When the news that Mallam Saliu Mustapha had replaced the immediate past Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki as the Turaki of Ilorin hit the airwaves on Thursday, July 22, some Nigerians on social media went gaga, accusing the ruling party, All Progressive Congress, APC of playing politics with the culture and tradition of the Emirate.
Those who held this view erroneously believed that Dr. Saraki, a Chieftain of the main opposition People Democratic Party (PDP), was removed allegedly by the APC-led administration of Governor Abdurrahman Abdurrazaq, due to different political parties affiliations.
Olademehin Tayo, who expressed his displeasures over the news, said, “Should politics be taken this far? Withdrawing Chieftaincy title from former Governor and Senate President, when the pendulum swings against the new man (referring to Mallam Mustapha) it will be withdrawn from him again. Politicising all facet of the life in Nigeria including our culture and tradition. It’s a sorry Case.”
Others, however, said Bukola Saraki’s title as Turakin Ilorin was never withdrawn, rather, upgraded to the Waziri Garin since 2018. They said the confusion was caused by the media reports especially on Premium Times and The Punch, which were also republished by several other online media.
Edwin Oje, and other netizens posited that the two newspaper headlines, “Buhari’s ally, Mustapha replaces Saraki as Turaki of Ilorin – The Punch” and “APC chieftain replaces Saraki as Turaki of Ilorin – Premium Times” captioned it as if the title was withdrawn from Dr. Saraki, saying what does being an APC chieftain or Buhari’s ally got to do with the traditional title of Turaki of Ilorin?
Yinka Akib said, “Use**** Punch reporters again? How could he have replaced Saraki as Turaki, when Saraki was no longer the Turaki? Saraki is the Waziri, a higher position than the Turaki
Ibn Ya’qûb An-Naijiree described the headlines as “Mischievous”, which he said “Sounded like Saraki was ousted, rather, the title he previously held before his elevation to Waziri was just filled in.. Online ragtag journalism.”
Fact No. 1
Muslim News findings revealed that the Turaki or Waziri Garin and other chieftaincy titles are not government appointments and the Kwara State Governor has nothing to do with the selection of candidates.
This newspaper reliably gathered that the Turaki of Ilorin title was announced alongside other titles, including the Mufti of Ilorin, Sheikh Sulaiman Faruq Onikijipa, by the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Zulu Gambari.
The traditional cum religious titles are being organised by the Kwara State Traditional Council, which is also headed by the Emir.
It’s therefore a wrong and malicious allegation to aver that Dr. Saraki was removed or his title was withdrawn by the Kwara government for political reasons.
Fact No. 2
There are strong evidence that the post of Turakin Ilorin has been left vacant since July 2018, following the elevation of the former Senate President to the position of Waziri, which is equivalent to the traditional Prime Minister of the Emirate.
Fact No. 3
Our findings revealed that the Turakin Ilorin, which has been left vacant for 3 years, has now been occupied by Mallam Saliu Mustapha, who is also contesting for the national chair of APC. Hence, it has nothing to do with whether the new title holder is an APC Chieftain or a Buhari’s ally as reported by the mainstream media. In fact, if it’s about political party affiliation, some of the holders, including Shiekh Faruq Onikijipa, who is believed to be a supporter of the PDP would not have become the Mufti of Ilorin.
Yet, Dr. Oba AbdulKadir Laaro, a Mass Communication lecturer at the University of Ilorin told Muslim News that there is nothing wrong with both headlines as used by The Punch and Premium Times.
According to him, “The headlines are perfectly okay and of course, part of the function of the headline is to sell the story. That’s the business side of journalism. The media want something that will draw as many people as possible to the story, although it shouldn’t necessarily get to a point of misleading the readers.
“One newspaper can decide to look at the headline from the political party angle, if it is established that one of the title holders is an APC chieftain. Another person can decide to pick the angle of relationship, if it’s also established that the candidate is an ally to President Buhari, among others. It’s all about interests and I guess that is what they did,” he added.
Fact No. 4
Before Saraki’s emergence as Turakin Ilorin, his late father, Dr. Olusola Saraki occupied the office until 2006, when he was elevated to the position of Waziri Garin, which he occupied for 6 years until he died in November 14, 2012. Six years after the demise of his father, Saraki became the 4th Waziri Garin of Ilorin in 2018.
Fact No. 5
Many media report that the title of Turakin Ilorin was first “held by Second Republic Senate Leader, late Olusola Saraki, followed by his son, former Senate President Bukola Saraki” as posited by Premium Times.
Muslim News findings showed that the first person to occupy the office wasn’t Dr. Olusola Saraki, rather, Alhaji Sanni Okin, a prominent personality with great influence when it comes to decision making in the whole Ilorin administrative area.
Born on in Ilorin, 1910, the first Waziri was nominated to the Nigeria House of Senate in 1955. He remained a Provincial Commissioner till January 1966 when a band of military men from a particular section of the country brutally sacked the government in the name of military coup de’tat. He returned to Allah in August, 1972.
Going by this fact, the new title-holder, Mallam Mustapha is the fourth and not the third Turaki of Ilorin as widely reported by the media.
SUPPORT MUSLIM NEWS NIGERIA
With your generous financial contributions to MUSLIM NEWS, you are helping to sustain a culture of journalistic integrity that promotes tranquil Islamic values and ensures it remains free and available to all.