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MURIC blasts Sokoto Assembly as Emirate Council Amendment Bill passes 2nd reading

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The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned the Sokoto State House of Assembly for passing the Emirate Council Amendment Bill, which seeks to strip the Sultan of Sokoto of certain powers.

The bill, which passed its second reading on Wednesday, aims to amend the Emirate Council Law to require the Sultan to obtain government approval before appointing kingmakers and district heads.

The bill’s passage has sparked fears of a potential showdown between the state government and the Sultanate Council.

According to the bill, the Sultan will need to obtain approval from the state government before appointing kingmakers and district heads, a move that has drawn criticism from MURIC and other Muslim groups.

The state government has defended the move, saying it is aimed at promoting transparency and accountability in the administration of the emirate.

However, MURIC in a statement by its Executive Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, accused the government of attempting to weaken the Sultanate Council and undermine the traditional institution.

He said, “The bill is outrageous, nauseating, and anachronistic. It is a direct attack on the traditional institution of Sokoto State. Instead of entrenching the powers of the Sultan, it is an undisguised attempt at weakening his powers and making him less relevant in the scheme of traditional settings.

“The governor is preparing the ground for dismantling the Sultanate Council and setting up his own personal Sultanate Council, a council that will be totally controlled from government house. That is the only logical explanation for his removal of 15 traditional rulers in a single day.

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“Ahmed Aliyu is exhibiting the symptoms of fascism, totalitarianism, and prebendalism. Nigerian Muslims are already asking, ‘Why the rush?’ Why are they rushing the bill if there is no hidden agenda? The whole exercise is suggestive of political motivation.

“Power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely. We appeal to lawmakers in the Sokoto State House of Assembly to halt the progress of the current bill. Instead, they should turn to the section of the state’s chieftaincy law which empowers the governor to remove the Sultan with a view to amending it in such a way that will exempt the Sultan from dethronement.

The bill’s passage comes amid tensions between the state government and the Sultanate Council, which has seen the removal of 15 traditional rulers recently.

The development has also raised questions about the limits of state power and the role of traditional institutions in modern governance.

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