Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State has said the appointment of Ahmad Bamalli as the 19th Emir of Zazzau was an opportunity to redress a colonial injustice.
The Governor made this known during the presentation of staff of office to the traditional ruler on Monday.
He recalled that the Emir’s grandfather, Aliyu Dan-Sidi, was unjustly deposed by the colonial Governor of Northern Region, Herbert Goldsmith.
According to El-Rufai, the handing over of the Staff of Office to Emir Bamalli is taking place exactly 100 years since Goldsmith deposed the new emir’s grandfather.
The governor said the vacancy of the throne gave the government the opportunity “to return to the enduring principles that guided the appointment of Emirs under the Sokoto Caliphate”.
He added: Shehu Usman Dan Fodio in his seminal work: ‘Bayan Wujub Al-Hijra,’ was crystal clear that there are nine qualities of Islamic leadership – wisdom, learning, clemency, generosity, kindness, righteousness, patience, gratitude, and leniency, which entail avoidance of harshness.
“It is on the basis of due regards 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.
“I therefore call on all those that contested the Emirship to accept the will of Allah and join hands with the 19th Emir of Zazzau for progress and harmony in the Emirate.”
The governor appealed to the title holders, district heads, members of the Emirate Council, the good people of Zazzau Emirate, and indeed all the citizens of Kaduna State to rally round the new Emir.
He urged them to extend to him their full support and cooperation in the same way they gave his predecessors to enable speedy development of the Emirate and the State in general.
El-Rufai said: “The administration expects the loyalty of all persons to our Emirs and Chiefs and 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.
“The new traditional institution’s law will also legislate clear dynastic succession order in all emirates and chiefdom with more than one ruling house.
“It will outline guiding principles for the recommendations of district heads, traditional council members, emirs and chiefs, for appointment, consider expanding the membership of councils, and clearer roles of the kingmakers.”
The governor also paid glowing tribute to the immediate past Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris.
El-Rufai said: “In his 45 years as Emir, he was regarded as a just and fair ruler, a peacemaker per excellence, an outstanding administrator and a kind hearted leader and father.
“He contributed immensely to the successes recorded by our administration, especially in the critical areas of education, preventive healthcare, peace building and mass mobilisation.
“His fatherly advice and guidance in our then weekly Security Council meetings will remain indelible in our minds.
“May Jannatul Firdaus be his final abode.”
The governor expressed confidence that Bamalli would consolidate on the solid foundation by his predecessor.
El-Rufai advised the new emir to remain open and receptive to positive contributions from all the relevant stakeholders.