The recent interview granted the press by distinguished Senator Ahmad Maccido and published by some national dailies has elicited controversy involving the respected Sultanate.
The whole interview was unbecoming of a scion to the throne who unfortunately condescended to making irresponsible remarks least expected of the heir apparent to score political points and at the expense of the Sultanate.
The Sultanate bestrides the stretch from Sokoto to Ilorin down to Adamawa under the Islamic hegemony of Shehu Usman Dan Fodiyo. It is therefore foolhardy and preposterous for a senator to claim political representation of such vast areas because of personal ambition. Senator Ahmad Maccido’s interview in all ramification portrays an intent to drag the Sultanate into divisive politics of this country. Islamic scholars that are of different political shades should debunk this dangerous trend. The Sultanate is the custodian of Islamic religious rites and a canopy of peace, unity and piety throughout Nigeria.
In consonance with its avowed commitment to neutrality from politics, the Sultanate Council has issued a statement condemning Senator Ahmadu Maccido’s political vituperations in the interview. The Sultanate Council has distanced itself from every claim of the senator to purportedly represent the Council at the National Assembly. Senator Maccido’s utterances portrayed him as the representative of the Sultanate repeatedly at the National Assembly. Moreover, the interview exposes the puerile attempt of the senator to compare himself with Governor Wamakko in terms of competence. This is sheer pretence and should be disregarded. He is simply a politician in his own right.
The reality is that Senator Maccido’s credentials in Sokoto State are fast waning into insignificance. After his first tenure at the Senate, his constituency (Sokoto Central) became disenchanted with his performance and wanted him replaced. The animosity was even fueled from his family who saw him as a political liability. It was the intervention of Governor Aliyu Wamakko that prevented his exit from political relevance. Governor Wamakko came to his rescue in due deference to late Sultan Muhammadu Maccdo (his father) who to date memorably commands enormous respect of Sokoto people, and due to the friendship that existed between him and the governor.
The campaign of calumny by Senator Maccido is synonymous with the betrayal in our political landscape. Freedom of association is our constitutional right, but it does not entail impunity or unreasonable behaviors and utterances. It does not in any way encourage falsehood or irresponsible scampering to land a platform for external aid. Of course, falsehood is inherent in the assumption of vain or disproportionate influence such as the claim to the root of the Sultanate as alibi for political relevance. Though Senator Maccido is an heir apparent to the Sultanate, but that is no political leverage. The institution is insulated from politics and the Council has reaffirmed it in its recent press statement.
A careful perusal of the interview reveals a politician that is yet to grasp the scope of the art of politics. There is nowhere our distinguished senator mentioned his scorecard to the people that elected him. In fact, the insinuation is preeminent in Sokoto that he is serving himself in Abuja with occasional face showing in Sokoto in the manner of the content of the interview he granted as the son of the Caliphate. Governor Wamakko has continued to bolster him, but the time is now for a change to provide active leadership and representation that’s people-oriented.
It’s indeed ridiculous to make comparisons between active and inactive personalities. The interview he granted was mainly to scathe Governor Wamakko, but it was a dismal failure because Governor Wamakko has made remarkable inputs in the development of Sokoto State. His scorecard is monumental and all encompassing. He has touched the lives of millions of not only Sokoto citizens, but also other Nigerians that came his way.
His education policy has benefited every Nigerian child who now enjoys unfettered access to education. He has abolished discriminatory school fees in all schools across Sokoto State. He remains the only governor that pays WAEC and NECO examinations fees for every eligible Nigerian candidate in Sokoto. His efforts to facilitate the quest for education are unprecedented as he has provided the necessary structures and motivational dynamics and established new schools and capped it all by providing a functional university.
Governor Aliyu Wamakko is quite compassionate as he has positively impacted lives of the less privileged especially the disabled that receive monthly stipends for their upkeep. He has not discriminated against any interest or victimized political opponents in his overall welfare package which include the Ramadan fast feeding programme he introduced and nurtured to date.
Governor Wamakko provided critical infrastructure in the state which include township and rural roads, water and electricity supply, housing, greater food production through agriculture i.e construction of dams for irrigation, creation of grazing reserves, establishment of veterinary hospitals across the state, distribution of farm inputs and loans to farmers etc. The health sector also received a big boost through well articulated health care delivery system and traders were given revolving loans that raised commercial activities in the state. Through his skills acquisition programme, he has economically empowered the youth to engage in small scale businesses to ameliorate the pangs of unemployment and enhance economic growth. He has also in cooperation with the traditional institution ensured peaceful co-existence (security) among citizens of Sokoto State. Peace is a panacea to sustainable development as often expounded by Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar.
These are templates of good governance provided by Governor Wamakko. They are issues prominent in deciding political relevance, and of course, marketability of a candidate to the electorate.
Governor Wamakko’s profile is steadily rising and certainly Sokoto people are still roundly behind him for any future political ambition. It’s an assured smooth sail waiting for time to manifest.
•Sahabi Garba is of Sokoto Network Group 301 Abdullahi Fodio Road Sokoto