September 29, 2022

Sokoto Caliphate seeks return of artefacts from UK, France

Seek divine intervention through prayers over hardship, Sultan urges Nigerians

Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III


By Musa Ubandawaki Sokoto

After decades of atrocities, enslavement, exploitation and massacre committed to the people of Sokoto Caliphate in 1903 by colonial masters, the caliphate now seeks the return of all its looted historical artefacts by the colonial masters from France and United Kingdom.

The looted intellectual, literary works, artefacts and relics of the Caliphate are said to be rooted in the minds of the descendants of women, children and wounded persons who were indiscriminately killed or executed for their resistance to the colonial invasion.

In a letter of the declaration on the looted relics, copied the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, signed by a member of the National Assembly, Dr. Balarabe Shehu Kakale Shuni, and leaders of five non-governmental organizations (NGOs), made available to journalists in Sokoto, the group requested quick intervention of the minister.

The letter read: “There were deliberate colonial policies made to subvert and deny people of the Caliphate contextual fictional education, healthcare, commerce and housing as well as scanty employment opportunities through deliberate strangulation of the Caliphate cottage industries.”

The concerned group, acting on the platform of SokotoDNA, placed on notice the countries responsible for the invasion and in possession of the Caliphate intellectual, literary works, artefacts and relics.

The letter further requested the unconditional return for restitution of all historical objects to their various original owners of the Caliphate.

The letter also demanded an apology from the colonial masters “for unwarranted and unjustifiable atrocities committed against the people of the Caliphate.”

The letter accused the two former colonial masters, France and the United Kingdom, as mainly responsible for the invasion and illegal possession of the looted Caliphate historical artefacts.

“The literary works are our irrevocable, unchanged changeable and distinctive DNA, an important part of our past, our history, our heritage, our pride and symbols of heroism and sacrifice of our forefathers and allowing them to relinquish in the museums of other nations robs us of our history, our pride and our divinity as a people,” the group wrote.

“We are working with partners and institutions to create a catalogue of ‘Sokoto Caliphate’s Cultural, Literary and Religious Red List’, that will contain all artefacts, relics and memorabilia looted from the Sokoto Caliphate and its emirates during and after the illegal and unjustifiable invasion and colonialism.

“Our resolved in launching this campaign is powered by the good people of the Caliphate and it’s emirates and further strengthened by UNESCO and ECOWAS conventions.”

According to the letter, the historical relics were at various points looted or seized in places like Sokoto, Gwandu, Sifawa, Argungu, Zazzau, Adamawa, Kano, Katsina, Gombe, Katagum, Binji, Kilgori , Yabo and Rikina/Dabagin Ardon Shuni among many other libraries of the Caliphate.

“What is it worth to seek the search and return of Caliphate flags, symbols and other insignia of the State Authority, seals and staff of office?

“The answer is they are priceless and timeless pieces of high intellect, science, technology and craftsmanship and advance social administrative and structure of governance of the people of the Caliphate, now and forever,” the group averred.