Thursday, May 11, 2017 10:01 am
By Wálé Oláyanjú
Ibrahim Dasuki was the 18th Sultan of Sokoto and the father of Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), former National Security Adviser to President Jonathan.
Following the death of Abubakar Siddique, the 17th Sultan of Sokoto, there were a lot of contenders to the throne. While Muhammadu Maccido was the son of Abubakar Siddique and the most popular among them, Dasuki was close to the government of the day.
Eventually, Dasuki was announced the new Sultan to the dismay of many. The announcement led to days of rioting in which many people lost their lives.
As Sultan, Dasuki tried to endear himself to the Sokoto populace. However, he was considered a modernist against the wishes of some who wanted the traditionalist candidate, Maccido.
In 1996, Dasuki was called into the office of the military administrator of the state and was told he had been deposed as the Sultan. He was flown to Yola and then taken to Jalingo where he was placed on exile.
The government gave some reasons for the banishment such as he was causing enmity among the people and among the royal family, ignoring government directives and traveling outside his domain without approval or notice from the government.
However, some believe he was deposed because of personal issues between him and General Sani Abacha.
Abacha named Maccido the new Sultan and he was turbaned on 21 April 1996. On 29 October 2006, after meeting with President Obasanjo, Maccido died in the plane crash of ADC Airlines while returning to Sokoto. He was succeded by his brother, Sa’adu Abubakar who is the current Sultan of Sokoto.
On his part, Dasuki remained in exile until he died in Abuja in November 2016 after a protracted illness.
Muhammadu Sanusi II (formerly Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) is the current Emir of Kano. He was a successful banker and the immediate past Governor of the CBN. He was suspended from office by Jonathan in February 2014 due to some controversies. The following June, Sanusi realised his life-long ambition when he was selected as the Emir of Kano to succeed his uncle, Ado Bayero.
Just like in the case of Dasuki, there was a great controversy over his appointment. Some believed that it was politically motivated. Many had expected Bayero’s son to succeed him and supporters of Bayero’s son angrily protested the appointment.
Since his ascension to office, Emir Sanusi has been making series of comments about the need for social reforms to the consternation of many traditional northerners. In the process, he has stepped on toes of many powerful politicians from the North.
In one of his speeches, the monarch had berated the entire north for its extreme religiosity, saying they refuse to “realise that the rest of the Muslim world has moved on.”
He described the North as living in a myth where they try to create an Islamic society that never existed. Responding to statement by the Zamfara State Governor who described meningitis outbreak as a “divine punishment for fornication”, the emir called on muslims to “stop allowing human beings appropriate their religion for selfish reasons.”
Sanusi also called on all religious and traditional leaders to refrain from beating their wives, adding that they would lose their titles if they do so.
Perhaps the last straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back was when Sanusi sent his daughter, Shahida to represent him at a Chibok Girls lecture in Abuja. Shahida was quoted to have said that her father would gladly let go of the throne if it stood in the way of the truth.
She said, “My father is not afraid of giving up his throne if it stands in the way of speaking the truth. Those who think that my father would keep quiet because he wants to hold on to his throne, I think they don’t know my father. I know that he has always wanted to be the emir of Kano but to him, if it comes between what is right, what his conscience tells him and choosing the throne, he would happily give up the throne. My father has always been a part of one controversy or the other and it’s normal for us. We are not scared anymore.
She continued, “And honestly, he has been a source of inspiration and pride. He never fails to fight. He fights for progress, liberty, justice and equality. Those who think they know my father should know that he will never be silenced by blackmail and intimidation. He lost his position once as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and I remember his quote that you can suspend a man but you can never suspend the truth. I know he does not mind being the most unpopular emir so long he speaks the truth.”
While it is a known fact that Sanusi does not shy away from controversies, that he chose to speak on issues that were considered a ‘no go area’ for Muslims has not gone done well with the powers-that-be.
Few weeks ago, there was a report in the dailies that the emir was under investigation on suspicion of embezzlement following allegations of gross mismanagement leveled against the emirate council.
The investigation is however fueling rumors that some Northern elites want the monarch removed before his misdemeanors jeopardize their political hegemony.
I read on the wall of Sunday Akoji that the Kano State Legislative House has just tabled eight count charges on the emir including breach of oaths of office and allegiance, abuse of privileges, misappropriation of funds, among others.
According to him, a high power special investigative committee has been constituted and mandated to report back to the House in two weeks.
Like Shahida insinuated, is Muhammadu Sanusi about to lose his position once again? He had said he was ready to forgo his calling as a banker. Is he also ready to forgo his life ambition to be the Emir of Kano? Is the episode of 21 years ago about to repeat itself? Is Sanusi going the way of Dasuki? Only time will tell.
(With additional facts from by Wikipedia)