The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has reportedly snubbed a delegation sent by the national leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to condole with the state over the raging security challenges.
According to the source, the delegation paid a visit to the Sultan’s palace on Wednesday but he refused to come out despite earlier assurances that he would receive them.
Before the visit, the delegation had sent a letter to the Sultan’s palace which was officially acknowledged and obtained assurances that the traditional ruler would receive them when they arrived.
The APC delegation was drafted to Sokoto State from Abuja to sympathise with the people and government of Sokoto State amid the raging insecurity in the region.
The visit came about a week after President Muhammadu Buhari dispatched a top-level delegation mainly of security and intelligence heads to Sokoto over the same activities of bandits.
The Buhari’s delegation was led by the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Munguno, Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba; the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Magaji Bichi; the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar and the Chief of Defence Intelligence, Major General Samuel Adebayo.
However, the Sultan snubbed the APC delegation, saying he had “nothing to do with the APC.”
The letter addressed to the Sultan, was dated December 20, 2021, and signed by the Sokoto State chairman, Isa Sadiq Achida. It was entitled: “Condolence visit by a delegation of the APC national leadership.”
According to reports, the Sokoto state Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal was in Abuja when he got wind of the visit, and quickly returned to Sokoto to receive the APC national leadership delegation despite being of the opposition party.
Many had however shown their displeasure with the reaction of the traditional ruler, who was supposed to be non-partisan.
Those familiar with the happenings in the state were worried by the apparent politicisation of the security challenge by the monarch.
A source said not long ago, a federal delegation was sent to the Sultan, who is the President-General of two apex Muslim organisations – the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in (NSCIA) and Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), to mobilise all imams (prayer leaders) of all mosques across the country to begin specIal prayers (Al-qunut) against the bandits.
The Federal delegation comprising the Director-General of DSS Yusuf Magaji Bichi and Governor of Kebbi State Abubakar Bagudu met the Sultan in Abuja. They informed him that they consulted prominent Islamic scholars across the country who endorsed the conduct of Al-Qunut by all leaders of mosques across the country.
The Sultan agreed that he would mobilise the Imams through the two apex Muslim bodies – NSCIA and JNI. He, however, told them that the special prayers would wait until he returns from his two-week holiday in Dubai and Cairo.
According to the source, the Sultan travelled out for his holidays and even when he returned, there was no such prayer against bandits and other criminal elements terrorising the country, particularly the north.
They declared that the Sultan as spiritual leader of Nigerian Muslims also never paid condolence or sympathy visits to any village, community or town afflicted by the devilish activities of bandits in Sokoto State – his immediate domain, not to talk of outside the state.