How Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli emerged Emir of Zazzau

Emir of Zazzau, Bamali

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai on Wednesday announced the appointment of the Magajin Garin Zazzau, Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, as the 19th Emir of Zazzau.

The appointment came 17 days after the demise of the 18th emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris.

Until his appointment, Bamalli was the immediate past ambassador of Nigeria to the Kingdom of Thailand and Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

Bamalli, who is El-Rufai’s ally and had been predicted as the governor’s likely choice for the throne, was not in the country at the time the late emir, Alhaji Shehu Idris, died.

Observers say that El-Rufai jettisoned the first list of three contenders submitted to him by the Zazzau kingmakers almost two weeks ago because Bamalli’s name was not on it. He, therefore, ordered the kingmakers to begin a fresh selection process last Wednesday.

The Zazzau Emirate has four ruling houses including the Mallawa dynasty founded by Malam Musa, the Bare-Beri dynasty founded by Yamusa, the Katsinawa dynasty founded by Abdulkarimu and the Sullubawa dynasty founded by Abdulsalami.

The top three who made the first list were: Iyan Zazzau, Alhaji Bashar Aminu from the Katsinawa dynasty; Yariman Zazzau, Alhaji Muhammed Munnir Jafaru from Bare-bari dynasty and Turakin Zazzau, Alhaji Aminu Shehu Idris also from the Katsinawa dynasty.

However, the selection process took a dramatic turn last week Wednesday when El-Rufai directed the kingmakers to begin fresh selection of candidates, jettisoning the earlier list submitted to it.

The state government stated that the earlier processes had excluded two untreated applicants including the Bunu Zazzau and the Sarkin Dajin Zazzau, who it said had protested their exclusion in the selection processes.

Another reason it gave for jettisoning the earlier list was that the kingmakers had assessed two candidates on September 24, 2020, without sighting their CVs, which the selectors received a day later.

Many however saw the directive as an excuse to include Bamalli’s name on the list as government officials had confirmed to Daily Trust that the governor was under pressure to compensate the Mallawa dynasty, which has not produced an emir in the last 100 years.

But as suspense persisted over the succession delay, Governor El-Rufai on Tuesday convened a critical meeting with the state’s Council of Chiefs where indication emerged that the governor was going to announce the new emir the following day.

Wednesday’s announcement by El-Rufai’s has put to rest the speculation that the governor was working on a bill to balkanise the Zazzau Emirate into three.

The governor had announced that he was working on an executive bill that would reform the composition and classification of the state’s chieftaincy and traditional council.

The Zazzau Emirate has a first-class status and it is also the largest in Kaduna State, comprising of 11 local government areas.

Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli is Nigeria’s immediate past Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Born in 1966 in Zaria, Bamalli studied Law as first degree from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria in 1989 and obtained a Master’s degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy from the same institution in 2002.

Until his appointment as emir on Wednesday, Bamalli held the title of Magajin Garin Zazzau; the second most senior princely title in the Zazzau Emirate. He bagged a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, 1998 and did a fellowship on conflict resolution at the University of York (UK), 2009.

He holds another Diploma in organisational leadership from Oxford University, UK, 2015 and is a Senior Chevening Fellow with about 26 years cognate experience covering banking, public sector, telecommunications, and manufacturing. The emir is an alumnus of the prestigious Harvard Business School where he obtained GMP in 2011 and is married to Mairo Bamalli and blessed with five children.

Based on the Mallawa dynasty tree, Bamalli is the 4th emir from the clan trailing behind three descendants including Malam Musa, the founding father of the Mallawa dynasty.

Musa had reigned between 1804 and 1821 as the first Fulani emir of Zazzau.

Within the Mallawa dynasty, he was followed by Sidi Abdulkadir, the sixth emir of Zazzau and the second from the dynasty who reigned between 1853-1853.

Abubakar, the 9th emir of Zazzau and third from the Mallawa dynasty reigned between 1879-1888, while Aliyu Dan-sidi, the 13th emir of Zazzau and Bamali’s grandfather reigned between 1903 -1920.

Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli has become the first emir of Zazzau from the Mallawa ruling house in 100 years, since the demise of his grandfather, Aliyu Dan-sidi, the 13th emir of Zazzau in 1920.

Soon after he was appointed as the 19th emir, Bamalli wrote on his verified Twitter handle: “Alhamdulillah, after 100 years. The throne is back home. Allah gives power and leadership to whom He wills. Now my watch begins, I shall serve you diligently and selflessly. May Allah help us all. Amin.”

The Yariman Zazzau, Muhammad Munir Jafa’aru, one of the top contenders for the throne, has congratulated the newly appointed emir.

Jafa’aru who is from the Bare-bari dynasty, in a statement, he released yesterday, said, “It is with a deep sense of gratitude to Almighty SWT that I learnt of the appointment of Magajin Garin Zazzau, Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, as the new Emir of Zazzau by Governor Nasir Ahmed El- Rufai. We all must accept the will of Allah SWT, and congratulate the new emir, HH Ambassador Nuhu Bamalli on his appointment.”

“May Allah SWT guide, lead and direct his actions on the throne and usher in peace and prosperity to our people. Allahumma Amin.”

Another contender who holds the title of Wamban Zazzau, Alhaji Abdulkarim Aminu also congratulated the new emir. When contacted by Daily Trust, he said since they had prayed for Allah’s choice, the emergence of the new emir should be seen by all and sundry as an act of God.

He added: “Based on the foregoing, I wish the new emir Allah’s guidance and protection. I wish him a successful reign and wish to urge all members of the royal families to rally round the new emir. On his part, the new emir, His Royal Highness, Ambassador Ahmad Nuhu Bamalli, should not look back. He should carry everyone along.

Similarly  the Iyan Zazzau, Alhaji Bashar Aminu, one of the three reported to have been shortlisted by the kingmakers, was at his Sabon Gari residence throughout the duration of the announcement of the new emir.

Our correspondent observed that Iyan Zazzau received his close allies who paid him a solidarity visit.

Although, he did not issue an official statement, Daily Trust observed that he was responding with “amin” to the prayers of associates who prayed Allah to make the “development a blessing.”

On his part, one of the kingmakers, Limamin Juma’a, Sheikh Dalhatu Qasimu, advised the new emir to uphold fairness, patience, unity and justice as his guiding principles.

When asked whether he was surprised by the emergence of Alhaji Bamalli as the new emir, Sheikh Qasimu said: “Allah gives power to whom He wishes.”

However, a resident, Aliyu Magaji, said he was not happy that the recommendation of the kingmakers was not respected, blaming politicians of attempts to “rubbish the traditional institutions for selfish interest.”

On his part, a Zaria-based lawyer, Barrister Abdulsalam Arda’u, said the new emir should pay attention to areas of human development.

Arda’u said the royal institutions should be the channels through which government’s presence could get closer to the people at the grassroots, urging the new emir to work hard to achieve that for the people of the emirate.

Our correspondent observed that aside from the brief ceremony that took place at the palace where the well-wishers of the new emir and other courtiers congratulated him by blowing of trumpets and beating of drums; everywhere was calm up till Wednesday night with people going about their normal businesses.

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the new emir, advising him to be a leader to all.

President Buhari, in a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, also advised the new emir to unite all members of the ruling houses.

The president said, “I congratulate you on making history by becoming the first emir from the Mallawa ruling house in 100 years. You deserve the appointment and I am confident you will justify the confidence reposed in you.”

He added, “While you bask in the glory of the moment, I want you to be a leader to all and treat all your people fairly in the performance of your duties.”

“May Allah grant you wisdom and guidance in the discharge of this responsibility”.

Also, the Northern Governors Forum has congratulated the new emir, saying the appointment was a good omen for not only the people of Zazzau Emirate but Kaduna State and Nigeria in general.

In a statement by the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, the governors said, “We rejoice with you over this worthy opportunity given to you by God to serve your people like your ancestors did and also surpass their achievements because of the rich heritage they have passed down to you’’.   (Daily Trust)

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