Despite warning, Sokoto assembly considers bill to strip Sultan of powers

The Sokoto Emirates Council Amendment Bill has passed through the first and second readings at the Sokoto State House of Assembly.

If passed into the law, the amendment bill will strip the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, of powers to appoint the kingmakers and district heads without government approval, among other things.

This comes days after the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), raised concerns over an alleged plot by the Sokoto State governor, Ahmed Aliyu, to depose the Sultan of Sokoto.

In a statement on Monday, by Professor Isiaq Akintola, the Executive Director of MURIC, the Islamic body said the plan to dethrone the traditional and religious figure was being hatched, which comes amid controversy and tension following the deposition of several monarchs in Kano State.

Akintola stressed that the Sultan’s role is not only traditional but also religious, extending beyond Sokoto to cover all Nigerian Muslims as their spiritual head.

Governor Aliyu had recently removed 15 traditional rulers for various offences, which stirred the concern.

Reacting to the development while speaking at the North-West Peace and Security Summit in Katsina State, vice president, Kashim Shettima warned against any negative move against the Sultan.

“In all developmental issues in this country, His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, I want to use him as a point of reference to recognise and appreciate all our royal fathers present here,” he warned.

“And 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 in this country need to jealousy guard, protect, promote, preserve and project for the growth of our nation.”

The state government, however, denied any plan to dethrone the monarch, describing the allegation as false.

The state Commissioner for Information, Sambo Danchadi, explained that the law guiding the appointment of traditional rulers in the state had not been changed.

The state government further challenged Shettima to ensure he has facts before judging “sensitive issues.”


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