Zazzau Emirate: Hadiza Seeks Another Amina in Zauzau as El-Rufai Consults European Historians

By Namse Peter Udosen

INFOMEDIA – The Emir of Zaria HRH Shehu Idris passed on September 21, 2020. This threw the Emirate and  Kaduna state into mourning. The vacant throne has thrown up lots of speculation about who will fill it.

Shehu Idris, who had been emir since 1975, died at the age of 84. Idris was the longest-reigning monarch in the history of the Zazzau emirate, having reigned for 45 years from 1975 to 2020.

As usual in issues such as this, the speculators have brought out their bags of prospective successors. In pre-colonial times the council of Kingmakers was burdened with the task of selecting a successor to the throne. The Zaria Emirate consists of four ruling houses with a unique composition. The four houses are not related by blood.

These days, the weight lies on the shoulders of the Executive Governor of Kaduna state.

Now comes the drama! After burial rites had been concluded, Kaduna Governor Mallam Nasiru Elrufai announced a three day mourning period which was observed statewide or maybe not. Okay, that’s not the drama. On his social media handles, Elrufai affirmed that the final decision lies with him. To make his job easier he is consulting some historical materials written by European scholars. Neat isn’t it? An intellectual approach is always nice. However many scholars in Ahmadu Bello University and Bayero University would posit that there are relevant materials by Nigerian scholars on the issue. I guess we cannot trust these local eggheads on very sensitive issues such as this. This notwithstanding, the speculations still continue.

Sahara Reporters seem to have eyes in the mind of the governor as they reported that ” the kingmakers have picked Iyan Zazzau, Bashir Aminu, as successor to the late Emir, Shehu Idris.”

Other online speculators have taken it a step further with brazen details with even scorecards. Alhaji Bashir Aminu, Iyan Zazzau scored 89 marks; Alhaji Muhammed Munnir Jafaru, Yariman Zazzau, who was said to have scored 87 marks; and Alhaji Aminu Shehu Idris, the Turakin Karamin Zazzau, is said to have scored 53 marks. I wonder who set the exams and who was the invigilator? I will need to see the marking scheme.

An interesting speculation is that el-Rufa’i’s ally, Ambassador Ahmad Nuhu Bammali, the Magajin Garin Zazzau, did not make the list. Maybe he came late for the exams. Or maybe he has not been paying his Emirates dues. Could it be that he wrote and scored below 30%?

Hadiza Elrufai, wife of the governor and women’s rights advocate was not left out as she threw a banger into the ring of speculation. Hers pushed the boundaries of speculation into advocacy. She suggested, The governor should consider a woman to sit as Queen of Zaria like Amina of old. Queen Amina ruled Zaria from 1576-1610 and na she be di most popular among pipo wey rule Zazzau Emirates. Even BBC carried that (the pidgin part).

Hadiza’s tweet has also become fuel for debate between conservatives and liberals, especially on Arewa Twitter. Feminists and anti-feminists have used it as an inspiration for mudslinging and abuse. In fact, all sorts of human beings and maybe robots have jumped on it.

Another speculation is that Mallam Elrufai fancies an underdog for the throne. This has sparked an amazing conspiracy theory in my mind. I have gone into my inner chambers and have solved the puzzle of speculations.

Do we remember Maryam Babangida? Do we remember the creation of Delta state from the old Bendel state? Did anyone believe that Asaba would be made capital of Delta state? The speculation mill suggested that five towns were nominated, namely: Warri, Sapele, Ughelli, Abraka, and Kwale. There was no nomination from the Anioma town of Asaba. They were minorities. Sapele was the favourite to clinch it. Warri and Ughelli were also top on the cards. Enter the wife of the head of the Armed Forces Ruling Council, Maryam Babangida.

If Twitter had existed then, she would have twitted “Asaba for Delta State Capital!” She didn’t. But she whispered it into IBB’s ears during oza room time. The rest is history. Pardon the cliché.

Never underestimate the power of za oza room. Hadiza Elrufai may be the one to smile at the end of the speculation war. We keep our fingers crossed.

Namse Peter Udosen

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of INFOMEDIA

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