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A word of caution for Kano and Northern princes, by Bashir Ibrahim Dabo




When Emir of Zazzau late Mallam Jafaru Dan Isyaku died in 1959, a lot of people had thought that Ciroman Zazzau Aminu, elder brother to the then influential Magajin Garin Zazzau, Alhaji Nuhu Bamalli would ascend the throne as the 17th Fulani Emir of Zazzau. This was because of Nuhu Bamalli’s close affinity with late Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of the defunct Northern Region, being a formidable force in Northern People Congress (NPC) and also a serving member of Federal House of Representatives in Lagos. But alas, as Allah would have it, Ciroma Aminu lost out to his namesake Alhaji Muhammadu Aminu and hence did not hesitate in paying allegiance to the new Emir as royal tradition demands.

16 years later, the Zazzau throne became vacant yet again after the demise of Emir Muhammadu Aminu in 1975. In a twist of fate, Nuhu Bamalli’s name erupted amongst the top contenders for the coveted seat alongside Dan Iyan Zazzau Dr. Nuhu Bayero and late Dangaladiman Zazzau, Alh. Umaru Idris – elder brother to the incumbent Emir Dr. Shehu Idris. All the three candidates lost out to the 39-year-old much younger and rather less influential Shehu Idris who became the 18th Fulani Emir of Zazzau. This they accepted as the will of God, paid allegiance to the new Emir and moved on with their normal lives as any true prince would do.

However, Nuhu Bamalli’s fate came under serious test when the then Military Governor of North-Central State, Brig. General Abba Kyari of blessed memory consoled him with the idea of excising Jaji town up to Kaduna metropolis and beyond out of Zazzau Emirate to make him the novel ‘Emir of Kaduna’. But as the true prince that he was, the offer was rejected outright. He was said to have politely told Gen. Kyari that he inherited the throne of Zazzau not that of Kaduna, and would not like history to record him as the man who led to the destruction of their most cherished heritage because of personal ambition and greed. He was noted have said that if it was the will of God that he would be Emir, the exalted God would make him. If not, he prayed that someone in his lineage would one day enjoy such benevolence. Magaji Nuhu Bamalli eventually died in 2001 without seeing his most cherished and noble aspiration coming to fruition. Whether someone from his lineage would be crowned as Sarkin Zazzau one day, is a matter for the pregnant and unpredictable future to decide.

The above rather long and somehow boring historical narration is important to understanding the dangerous precedent that has been set in Kano with the balkanization of the once noble Kano Emirate by politicians. Sadly, with the active connivance of the same princes from the late Emir of Kano Abdullahi Bayero’s lineage due to sheer greed, unmitigated thirst for power and blind personal ambition devoid of consideration for larger consequences for the throne.

The 14th Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II is not the first Emir to be deposed in the North. His grandfather Sir Muhammadu Sanusi I was deposed in 1963 by the Sardauna of Sokoto, the 18th Sultan of Sokoto His Eminence Ibrahim Dasuki was deposed in 1996 by Gen. Abacha and more recently Emir of Gwandu Jokolo was dethroned in 2005 by Gov. Adamu Aleiro allegedly under the instruction of President Obasanjo. But in all these, Emir Sanusi II’s case remains the most dramatized, politicized and prolonged deposition stunt orchestrated ever.

Internal crises brewed after the debacle of the Emir Ado Bayero’s clan to succeed their late father who ruled Kano for 51 years with distinction and deep reverence. Ado Bayero was in a class of his own. He represented everything that was expected of a king. He was a gentleman per excellence. Unlike Sanusi II, he was an introvert and therefore more economical with his choice of words. But despite of his reserved nature, Alhaji Abubakar Rimi as Governor of Kano State in 1981 still fell out with Emir Ado; balkanized the Emirate, denigrated him in public and threatened him with deposition.

As if the wrath of the state government was not enough, Emir Ado Bayero and his bosom friend, the Oni of Ife Oba Okunade Sijuwade were suspended from their respective positions for six months by the Buhari/Idiagbon regime in 1984 for travelling to Israel – a country which Nigeria had severed relations with. So the argument that Emir Sanusi’s public utterances led to his eventual fall is put paid to by the story of his predecessor, Ado Bayero, painted above.

The eventual debacle of Emir Sanusi II was best captured by a commentator Ibraheem A. Waziri on Facebook when he said that the only difference between the trials of Ado Bayero under Rimi and Sanusi under Ganduje is “luck”. Luck ran out of the latter. It couldn’t have been better said.

In a nutshell, owing to its historical significance and relevance, Kano Emirate should never have been balkanized. And much more, a member of the Emir Dabo lineage should never have allowed history to record him as being part of that unfortunate incident. Kano Emirate is not the same again.

The Kano incident should be an eye opener to all royals in Northern Nigeria. Royals should imbibe the culture of loyalty and total submission to will of Allah SWT once He decides on anything, as exemplified by our forefathers. We should also learn to reject the danger of temptation, greed and lust for power orchestrated by personal ambition as demonstrated by Magajin Garin Zazzau, Alh. Nuhu Bamalli.

As the 14th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II interred as a note of acknowledgement on his deposition letter, quoting verse 3:26 from the Holy Qur’an – ‘Say: O Allah! Owner of Sovereignty! Thou givest sovereignty unto whom Thou wilt. Thou exaltest whom Thou will, and Thou abaset whom Thou wilt. In Thy hand is the good. Lo! Thou art Able to do all things.” These supreme words are sufficient for the wise.

May Allah guide Muhammadu Sanusi II as he embarks on another journey out of Gidan Dabo.

May God guide the new Emir of Birnin Kano, Alh. Aminu Ado Bayero. Ran Sarki ya dade!

Mr Dabo writes from Lagos and tweets @Bashir_Dabo

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. umar ardo

    March 19, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    So aptly put!

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Change of guards and expectations, By A.A. Gadzama




By A.A. Gadzama
The President and Commander-in-Chief has finally succumbed to public pressure and replaced the former Service Chiefs.  The changes were long overdue and justified considering the fact that there was not much progress in defeating the insurgents in the North East, stopping the spate of killings by people suspected to be herdsmen across the country and the state of general insecurity in nearly all parts of the country.
These were not the only acts of insecurity and criminality that concerned the populace. Equally of concern were, the virtual state of siege in parts of the country as exemplified by attacks on public highways and the rampage by lawless individuals and groups. The change of Service Chiefs  is therefore commendable.
The President and his advisers once again proved responsive to public opinion. The decision took time understandably to avoid past mistakes of appointing unfit persons into sensitive positions of leadership. Many of us believe that the President made well informed choices in the appointment of the new Service Chiefs. Not even his most ardent critics could fault the choice of the new Service Chiefs.
The appointments addressed the twin problems of lopsidedness and brazen disregard of the Federal Character principles and ethno religious balancing. Much more important however is the issue of competence, loyalty and restoring professionalism in the Services which demand extreme caution.
I am compelled to write to underscore the importance of caution which in the past was not exercised in such appointments resulting in failure to defeat the security threats that have engulfed the country in the last one decade. We believe the President and his advisers exercised due diligence. It is important to note that past efforts failed to appreciate our realities.
The persistence of insecurity in the country is to a large extent also due to lack of required assets to pursue the wars and deficiencies in strategies being deployed. There is also the problem of dishonesty. I have often advised that there can be no success in any enterprise when there is no honesty in the pursuit of the mission.
There is also the indispensability of the support of the citizenry. It is a known fact that no counter intelligence war has ever been successful without the support of the citizenry. In almost all cases, the efforts of the security forces should be complemented with the support of the citizens in intelligence sourcing and identification of criminal elements. Some of us believe that the forces can make do with more psychological support to encourage the troops to defeat the criminal elements.
It should also be pointed out that the ongoing counter insurgency war in the North East suffered immeasurable losses due to uncomplimentary remarks by individuals who should know better. Demanding invitation of foreign mercenaries to deal with the insurgents is ill-informed and smacks of lack of knowledge on the issues being dealt with that constitute serious distractions.
There are also other tendencies that should be discouraged. Change in the attitude of those who find themselves in political leadership is necessary. Politicians must appreciate the predicament of the security forces. We need to insulate the current efforts from politics and parochial sentiments. Conversely the security forces must accept genuine criticisms from critics in order to make amends.
It has been observed that a major problem in the ongoing war against the current security challenges is that many in the corridors of power are allergic to what they misconstrue as unwarranted criticisms. We believe some of the criticisms are honest and well intended as suggestions that some things could be done differently are acceptable in democratic settings. Those defending the Government inevitably end up making more enemies for the Government when they are less tolerant of honest advise.
Another deficiency that is very glaring in the ongoing wars against insurgency, kidnapping, banditry and attacks on communities  is the dearth of actionable intelligence. Not much progress can be made without the required intelligence. The new Service Chiefs must therefore revitalize their intelligence gathering strategies and assets.
The new Service Chiefs should avoid is deception and playing to the gallery and be weary of false claims being churned out. This is the reason why some critics wondering just how many insurgents and bandits there are, considering the frequency of announcements of successes and “neutralization”. There is so much sceptism over some of the claims being made by the spokesmen of the security forces who have formed the habit of only telling their principals what they want to hear. This attitude needs to be discarded as it is poses serious credibility problems in the ongoing efforts against the security challenges.
There are also the challenges of welfare of personnel. The major area of concern of those prosecuting the wars is the negligence of their warfare and the non-availability of assets and platforms that could help bring the various security threats to an end.  Their efforts have also been undermined by the activities of insider saboteurs and those that have lost relevance. The fact is our security forces are generally resilient and could give their best in every situation but they could easily be frustrated when their leadership is not living up to expectations. Accordingly, the new Service Chiefs if they are to succeed should frontally deal with the menace of sycophancy, nepotism and compromise that frustrate honest attempts to deal with problems at hand. The near mutinous situations in some military formations in the past hardly speak well of those in command positions. Finally, there is the problem of inadequacy of men in the theatres of war. It will be fool hardy to expect that the security challenges would be won with security forces that are terribly inadequate, ill-equipped and overstretched. Not much progress would be made without addressing the problems of lack of adequate equipments, increase in staff strength and very inspirational leadership. The new Service Chiefs should note that what the country expects from them is bringing to an end all the security challenges in the land. This is possible.
We wish to congratulate the new Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor and the New Chief of Army Staff Major Gen Attahiru who previously were Commanders of Operation Lafiya Dole in the North East. The two officers did exceptionally well and gave good account of themselves  as commanders of operation Lafiya Dole. We pray they will live up to expectation.
   A. A. GADZAMA OFR, mni, Chairman Board of National Institute of Security Studies.

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A city has fallen: Professor Dahiru Yahya By Kabiru Ibrahim Danguguwa




By Kabiru Ibrahim Danguguwa


“The Mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires”.  William Arthur Ward.

Professor Dahiru Yahya was one of my favourite teachers and remains a good mentor to this day. In Professor Dahiru Yahya, true scholarship and humility meet.

A generous, charismatic and prolific thinker. I first met him at Bayero University, Kano when I was an undergraduate student in the Department of History. Since that time, Prof as he once said, enjoyed every moment he spent with me.

He believed that young people always have novel ideas and be updated; he would always listen to me as if I was his teacher.

He used to call young people his teachers whenever they told him something new. In one of the moments I spent with him, Prof. told me that ahead (brain) of a professor is just like a city. He, therefore, advised me to value every moment spent with Professors by exploring the city.

During my MSc degree between 2012-2014, Prof was so keen to read my thesis when I informed him that I was writing on Boko Haram and AQIM.

He helped me with whatever I needed to complete the thesis. A year later, I informed him that I was presenting part of the work in a Faculty seminar. He was so happy and promised to come all the way from Abuja to listen to my presentation. After the presentation, he ushered in intellectual discussions on the origin of ‘Islamic activism’. He even responded to the questions I was supposed to answer. What a great honour!

As a humble person, Prof allowed me to explore his city as much as I could. I wanted to explore more when I informed one of my course mates that I wanted to see Prof to discuss the situation of the country last week. He deliberately shared some of his life encounters with people I considered great men in Nigeria. I have a lot to say on this. Perhaps this is not the right place.

In 2014, Prof and I were having dinner in his sitting room. His wife served us with a variety of foods. After a few minutes, Prof looked at me and said “Danguguwa! You have a masters degree but you have zero experience regarding what women can do” I was single without even a fiancé. He taught me what he jokingly called “makircin mata” .

He advised me not to underestimate the power of a woman. He said “your wife’s money is hers, while your money is for hers. Make sure you take good care of her”

When one of my course mates wanted him to write a reference letter for him, Prof gave him his letterhead and directed him to meet me. I wrote whatever I thought was right and Prof signed the letter without a second thought. In 2019 during a conference organised by Faculty of Humanities, Yusuf Maitama Sule University Kano, Prof served as a lead paper presenter.

The thought-provoking paper was sent to me for review prior to the presentation. I was confused for I couldn’t even comprehend the content of the paper. How could I review what Prof wrote? He was not happy though.

Prof joined academics almost two decades before I was born. In 2010 Bayero University Kano organised a Festschrift conference in his honour. By that time, he spent four decades teaching in the University. Out of more than seven and a half decades he spent on earth, over half a century was dedicated to teaching, research and mentorship.

Hundreds of students and colleagues attended his funeral today. Hundreds of tributes will be written in honour of the diplomatic and intellectual historian. This six hundred and forty-one words tribute says nothing about Prof Dahiru Yahya.

Allah Ya sa Aljanna ce makoma.

Kabiru Ibrahim Danguguwa, a historian and lecturer with Yusuf Maitama Sule University Kano, writes from, Kano.

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In memory of Hajiya Safiya Galadima By Ahmed Usman Jalingo




By Ahmed Usman Jalingo

As a media practitioner, I’m opportune to visit all the sixteen local government areas of Taraba State. Apart from local government headquarters, I was also at so many towns and villages of the state. I visited most of these places with Federation of Muslims Women Association of Nigeria FOMWAN when late Hajiya Safiya Galadima was the state Ameerat of the organization. I worked so closely with her at that time.

Late Hajiya Safiya Galadima was a great mother, great teacher, great administrator, great planner, great philanthropist great counselor and great achiever. She was so humble, patriotic, talented, committed, dedicated and caring. I’m showering these encomiums on her because she deserved it.

A princess born with a silver spoon in her mouth, Madam Safiya Galadima started her education at Native Authority Primary School Kunini in present Lau local government area from 1960-1967. She then proceeded to Women Teacher’s College Maiduguri from 1969-1973 where she obtained a Grade II certificate. Hajiya Safiya was at Bayero University Kano BUK for a certificate course on Planning and Administration from 1981-1982. She was also at Ahmadu Bello University ABU Zaria for Advanced Diploma in Education from 1988-1991.

As an educationist with repute, late Hajiya Safiya Galadima started her career as a classroom teacher in 1973. She devoted almost all her public service career in education sector where she rosed to many ranks thus, Education Secretary Ardo Kola local government, zonal monitoring officer Taraba State Universal Basic Education Board, Assistant Director and Substantive Director at the Board. She was at Jalingo local government council as Councillor for education.

This woman of substance rendered so many serviceto humanity. She was pioneer president of National Council of Women Societies NCWS in Taraba State, Treasurer Window Women Association Taraba State, Vice Coordinator of the Orphans and Vulnerable Children Taraba State branch, Member Better Life Advisory Committee Taraba State, Patron Jalingo Local Government Football Association, Financial Secretary National Association of Education Secretaries Taraba State branch, patron Muslims Aid Initiative Society of Nigeria Taraba State chapter among other numerous clubs and associations.

Late Hajiya Safiya Galadima performed creditably well in Da’awa activities (Islamic propagation) especially with Federation of Women Associations of Nigeria FOMWAN. She held several positions with the organisation. She traveled wide across the the state and even beyond to enlighten women to stand up for their right and welfare.

That act earned her several awards. They include certificate of merit for contribution towards the development of education by Jalingo branch of Nigeria Union Teachers NUT, award in recognition of outstanding contribution to the promotion of women development by Arewa House, merit award by NCWS Taraba State chapter, FOMWAN best performing state Ameerat, certificate of award by Taraba Television TTV for hard and selfless work, award of female peace champion by Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme among others.

The demise of this noble woman, hardworking princess, community leader, and devoted public servant is a great lost not only to Bani Mafindi or Muri Emirate Council but to Taraba in particular and Nigeria in general. She was simple, easy going, so committed and above all so accomodative. Her doors were always open for everyone. She always cares not only for her immediate family but to the community at large.

We will miss you Hajiya but you will not miss our prayers. May Jannatul Firdausi be your last destination. Amin thumma amin.

AUJ 02/02/2021

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