Dasuki Goofed On Sardauna Title: Nigerian Traditional Power Struggle

11 January 2010

By Saka Raji Audu

I read with disgust the statement credited to the former deposed Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki where he stated in the Daily Trust of January 8, 2010, page 2 that people aspiring to the Sardauna title do not possess any of the attributes of the late Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Alhaji Ahmadu Bello. In his words, Dasuki stated that, "I don't think there is anybody living now who knows him more than me. I was his private Secretary for two years. In fact, his first indigenous Secretary and later I became a Minister in his government. It saddens me to hear present leaders of the country claiming to be Sardauna. They should stop likening themselves to him because they don't possess any of his attributes", he said.  

Perhaps, those who know Dasuki very well, both in word and action, will testify that he is only being economical in truth of his statement. It is either that he has forgotten history he created or he deliberately hides the fact for distortion in order to score unnecessary cheap public attention. First, it is very wrong for a man in his capacity to think that no leader possesses of the late Sir Ahmadu Bello Sardauna. I know that the late legend was a distinguished man of honour, integrity and epitome of transparency and honesty. Still, for one to say that no leader possesses such attributes of him, to my mind, amounts to political mischief and factually not correct. 

What I think Dasuki would have observed, if necessary, was that the number of present leaders that have Sardauna attributes is minimal in view of the kind of society we find ourselves today. It is therefore an irony for Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki to say no one deserves Sardauna titles. Perhaps, Dasuki has forgotten that when he was Sultan of Sokoto, he turbaned his nephew, Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji as Sardauna of Sokoto in November 1991. This was in spite of the wide spread protests in Sokoto against the turban. This is not all. At the turban ceremony, which was reported in the then Citizen, Dasuki stated in his speech that a title should not be left vacant because of former holder's greatness because even Usman Danfodio's was occupied after his death. This statement made by Dasuki some nineteen years ago according to verifiable source was directed at people who pointed out that Sir Abubakar did not re-award Sardauna's title for three decades.  

It is as astonishing as deceitful that Ibrahim Dasuki who performed the above ceremony in 1991 is today talking something else that is a complete contradiction of his actions. While in 1991, he was in position to confer Sardauna of Sokoto on his nephew, Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji amidst protest, today because he is no longer in power, whoever is found competent to hold Sardauna title should be discarded. Is that so? I do not think that Dasuki has moral justification in admonishing any one as regards the Sardauna title because he did what he is today cautioning people about. Is it a case of do as I say, but do not do as I do? Might be Dasuki is now confirming his mistake to the world after nineteen years of commitment. This is why I think the statement credited to Dasuki in the said Daily trust should be regarded as ranting of a frustrated man who is bereft of a good future, having squandered his past and present.  

How comes the same Dasuki who claims to have been a private secretary of the late Sir Ahmadu Bello Sardauna and later served as a Minister in his government could engage in double standards? As a man who was very close to the late sage, he should have endeavoured to portray his good attributes, both in words and action. When Dasuki knew very well that no leader should lay claim to Sardauna title, why then did he re-awarded the title to his nephew in 1991 against the wish of the Sokoto people because various happenings indicated that at that period between 1991 and 1996 when he was deposed from his stool, the politics then was dirtier than what we have today. That was the time Paul was robbed to pay Peter. Indeed, every one knew how in spite of his lesser qualification, he was installed the Sultan of Sokoto. But truth later triumphed over falsehood, which later led to his deposition as Sultan for the rightful owner of the stool in 1996.  

Contrary to what Ibrahim Dasuki would like to say about Sardauna title, it should be stated here that there are still leaders today, no matter how small in number they are, that possess the attributes of the late Sir Ahmadu Bello Sardauna that should proudly ascend to the late Sardauna shoe if identified. In fact, Dasuki hard remarked that a title should not be left vacant because of former holder's greatness and cited Danfodio's title as being occupied after his death. It then beats one's imagination why is he contradicting himself now. People like Dasuki are many in our midst and should be watched closely so that we can differentiate between their reality and sentiment.  

Finally, it is totally wrong for any body to make any sweeping generalization like the comment made by Dasuki on Sardauna title. If any leader is believed to have excelled in human development, transparency, accountability, accommodation, resourcefulness should simply have more than enough quality of Sardauna title. Leaders with these characteristic traits still abound in our today system, though they are not as Dasuki would think. This explains the conferment of Sardauna title on the few ones being identified.  

Saka Raji Audu writes from Kano and can be reached on his email: sakaraj@yahoo.com




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Readers Comments

Muhammad Sagagi, Kano - Nigeria [Wednesday January 13, 2010]

Re-'Dasuki Goofed On Sardauna Title'

It pains me that Mr Saka Raji must insult the old man for simply expressing a view different from his. I believe writers can push their views without throwing insults at those they disagree with. Does Saka realise he is addressing an 80 year-old father, grandfather etc? Haba! This is anti-islam. Even the person you wish to promote-you have always promoted him-will not approve of this your faul language.

Umar Nuhu Tijani, Kano - Nigeria [Thursday January 14, 2010]

Re-'Dasuki Goofed On Sardauna Title'

Two mistakes will never make a right. Even one or more never does. If Mr. Saka Raji has offended anyone in expressing his view, how on earth would condemnation of him as anti-Islam by Mr. Muhammad Sagagi would serve in defense of the former Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki - one of the very few Nigerian elder statesmen I hold with esteem. As a fellow Kano indigenes, I am not unfamiliar with Mr Saka Rajiís tender pen for my state governor. However, instead of exchanging cheap blows through this comment box, I challenge Mr. Muhammad Sagagi to actually present here a comprehensive account of his own, especially in defense of Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki. If Mr. Sagagi does, I am positive Mr. Raji would not let it lie just like that.  He would write back, providing us with more provocative, yet thoughtful article in response.  I promise you, I - like thousands of readers on this site - would follow it up and judge by myself. Please donít blind fold me.


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