Less than 48 hours of the death of the late 84 year old Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris who has hardly turned his side in his grave, four princes from eligible ruling houses of Zazzau Emirate are jostling to replace him.
Idris spent 45 years on the throne, having ascended the position in 1975 after the death of Muhammadu Aminu, the 17th emir since the 1804 Fulani Jihad.
By tradition, a new emir is expected to emerge from any of the four ruling clans of the emirate.
The ruling houses are Katsinawa, Mallawa, Bare-bari and Sullubawa. The late Emir Idris was from the Katsinawa ruling house.
Typically, the Kaduna state Government Nasir El-Rufai is expected to announce the new emir after he would have approved any of the princes nominated to him by the Zazzau kingmakers.
The kingmakers are Wazirin Zazzau, Ibrahim Aminu; Makaman Zazzau, Muhammad Abbas; Fagachin Zazzau, Umar Muhammad; Limamin Gari, Dalhatu Kasim and Limamin Kona, Muhammad Aliyu.
To replace the deceased monarch, four princes were being touted late Sunday, though there is no official communication as regards the process.
Those being mentioned as stronger contenders to the throne are the Iyan Zazzau, Bashir Aminu; Yeriman Zazzau, Munir Ja’afaru; Magajin Garin Zazzau, Ahmed Bamalli and Turakin Zazzau, Bashir Idris.
There are, however, other princes who are said to be eyeing the position. In this category are Wamban Zazzau, Abdulkareem Aminu; Sarkin Kudun Zazzau, Sambo Idris and a few other sons of the late Emir.
Iya Bashir Aminu
He was born December 26, 1960, in the palace when his father, Muhammadu Aminu, was the Emir of Zazzau.
He was turbaned Danmadamin Zazzau by late Emir Idris. When Iyan Zazzau Sa’idu died, Idris promoted Aminu to the important title of Iya, a position once held by the latter’s father before becoming the emir.
A trained accountant and accomplished businessman; he is a Fellow of the Institute of Financial Accountants (UK) and a Fellow of the Certified National Accountants of Nigeria (CNA).
Until the reforms two years ago to resize the Kaduna traditional institutions, leading to repelling of some districts, Aminu was the district head of Sabon Gari, a position he was first appointed to in 1979.
He sits on the boards of many companies as chairman or director.
Aminu is from the Kastinawa ruling house, like the two previous emirs.
The son of 18th Fulani emir of Zazzau, Mallam Ja’afaru, Munir Ja’afaru is a lawyer with vast experience in the private and public sector.
Born on March 25, 1956, he bagged a degree in Law from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria in 1979 and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1980. He was retained as a lecturer at the university (1981-1983) and obtained his second degree in Law during the same period in 1983.
Ja’afaru held various positions in Kaduna state and at the national level. He was Secretary/Legal Adviser of the Kaduna Cooperative Bank Limited (1983-1987); Commissioner for Local Government and Community Development, Commissioner for Information, Home Affairs and Culture; Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, among other ministries he held.
At the national level, Mr. Ja’afaru was appointed Secretary of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (1990-1992). He held the position of Director General of the National Maritime Authority (NMA), the precursor of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) between 1992 and 1996.
The Yeriman Zazzau has held many private sector positions traversing consulting, law, banking and insurance.
The prince hails from the Bare-bari ruling clan.
Mr. Bamalli is immediate past Nigerian ambassador to Thailand with concurrent accreditation to Myanmar. He was born on June 8, 1966.
He has a bachelors and a master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and also diplomas from the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, University of York and Oxford University.
In 2011 he was at the Harvard University for a short course in governance.
A holder of the traditional title of Magajin Garin Zazzau, a position once held by his late father, Bamalli is an experienced administrator and banker.
He joined the defunct FSB International Bank in 1998 rising to the position of Regional Manager before moving to Abuja Metropolitan Management Authority in 2006. He switched to the defunct Nigerian Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTEL) a year later as head of Human Resources.
Bamalli then moved to the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc where he was Executive Director, Corporate Services and acting Managing Director at a point.
After the change of government in Kaduna state in 2015, the new administration appointed him commissioner in the state’s independent electoral commission.
In 2017, Mr. Bamalli was nominated as ambassador at the instance of Governor El-Rufai.
He is the eldest surviving son of the late Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris.
Holder of the traditional title of Turakin Zazzau and the youngest of the contenders.
He was born the year his father ascended the throne in 1975 and was named after his father’s predecessor, Emir Aminu.
He attended Federal Government College Kaduna and obtained a degree in Economics from the University of Abuja. He also has a master’s degree from a yet-to-be confirmed British university.
The younger Idris currently works with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as a senior staff at the Crude Oil Marketing Division of the corporation.
He is married to Karimatu, one of the daughters of Iyan Zazzau Bashir Aminu, also a contender.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna state government Monday declared three-day mourning in honor of the late Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Muyiwa Adekeye announced this in a statement in Kaduna.
Adekeye said public offices would open as usual September 21 and 22 but “there will be a public holiday on September 23 to honor his memory.”
According to him, flags would fly at half-mast during the mourning period.
Shehu Idris, the Chairman of Kaduna state Traditional Council, died on Sunday at the 44 Nigeria Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna at the age of 84 after a brief illness. He spent 45 years on the throne after he was turbaned in February 1975.
The remains of the late monarch had been laid to rest at his palace.
The funeral prayer was led by Chief Imam of Zazzau Emirate Dalhatu Kasimu about 5:35pm, with many family members, thousands of faithful and sympathisers in attendance.
Present at the prayer session were Kaduna state Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Secretary to the State Government Balarabe Lawal-Abbas, Speaker of the State Assembly Yusuf Zailani and other top government functionaries.
Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim led the Federal Government delegation.