Why Sultan Of Sokoto Shelved Trip To Receive Peter Obi At Palace
The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, did the unusual by shelving his travel arrangement to receive the Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, at his palace on Wednesday.
The atmosphere at the Sultan’s palace was convivial and looked like a meeting of old friends as Obi and his host took a stroll down memory lane to share memories from 40 years ago.
Obi and his vice presidential running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, served as the Sultan’s guests shortly before their campaign rally in the state.
The LP candidate, who has been taking tours of northern states to canvass for votes ahead of the February 25 presidential election, made a stop at Sokoto after campaigning in Jigawa, Adamawa, and Gombe States in the last week.
During the Sokoto visit, the Sultan and revered spiritual leader of Muslims in Nigeria called Obi his “brother” and encouraged him to “convince the people (Sokoto residents) to vote for him by telling them that “you mean well for Nigeria”.
The duo first met when the Sultan of Sokoto was a young military officer serving in Nsukka and Obi was a student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).
The Sultan told Obi during their meeting that he had to shelve a condolence trip to Dutse in Jigawa State because he wanted to receive him and his entourage.
The Sultan cracked jokes during the meeting while Obi noted in his remark that his relationship with the monarch dates back over 40 years ago.
Quoting the Sultan, “…I want to personally welcome you to this courtesy visit (and) welcome you to Sokoto for your campaigns and I assure you (that) we are apolitical, we don’t have any political party that we are leaning to.
“We always say power belongs to the Almighty Allah, he gives it to whom he wants and will take from you at the time he wants without even warning. So we don’t play God.
“We believe that the Almighty Allah already knows who will become Nigeria’s next president come May 29, 2023.
“Like Peter (Obi) said, we have known each other for a very long time. Did he tell you he was a small boy at that time? And like he rightly said, Yes, he used to come to my house in Nsukka when I was a young officer…
“We believe that we must be brothers and when you’re being brotherly with one another, there must be trust, there must be respect. A lot of things have been happening in the country (and) so many of us are so sad.
“December 2016 or 2019, the Enugu State Governor invited me to come home because like Peter said, I started my life in Nsukka, the then Anambra State. Governor Ugwuanyi said I must come back home to reenact those days when we were one big family with different tribes and religions but we were one big family.
“So, that’s what we’ve always been preaching and even now, we are still preaching to people that this one family.
“We might have different ideas, different agendas, and different ways and means of life but we are one big family and there’s nothing we can do about it because God doesn’t make mistakes. He put us together and He knows how to take care of His servants because we are all servants of the Almighty.
“So, we are very free with everybody and that is why we squeezed this time to see you because right now we are supposed to be on our way to Dutse (where) we lost a traditional leader of high repute and a very close family member too. But just stay, let’s still have some time, we will just dash down there.”