VOL. NO: 48      DATE:
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New Islamic Leader for Nigeria

The New Sultan

A new Sultan of Sokoto, the spiritual leader of Nigeria's 70m Muslims, has been announced. Colonel Muhammadu Sada Abubakar, 53, is the younger brother of Sultan Mohammadu Maccido, who was killed in a plane crash on Sunday, along with 95 others. Col Abubakar had been serving as Nigeria's military attache to Pakistan. 

Like all sultans, Col Abubakar is descended from Uthman Dan Fodio, who led a 19th Century jihad to spread Islam across northern Nigeria. Meanwhile Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has replaced but did not sacked Aviation Minister Babalola Borishade, following a string of air crashes that have claimed hundreds of lives in recent months. 

Borishade has swapped places with Culture and Tourism Minister Femi Fani- Kayode, the secretary to government, Uffot Ekaette, said in a statement. 

Nigerian lawmakers had demanded the resignation of Borishade after the leader of the country's 50-million-strong Muslim community, two senators and 93 other people were killed when a Boeing 737 plane belonging to private airline ADC crashedabout a week ago. 


The sultan is not a religious leader himself, but someone to whom Muslims looked to for leadership and guidance. For example, it is he who announces the timing of Muslim occasions, like Ramadan. 

The Late Sultan

And when there were important issues facing the region's Muslims, hebecomes their spokesman. 

The late sultan will be remembered for his intervention to end the sporadic clashes that break out between Nigeria's Muslims and Christians. 

Leads Nigeria's 70m Muslims Sokoto base for 19th Century jihad, spreading Islam across northern Nigeria Sokoto still Nigeria's centre for Islamic learning His appointment was not without controversy. 

Muhammadu Maccido was believed to have been the choice of the traditional kingmakers of Sokoto, but was prevented from taking the position by President Ibrahim Babangida in 1988. 

It was only when former military ruler Sani Abacha removed Sultan Ibrahim Dasuki that he finally took on the role.


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