Following wide spread speculations on social media in the last week of the submission of an irregular list of 3 candidates ‘against the rules of convention’ to the executive Governor of Kaduna State for selection of 1 as Emir by the Kingmakers committee of the Zazzau emirate council tension started rising in the city of Zaria. If this is true it would be highly surprising and uncharacteristic of highly respect elders and religious leaders of the Emirate in an unprecedented move never before witnessed to exclude 2 ruling houses including one that even belongs to the first Emir of Zazzau and flag bearer of Shehu Uthman Danfodio in Zaria, Emir Musa Bamalli. It is purported that rather than follow an acceptable convention of selecting 1 candidate from each of the ruling houses, 2 candidates were selected from the Katsinawa dynasty (the line of the last Emir late Shehu Idris) and 1 from the Beri-Beri dynasty. The state Government then found it necessary to ask for a repeat of the process citing other irregularities to which we now understand the process has been completed and passed on to the Governor for final decision. It would therefore come as a shock if indeed the main irregularity of the list was the exclusion of bonafide candidates from prominent ruling houses especially that of the Mallawas.
It is on record that Mallam Musa was the only Emir in Zaria that participated in the Jihad of Dan Fodio at Tapgun Kwato in 1804 . This act if true will therefore represent a calculated attempt to destroy his legacies and also other prominent Mallawa emirs like Sarkin Zazzau Malam musa (1804-1821 A.D), Sarkin Zazzau Malam Abdulkadir dan Musa (1834-1846 A.D), Sarkin Zazzau Malam Abubakar dan Musa (1879-1888 A.D), Sarkin Zazzau Malam Alu Dan Sidi (1903-1920 A.D).
This act will also effectively eliminate the line completely from the ruler ship of the Zazzau emirate as It has been over a century now that a Mallawa Prince has emerged Emir. Prominent members of the Mallawa dynasty are the Late Nuhu Bammalli , Magajin Garin Zazzau , late Gidado Idris former SGF, late Aminu Tijjani Turaki Zazzau and a host of other prominent Nigerians (sons and daughters) who have made their mark and contribution not only to the Emirate but in the country as well.
Currently the leading and most qualified candidate of that house Ambasaador Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, The Magajin Garin Zazzau is widely expected to ascend the throne as he stands as the most popular candidate and currently more active in government and has worked his way over the years to the hearts of the people. The recognition of his brilliance had led to his most recent posting as Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Thailand and Myanmar after many other years in the private sector and making invaluable contributions to the traditional society as well. This may very well be the reason why a leading prince who has served as Magajin Gari for the last 39 years of his life (20 in acting capacity for his father during his years of illness and 19 in his own right) would be excluded from such a list as he stands to be recognised as the most qualified to take Zazzau into the challenges of the 21st century. On a personal level, he is married to the daughter of the Late Shehu Idris and with line of Prince and Princesses of the Zazzau Emirate in his household therefore maintaining a personal link and a blood line of his progeny with the last ruling house of the Katsinawas.
A large majority of Zaria residents were praying and expecting the Magajin Garin Zazzau Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli to have led the last 2 Friday prayers as the new Emir but were totally disappointed this hasn’t happened yet but are deep in prayers and look forward to the next possible date for their impending celebration (insha Allah) hopefully now on Wednesday 7th as announced by the Kaduna State government.
Majority of indigenes are confident that the kingmakers have conducted their scared duty bestowed upon them with trust in the best of their ability as against what is being touted around as financial muscling or the need to maintain status quo by keeping the same line on the throne.
Even if this were to be the case most residents expect the governor to intervene and correct this anomaly for the sake of justice, peace and development of the Zazzau emirate and to maintain the legacy of their forbearers in ensuring that justice and meritocracy prevails above all else.
Tensions had started rising in the days since this story broke that if an Emir is selected from this technically irregular list there may be rejection by a large majority of people in the emirate. But many are confident that the legacy of peace in the Zazzau emirate will be maintained as the right thing must surely have been done or will be done in the end.
The appointment of Ambasaador Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli will not only lead to widespread celebration in the Zazzau emirate but will cause reverberations in Kaduna, Abuja, Lagos and other major cities where he has built a wide network of friends and associates. Infact with his current engagement it would take an international dimension as friends and colleagues abroad from foreign nations will join the party and celebrate with the local people of Zazzau emirate and above all contribute to its development.
May Allah continue to be our guide.
Uthman Ibrahim writes from Kaduna