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Sokoto Guber: Sultanate Fingered in Electoral Malpractices

It was gathered that the affected monarchs caught in this web of scandal include Sarkin Yakin Binji Alh Kabir Usman, Sarkin Kabin Yabo Muhammadu mai Turare II,Baraden Wamakko Alh Barade Audi and Sa’in Kilgori Dr Jabbi Kilgori. Others are Sarkin Gobir Isa, Sarkin Yakin Gagi, Marafan Alkammu, Sarkin Yamman Dogon daji, Sarkin Gabas of Tulluwa, Sarkin Kudun Giyawa, Sarkin Yamman Unguwar Lalle, Sarkin Gobir Asara, Sarkin Kabbin Kebbe, Sarkin Rafin Illela and Sarkin Yamman Kuchi

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Facts have now emerged on the ignoble and shameful roles played by some highly placed traditional rulers in last year’s 2023 gubernatorial elections in Sokoto State.

A well documented report compiled from a series of thorough investigations conducted by the Sokoto State government has revealed several high-handedness, manipulative, abusive and usurpation of the voting rights of the masses by this Sultanate Council which include senior councilors and kingmakers.

These unlawful acts negate the democratic rights of the electorate to elect the leaders of their choice to govern them out of their freewill, without compulsion or external influence.

This was why the Sultanate Council were last week summoned to appear before a committee setup by the state government.

It was gathered that the affected monarchs caught in this web of scandal include Sarkin Yakin Binji Alh Kabir Usman, Sarkin Kabin Yabo Muhammadu mai Turare II,Baraden Wamakko Alh Barade Audi and Sa’in Kilgori Dr Jabbi Kilgori.

Others are Sarkin Gobir Isa, Sarkin Yakin Gagi, Marafan Alkammu, Sarkin Yamman Dogon daji, Sarkin Gabas of Tulluwa, Sarkin Kudun Giyawa, Sarkin Yamman Unguwar Lalle, Sarkin Gobir Asara, Sarkin Kabbin Kebbe, Sarkin Rafin Illela and Sarkin Yamman Kuchi.

A source privy to the development confided in these reporters that the traditional rulers were invited to respond to petitions against them by certain subjects within their domains.

The source further revealed that the letters of invitation were served on no fewer than seventeen district heads and kingmakers by their respective Local Government Sole Administrators.

His words: “They ordered them (district heads) to appear before a probe committee, headed by the State Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Isa Sadiq Achida.

“We authoritatively gathered that the session with the ‘rulers’ was held at State Government Villa 2, Lodge Road, adjacent to Government House, in Sokoto state.”

A copy of the summons, which was sighted by our correspondents, showed that the invitation did not quote the issues in question against the affected traditional rulers.

Another source who pleaded anonymity said the district heads were harshly reprimanded for their alleged roles during the 2023 electioneering campaigns.

“The panel called for petitions against what they described as errant traditional rulers, who conducted themselves in a manner unbecoming of the institution. The affected traditional rulers were perceived to be sympathetic to the immediate past administration,”the source explained.

“The current development is being inspired by Ahmed Aliyu’s godfather, Senator Aliyu Wamakko, who was not comfortable with a number of traditional rulers during his tenure as a governor, leading to the removal of some of them including Sarkin Kabin Yabo, Alhaji Maiturare, who was transferred to the less prominent District of Dandin Mahe, until he was reinstated back to Yabo District by Governor Tambuwal, when the stool became vacant,” the source added.

Baring his mind on this issue of urgent national political development, Hon. Sadiq Acida, a member of the committee who chaired the sub-committee that summoned the affected District Heads said the committee is not a new one but from an existing committee headed by the former Minister.

“It is only a sub committee under the committee that dissolves the name of some tertiary institutions and some streets in the state. I was only assigned to head a sub-committee and I have finished my work and forwarded the findings to the main committee.” Acida reacted.

He further said no traditional leader was subjected to any harsh reprimand as alleged in some quarters.

It could be recalled that at the inception of his administration, Governor Ahmed Aliyu had reversed the new appointments of a number of traditional rulers that were recommended by the Sultanate Council and approved by his predecessor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.

The panel headed by a former Police Affairs minister, Malami Dingyadi, was specifically mandated to review the appointments of some traditional rulers and the renaming of tertiary institutions.

Members of the panel are Bature Shinkafi, Dr Kulu Abubakar, Isa Sadiq-Achida, Suleiman S/Fulani, and Dr Umar Yabo, as Secretary, among others.

A statement by Malam Abubakar Bawa, Press Secretary to the Governor had stated that the panel would review “all recent appointments of traditional rulers made by former governor Aminu Tambuwal and address complaints raised against some of those appointed.”

It is still left to be seen how the unlawful actions taken by the Sultanate Council will restore the confidence of the electorate in the democratic process in the state.

George Elijah Otumu is an award winning journalist whose work has appeared in publications in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, United Arab Emirates (UAE); United Kingdom and the United States

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