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LEGACY OF SARDAUNA

"Subject to the overriding need to preserve law and order, it is our determination that everyone should have absolute liberty to practice his belief according to the dictates of his conscience…”  - Sir Ahmadu Bello


 

Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauan of Sokoto between October 1, 1960 and January 15, 1966, ruled over Northern Nigeria as the Premier. His six-year tenure and indeed his whole life, left a lasting LEGACY interesting in several ways.

 

The  sharia uproar has had the name of Ahmadu Bello featuring regularly. He has been referred to for three reasons. First, that he was instrumental in getting the penal code formulated. Two, that he ruled so benevolently that he was able to accommodate non-Muslims in the North. Third, that he fashioned the one North which must not be broken at all costs. There are other reasons for the major position Ahmadu Bello enjoys in the contemporary history of the North. They all have a common link, that of political control and leadership style.

 

Ahmadu Bello was a great grandson of the legendary Shehu Usman Dan Fodio. Bello drew more than a passing inspiration from Fodio, including the desire of becoming the Sultan of Sokoto. But as it is well known wishes are not always horses. For Bello therefore, this was one wish that was never fulfilled. Fate provided Bello with an alternative platform. Thus when he became the Premier of the North, he already had at the back of his mind some well thought out objectives. The issue of the penal code provides an interesting insight. Bello had wanted aspects of sharia which the British had suspended to be returned. However there was an outcry from the non-Muslim community. It was a serious outcry. Ignoring it would mean serious crisis and possibly the break up of the North. He was therefore astute enough to realise that a short-term compromise was expedient. He was astute in treating everyone in the north equally, including allowing non-Muslims to rise to positions of prominence. This exemplified the legacy of accommodation and level field in his relation to both Muslims and non-Muslim communities. Among his legacies are his wisdom and leadership that awoken a sleeping giant under one umbrella of unity, common interest, togetherness, tolerance and leadership development. See Arewa Center for Regional Development (ACRD)


  “Here in the Northern Nigeria we have People of Many different races, tribes and religious who are knit together to common history, common interest and common ideas, the things that unite us are stronger than the things that divide us. I always remind people of our firmly rooted policy of religious tolerance. We have no intention of favouring one religion at the expense of another. Subject to the overriding need to preserve law and order, it is our determination that everyone should have absolute liberty to practice his belief according to the dictates of his conscience…”  - Sir Ahmadu Bello  

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