BY JONATHAN NDA-ISAIAH, BODE GBADEBO, Abuja; ISAIAH BENJAMIN, Kaduna; AND ACHOR ABIMAJE, Jos
After days of speculations and apprehension, Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai yesterday approved the appointment of Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli as the 19th Emir of Zazzau.
The new emir succeeds his predecessor, the late Alhaji (Dr) Shehu Idris, who died on Sunday, September 20, 2020 after 45 years on the throne.
Kaduna State commissioner for local government affairs, Jaafaru Ibrahim Sani, who announced the appointment of the new Emir in a statement, said the Kaduna State governor has since congratulated the new Emir, HRH Bamalli, on his appointment and wished him a successful and peaceful reign as Emir of Zazzau.
Bamalli is the first Emir from the Mallawa ruling House in the last 100 years, after the reign of his grandfather, Emir Dan Sidi, who died in 1920.
Until his appointment as Emir of Zazzau, Bamalli held the title of Magajin Garin Zazzau, the second most senior princely title of the Zazzau Emirate.
PMB, Lawan, Northern Govs, Atiku, Others Congratulate New Royal Father
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate president, Ahmed Lawan, northern governors and other prominent Nigerians have congratulated the new Emir of Zazzau, urging him to be a leader of all.
Following his appointment yesterday, President Buhari in a statement by presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, noted that the appointment of Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli as Emir of Zazzau was well-deserved.
In his message to the new Emir, 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.
“While you bask in the glory of the moment, I want you to be the leader to all and treat all your people fairly in the performance of your duties.
“This is a challenging moment and therefore, I want you to use this opportunity to unite all members of the ruling houses for the interest of your people. May Allah grant you wisdom and guidance in the discharge of this responsibility”.
For his part, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, congratulated the newly appointed 19th Emir of Zazzau, describing it as a well-deserved appointment.
A statement by his special adviser on media, Ola Awoniyi, quoted Lawan as expressing hope that the new Emir will meet the high expectations of the revered office and justify the trust and confidence that his people have expressed in his character and ability through his selection and appointment.
The Senate president also congratulated the state authorities, particularly the people of Zazzau Emirate, for the peaceful and smooth transition after the painful exit of their 18th Emir, Late Dr. Shehu Idris.
Lawan prayed that the reign of the new Emir like that of his immediate predecessor will enhance peace and development in Zazzau Emirate and Kaduna State at large.
Also, the Northern Governors Forum congratulated Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli over his appointment as the 19th Emir of Zazzau, describing the appointment of the new Emir as a good omen for the people of Zazzau Emirate, Kaduna State and Nigeria as a whole.
The chairman of the forum and governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, in a statement signed and issued in Jos by the director of press and public affairs in the governor’s office, Simon Makut Macham, 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.
“Your exposure and experience heightens the excitement that by the help of Almighty God, you will improve the lives of the people and also make valuable contributions to national development”.
The governor reminded the new monarch that he was ascending the throne at a time when the nation, and the Northern region in particular, was facing serious challenges of insecurity, poverty, illiteracy and health burden despite its rich human and material endowments.
He assured the royal father that the Northern Governors Forum will support his reign and also benefit from his wisdom and influence as it works to emancipate the region from the myriad of challenges confronting it.
On his part, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, congratulated the new Emir of Zazzau, urging him to focus on confidence-building efforts in his domain.
In a statement by his media aide, Mr Paul Ibe, Atiku expressed satisfaction with the appointment of Bamalli, describing him as one of the youngest traditional rulers in recent years and a well travelled diplomat of ambassadorial pedigree.
The former VP noted: “Although the shoes of the late Emir are big, I am confident that Bamalli is up to the task and responsibilities expected of him”.
He expressed optimism that as a technocrat and ambassador, Bamalli will add value to the throne by bringing development to his people.
Listing peace and unity were some of the challenges facing Nigeria, including Kaduna State, Atiku implored the new royal father to focus on confidence-building efforts in his domain.
According to him, because of the traditional rulers’ closeness to the grassroots, he is in a unique position to ensure peaceful coexistence among his people.
Also, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, congratulated Bamalli over his appointment as the new Emir of Zazzau.
In a statement by his media aide, Tunde Rahman, the former Lagos State governor described the new Emir as a highly-detribalised Nigerian and a friend of all.
Tinubu urged Bamalli to toe the footsteps of his predecessor, even as he tasked him to consolidate on the tremendous gains recorded by the late Emir.
Tinubu said, “As Magajin Garin Zazzau, Ambassador Bamalli distinguished himself as an excellent high chief of the Zazzau Emirate, just as he performed brilliantly well as top diplomat, serving Nigeria as Ambassador to Thailand.
“Like his immediate-past predecessor, Ambassador Bamalli is also a highly detribalised Nigerian and a friend of all.
“He is a prominent diplomat, tested administrator and a first class traditional title-holder. As the first Emir from the Mallawa Ruling House in 100 years, the burden of history is on Emir Bamalli”.
Also, Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Kalu, hailed the new royal father, saying exemplary leadership qualities, cross-national experience and goodwill earned Bamalli the position of the 19th Emir of Zazzau.
Kalu, in a statement he issued yesterday, urged the newly appointed monarch to sustain the good works of his predecessor, just as he implored sons and daughters of Zazzau Emirate and Kaduna State to rally support for the new Emir.
The former governor of Abia State also congratulated the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and the people of Kaduna State for appointing Bamalli as the 19th Emir of Zazzau.
Kalu called on members of the four ruling houses of Zazzau Emirate Council to accept the choice of Bamalli in good faith.
He stated: “Following the appointment of Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli as the 19th Emir of Zazzau, by Kaduna State government, I congratulate the good people of Zazzau Emirate Council and Kaduna State at large over this historic feat.
“The new emir has over the years demonstrated professionalism, patriotism, selflessness and humility in all his endeavours”.
How Bamalli Emerged As Emir
The new Emir has long been speculated as the governor’s preferred choice for the throne, although the Kaduna State government has repeatedly denied that Governor El-Rufai has preference for any of the aspirants to the revered throne.
However, reliable sources privy to the state government’s plan to name a successor for the late Emir Idris confided in LEADERSHIP hours before the appointment of Bamalli that the pendulum will swing to his side for some reasons.
A source particularly said Governor El-Rufai has in the past few days told close aides who his choice would be for the exalted stool.
Also, in their selection deliberations, the Zazzau Kingmakers, LEADERSHIP gathered, rated the Iyan Zazzau, Bashir Aminu, as number one among aspirants to the throne.
It would also be recalled how the kingmakers had initially excluded Bamalli from the list of three candidates initially submitted to the governor two weeks ago.
It was also gathered by this newspaper that El-Rufai vowed to be fair to all the four recognised ruling Houses in order to avoid certain Houses from having undue advantage over others.
Only two ruling Houses, the Barebari and the Katsinawa dynasties, have occupied the throne at different times in the last 100 years while Mallawa and Sullubawa ruling houses had been missing out.
The Barebari, Katsinawa, Mallawa and Sullubawa houses have all produced at least one Emir each, but the Barebari and Katsinawa ruling Houses have dominated the last 100 years, with two consecutive Katsinawa successions from 1959.
The Katsinawa ruling house has ruled Zazzau Emirate for 61 unbroken years, following the appointment of Emir Aminu in 1959 in succession to Emir Jafaru Dan Isyaku of the Barebari ruling house. The recently departed Emir Idris succeeded Emir Aminu in 1975.
With the appointment of Emir Bamalli from Mallawa ruling House after 100 years break, what appeared to be a jinx may have been broken.
What To Know About The New Emir Of Zazzau
Born in 1966, Bamalli studied Law at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria in 1989 and later obtained a Master’s degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy from the same institution in 2002.
He also bagged a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the Enugu State University of Science and Technology in 1998.
He obtained a fellowship on conflict resolution at the University of York (UK) in 2009 before proceeding on to acquire another Diploma in Organisational Leadership from Oxford University, UK in 2015.
The new Emir of Zazzau is a Senior Chevening Fellow with about twenty six years cognate experience covering Banking, Public Sector, Telecommunications, and Manufacturing.
He is also an alumnus of the prestigious Harvard Business School where he obtained his GMP in 2011.
Bamalli was Nigeria’s immediate past Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand as well as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
He was a Commissioner of Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission between 2015 and 2017.
The new Emir was the acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer & ED Corporate Services at the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Plc between November 2011 and 2014.
Between 2007 and 2009, he was the Human Resources Manager at the Nigerian Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTEL).
Bamalli was the Chairman, Board of Directors, Tawada Limited (Subsidiary of Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Plc from November 2012 to 2014.
He is happily married to Hajia Mairo Bamalli and they are blessed with five children – a boy and four girls.