Jokolo, Emir of Gwandu, Deposed

  • Sunday, June 05, 2005 - From Agaju Madugba in Kaduna
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The Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Mustapha Jokolo
 The Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Mustapha Jokolo
 
*It serves him right, says Dasuki

The Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Mustapha Jokolo, has been deposed. His deposition announced midnight on Friday by the Kebbi State Government began to generate sharp reactions at the weekend with former Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki, who also was deposed from office in 1995, saying the dethronement served Jokolo right.

The deposed Emir has been banished to Gusau in Zamfara State, the ancestral home of his mother.

The Kebbi State Commis-sioner for Information, Alhaji Mohammed Audi Ambursa, who announced Jokolo's dethronement in Birnin Kebbi explained that Governor Adamu Aliero had acted on the basis of the powers conferred on him by section six of the Chiefs (Appointment and Deposition) law of the state.

In deposing the Emir, the state government was said to have levelled three charges against him.

Jokolo was accused of making reckless statements capable of threatening national security and not in good terms with other traditional rulers in the state.

He was also accused of abandoning his throne for Kaduna and at one time he allegedly relocated to Kaduna with his family.

The deposed Emir has been a thorn in the flesh of the President Olusegun Obasanjo government for sometimes now, openly berating the president and lampooning every of his administration's policies.

Jokolo was Aid De Camp (ADC) to former Head of State, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, and was the one who brought into the country the controversial 53 suitcases belonging to his father, then Emir of Gwandu, at a time the Buhari/Idiagbon regime closed the border.

Reacting to the development in an interview in Kaduna yesterday, former Sultan of Sokoto, Dasuki described the dethronement of the Emir of Gwandu as justified and accused the embattled Jokolo of recklessness in virtually everything he did as Emir.

Dasuki decried some recent pronouncements and actions of Jokolo arguing that they were unbecoming of an Emir.

According to Dasuki, "I heard it over the radio this morning (Saturday) that he had been deposed, having been charged with negligence of his duties.

"In fact, I used to be surprised because he used to come to Kaduna and stay for long periods of time at a stretch.I had thought that the governor was very generous to allow him (Jokolo) to stay away from his Emirate from time to time.

"Then, sometime ago he was talking about a jihad and he walked out on other Emirs in anger during their meeting in Kaduna. I was very unhappy with that. It was quite unbecoming of his postion.

"I understand the rules of dethronment had been followed and if that is the case, there is nothing anybody can do but the rules were not followed in my case when I was deposed.

"The rule says that the governor should first of all bring charges against the Emir and if his answer to the query is not satisfactory then the governor calls the kingmakers to deliberate and endorse whatever actions he intends to take."

However Dasuki described the deposition as an act of the Almighty Allah noting that, "the people of Gwandu should take it easy because what has happened is Allah's will. They should cooperate with whoever Allah chooses to be the new Emir and when it comes to choosing the successor,they should ensure that they choose someone who is sensible,who is tolerant and who can help to build this nation.

"The person must look beyond the Gwandu Emirate or Kebbi State and think in terms of a greater Nigeria.And I hope that other Emirs and Chiefs will try to live by the oaths of office to which they swore because they swore to protect the interest of the people and to be fair to everybody.If you are fair to everyone,we will all live in peace,if you are not fair,there may be chaos."

Reports said that the deposed Emir had been invited to the Kebbi Government House at about 9pm last Friday and a battery of securitymen whisked him away from there some minutes later.

Government explained that the former emir had abandoned his duties as chairman of the state's Council of Chiefs and virtually took up residence in Kaduna and that he was high-handed as Jokolo was always at loggerheads with members of the Gwandu Emirate Council.

Ambursa had equally accused Jokolo of disrespect for constituted authority as well as "unguarded statements" capable of breaching the peace in the society.

Jokolo had at a meeting of the Jama'atu Nasril Islam (JNI) in Kaduna demanded the prosecution of jihad (Holy war) against the Federal Govern-ment over alleged marginalisation of the Nigerian Muslim community. He had stormed out of that meeting when it became apparent that the other Emirs were not in his support. The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Maccido, had chaired that meeting.

Jokolo ascended the throne in July 1995 following the death of his father, Alhaji Haruna Al-Rasheed. Jokolo retired from the Nigerian Army as a Major and he was Aide-de-camp [ADC] to the late Chief of Staff Supreme Headquarters, Major-Gen. Shehu Musa Yar'adua and later also served as ADC to former Head of state, Major-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.

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