How Ex-Sultan Ibrahim Dasuki Was Dethroned

By Jaafar Jaafar

img_3038On April 20, 1996, a small chartered aircraft carrying some key Sokoto figures landed on the tarmac of Sultan Sadiq Abubakar III Airport, Sokoto.
Aboard the aircraft on that Saturday afternoon were Sarkin Sudan Shehu Malami, the late Ibrahim Gusau and a former governor of Sokoto State and Abacha ally, Attahiru Bafarawa.
Shortly after the arrival of the aircraft, the then governor of Sokoto State, Col Yakubu Muazu, summoned Sultan Ibrahim Dasuki, alongside the commissioner of police and director of SSS, to an “emergency meeting” in the Government House.
Shortly afterwards, the Sultan arrived with a catorie of aides. Moments after Sultan left his palace to attend the “emergency meeting”, a detachment of mobile policemen took over the palace.
On reaching the military governor’s office, all his aides were stopped and locked into a hall, his briefcase (containing his hypertension drugs) seized and his flowing coat (alkyabba) stripped.
The bewildered Sultan, then 70, was led into the office before he started protesting.
After a brief meeting, which saw the end of his eight-year rule, the Sultan was ushered out of the governor’s office by the then Commissioner of Police Abubakar Tsav and led by armed policemen into a waiting grey-coloured Peugeot 505.
They zoomed off to the airport around 1:30pm, then Yola, and later taken to Zing in Taraba State.
Dasuki was later accused by the military government of unauthorized travels, interference in government affairs, inviting foreign guests without permission, lack of respect for government, misappropriation of funds, among others.
Dasuki’s reign from 1988 to 1996, saw sweeping changes and remodelling of the architectural design of the Sultanate. Perhaps because of his wealth and influence, Dasuki rose from a relatively obscure ruling house to become one of the most powerful Sultans in the history of Sokoto Caliphate.
Aged 93, Dasuki died yesterday in Abuja after protracted illness.
*A former BBC journalist, Yusuf Dingyadi, who watched the drama of Sultan’s deposition in Sokoto, relived the moments to me recently.


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