“He had on many occasions demonstrated his love for country…”
It is with a sense of profound gratitude to God that I celebrate the 18th Sultan of Sokoto, Ibrahim Dasuki, a religious leader, astute politician, accomplished administrator, and exemplary statesman and above all, my father.
Since his birth on 31st December 1923, his life has been full of memorable events and notable landmarks. Although history and posterity will ultimately declare his worth, the value of his life cannot be lost on me by virtue of my privileged close encounter with him all my life. To think that his hands cradled me and his love nurtured me is truly humbling. His life is worthy of emulation in all ramifications.
As a visionary leader and statesman, his widely circulated opinions and discourses on the Muslim Ummah, good governance, public service, constitutional reform, youth and women empowerment and national development cannot be lost to genuine lovers of our country. He had on many occasions demonstrated his love for country above personal interest and taught others to do the same.
Like all well-meaning Nigerians of his generation, seeing the direction the country is headed has become a source of concern. But at 90, it appears that the bloodless revolution which he has always craved has today become a reality. Many a times, he has spoken glowingly about the example set by the 7th House of Representatives, a viewpoint which many in our country share without hesitation.
As a politician who wants to serve his constituents in the best way possible, it is also my utmost desire and aspiration to emulate these qualities for which great men of all generations are lauded. It is his legacy of integrity and probity in public life as well as his slogan of ‘’commitment and service to God’’ that have been my guiding principles in my relatively young political career. I thank Allah for giving him wisdom and for granting me the ability to tap from his wise counsel. To me, this is one of my greatest blessings in life.
In all his conducts, he has prided himself by personifying the ideals of esteemed pedigree as the great grandson of Uthman Dan Fodio – respect, integrity and love for humanity. He has demonstrated the same token of compassion for the less privileged and has not failed to be dutiful in attending to their needs to the best of his ability. Many observe him in awe. I am one of them.
Perhaps the best of his qualities is his unwavering faith in the Almighty. My struggle to attain and hopefully surpass this extent of faith continues. The same faith that he translated into unselfish service for humanity saw him through the dark days when he was unjustifiably deposed. It goes without saying that only innermost strength and godly character can explain such comportment.
It is the above qualities, and many more, that have culminated in him getting various honours at home and abroad. A notable one is the Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) conferred on him in 1965. The greatest of the awards on him may yet be at the glorious crowning of his journey here on earth; when we look back and say with unlimited pride, as the famous poet once penned :
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime
And departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time
To my leader, my mentor and my father, I say a happy 90th birthday.
*Hon Dasuki is a member of the Sokoto State House of Assembly.