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Sultan Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar III
Sa'adu Abubakar at meeting with John Kerry (29176258455).jpg
Abubakar on August 23, 2016
Sultan of Sokoto
Amir al-Mu'minin
Preceded by Muhammadu Maccido
Personal details
Born August 24, 1956(1956-08-24) (age 64)
Sokoto, Sokoto State, Nigeria
Parents Siddiq Abubakar III
Alma mater Barewa College
Nigerian Defence Academy
Command and Staff College, Jaji
Religion Sunni Islam (Qadiriyya Sufi
Military service
Allegiance Flag of Nigeria.svg Nigeria
Service/branch Nigerian Army
Years of service 1975 – 2006
Rank Brigadier General

Sultan Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar III (born August 24, 1956 in Sokoto) is the 20th Sultan of Sokoto, the titular ruler of Sokoto in northern Nigeria, head of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (Society for the Support of Islam - JNI), and president-general of the Nigerian National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA).[1] As Sultan of Sokoto, he is considered the spiritual leader of Nigeria's seventy-million Muslims, roughly fifty percent of the nation's population.[2] Sa'adu Abubakar succeeded his brother, Muhammadu Maccido, who died on ADC Airlines Flight 53, the flight crashed shortly after takeoff from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and had been destined for Sokoto.[3]

Background & educationEdit

Sa'adu Abubakar is a younger son of the seventeenth Sultan, Siddiq Abu Bakar dan Usuman, who held the Sultanate for over fifty years.[4] Abubakar is the fifth heir to the two century-old throne founded by his ancestor, Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio (1754-1817) leader of the Maliki school of Islam and the Qadiri branch of Sufism.[2] He attended the prestigious Barewa College, Zaria and proceeded to the Nigerian Defence Academy in 1975 where he was a member of the 18th Regular Course.[5] Abubakar was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1977 and served in the elite Armoured Corps.

Military careerEdit

Abubakar headed a presidential security unit of the Armoured Corps that guarded then military ruler General Ibrahim Babangida in the late 1980s. Abubakar also commanded a battalion of African peacekeepers in Chad during the early 1980s as part of the Organisation of African Unity's force and was military liaison officer for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the mid 1990s.[6] He was appointed Commanding Officer 241 Recce Battalion, Kaduna in 1993.[5] From 1995 to 1999, he was ECOWAS military liaison officer and commanding officer, 231 Tank Battalion (ECOMOG Operations) in Sierra Leone from 1999 to 2000.[5] From 2003 to 2006, he served as Defence Attaché to Pakistan (also accredited for Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan).[5] Upon his elder brother, Sultan Maccido's death, he was recalled to take office as the 20th Sultan of Sokoto [7] and retired as a brigadier general.[5]

Sultan of SokotoEdit

As the sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar is the leader of the Qadiriyya sufi order historically the most important Muslim position in Nigeria and senior to the Emir of Kano, the leader of the less populous Tijaniyya sufi order.[8]

Awards & HonoursEdit

In 2015, Amirul Mumineen Sultan Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar IV was listed among the 10 recipients of the maiden edition of the Global Seal of Integrity (GSOI). An annual list which is compiled and authored by two young Nigerians; Emmanuel Josh Omeiza and Godspower Oshodin (under the Global Youth Coalition for Integrity) for promoting integrity among the people and consequently promoting the well-being of the Universe.


External linksEdit

Preceded by
Muhammadu Maccido
Sultan of Sokoto
November 2, 2006–current
Succeeded by

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