Check Your Facts, Don’t Tell Us To Guard Sultan – Sokoto Governor Aliyu Hits Back At VP Shettima

…Protect Traditional Institutions Against State Governments – Atiku Reacts

Sokoto State Governor, Ahmed Aliyu, has hit back at Vice President, Kashim Shettima warning him to always check his facts before making public comments.

He reminded the vice president of the need to know his position and responsibility as a father to all and not rely on social media to make judgments.

Aliyu, in a statement signed by his spokesman, Abubakar Bawa, was responding to Shettima’s warning handed down to the governor on Monday during the Northwest Security summit in Katsina.

Shettima had warned the governor against removing the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, whom he said “represents an idea, an institution” that should be “jealously guarded.”

The vice president’s warning came after the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) raised the alarm that the governor was bent on removing the sultan.

MURIC in a statement signed by its founder, Executive Director, Ishaq Akintola on Monday alleged Aliyu had earlier sacked 15 traditional rulers in April with “feelers in circulation indicate that the governor may descend on the sultan of Sokoto any moment from using any of the flimsy excuses used to dethrone the 15 traditional rulers whom he removed earlier.”

Directing his statement to the deputy governor of Sokoto, who was present at the security summit, Shettima said, “I have a simple message for you. Yes the Sultan is the Sultan of Sokoto but he’s much more than that” who needed to be protected “for the growth of our nation.”

But the Sokoto government has said far from the truth, that there was no iota of truth in what Shettima has said and advised against relying on social media to pass judgement.

The state government said, “We sincerely expected the Vice President to have consulted the Governor before going public.

“As an elder statesman and a father to all, he should have facts and figures before judging on issues raised by mischief makers and the mushroom social media handlers known for negative propaganda.

“The fact of the matter is that there was never any attempt to sack the Sultan nor have we sent him any threat regarding that.

“Sultan enjoys all the powers he is entitled to. We never denied him any of his freedom or rights.

“We therefore do not need to be told to guard, protect, and promote the Sultan. It is our sole responsibility.

“The government and People of Sokoto cherish and adore the sultanate council and would do everything possible to protect the dignity of the revered institution.

“The Government to this end reassures all Nigerians that it will continue to protect the sultanate council and its dignity at all times,” the state government said.

Meanwhile, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar reacted to the controversy advising that traditional institutions must be protected against the arbitrariness of state government.

Atiku stated this on Tuesday via a statement he shared on x stating that “Recent developments in the country has seen a growing tendency of state governments exerting influence in distorting the modalities of enthroning traditional stools.

“It is a reality that stares us in the face from every corner of the country.

“While it is understandable that the institutions of traditional rulership are in the exclusive purview of the state government, although through the local government authorities, it must be established that traditional institutions constitute a component of our governance structure.

“And thus, traditional institutions must be protected from the arbitrariness of state governments that threaten their stability.

“When the structure of ascension of traditional rulers is unstable, it will become equally difficult to maintain peace and orderliness in communities.

“Although our constitution, in its current format, does not ascribe any recognition to traditional institutions, our experiences show clearly that they perform enormous roles in the economic life of their domains, as well as maintenance of peace and security in communities.

“I wish to remind that the traditional institutions formed the governance structures before the advent of the colonialists. And they governed well. Consequently, they are institutions we must protect and preserve and not destroy.

“It is, therefore, on this basis that I lean towards the advocacy that calls for constitutional reform that will not just recognize traditional institutions in our body of laws but also define the responsibilities of their offices.

“This reform is even more important in view of the collective drive to stem the ugly tide of terrorism and sundry security challenges at the local levels.

“In conclusion, I must also appeal to state governors to accord the necessary respect to the offices of traditional institutions. The customs that our traditional rulers represent are the totality of our heritage as a people,” Atiku said.

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