Sultan Ibrahim Dasuki @ 85 – Kabir Mato /// Dasuki – "Niger Delta Ministry Unnecessary"

No Comments » January 6th, 2009 posted by // Categories: Nigeriawatch



 

 

DAILY TRUST

Sultan Ibrahim Dasuki @ 85

 

Kabir Mato

January 4th, 2009

Wednesday, December 31, 2008, marked the 85th birthday of His Eminence Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki, the 18th Sultan in the dynasty of the famous Islamic reformer, Sheikh Usman bn Fodio (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him).

The birthday was marked with prayers and thanksgiving for a life well spent, at his residence on Kabir Road in the suburbs of Unguwan Rimi GRA in Kaduna attended by several notables and a lot of us, the wretched of the earth. Notably present were the 19th Emir of Gwandu, Al-Mustapha Haruna Jakolo; the former chief justice of Nigeria, Muhammed Lawal Uwais; former ministers, the traditional establishment, Ulamas, and various shades of public opinion molders.

The greatest lesson in the birthday, to me, was not more in the calibre of people that were in attendance but rather the simplicity and humility with which the event was conducted, especially when placed against the backdrop of the aura and personality of the celebrant and his family members coupled with the age attained.

Unlike the Nigerian style where pages of newspapers are for days dedicated by friends, family members and associates in congratulatory messages, the case with that of Sultan Dasuki appeared unique, for the only such similar thing I noticed was the masterpiece by the former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, who captioned the birthday wish ‘Tribute to a Sage’.

In his characteristic manner, IBB captured the essential Ibrahim Dasuki in that advertorial and I thought there was no better and more apt summary of the life and times of Sultan Dasuki that could so be brought up at this material time in history than what was contained in that advertorial, which also appeared simple and unambiguous.

Several lessons abound from the life of Sultan Dasuki apart from his simplicity, humility and self-righteousness as captured by all renowned Islamic scholars that spoke on the occasion. At this material time when all international indices have shown clearly that the life expectancy of a Nigerian male is 47 years, the attainment of twice that age by a person who has worked all his life and attained several heights, including the highest in our society, is a tremendous lesson to humanity.

It is my fervent belief that we must celebrate our heroes while they are alive so that they may, with the living, appreciate and enjoy the price of commitment to service to God and humanity. Life, we have been told several times, is a stage of actors. The degree to which any particular action impacts on the lives of humanity positively determines the character and quality of such actor or actors.

We must rise from the slumber and identify genuine contributions to humanity eulogising same, while bringing forth the failures of leadership so that mankind may make some lessons out of it. The input here is the need to constructively put forward failures so they may be corrected, averted or avoided in the present and in the future. Thus, it is necessary to celebrate a life of service and longevity as epitomised in the person of the 18th Sultan.

The wise ones say that those who live long in history are mostly three scores and one. To attain 85 years is four scores and a quarter. Not just that, but the fact that he is still sound and healthy speaks volumes about the mercies of God on his servants. Certainly, it is a period of celebration and thanksgiving to the Creator who gives life in all its meanings and ramifications.

The last time I wrote a tribute to Sultan Ibrahim Dasuki was five years ago when he attained the age of 80. The piece entitled “Ibrahim Dasuki: Tribute to an Icon in History”, still placed on the information super highway, summarily captures my views of the life of the 18th Sultan in relation to his travels, trials, tribulations and triumphs in life.

The life of Sultan Dasuki, when properly captured in coordinated literature, would be one of the greatest stories of men who through sheer hard work, luck and God’s guidance have attained greatness in longevity. A great-grandson of the late Usman Danfodio whose line in the lineage was almost thrown out of the line of succession to the throne of the Sultanate but for his personal qualities and the will of God, he, after about 200 years since the culmination of the Jihad, became the first from the Buhari clan to emerge the Sultan of Sokoto.

Several lessons abound here. One: that the Buhari dynasty and all others who have never been could still be hopeful that with the right calibre of men, they too could be on that exalted throne. Second, Sultan Dasuki has successfully, through the will of God, liberated those coming after him and could henceforth rise to the occasion whenever the need to fill the exalted throne arises.

Without recasting the episodes that greeted his ascendancy to the throne soon after the death of Sir Abubakar 111, the 17th Sultan of Sokoto, the period of his reign has remained so far the most remarkable in contemporary times. This fact is attested to by the spontaneous reaction and ill-feelings that followed his ouster by the junta under General Abacha (May Allah have mercy on his soul).

Nigerian Muslims definitely felt bitterly shortchanged in that selfish political gambit. It was one of the worst tragedies of military intervention in Nigerian politics. It remains one of the apparently unexplainable calamities that befell the nation’s traditional establishment which definitely marked a very dark spot in the annals of our chequered history as a people.

The lesson in that is that those in positions of authority must be honest and transparent in their dealings. Public interest and the common good must always stand above any personal parochialism if the society is to avoid sliding into the pit of history. Those who rule or lead must thus place the interest of their people and the fear of God first and foremost, if they are to be kindly remembered by the society.

To have faced such a regime, and his incarceration and emerged to freedom and to a life of leadership is unprecedented. Could this reality be a vindication of the character of the 18th Sultan in view of the very wishy-washy allegations that the military boys put forward when they wanted to convince Nigerians that their action in deposing Sultan Dasuki was right?

I think there is a serious disconnect between modern government and the reality of traditional establishment in Nigeria, especially in those areas where such institutions are deeply rooted in history and tradition. The successive exclusion of tradition from the day-to-day running of government is, to a large extent, responsible for the loss of direction in governance, thus making life continuously unbearable for the teeming population.

There must be a right mix between tradition and modernity if we are to break even and propel the people out of this stag reality of injustice, backwardness and helplessness. Those who call the shots must be guided by the temporary nature of power and must always place as a top priority the fact that they may have some life to live after power and they certainly will not live outside the society. The best place to live after power is with the people that you ruled over so you may enjoy the fruits of your good works.

We have seen that in Sultan Dasuki. By the grace of God, apart from outliving materially all those who were central to his deposition, he lives more in the public glare than any one man that was part of the fabrications that almost brought the exalted Sultanate to ridicule and disregard in its 200-year history.

According to the Imams that said prayers during the birthday celebration, Sultan Dasuki stands very tall in honesty, integrity, humanity and humility. He has lived with them since he was freed from captivity in 1998. He did maintain philosophical calmness and moral uprightness to a level that is uncommon in our contemporary society. He remains a reference material in wisdom and decency.

Not so many people are as lucky in life. It would appear that some have their destinies right in their hands; if there is anything like that, then, Sultan Dasuki is one of such lucky few. The world has a lot to learn from his illuminating examples. A life of service to God and humanity. May God continue to bless Sultan Ibrahim Dasuki with good health to serve him and humanity in the years ahead.

THIS DAY

Nigeria: Dasuki – Niger Delta Ministry Unnecessary

George Oji and Ali M. Ali

4 January 2009

Kaduna — Deposed Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki, has said the creation of the Niger Delta ministry as a way of addressing the restiveness in the oil producing areas is unnecessary and capable of causing endless demands from other aggrieved sections of the country.

Dasuki, who expressed this concern while speaking with THISDAY in Kaduna on the occasion of his 85th birthday anniversary, said he found it illogical how the creation of a special ministry for the Niger Delta region would address the numerous problems of the people.

“What kind of thing is that, what for and why? That is short term thing, which does not address the problem. If government has to establish a ministry for everyone who shouts, how many ministries are we going to have in this country? Is that policy well thought out?” Dasuki queried.

He said: “I think the government which set up that ministry should know better. How many states do we have? It started from 12 and got to 19 and now 36, still people want more states, you should continue to give them more states, local governments?

“The more you start acceding to such request you can never stop, there will be more and more requests coming up. You have to be very careful doing that. So, whatever you are going to do, study it carefully to understand the implications.”

The former Sultan, who was deposed in 1996 and has since been domiciled in Kaduna with his family, also commented on the current proposal for constitutional role for traditional rulers. He said such role should be limited to supervisory functions at the local government areas. According to him, this suggestion is informed by the affinity the royal fathers enjoy with the people.

“I think they should be given supervisory roles, particularly at the Local Government levels. They should be involved in the development needs of the local people, not go for campaign for any particular party.

“I know that when the ordinary people have problems they go to the traditional rulers, not the governors not the chairmen. The traditional rulers are therefore the ones that are accessible to the ordinary people, day and night. Therefore, in one way or the other they should be involved in determining what should be going on in their areas.

” Unfortunately, government only involves the royal fathers when there is trouble. That means that they are still relevant. So, there is need for the royal fathers to be involved in the determination of what should be done for the communities,” he said.

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