The controversy surrounding the appointment of the former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, as the leader of the Tijjaniyya Islamic Movement in Nigeria was put to rest on Sunday at the global headquarters of the movement in Senegal.
The Supreme Leader of the sect, Mahi Nyass, confirmed the appointment when he received the former emir on a Ramadan visit on Saturday.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that Mr Sanusi II was invited to Senegal by Mr Nyass to confer the title of the Khalifah of the sect in Nigeria on him.
In a video obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Nyass, who spoke in Arabic, prayed for Mr Sanusi and charged him to unite members of the sect in Nigeria and lead with the fear of Allah.
“Sanusi is hereby appointed as the Khalifah of Late Sheikh Ibrahim Inyas and the leader of the Tijjaniya sect in Nigeria. We pray Allah should guide him. Amin,” he said.
He also tasked the former emir to be a good ambassador of the sect in Nigeria.
The seat had been vacant since May 7, 2018 when its last occupant, Isyaku Rabiu, died.
Late Mr Rabiu had succeeded Mr Sanusi’s grandfather who was also an Emir of Kano and the first leader of the sect in Nigeria, Muhammadu Sanusi I.
However, Mr Rabiu’s leadership was opposed by a popular Islamic scholar, Dahiru Usman-Bauchi, who ran a parallel headquarters of the sect in Nigeria.
Sanusi’s earlier appointment
On March 13, Mr Sanusi was appointed by some members of the Tijjaniyya leadership when he visited Sokoto State to participate in this years’ Maulid celebrations.
But the Dahiru-Bauchi faction of the sect rejected the appointment, saying the representative of the sect leader was misquoted.
Ibrahim Dahiru-Bauchi, one of the sons of Mr Dahiru-Bauchi who interpreted the submission of the sect’s leader, described the report of Mr Sanusi’s appointment as propaganda.
“The junior brother of Grand Leader, Sheikh Makey Nyass, was quoted out of context in the report. What he said was that Sanusi has been following the footsteps of his late grandfather, Muhammadu Sanusi I.
“Nyass only tried to compare the life experiences of Sanusi and that of his late grandfather after being deposed from throne,” Mr Dahiru-Bauchi said.
With the recent confirmation by the Supreme Leader of the sect, however, the dispute has been laid to rest.
Meanwhile, Mr Dahiru-Bauchi could not be reached as of the time of writing this report. But a prominent member of the movement in Kaduna said although he was aware of the appointment by the global leader of the sect, but insisted that Mr Dahiru-Bauchi is their spiritual leader in Nigeria.
“Even when Sheikh Isiyaka Rabiu was alive, we followed Dahiru-Bauchi and some of our sect members followed late Rabiu’s faction. It does not affect us. So for me, it will be the same now. This is what I think,” the member, Rabiu Hassan, said.
The Tijaniyya Islamic sect has a huge following across Africa. It was founded by an Algerian, Ahmad al Tijani Hasani, in the late 18th century.
But the teaching of the Tijjaniyya sect is being challenged by the radical ‘Sunni’ sect, popularly called the Izala, in Northern Nigeria.
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