NEW EMIR OF ZAZZAU: How El-rufai Overcome Resilient Kingmakers
The Zazzau Emirate eventually got a new emir on Wednesday, the 8th of October, 2020 after the demise of the former emir, who died on Sunday, the 20th of September, 2020.
The state governor, Nasir El-rufai, announced and turbaned Alhaji Nuhu Bamalli as the new emir after tedious waiting days that were rife with apprehension.
It took the governor 19 days to resolve the impasse he created around the selection of a new emir, a process that was supposed to have been dusted in three days, according to tradition.
The governor started by projecting the impression of an impartial state executive who wanted the emirate to undergo the process of selection by following laid down procedure. He asked the kingmakers of Zazzau Emirate to select from a list of about 18 contenders.
The kingmakers screened the contenders, using criteria that they have made known before the process began, and came up with three recommendations for the governor in hierarchical order.
They submitted the names of Iyan Zazzau, Bashir Aminu; Yariman Zazzau, Munir Ja’afaru; and the Turakin Zazzau, Aminu Idris, from among whom the governor was supposed to choose a new emir.
The governor then began a tactic of foot-dragging. First, he said he had some literature to consult on the history of the emirate. Then he asked for a reconsideration of the kingmakers’ recommendation. Thereafter, he tried to fault the process by alleging that one of the contenders induced the kingmakers.
In all these, Nigerian Sketch had predicted that Iyan Zazzau, the favorite of the kingmakers who, incidentally, has never been in good term with El-rufai, would not be crowned by the governor, saying he would either find a way to turban his friend and favorite, Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli or, as an alternative, chose the second in among the kingmakers’ selected ones, the Yariman Zazzau, Munir Ja’afaru. He did the earlier.
But how did he eventually have his way around the resilience of the kingmakers who, thrice, refused to bow to his demand to change alter their initial recommendations?
El-rufai floated and promoted the idea of balkanizing the Zazzau Emirate into three. First, he gave an explicit hint at this in his budget presentation at the state house of assembly on Monday, sending a jitter through the custodians of the emirate who detest the idea of splitting the monolithic institution.
A day after, he held a meeting at the Government House in Kaduna with the council of chiefs where he was said to have frankly told the attendees to give suggestions on the modalities for the division of the emirate, as a prelude to the creation of a bill to be sent to the state House of Assembly for the ‘reform’ of the traditional institution.
Almost everyone who spoke at the meeting was said to have literally pleaded with the governor to eschew the idea of balkanization and maintain the status quo.
Having understood where he was heading, and realizing that head or tail his friend would still be made an emir, they all agreed that the governor could have his way and appoint his chosen candidate if the emirate would be allowed to remain as one whole entity.
On Wednesday, Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli was crowned as the 19th Emir of Zazzau, ending the 19 nerve-cracking days of speculations, expectations and trepidation.