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Date Published: 06/04/10

Let Sultan of Sokoto be neutral


We have received with utmost shock the news that the Sultanate of Sokoto has finally decided to side with one of the parties to the ongoing Sokoto state gubernatorial legal tussle. This is no doubt a big minus to the reverence and public respect the exalted office of the Sultan has been enjoying since the establishment of the supra caliphate in 1804.

One wonders, what does the Sultan stands to gain by lending his open support to one of the many of his subjects involved in such a legal matter? Or, what does the Sultan stands to loose for maintaining neutrality in such a circumstance? For sure, his neutrality stands the best of all options before him. This would have made the Sultanate maintain consistent with history: no Muslim would contemplate on judging the late Abubakar III (May Allah grant him aljannah) of this misnomer.

Here we are today being led by partial leadership that openly differentiate between competing political party candidates and alloying itself to on party instead of being neutral or insisting on candidates or parties seeking for votes to articulate programmes that would better up the living conditions of the electorates. Expectedly, the Sultanate should have remained neutral but mount pressure on ruling elites and parties at all levels to deliver democratic dividends to the citizenry. Alas! This is not the case in Sokoto today.

To say that the Sultan has been in Abuja to influence the verdict of the Supreme Court on the Wamakko vs Dingyadi case is quiet unfortunate. Worst is the way and manner the supporters to one of the parties to the case celebrated the Sultan’s successful execution of the Abuja assignment he pledged to handle. Right on arrival at the Sokoto airport on board a Presidential plane, supporters of the party that commissioned the Sultan for the assignment were seen in hundreds to welcome him back Sokoto. This is the first time the Sultan was received by party members and supporters at the airport.

Few hours after his return, news quickly spreads round Sokoto that the Sultan has succeeded in solving the mystery surrounding Sokoto legal tussle. That victory is certain to the party that sponsored the Sultan for the Abuja trip.

It beats the imagination of all sensible citizens that while the Supreme Court is billed to deliver its judgement on the case Friday June 4, supporters to one of the parties to the case have already started beating drums and celebrating their Sultan-assured victory.

But why should the Sultan allow his office to be used in this kind of dirty deals? Is it because his Council is being audited by the state government as reported by the media? Is his ability to influence the judgement in favour of one of the contending party a condition for the stoppage of the State government’s auditing of the Sultanate Council?

Wonders, they say, never end. Anyway, the Sultanate has decided to go partisan and no one else seems to bother. But is there no way the Sultanate can retrace its footsteps and be neutral in the present democratic dispensation?


Kaltume Jauro Arkilla,

276D, Arkilla Federal Housing Estate,



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