Longest-reigned Sultan in modern history


Sir Siddiq Abubakar III (1903–1988) was a Nigerian Muslim leader who ruled as the Sultan of Sokoto from 1938 to 1988.

He was born at Dange, on 15 March 1903, the same day the British finally subdued the Sokoto Caliphate. He was a son of Usman Shehu, grandson of Mu’azu, direct descendant of Uthman Dan Fodio.

Abubakar had Islamic Education. He held several administrative posts before succeeding his uncle, Hassan Ibn Muazu, at the age of 35-year-old.

In 1938, he was appointed a local authority councillor of the Sokoto Native Administration (Head of Talata Mafara).

He distinguished himself by his administrative competence and the able way he dealt with appeals from traditional courts and supervised district and village heads. He was a Sardauna of Sokoto until 17 June 1938, when he became Sultan Abubakar III.

As the 17th Sultan of Sokoto and Sarkin Musulumi, he became the most important Islamic personality south of the Sahara, and was highly respected. He was the leader of 50 million adherents of the Islamic faith in West Africa.

He was knighted by the British in 1944, and after Nigeria attained independence, he was made Grand Commander of the Order of Niger (GCON) by the Federal Government.

He ruled the emirate for one of the longest reigns in its history, from 17 June1938, to 1 November 1988, when he died, having celebrated only four months earlier his 50th year on the throne.

Abubakar left behind 52 children and 320 direct grandchildren.


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