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Shettima: Stepping in for the Sultanate

Shettima: Stepping in for the Sultanate

Shettima: Stepping in for the Sultanate

By Tahir I Tahir Talban Bauchi

The emirate tussle in Kano has left in its wake, the desecration of the repute, significance, and dignity of the Northern Emirate system, a once revered and glorified traditional institution, which serves as the custodian of our rich cultural heritage, as well as our societal norms and values.

Our traditional institutions as a legacy of the famed sojourn of our forefathers civilisation, long before the advent of the colonial masters in West Africa is being dragged in the public square of mockery and contempt. Political power play over the years has served as the crucible upon which traditional institutions have been subject to ridicule, manipulation and humiliation.

Truth is, sometimes actors of the traditional institutions have made themselves ready pawns for political battles, and some have actually dabbled in political affairs, or have been partisan in political struggles.

At the moment, there is a huge frenzy over the fate and standing of our traditional institutions, as most believe that they are under siege, by politicians with long standing vendetta. These politicians are using the traditional institutions, plunging them in an endless game of thrones, by pitching them against political opponents who eventually take no prisoners.

The Judiciary has opted not to remain apolitical. Again Kano serves as a glaring example of how the Judiciary has complicated the unfortunate intrigues of the emirship tussle. Effectively, there are now two emirs in Kano. Judicial pronouncements have made sure of this, and it would be a long arduous battle in the courts, for a clear mandate on who should be the Emir of Kano. A full blown political war over the control of the government has shifted ground to the emirship, and who knows, it may spiral up to, or just before the 2027 elections. The people’s faith in the uprightness of the Judiciary has been muddied the more, and their interference in the tussle is unfortunate and despicable.

It has developed into a federal high court vs state high court flex of might and jurisdiction, which is obvious judicial merry-go-round. Politics has taken over the courts too indefinitely.

This siege on traditional institutions has been echoed more emphatically by MURIC, muslim rights concern, as voiced by the Executive Director, Professor Akintola Ishaq.

The group claims that there are plans by the Governor of Sokoto, Alh. Ahmed Aliyu, to depose the Sultan. This is coming after the removal of about 15 District Heads in the Sultanate, over what he termed as flimsy excuses. Prof. Akintola warns that the Sultanate is not only a traditional institution, but a religious one, and that the Governor should therefore look before he leaps. He reminded the Governor that the Sultan is also The President of the NSCIA, Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, and so anyone that tampers with the Sultanate will have Nigerian Muslims to reckon with.

This siege was also cautioned by the Vice President, Sen. Kashim Shettima, at the North West Summit on Security and Peace, that is holding in Katsina State, as he represented Mr. President. Shettima said, “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 need to jealously guard, protect, promote, preserve, and project for the good of our nation.” This is an emphatic Presidential message, voiced by the Vice President, as he represented Mr. President in the Katsina security summit. The Vice President was voicing the concern of the Presidency, and indeed most nigerians, over the caricacurisation of our once revered traditional institutions.

The bastardisation of these institutions is beginning to knock on the doorstep of the Sultanate, which represents a lot more than being the head of traditional institutions in Kano.

Just as the Vice President eloquently captured all of our concerns over the bastardisation of these institutions that serve as the legacies of our forefathers, there must be a general consensus of putting an end to this drama. ‘Sarki daya zamani goma’ should be the rightful slogan for the emirates, and not ‘Sarki goma gwamna goma’. To keep having a different Sarki each time there is a new governor in town is the height of instability, and irresponsibility on the part of our leaders.

Should this be allowed to continue, the blowback, the repercussions, and the reactions may be too overwhelming for an already plagued society like Northern Nigeria.

Our leaders are supposed to be assiduously in the service of finding solutions to the insecurity drowning us, and not enthroning or dethroning our emirs. It just shows their ineptitude, selfishness, and a confirmation that they are there not for the interest of their people.

Should they refuse to desist, who knows, may be deposing this Sultan could be the final straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Like MURIC said, the Sultan is the leader of an ummah, and not just the head of Sokoto’s traditional institutions. The Lord Almighty may just reign in all this impunity for the sake of the ummah. May Allah SWT guide our deeds.

Shettima: Stepping in for the Sultanate

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