Emir Zazzau: Succession Race Begins as Kaduna Declares 3-day Mourning

The Kaduna state government on Monday declared three-day mourning in honour of the late Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Muyiwa Adekeye announced this in a statement in Kaduna.

Adekeye said public offices would open as usual September 21 and 22 but “there will be a public holiday on September 23 to honour his memory.”

According to him, flags would fly at half-mast during the mourning period.

Shehu Idris, the Chairman of Kaduna state Traditional Council, died on Sunday at the 44 Nigeria Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna at the age of 84 after a brief illness. He spent 45 years on the throne after he was turbaned in February 1975.

The remains of the late monarch had been laid to rest at his palace.

The funeral prayer was led by Chief Imam of Zazzau Emirate Dalhatu Kasimu about 5:35 pm, with many family members, thousands of faithful and sympathisers in attendance.

Present at the prayer session were Kaduna state Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Secretary to the State Government Balarabe Lawal-Abbas, Speaker of the State Assembly Yusuf Zailani and other top government functionaries.

He was a bastion of peace -ACF

Meanwhile, messages of condolences have continued to pour in over the monarch’s demise.

In its message, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) expressed shock and sadness at the death of Emir Idris, describing him as the sustainer  of peace and development of the Zazzau Emirate.

A statement by ACF National Publicity Secretary Emmanuel Yawe and made available to Blueprint in Kaduna said: “The Arewa Consultative Forum has received with shock and sadness news of the death of Alhaji Shehu Idris, the Emir of Zauzau at the age of 84.”The Kaduna state government on Monday declared three-day mourning in honour of the late Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris.

“Until his death, he was one of the oldest and highest-ranking traditional rulers not only in the North but the whole of Nigeria. He was the 18th Emir to rule over the Emirate and in February this year celebrated his 45th year on the throne.

“He ruled his Emirate through a period of rapid political, economic, social changes but never lost his focus on his primary responsibility – the maintenance of peace and progress in his Emirate.

“The Arewa Consultative Forum condoles with his immediate family, the Zazzau Emirate and the Kaduna state government over this tragic and untimely loss. The Forum will miss his fatherly advice on all issues that were tabled before him,” ACF said.

He was a pillar, bridge-builder –NLC

Also, the Kaduna chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has the deceased monarch as a leader, a pillar, a peacemaker and bridge builder.

In a statement issued Monday in Kaduna, the |Chairman,  Comrade Ayuba Magaji Suleiman commended the state government for declaring Wednesday this week as a public holiday in honour of the late emir, noting that even in death the monarch deserves that and more.

“Nigeria Labour Congress Kaduna state on behalf of all its affiliates union and workers has received the death of his Royal Highness Alhaji, Dr. Shehu Idris the Emir of Zazzau and Chairman of Kaduna State Council of Chiefs, who died yesterday at the age of 84, with shock but with total submission to the will of Allah.

“NLC condoled Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai, his cabinets, the entire Zazzau Emirates Council, state traditional institution, his immediate family and the people of the state.

“The late Emir of Zazzau Dr. Shehu Idris was a pillar who played a positive fatherly role most especially to the union and the state workers. He was a leader, not a ruler, a peacemaker, bridge builder, committed and dedicated leader who served humanity for 45 years in peace with his people and governments”.

The labour leader said as the NLC mourned the loss of the longest-serving traditional leaders in Kaduna state, he prayed Almighty Allah to forgive his shortcomings and grant him the highest place in paradise.

…Idris committed to nation’s peace, unity – Taraba gov

In his own condolence message, Taraba state Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku described the late Emir Idris as a “principled and peaceful leader whose views and opinions were widely regarded and respected in many circles.”

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Bala Dan Abu, the governor said the monarch’s demise was a huge loss to Nigeria and the people of Kaduna state.

“He will be remembered for his unwavering commitment to peace and unity of the country and for attracting a lot of respect and glamour to the institution of traditional rulership in Nigeria through the exemplary leadership he provided for the people of Zazzau Emirate,” Ishaku said

He prayed God to console the people of Zaria and members of the immediate and extended family of the Emir.

…Monarch was dutiful, resourceful individual – UniAbuja VC

Also, Vice-Chancellor, University of Abuja, Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, has commiserated with the family of the late Emir of Zazzau.

The monarch was until his demise the institution’s chancellor.

A statement by head university relations unit, Dr Habib Yakoob said: “Our heart also goes to the Governor of Kaduna state, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, the Zazzau Emirate Council, the entire people of Kaduna state, and Nigerians, on this terrible loss.

“The death of the chancellor comes to us as a rude shock especially at this moment that we need his counsel most. We are indeed proud of his great and superb achievements as the first-rate Emir of modern Zaria.

“The late emir will always be remembered as a dutiful, very resourceful and committed individual, who believed in the development of education, particularly of our dear University, the University for National Unity, the UofA of Nigeria.

“During his years of service as our Chancellor, he worked incredibly hard to draw federal and private supports to the University. His total support and contributions, quality advice and superior leadership as our Chancellor of many years will remain indelible.

“His demonstration of unequal forthrightness, commitment and accountability, transparency and enthusiasm for the growth and development of the country should be emulated by our leaders and well-meaning Nigerians. We are glad that he remained a worthy and accomplished leader till his death.

“The Vice-Chancellor has in the spirit of this bereavement declared mourning and ordered that flags on campus should be flown at half-mast

“I pray that Allah in his infinite mercies, reward him abundantly and give the family the fortitude to bear this great loss, ameen.”

…He was a celebrated people’s emir – NAHCON

In a related development, Chairman National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, has described the deceased Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris as a celebrated people’s emir.

A statement by NAHCON’s Head of Public Affairs, Hajiya Fatima Sanda Usara, said Idris’ demise “came at a time dignified royal fathers like him are most needed in cementing the unity of the Nigerian society along with the vision of the state and the federal government of Nigeria.

“The NAHCON family extends its heartfelt condolence to the President and Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufa’I, the family of the late Emir, the Emirate and entire people of Zazzau over the loss of the venerated statesman.

“We pray jannatul Firdaus to be his final abode. May the Almighty grant his family and people the fortitude to bear the loss.”

20th September 2020

An iconic figure – Gombe gov

In a similar message, Gombe state Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has the death of the traditional ruler as a huge national loss.

He said the late emir was “an iconic figure, legendary monarch and embodiment of humility, known for championing the course of peace, unity and mutual understanding.

“We have indeed lost one of our finest and highly revered royal fathers in Nigeria; a patriot, statesman and selfless royal father.

“Throughout his 45 years of reign as Emir of Zazzau, his royal highness was known for preaching peace and championing the course of unity and harmony, not only among the diverse people of his domain or Kaduna state but the nation at large.”

He said the late 18th Emir of Zazzau left behind huge vacuum and indelible footprints, calling on the members of the royal family to sustain the legacies of honour, dignity and selfless service left by the respected monarch.

He commiserated with his Kaduna state counterpart, Malam El-Rufai and the entire emirate, praying Allah to grant the deceased monarch Aljannat Firdaus.

The Race to Zazzau top throne begins 4 jostles for a seat

Four princes from eligible ruling houses of Zazzau Emirate are jostling to replace Shehu Idris, the 84-year-old emir, who died Sunday.

Idris spent 45 years on the throne, having ascended the position in 1975 after the death of Muhammadu Aminu, the 17th emir since the 1804 Fulani Jihad.

By tradition, a new emir is expected to emerge from any of the four ruling clans of the emirate.

The ruling houses are Katsinawa, Mallawa, Bare-bari and Sullubawa. The late Emir Idris was from the Katsinawa ruling house.

Typically, the Kaduna State Government Nasir El-Rufai is expected to announce the new emir after he would have approved any of the princes nominated to him by the Zazzau kingmakers.

The kingmakers are Wazirin Zazzau, Ibrahim Aminu; Makaman Zazzau, Muhammad Abbas; Fagachin Zazzau, Umar Muhammad; Limamin Gari, Dalhatu Kasim and Limamin Kona, Muhammad Aliyu.

The contest

To replace the deceased monarch, four princes were being touted late Sunday, though there is no official communication as regards the process.

Those being mentioned as stronger contenders to the throne are the Iyan Zazzau, Bashir Aminu; Yeriman Zazzau, Munir Ja’afaru; Magajin Garin Zazzau, Ahmed Bamalli and Turakin Zazzau, Bashir Idris.

There are, however, other princes who are said to be eyeing the position. In this category are Wamban Zazzau, Abdulkareem Aminu, Sarkin Kudun Zazzau Sambo Idris, and a few other sons of the deceased emir.

Iya Bashir Aminu

He was born December 26, 1960, in the palace when his father, Muhammadu Aminu, was the Emir of Zazzau.

He was turbaned Danmadamin Zazzau by late Emir Idris. When Iyan Zazzau Sa’idu died, Idris promoted Aminu to the important title of Iya, a position once held by the latter’s father before becoming the emir.

A trained accountant and accomplished businessman; he is a Fellow of the Institute of Financial Accountants (UK) and a Fellow of the Certified National Accountants of Nigeria (CNA).

Until the reforms two years ago to resize the Kaduna traditional institutions, leading to repelling of some districts, Aminu was the district head of Sabon Gari, a position he was first appointed to in 1979.

He sits on the boards of many companies as chairman or director.

Aminu is from the Kastinawa ruling house, like the two previous emirs.

Munir Ja’afaru

The son of 18th Fulani emir of Zazzau, Mallam Ja’afaru, Munir Ja’afaru is a lawyer with vast experience in the private and public sector.

Born on March 25, 1956, he bagged a degree in Law from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria in 1979 and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1980. He was retained as a lecturer at the university (1981-1983) and obtained his second degree in Law during the same period in 1983.

Ja’afaru held various positions in Kaduna state and at the national level. He was Secretary/Legal Adviser of the Kaduna Cooperative Bank Limited (1983-1987); Commissioner for Local Government and Community Development, Commissioner for Information, Home Affairs and Culture; Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, among other ministries he held.

At the national level, Mr. Ja’afaru was appointed Secretary of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (1990-1992). He held the position of Director-General of the National Maritime Authority (NMA), the precursor of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) between 1992 and 1996.

The Yeriman Zazzau has held many private sector positions traversing consulting, law, banking and insurance. The prince hails from the Bare-bari ruling clan.

Ahmed Bamalli

Mr. Bamalli is immediate past Nigerian ambassador to Thailand with concurrent accreditation to Myanmar. He was born on June 8, 1966.

He has a bachelors and a master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and also diplomas from the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, University of York and Oxford University.

In 2011 he was at the Harvard University for a short course in governance.

A holder of the traditional title of Magajin Garin Zazzau, a position once held by his late father, Bamalli is an experienced administrator and banker.

He joined the defunct FSB International Bank in 1998 rising to the position of Regional Manager before moving to Abuja Metropolitan Management Authority in 2006. He switched to the defunct Nigerian Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTEL) a year later as head of Human Resources.

Bamalli then moved to the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc where he was Executive Director, Corporate Services and acting Managing Director at a point.

After the change of government in Kaduna state in 2015, the new administration appointed him commissioner in the state’s independent electoral commission.

In 2017, Mr. Bamalli was nominated as ambassador at the instance of Governor El-Rufai.

Aminu Idris

He is the eldest surviving son of the late Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris.

Holder of the traditional title of Turakin Zazzau and the youngest of the contenders.

He was born the year his father ascended the throne in 1975 and was named after his father’s predecessor, Emir Aminu.

He attended Federal Government College Kaduna and obtained a degree in Economics from the University of Abuja. He also has a master’s degree from a yet-to-be-confirmed British university.

The younger Idris currently works with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as senior staff at the Crude Oil Marketing Division of the corporation.

He is married to Karimatu, one of the daughters of Iyan Zazzau Bashir Aminu, also a contender.

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