Thousands attend Ibrahim Dasuki’s burial

•FG delegation, Sultan, Emir of Kano, govs, others at burial •Ex-NSA rejected FG’s offer to attend burial —Dambazzau

The 18th Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki, who died on Monday night in Abuja, was laid to rest at the Hubbaren  Shehu, in Sokoto, on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reported that the  funeral prayer was led by the Chief Imam of the Sultan Bello Jumaat Mosque, Alhaji Usman Bello.

The Federal Government’s delegation to the funeral prayer was led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari.

Other members of the delegation included the Ministers of Interior, Defence, FCT and Justice, among others.

Also in attendance were the governors of Kano, Kebbi states and the Sokoto State deputy governor, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu.

The prayer was also attended by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar; Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II and other traditional rulers.

NAN reported that the late 18th Sultan died at the age of 93 years, during a protracted illness.

The late Dasuki, who was appointed  Sultan in 1988,  was the first Sultan from the Buhari line of the House of Dan Fodio, the founding father of the Sokoto Caliphate.

He was deposed in 1996 during the military government of Sani Abacha and sent on exile to Jalingo, but later moved to Kaduna, where he had been living until his death.

The late Dasuki  was a former Divisional Officer in the First Republic, Executive Secretary of the Northern State Marketing Board and a Permanent Secretary.

He was also a founding member and long-time Secretary General of Jama’atu  Nasril Islam, the umbrella body of Muslims in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, former National Security Adviser (NSA) and son of the deceased, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Retd), rejected offer from the Federal Government  to attend the burial ceremony.

Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, made this  known to reporters in Sokoto, on Tuesday.

Similarly, Danbazau said Sambo had declined another offer to be in Sokoto throughout the mourning of his late Father.

The Minister disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Sokoto on Tuesday.

“We had discussed with the Director-General, DSS, yesterday and Sambo was offered to visit his late father on his hospital bed in Abuja.

“He declined and said he preferred to pray for him. He was also offered to be in Sokoto throughout the mourning period and he also declined, preferring to pray for his late father. That was the true situation,” Danbazau said.

Dasuki, who was arrested by the Department of State  Services (DSS) over a year ago, is undergoing trial.

Reacting to the death of the late Sultan, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday,  described the former royal father as a voice of peace.

Buhari, in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in Abuja, also commiserated with the Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI) and the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs over the demise of “the remarkable traditional ruler that devoted his life, tenure of office to the promotion of peaceful co-existence and tolerance among diverse ethnic groups in Nigeria.

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar also said one of the greatest legacies of the late Sultan  Dasuki was his “modernising influence on the Sultanate and the traditional institution during his eight years of “eventful reign as monarch.”

In a tribute released by his media office in Abuja, the former vice-president noted that the late Sultan was “a remarkably unique ruler who combined tradition with modernity, making the Sultan’s palace become the epitome of the beauty of modern architecture.”

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, in a statement made available to newsmen  in Abuja, by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan,  described the late Sultan as a patriot and man of peace.

According to him, “Sultan Dasuki was an epitome of peace and a bridge builder who lived a simple and austere life in spite of his wealth. He lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation.”

Meanwhile, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State described the late Dasuki  as a pioneer reformist who deployed his wide knowledge of Islam and vast experience as a technocrat to make profound impact on his family, community and the nation at large.

Tambuwal said this in a message of condolence on Tuesday, in Sokoto.

“At every stage of his life, Sultan Dasuki gave his all to ensure communal harmony and educational development of the citizenry.

“For the eight years he spent on the throne as Sultan of Sokoto, he gave priority attention to the educational development of our people by promoting adult and women literacy in all parts of Sokoto,” he said.

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF),  in a statement issued to the Nigerian Tribune  in Kaduna, and signed by the national publicity secretary of ACF, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrabim, noted that the late Sultan modernised royalty, brought in elegance and equally promoted the Sokoto Caliphate’s revered status to the admiration of Nigerians and the international community.

It also said the late Sultan Dasuki, during his travails in and out of exile, maintained his peaceful posture and humility and had continued to offer good counselling on how to move Nigeria forward.

A renowned Islamic scholar, Dr Ahmad Gumi,  described the late Dasuki. as a reformist, progressive and goodhearted person.

“We have lost a father. The nation has lost a father figure and one of the last few standing pillars of an ending era,” Gumi said.

The Catholic Bishop of Minna Diocese, Martins Uzoukwu, also extolled the qualities of late Sultan, describing him as a very good man of peace and unity.

Uzoukwu said, in a tribute to the deceased, that Dasuki’s death was a monumental loss to Nigeria.

A senior counsellor in the Sultanate Council of Sokoto, Alhaji Hassan Danbaba, on Tuesday,  described the late Dasuki as a pious and committed leader.

Danbaba, who is also the Magajin Garin Sokoto, while reacting to his death, said the late Sultan was a peace lover and a peace maker in Nigeria and beyond.

In his reaction, the former governor of Sokoto State, Senator Aliyu Wamakko, described Dasuki as “a gentleman who lived a life of total service to humanity.

“He was a man of God and a man of peace.”

Another senior counsellor in the Sultanate and Galadiman Gari, Alhaji Aliyu Attahiru, said the death of Dasuki was a great loss to his family, the Muslim Ummah and the entire nation.

The Sokoto State House of Assembly, on Tuesday, adjourned its sitting for one week to mourn the death of the late Sultan Dasuki.

NAN reported that this followed a motion moved by the Assembly leader, Alhaji Garba Bello and seconded by Alhaji Mode Sanyinna.

Briefing newsmen after the sitting, the leader said the assembly had adjourned to mourn the loss.

“We have to adjourn in order to attend the condolences and receive people that come to condole on the demise of our great personality.

“The personality is a person of international repute. His reputation did not end at being a Sultan of Sokoto alone;  but beyond, as his contributions to the success of Sokoto, Nigeria and the Muslim world cannot be under estimated.

“In fact, he did a lot during his tenure as Sultan, as we all witnessed how generous such a person was and how much efforts he made, especially in building bridges among Muslim and non-Muslim faithful,’’ he said.

On the issue of the assembly calendar, the legislature said the House would make adjustment to ensure no breach in the constitutional numbers of sittings.

Also, the Gwandu Emirate Council in Kebbi State described the late 18th Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Dasuki, as a great Nigerian who worked for the unity of the country.

The Waziri of Gwandu, Alhaji Abdullahi Umar, said in an interview with NAN on Tuesday, that the deceased had also worked tirelessly to unite the northern traditional institutions.

He said  Dasuki had offered selfless service to Nigeria and worked for peaceful coexistence across the country, even after he was deposed as the Sultan in 1996.

The Wazirin Gwandu said Dasuki had played enviable role in the emergence of modern local government administration, establishment of commercial banks, among others.

In a related development, Mallam Sallah, a resident of Birnin Kebbi, said the late Sultan would be remembered as a selfless leader, who led by example and was a great source of inspiration to the youth.