The Death Of Sultan Muhammadu Maccido


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The Death Of Sultan Muhammadu Maccido




Jide Ayobolu




November 1, 2006


The death of Sultan Muhammadu Maccido, the Sultan of Sokoto and Spiritual head of the Muslims in Nigeria, aboard an ADC airplane Boeing 737 aircraft that crashed minutes after take off from the Abuja airport was an unfortunate development. It will be recalled that the Sultan was invited to Abuja to attend the Presidential Forum on Education, the main reason behind the interactive session was just to tell people that, government was to planning to privatize unity schools in the country, that what it actually planned to do, is a government- private sector initiatives that is meant to bail out the crucial sector from the morass of decay. Whereas in actual fact, the so-called reformers have shared all the unity schools amongst themselves with the aim of making personal gains in the process, however, this a discussion for some other day.

One would have expected the president that is inviting a very prominent 80year old traditional ruler to such a forum, to have deemed it fit to make available for his use, one of the many planes in the presidential fleets, by not doing this; he unduly exposed the Sultan to needless hazards. These are planes that Andy Uba, a personal aide to the president uses at will, even to pick his nomination forms to contest for the gubernatorial election of Anambra State. So, if such a character can make use of the planes in the presidential fleet, how come that the services of the places were not provided for an important personality and indeed one of the very few true fathers of the nation?

Again, come to think of it, what is a government that is on its way out of office in the next seven months, doing with such interactive session in the education sector? What do they want to do now that they donít have the opportunity of doing in the last eight years? The simple truth is that they cannot be trusted because, what they have done in all other sectors in the name of privatization is that, the have cornered the collective patrimony of the Nigerian people, and this exactly what they want to do in the education sector and it is for the reason that the president is not wiling to relinquish political power as required by the constitution.

The error of judgement by the president in not making available a presidential plane for the Sultan, not only caused his death, but that of most favoured son, that was expected to take over royal throne on the demise of the Sultan, Senator Badamasi Maccido as well as a grandson of the late Sultan. This disaster is just too much for the country to bear. And, the minister that should be sober and reflective is disturbing the Nigerian people by passing the buck; he should just resign, as an honourable way of averting similar occurrence in the future.

This was a Sultan that has over the years helped in no small measure to curb the menacing spread of AIDS, he was also instrumental to the northern people of the country acceptance of various types of vaccinations, he was a man of peace that worked to douse religious tension and foster harmonious co-existence amongst the various ethnic groups. He was a man who was full with wisdom and very deeply religious. In Nigeria we do not value what we have until we have lost them, the departed Sultan was a rare gem, and the vacuum he created will be extremely difficult to fill.

It has become customary that each time air mishaps happens, the very best of Nigerians are lost in the process, these are Nigerians that would have helped in no small measure to build the country, these are mishaps that can be clearly avoided, but due to corruption and selfish interests, such accidents have continued to take away our loved ones. The Sultan was an important person that will be greatly missed. As President General of the National Council for Islamic Affairs in Nigeria (NCSIA) Sultan Maccido was in the forefront in advocating ties between Muslim organizations and CAN. At a time when the spread of polio in some states in the North was threatening Nigeriaís interaction with other nations, Sultan Maccido took up the crusade to fight some age-old cultural beliefs associated with the disease that have no foundation in medicine or science.

It is a pity that the nation lost the Sultan at a time the country needs him most, to use his stabilizing influence to moderate the myriad of socio-political problems confronting the country. I hope those in positions of authority will do everything in their power to make sure the aviation sector is totally overhauled, but first, the minister must resign, governance and public service is not a do or die affair, if the people that the minister claim to be serving say they no longer want him or trust him enough to serve them, why must he continue to impose himself on the people? There is a time for everything and a season for every purpose under the earth, now is the time for the aviation minister to resign, and if he does not resign he should be advised to do so fast, but if he is not willing to listen, the he should be summarily dismissed. The point here is that, we must cultivate a culture of service, we must know when to stay on and when to say, it is enough, Borishade has overstayed his welcome in the aviation sector in the country


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