By Adnan Tudunwada
The rivalry between the Magajin Garin Sokoto, Hassan Danbaba and the zonal vice chairman of APC, Inuwa Abdulkadir, has once again set the Sokoto Caliphate on fire and led to the resignation of the former.
Mr Danbaba is a grandson to the late premier of Northern Nigeria and Sardauna of Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello.
In a letter exclusively published by DAILY NIGERIAN on December 31, 2016, Mr Danbaba had cautioned Governor Aminu Tambuwal against supporting the appointment of Mr Abdulkadir as Marafan Sokoto.
In the letter, dated August 19, 2016, Mr Danbaba said the party leader lacked the character to hold such important title previously held by his late father, Ahmadu Danbaba and later Umaru Shinkafi.
He also said Mr. Abdulkadir’s parents were slaves, and therefore lacked the family background to hold the title.
The letter reads in part: “Your choice of Inuwa Abdulkadir is misguided, because you cannot appoint a man that has no clan, whose lineage is not yet known as Marafan Sokoto. His father Gurzula of blessed memory, was a slave bought by Gwaggo Uwar Gida at a price of two shillings at Tsohuwar Kasuwa market in Sokoto. Gurzula served Late Gwaggo Uwar Gida, late Magajin Gari Aliyu and Late Marafa Danbaba diligently.
“Traditionally, when a Prince gets married, he normally gets a slave to serve his daily needs. So, when Marafa Ahmad got married, Gwaggo Uwar Gida gave Gurzula to him as a gift to serve his daily requests.
“Your Excellency, when Magajin Gari Aliyu was appointed the Resident Officer of Kano, he took along with him Gurzula who served him diligently as a result of which Magajin Gari Aliyu made Gurzula head of his slaves. Later, Magajin Gari Aliyu was appointed Minister of State for Native Authority (N.A) in Kaduna. He took with him once again Gurzula to Kaduna where Gurzula met and married ‘Yar Gummi, a slave of Sarkin Shanu Alhaji Alhaji, who later gave birth to Inuwa. She is originally the daughter of a slave of Sarkin Mafaran Gummi.
“Your Excellency, ‘Yar Gummi’ died as a cook at Yakubu Muazu Model Primary School despite all the blessings Allah did to her son, Inuwa. She ended up on motorcycle to her place of work daily. She once sent many messages to Sarkin Rafin Gumbi Samaila Abdulkadir and Sodangi Abdullahi, who are all alive today to testify to this, to kindly plead with her son Inuwa to improve her life.”
Mr. Danbaba then cautioned the governor to ponder on his choice of Marafan Sokoto, by considering good moral character that will reflect on the legacies of the persons that previously held the title.
But sources said the state governor, who is a close friend to Mr Abdulkadir, wanted his friend to be appointed as Marafan Sokoto, and the Sultan was said to have obliged the governor’s request, against Mr Danbaba’s stern opposition.
In March, a Sharia court in Sokoto State issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Mr Danbaba in a ruling on a motion filed by Mr Abdulkadir over defamation of character.
Worried by the frosty relationship and the embarrassment the trial may cause the caliphate, the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, some weeks ago summoned the duo to a meeting during which he brokered a peace deal.
“Three agreements were reached at the meeting. First, all court cases must be withdrawn; second, they should unconditionally forgive each other and; third, Sultan will issue a statement announcing the peace deal,” a source familiar with the crisis said.
But the peace deal collapsed on Wednesday when Sultan allegedly summoned Mr Danbaba and urged him to sign a letter allegedly written by Mr Abdulkadir.
Mr Danbaba was said to have objected to signing the letter in view of the fact that the contents of the letter did not reflect the terms of the agreement.
“The letter was framed to show that only Magajin Gari was apologetic and remorseful, so he refused to sign. We believe the rivalry between the family of late Sardauna and that of Sultan Abubakar III is rekindling,” a source close to Mr Danbaba said.
“The Sultan became angry and lambasted Magajin Gari for being part of Paris Club loan refund deal and under EFCC investigation.
“Magajin Gari then replied Sultan that he was not found wanting in the deal by the EFCC because the business deal was legitimately done.”
Angered by the Sultan’s remark, Mr Danbaba allegedly engaged him in verbal exchange, quitted the title and walked out on him and other members of the Sultanate council.
Mr Danbaba retuned his official car and other office paraphernalia on Wednesday but the Sultan allegedly sent them back to him.
The Sultanate is yet to issue a statement on the matter.
Contacted by DAILY NIGERIAN, Sultan’s spokesman Garba Mohammed said he could not comment on the matter at the moment.