Zazzau Emirate: It is Not Another Case of a Dark Horse

By Dr J. I. Yero

INFOMEDIA – It is a sad realisation that we have lost a great fatherly emir in Zazzau. May Allah forgive his shortcomings. We’ll miss him dearlyIt is sad that the media soon became awash with lists of contenders to the throne, depicting the most qualified as if the least.

People have the right to know the truth. It is time people face those unscrupulous media and their conspiring outlets by setting the record straight, as regards to some of the historical happenings in Zazzau Emirate. Glory be to The Almighty. He ordained for the truth to, no matter how long, prevail in the face of whatever adversity.

People should know, among all the contenders, only one of them is a direct descendant of the first Fulani Emir of Zazzau- the flag bearer. Uninformed public assume that there were three flag bearers for Zazzau emirate from the onset, since we have Gidan Mallawa, Barebari and Katsinawa. This is far from the truth.

Only one flag bearer arrived Zaria, in company of his disciples and assistants. Three houses emerged later purely based on circumstances which the emirate found itself in the course of its life journey.

Providence had it that the newborn children of Malam Musa Bamalli (the flag bearer) kept getting afflicted with a kind of severe migraine at infant stage and this migraine tend to cause their death, successively.

In time, a cure was found for the family from Mali, requiring the new born baby be marked on both sides of his face and a powdered herbal medicine be applied thereupon. This was the origin of the two marks that Mallawa people bear on the two sides of their faces. It was originally medicinal and later became a kind of tradition for them.

As a result of the cure secured through facial marking. and mainly by the sheer grace of The Almighty, the subsequent offspring of the flag bearer started to survive to adulthood. However, by the time the flag bearer passed on to the next life, his oldest son was not old enough – has not attained puberty state (as required of an Islamic Imam).

In those early days of the caliphate, an Emir to an Emirate is the Chief Imam and the Chief Judge as well. Owing to this apparent quagmire, the eldest son of Malam Musa could not be appointed. As such, the most knowledgeable assistant of Malam Musa at the time of his death, who could perform the stated functions, happened to be “Babarbare” (a man of Bornu origin).

This fateful happening, was the single important reason that led to the break up of the ruling lineage to more than one house, unlike what we can see obtainable in other emirates across the caliphate. With this, it was much easier for Katsinawa and the Sullubawa to also be opportune to be ushered into the ruling clans of Zazzau emirate, based on similar circumstances.

It should be noted that Malam Musa is a fulani man (as testified by Hugh Clapperton, the British explorers, whose coming even predated the 1861 occupation of Lagos), from a purely Fulani background, a Fulani province of FUTA-DONKA, famous like the FUTA DJALLO and other Fulani provinces alike.

Historians inadvertently tagged the caliphate – its entire emirates, as Fulani emirates. Hearing the names Barebari, Katsinawa or Sullubawa, alone, is enough to indicate that there has been a mixed up along the line.

As history has shown, Borno people are not Fulani. So also, Katsinawa of those days were mainly Hausas. The media however keep trying tirelessly to change the history. They were once reminded of the truth at the 200Years Anniversary of The Caliphate in Sokoto 2004.

In fact, when flags were being issued as part of the ceremony marking the 200 years of The Caliphate, only DIRECT DESCENDANTS OF THE ORIGINAL FLAG BEARERS from each emirate were allowed to receive flags. Ahmad Nuhu Bamalli, as the most senior title holder among all the descendants holding titles from Zazzau, was the one who was allowed to receive the flag.

In spite of all the glaring factual evidence, the media still persist, using pseudo historical publications, web hosting and every available chance they get. Ta Allah ba tasu ba Check the over 190years old account of the first British Explorer to the Northern Nigeria – Clapperton (1788 – 1827), at the British Museum. You can confirm this indelible historical fact, attesting the history of the great Musa Bamalli of Futa Donka.

Amb. Ahmad Nuhu Bamalli, the son of Nuhu Bamalli, who’s the son of Malam Yero (Aliyu was his birth given name but called Yero as he was a last born of a last born), who’s the son of Abubakar Darda’u (the last born of Malam Musa), the son of Malam Musa Bamalli (the first Fulani Emir of Zazzau).

Malam Musa Bamalli (Bamalli is a nickname as in Bakano) schooled together with the great scholar himself (Sheik Usman bn Fodio) at the famous Timbuktu Islamic school before coming to Nigeria/Niger together, assisted in the conquest of Kano and Katsina before coming to Zaria, bearing the flag of the “Kalimah”, a “mujahid” to the cause of righteousness and “mujaddid” to the way of Allah. Thus, if the lots fall upon Ahmad Bamalli, it’s obviously not a case of a dark horse.

Dr J. I. Yero ([email protected])

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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