Legacy Of Sultan Dasuki

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“Allahumma inna Former Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki fi dhimmatika, wa habli jiwaarika, faqihi min fitnaltil qabri, qa adhaban-naari, wa anta ahlul Wafaa’i wal-Haqqi. Faghfir lahu warhamhu. Innaka antal Ghafurur-Raheem.”
I thought of writing a sort of tribute to Former Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki a while ago when I heard that he was ill. Back then I thought, “How can I say a few words that do justice to all of the years of dedication, service, adoration and strength that Former Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki gave during the course of his life?” Now, as I reflect on the grief of  his passing, in the past couple of months, as we all have had to finally come to grips with the inevitable, I felt it was apt to scribble a few words.
However, no matter what and how much anyone writes, I truly do believe that the real tribute to Former Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki’s life will be the positive actions emanating from all those whom interacted with him during his lifetime; that they will be a testament to the love and lessons that he instilled in all the people who personally knew him and many who didn’t.
To be told of how his family rallied around and cared for him in his dying days; to see and read the accolades and tributes that have poured in the last couple of months since his passing, was to see that love demonstrated in action.
After speaking with some of his loved ones on his demise, I settled on telling the story of a such a Sultan, a son, a leader, a husband, a father, a friend, a neighbour, a philanthropist, a grandfather, a great-great grandfather, a patriot that conveys the message of what his love and strength has meant and still means to so many people. Perhaps, the best way to do it is by speaking of who he was as a private citizen, writing directly to his family, an account whose underlying message teaches the lesson of his life to us all.
In the past couple of weeks, I have spoken to many people associated with him and read a great deal about the life of Former Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki. Amidst the discussions and the pages, stories hit me with its message! While it would be impossible to relay or paraphrase some of the accounts that I would have wanted to, however, I hope I can articulate the same metaphors I came away with about the strength of this past leader’s love for his family, country, Deen, tradition and his calling.
As pained as we are at   his passing, we must take consolation that the late Sultan played his part in the development of the Nigerian nation through various platforms of service delivery to humanity. He was indeed an unassuming and affable to all that came his way. As a Muslim, my solace continues to lay in Allah the Most High, as His decree cannot be altered.
For one to live up to the age of 93 indeed is a blessing. From all indications, the late Sultan lived a life of virtue and earnestly championed the cause of Muslims. He was widely known as a man of honour, a patriot and a leader who stood for justice. His death was no doubt a big loss to the entire ummah, the Sokoto caliphate and particularly his immediate family. He will eternally be remembered for his steadfastness and absolute faith in Allah even in the face of severe adversity.
Sultan Ibrahim Dasuki, the 18th Sultan of Sokoto was born in Dogon Daji, Sokoto state. In 1931, he attended Dogondaji Elementary School before proceeding to Sokoto Middle School in 1935. He finished his secondary education at Barewa College on a sponsorship from Sokoto Native Authority in 1943 and subsequently went on to work as a clerk in the treasury office of the organisation as was the tradition in Northern Nigeria for grant recipients to work for their sponsors.
Two years later, however, he took up an appointment with Gaskiya Corporation, a publishing house that published the Hausa daily, “Gaskiya Ta Fi Kwabo”. In 1953, heeding the call by Ahmadu Bello for Northern Nigeria citizens to take up appointment in the regional civil service, he joined the service as an executive officer. A year later he became private secretary to the Sardauna. In 1957, he filled the position of regional executive council deputy secretary and a year later he was sent to Jeddah as Nigeria’s pilgrimage officer.
During the early years of independence, he worked in the Nigerian embassy in Khartoum, Sudan and was later brought back to Nigeria by Ahmadu Bello to work as resident in Jos. He later on became the permanent secretary in the regional Ministry of Local Government and also the Ministry of Commerce. From 1965 until he was crowned Sultan, he concentrated largely on his business activities. In 1966, he was chairman of the influential Northern Nigeria Produce Marketing Board, which was involved with marketing the export of groundnut and in the distribution of seeds and chemicals.
From 1967 to 1977, he was director and later chairman of the Nigerian Railway Corporation. In 1984 however, he was appointed chairman of the Committee for the Review of Local Government Administration in Nigeria. One of the major recommendations of the committee was the establishment of a national local government commission. However, the idea was rejected by the government. He was also an influential figure in the 1988 Constituent Assembly, were he was a nominated member of the assembly and was seen as a rallying point for the core north.
Prior to becoming Sultan, he held the traditional title of Baraden Sokoto. As earlier noted, he became a close associate of Ahmadu Bello, and was also a close friend to the late Islamic scholar, Abubakar Gumi. He was also very influential in the founding of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI). As its 1st substantive Secretary-General appointed in March, 1968, he assiduously galvanized the unity of Nigerian Muslims and also responded aptly to issues as they unfolded. Similarly, as the President-General, JNI when he held sway as Sultan, he dedicatedly championed the cause of Muslims. On December 6, 1988, he became the first Sultan from the Buhari line of the house of Uthman Dan Fodio, after the death of Abubakar Siddique, the 17th Sultan of Sokoto.
As Sultan, he was considered a modernist and endeared himself greatly to the Sokoto populace and the entire Muslim ummah. He built 10-Quaranic schools in 1990 and established several adult literacy classes. He also tried to unite the Muslim ummah through the reorganisation of JNI and the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA). He also gave impetus to the appointment of Lateef Adegbite, who became the first Yoruba secretary general of the NSCIA.
I hope I can relate some of the simple, happy things that Former Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki brought to his family and community.
Not many people were aware of his great sense of humour and his wit and teasing; especially with his family members. He could say so much with one perfectly delivered line. He was very free with his family. He made his family laugh a great deal. His greatest hobby was playing with his kids and grandkids.
He played with the younger children a lot and knew the names of every single one of his children and 81 grandchildren. He endeavoured to give each of his grandchildren humorous nicknames.
However, as much as he played

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