The Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has presented the staff of office to the 19th Emir of Zazzau (Zaria), Amb. Ahmad Nuhu Bamali.
Making the presentation on Monday in Zaria, the governor said he was optimistic that the Emir will offer inspired leadership for Zazzau Emirate, given his pedigree and experience in diplomacy, law, banking and commerce.
El-Rufai said his administration “expects the loyalty of all persons to our Emirs and Chiefs”, warning that government “will take firm and decisive action against any person that attempts to undermine, in any shape or form, the non-partisan and noble status of our traditional institution, particularly, Zazzau Emirate.”
He urged the emir to consolidate on the solid foundation already put in place by his predecessor, the late Shehu Idris who died on September 20, 2020.
He urged the emir to continue with “the admirable effort” he is making to unify Zazzau Emirate “while remaining opened and receptive to positive contributions from all the relevant stakeholders.”
“We urge you to carry all the ruling houses along as you lead this Emirate in circumstances that have changed much over recent decades”, El-Rufai said.
The governor called on “all those that contested the Emir-ship to accept the will of Allah and join hands with the 19th Emir of Zazzau for progress and harmony in the Emirate.”
He also appealed to the title holders, district heads, members of the Emirate Council, the people of Zazzau Emirate and “all the citizens of Kaduna State to rally around our new Emir by extending to him their full support and cooperation in the same way they extended support to his predecessors to enable speedy development of the Emirate and the state in general.”
El-Rufai also paid glowing tribute to the late Idris who, according to him, “was regarded as a just and fair ruler, a peacemaker par excellence, an outstanding administrator and a kind hearted leader and father”, who contributed immensely to the successes recorded by his administration, especially in the critical areas of education, preventive healthcare, peace building and mass mobilisation.
He used the occasion to defend his choice of Bamali as Emir of Zazzau, which is being challenged in court by one of the princes who lost out in the contest for the throne.
He said “As Governor of Kaduna State, it is God’s Will that I am privileged to be the first elected public servant to appoint an Emir of Zazzau in an independent, democratic setting.
“This occasion of handing over the Staff of Office to the 19th Fulani Emir of Zazzau is taking place exactly 100 years since the colonial Governor of Northern Region, Herbert Symonds Goldsmith, unjustly deposed your grandfather, Emir Aliyu Dan-Sidi of blessed memory,” the governor said.
According to him “The vacancy of the stool of Zazzau Emirate therefore gave the Kaduna State Government an opportunity not only to redress a colonial injustice, but to return to the enduring principles that guided the appointment of Emirs under the Sokoto Caliphate…”
According to El-Rufai, “There are other principles of dynastic succession, avoidance of unilinear absolutism and required experience in administration of persons and territory that were discarded by the colonial and military regimes that the Kaduna State Government felt duty-bound to restore, observe and comply with.
“It is on the basis of due regard to these customs, rules and enabling laws that Almighty Allah chose Your Highness to be our Emir, and imposed on me the constitutional duty to appoint you.”
He said the state government will enact a new law to strengthen and enhance the capacity of the traditional institution by providing clearly defined roles for traditional rulers in local government and community governance.
According to him, the new law will also legislate clear dynastic succession order in all emirates and chiefdoms with more than one ruling house.
The governor explained that the law will also outline guiding principles for the recommendations of district heads, traditional council members, emirs and chiefs, for appointment as well as consider expanding the membership of councils, and clearer roles of the kingmakers.
In his speech, the Emir thanked the Kaduna State Government for selecting him as Emir “following consultations with the Kaduna State Council of Chiefs.”
“This is an auspicious day in more ways than one. Not only am I being formally installed as Emir of Zazzau, significantly, today marks 100 years since Mallam Aliyu Sidi Abdul-Qadir, was deposed as Emir of Zazzau by the British. This honourable and principled man was the fourth and last reigning Emir from the Mallawa Clan to which I belong.
“I am therefore proud to be his successor, as well as that of Mallam Abubakar Musa, Mallam Sidi Abdul-Qadir Musa, and Mallam Musa, who was the flagbearer of Shehu Usman dan Fodio, first Fulani Emir of Zazzau, my great great grandfather and the founder of the Mallawa Clan,” the Emir said.
He said since his emergence as Emir, he had reached out to all those who contested for the throne and urged them to join him to work for the development of the Emirate.;