By Eric Elezuo
Following the death of the substantive Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris, who died on September 20, 2020 and days of consultations, considerations and reviews, the Governor Nasir el-Rufai-led administration of Kaduna State, named Ahmed Nuhu Bamali as the replacement Emir. This received total applause, especially as the appointment was said to correct years of colonial error. Late Shehu Idris was on the throne for 45 years.
The Kaduna State government reportedly put in much diligence to ensure that the right Emir was appointed including cancelling an initial selection process for a new one after two aspirants were left out.
In addition, Governor el-Rufai informed that he embarked on a reading spree to get the right direction.
The state government announced the appointment in a statement signed by Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Ja’afaru Sani.
”Until his appointment as Emir of Zazzau, Alh. Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli held the title of Magajin Garin Zazzau and served as Nigeria’s ambassador to Thailand, with concurrent accreditation to Myanmar. He has been a permanent commissioner in the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission in 2015. He has worked in banking and as Executive Director and later acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Corporation. He was a staff of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Agency before a stint as head of Human Resources at MTel, the mobile communications arm of the old Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL),” the statement read.
”Born in 1966, Alhaji Bamalli studied Law at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He holds a Master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy and a Diploma in Organisational Leadership from Oxford University. He is also a fellow on Conflict Resolution of the University of York, United Kingdom (UK).
”On behalf of the Kaduna State Government, Malam Nasir El-Rufai has congratulated HRH Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli on his appointment and wished him a successful and peaceful reign as Emir of Zazzau.”
However, days after the inauguration of the new Emir, cracks are beginning to be noticed on the walls of the emirate as it has been alleged that the Emir has toed the path of nepotism, appointing his immediate younger biological brother to the revered office of Magajin Garin Zazzau. Many respondents, who are conversant with the administrative hierarchy of the Zazzau Emirate has said it is not supposed to be so. They maintained that the office of the Magajin Garin, surely is reserved for the younger of the Emir, but it must not be his younger brother from his own mother, especially if he has a step brother, who is older than his younger brother.
“There lies the mistake. The Emir failed in his very first assignment when he appointed his immediate younger brother Mansur Nuhu Bamalli, a Director with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the Magarin Garin Zazzau, instead of his half brother, Muazu Nuhu Bamalli, a staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria,” a source told The Boss
The source continued: “Morally, logically and and according to Islam, traditional title is hereditary and by succession, and the eldest son of the family inherits the title from his father or elder brother.
“It is surprising that the king chose his biological brother instead of the step brother to occupy the title he held before becoming Emir and the title their late father held for many years.
“The actions of the Emir seems to have caused disunity among their family as it did not sit well with many people in Zaria and environs. His action is a yardstick to measure if the king will be just and fair in his reign,” he suggested.
Further investigation revealed that the Emir snubbed his half brother, who is the second son of the family when he went against the norm and tradition to confer the title on the third son of the family just because he is his own mother’s son.
He said: “Again the Emir conferred the title of Iyan Zazzau on his brother from the Mallawa clan, Abbas Tajudeen, instead of conferring the title on the son of the immediate past Iyan Zazzau who happens to come from the Katsinawa clan.”
Traditionally, Zazzau has four ruling houses, namely Mallawa, Bare Bari, Katsinawa and Sulubawa clans. It is believed that the new Emir’s refusal to confer the title on the son of Iyan Zazzau or somebody from the Katsinawa clan has further created hatred and animosity among the clans.
The action, which has not sat well with followers of the late Iyan Zazzau and the Katsinawa clan, is recreating the contest, which began when the new Emir was selected. Note that Iyan Zazzau was the main challenger to the Zazzau stool. The Iyan, now deceased was the top contender to the stool and even after the appointment of the current Emir, he filed a suit challenging the Emir’s appointment.
He argued that he scored the highest number of lawful votes cast by the kingmakers and thus stood selected. Consequently, he maintained that he has acquired the inalienable right to the stool of the Emir of Zazzau from the date of his selection henceforth.
Another source from the state noted that the Emir’s appointments has not gone down well with both the family and supporters of the step siblings of the Emir, chief among them Muazu Nuhu Bamalli.
The family source, who craved anonymity has called on well meaning indigenes of Kaduna State and Nigerians alike to call the Emir to order in the face of glaring injustice and bias as that could be a harbinger of full blown crisis.
The ruling houses of Zazzau Emirate, according to family source, are still surprised why late Iyan Zazzau’s son, Alhaji Abdulkarim Aminu, was denied his father’s title in addition to why his title was changed to Talban Zazzau from the original Kogunan Zazzau. More questions than answers!
ABOUT LATE IYAN ZAZZAU
The late Iyan Zazzau was the most powerful traditional title holder and wealthiest prince in Northern Nigeria till the time of his death. The step brother’s name is Muazu Nuhu Bamalli who is currently working with Central Bank of Nigeria and has reached the level of Assistant Director. The younger brother’s name is Mansur Nuhu Bamalli, who is working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is also an Assistant Director.
When he was asked why a man of his status rarely goes to Abuja, he said nothing gladdens his heart than being closer to his people, feel their pulse and make positive contributions to their day to day wellbeing. He is referred to as the most popular Prince in the history of the Zazzau Emirate. He was known to have dedicated his life is service of his people with the singular intention of making everyone live in dignity, self-esteem and respect.
While many are cheering the emergence of the new Emir, some others are taken aback at the ways with which he made his very first appointment, saying such attitude will like give the Mallawa clan a negative image, and widen the cracks that are quite obvious on the walls of the emirate.
THE EMIR’S FAMILY
It is worth knowing that Alhaji Bamalli married four wives, namely Fatima (Mama), Zuwaira (Waya), Khadija (Goggo) and Khadija (Hajiya) in that order. However, it is only the third and fourth wives that were privileged to have children. While the third wife, Goggo has only one son, Muazu who happens to be the second son of the family, the fourth wife has nine children.
Of the 10 children therefore in the family, there were six males and four females. Among the males, Alhaji Muazu Nuhu is the only son of his mother, and supposedly the ideal candidate to inherit the title of “Magajin Garin Zazzau”, according to source. This is because he is the second son in the family while the incumbent emir is the eldest.
Consequently, denying him the right is seen as an aberation and great injustice capable of derailing and tarnishing the envious image of the family.