN DASUKI: WE ARE DEVASTATED
The former Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki, died last night in a
private hospital in Abuja. Born on 31st December, 1923, he was aged
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is
deeply saddened by his death. He was a man of honour, an icon of no small
measure and a great patriot.
We condole the current Sultan of
Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic
Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammadu Sa‘ad Abubakar III, the Governor of Sokoto
State, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal and the people of Sokoto State for this great
Although Islam has a fatalistic
philosophy of death and the deceased was not even young at all, MURIC is
devastated by the demise of ex-Sultan Dasuki because of the circumstances in
which he died. He was deposed by the state military governor, Col. Yakubu
Muazu, in 1996. He never regained the throne until his death a few hours ago.
As the 18th Sultan of
Sokoto, the ex-Sultan was also the President-General of the NSCIA which is the
umbrella organization of all Islamic organizations in Nigeria. It is most
unfortunate that a state governor would possess the power to remove the head of
all Nigerian Muslims. This is sad, preposterous and unacceptable.
We are therefore determined to
ensure that no Sultan will taste such bitter cup of disgrace in future. It was
monumental embarrassment and unmitigated disaster for Nigerian Muslims. Of
course we know that the deposition of ex-Sultan Dasuki was politically motivated.
The state governor simply obeyed orders from Sani Abacha, the late military
dictator and former head of state.
Article 7 (a) of the 1973 NSCIA Constitution
confers the headship of the organization on the Sultan of Sokoto but,
paradoxically, Section 6 CAP 21 of the Sokoto State Laws empowers the governor
to dethrone the Sultan at will. But it must never happen again. It is quite
obvious that the NSCIA Constitution and the Sokoto State Laws are at cross
Section 6 CAP 21 says inter alia:
Governor after due enquiry and consultation with the
persons concerned in the selection,
may depose any chief
or any head chief whether appointed
before or after the
commencement of this law …in the
interest of peace or order
or good government”
Thus, technically, Nigerian Muslims
can be subjected to serious embarrassment and constitutional confusion whenever
the governor of Sokoto State chooses to invoke this obnoxious section. Their
national leader can be removed by the governor just by snapping his finger.
MURIC rejects this impunity. It is
draconian, ridiculous and pernicious. It is a clog in the wheel of progress for
Nigerian Muslims. The governor can have his way with any other traditional
ruler in the state. The Sultan must be exempted unless the people of Sokoto
State want to provoke Nigerian Muslims to call for a radical amendment of the NSCIA
constitution. But we don’t see any need for that because the ruling Sultan is a
blessing for the Ummah.
We therefore call on the Honourable Speaker
of the Sokoto State House of Assembly to set the necessary machinery in motion
to amend this obnoxious section. The current Sultan and his successors must be
immuned against deposition by the state governor.
We suggest the insertion of the
phrase ‘except the Sultan of Sokoto’ after the words ‘or any head chief’. It is
so simple. All we need is for one honourable member of the House to raise the
motion for the amendment of Section 6 CAP 21 for the insertion to be effected. We
appeal to all stakeholders in Sokoto State not to delay the amendment for the
sake of posterity. The political climate in Sokoto (and Abuja too) is
favourable today. It may not be so tomorrow.
We call on Nigerian Muslims to be alert
and politically conscious. Freedom cannot be enjoyed by the naïve and the myopic
in society. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. Can any Nigerian
president remove the head of all Nigerian Christians? Can Buhari remove the
president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)? Then why should we allow
such anomaly in Islamdom? Sokoto must seize the initiative before it is taken
from its hands.
On compassionate ground, MURIC
appeals to President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately release Col. Sambo Dasuki,
the son of the late ex-Sultan who is still in custody for his role in the $2.1
billion arms scandal, so that he can attend his father’s burial rites.
In conclusion, we pray for the
repose of ex-Sultan Dasuki’s soul in Al-Jannah Firdaus. May Almighty Allah
forgive him and protect everything left behind by him.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)