Amidst deposition rumour, Shettima urges Sokoto govt to defend sanctity of Sultanate

Sultan of Sokoto.
Sultan of Sokoto.
Amidst deposition rumour, Shettima urges Sokoto govt to defend sanctity of Sultanate

• Rumor untrue, govt official, state assembly allays fear

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

He said this yesterday while delivering a keynote address at the opening of the inaugural North-West Peace and Security Summit holding in Katsina.

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His remarks came after the executive director of Muslim Rights Council (MURIC), Prof Isiaq Akintola, raised the alarm that the Sokoto State Government was allegedly plotting to depose the Sultan.

The development is coming amid the controversy and tension over the deposition of some monarchs in Kano State.

Governor Ahmed Aliyu of Sokoto State was represented at the summit by his Deputy, Hon. Idris Gobir.

“I want to use our father, His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, who is a permanent picture in all developmental issues in this country, as my point of reference to recognise and appreciate all our royal fathers present here.”

“And I have a simple message for the deputy governor of Sokoto. Yes, His Eminence is the Sultan of Sokoto, but he is 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 said.

The vice president was obviously reacting to the alleged move by the Sokoto State Government to depose the monarch.

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

The Sokoto State Government is yet to react to MURIC’s allegation, but it 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 council merely provides recommendations to the state government, while the governor ultimately makes 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.

A senior government official who spoke on condition of anonymity told Daily Trust yesterday that the amended law was not intended to depose the monarch.

“Governor Aliyu is not making any move to dethrone Sultan. The law is just amended to be in harmony with the existing practices,” he explained.

Sokoto Assembly dismisses deposition fear

When contacted, the Deputy Speaker of the Sokoto State House of Assembly, Kabiru Kware, who currently acts as Speaker, denied knowledge of any move to depose the Sultan of Sokoto.

Kware said, “I only heard about the issue for the first time from you; and I can confidently tell you that there is nothing like this move before the Assembly. It is just mere speculation.

“I can vividly remember that the only bill before us is the one concerning the tenure of local government chairmen. There is nothing related to the Sultanate Council before the State House of Assembly at present.”

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