The Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji (Dr) Shehu Idris, is dead. He died yesterday at the age of 84 after 45 years on the throne.
The late Emir who joined his ancestors at about 11am at the Nigerian 44 Army Reference Hospital Kaduna following an undisclosed ailment was buried yesterday at about 5pm according to Islamic rites.
Thousands of mourners on Sunday evening attended the funeral prayers of the late royal father at his palace in Zaria.
On ground to pay their last respect to the royal father at the burial ceremony were chief of staff to the president, Prof Ibrahim Gambari who led federal government delegation; minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed; senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu; Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai; the Emirs of Kano, Lere, Kauru, B/Gwari, and Kaduna State commissioner of police, among other dignitaries.
Late Dr Idris was born on February 20, 1936. He ascended the throne as the 18th Emir of Zazzau on 8th February 1975 following the demise of Alhaji Muhammadu Aminu the 17th Emir.
Until his death, Dr Idris was the 18th Fulani Emir of Zazzau and the Chairman of Zazzau Emirate Council and Kaduna State Council of chiefs.
The late Emir was born to the family of Malam Idrisu Auta who was sometimes called Auta Sambo and Hajiya Aminatu. Idrisu Auta’s father, Muhammadu Sambo, was the Sarkin Zazzau who reigned from 1879 to 1888 and Auta’s grandfather was Sarkin Zazzau Abdulkarimi who reigned from 1834 to 1846.
Idris started his education career being tutored by two Islamic scholars in Zaria and then continued with his formal studies at the Zaria Elementary School. He was at the elementary school from 1947 to 1950. During this period, the young Idris lost his father when he was 12 years old. He continued both his qur’anic and formal education and enrolled in the Zaria Middle School in 1950 and finished studies in 1955. He then attended Katsina Training College to become a teacher.
In 1958, he was a teacher at a school in Hunkuyi and proceeded to teach in a few other schools in Zaria. Thereafter, he left teaching. In the 1960s, he was a private secretary to Sarkin Zazzau, Muhammadu Aminu. He was also appointed secretary to the Zaria Native Authority council in 1965. In 1973, he was bestowed the title of Dan Madamin Zaria and was appointed the district head of Zaria and Kewaye.
Idris succeeded Sarki Aminu in 1975. On January 10, 2015 he celebrated his 40th anniversary and on February 8, 2020, he celebrated his 45th anniversary on the throne.
PMB, Lawan, Gbajabiamila, Govs, ACF, Others Mourn
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday expressed shock and grief over the death of the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris.
In a condolence message to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, the government and people of Kaduna State, President Buhari with the passing of Alhaji Shehu Idris, Nigeria has lost one of its longest reigning traditional monarchs whose contributions to the promotion of unity and peaceful coexistence among Nigerians cannot be forgotten for years to come.
In the message released by presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, the president said, ”The Emir of Zazzau who ascended to the throne in 1975, had used his long reign to serve his people with dedication and identified with their aspirations at all times.”
He prayed to Allah to forgive the late Emir and grant his family and subjects the fortitude to bear the loss.
Also, president of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, expressed his condolences with the people of Zazzau Emirate, over the passing of their Emir, Alhaji Shehu Idris.
A statement by his special adviser on media, Ola Awoniyi, noted that Lawan also commiserated with the entire people and government of Kaduna State “on the death of one the highest ranking and respected traditional rulers in Nigeria”.
The Senate president said, “During his long reign, the departed Emir applied his wisdom and prestige to enhance peace and transformational development in Zazzau Emirate.
“He will continue to be remembered for his dignity, integrity and boundless love for his people and commitment to their well-being and progress”.
Also, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, mourned the passing of the Emir of Zazzau, saying the royal father lived a life worthy of emulation by upcoming generation.
Stating that his demise has left a vacuum too difficult to fill at this time, the Speaker noted that the late Shehu Idris was an embodiment of peace, rallying round his people to live peacefully and harmoniously among themselves and with visitors.
Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufa’I, described the death of the late Emir of Zazzau as that of a rare gem, source of wisdom and guidance and a true father to all.
While announcing the Emir’s death, he said, “It is with great sadness that I confirm the passing of the father of our state, His Highness Emir of Zazzau, Alh (Dr.) Shehu Idris CFR. He died at the 44 Military Hospital Kaduna today (Sunday) after a brief illness. Janazah prayer in Zaria is scheduled for 5pm in Sha Allah.
“All Covid-19 protocols will be complied with as much as possible during the funeral prayers and condolences.
“I have informed President Muhammdu Buhari, GCFR of the great loss and offered our condolences. The Chief of Staff to PMB, Prof Ibrahim Gambari will lead a Federal Government delegation to Zaria to condole with the family of His Highness, Zazzau Emirate Council and the people of Zazzau Emirate and Kaduna State.
“We have lost a rare gem, a source of wisdom and guidance and a true father of all. May Allah Grant his soul abode in Aljanna Firdaus. Amin”.
On his part, Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, expressed shock over the demise of the 18th Fulani Emir of Zazzau and the chairman of Zazzau Emirates and Kaduna State Emirate Council.
Governor Bello extended his condolences to the people and government of Kaduna State over the loss of the revered royal father noting that although the royal father who was a thoroughbred school teacher with vast religious knowledge had relatively lived up to a good old age, his counsels and guidance would be greatly missed as he left at a very crucial time.
For his part, Gombe State governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, expressed sadness over the demise of the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji ( Dr) Shehu Idris.
Governor Yahaya, in a condolence message released by his spokesman, Ismaila Uba Misilli, described the death of the traditional ruler as a huge national loss.
He said the late Emir was an iconic figure, legendary monarch and embodiment of humility, known for championing the course of peace, unity and mutual understanding.
Also, the Northern Governors Forum said it was saddened by the death of the Emir of Zauzzau.
Chairman of the forum and governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, in a condolence message described the death of the royal father as a big loss to the people of Zauzzau Emirate, Kaduna State and the nation at large.
According to a statement issued in Jos, the Plateau state capital, by his director of press and public affairs, Simon Makut Macham, Governor Lalong said, “The late Emir lived a very productive life and represented the virtues of truth, service and honesty in his 45 years on the throne.
“His leadership and goodwill attracted enormous development to the Emirate and also improved the living standards of his people. He connected easily with people from all parts of the country and offered wise counsel to Governments at all levels. He will surely be missed”.
Also, Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State expressed profound sadness over the demise of the late Emir of Zazzau.
In a press statement signed by director-general on media to the governor, Abdu Labaran Malumfashi, Masari lamented that Nigeria has lost one of its most revered traditional ruler.
According to him, the death of the leading monarch, who he described as one of the last greats, was a devastating loss for Nigeria, coming at a time when the nation is buffeted by many threatening challenges.
“The loss of His Royal Highness, the Emir of Zazzau at this material time, is most devastating, because it has come at a time when his vast experience, influence and global network of friends and associates are very much needed to help the nation navigate itself out of the current economic, security and social woes buffeting it”, Masari stated.
On his part, Kwara state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, commiserated with his Kaduna State counterpart, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and the Zazzau Emirate over the death of their monarch, Dr Shehu Idris .
“I join our compatriots nationwide to commiserate with His Excellency the Governor of Kaduna State Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and the Zazzau emirate on the painful death of the revered monarch who served his people meritoriously and built bridges of friendship and goodwill across the country,” the governor said in a statement.
Also, former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd) said the late Emir of Zazzau was a pillar of traditional institution in Nigeria.
IBB in a statement issued yesterday in Minna said, “It is with great sorrow that I received the sad news of the passing of our beloved father and revered traditional leader, who died today at the age of 84”.
“My heartfelt condolences to the Governor of Kaduna State, the entire Zazzau emirate and his beloved family, as well as the Federal government for the loss of this foremost traditional ruler.
“For 45 years, Alhaji Shehu Idris has been a pillar of our traditional institution, a bridge between people of various ethnicities and religions, and a powerful force for keeping Kaduna State so cosmopolitan”.
Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, described the late Emir of Zazzau as a remarkable traditional ruler and a man of peace.
Reacting to the death of the monarch in a statement issued by his media office in Abuja, the former vice president said, “The late Idris was a gentleman who brought dignity and respectability to his office throughout his long rule.”
“You can’t meet the late Emir Idris without being overawed by his humility and knowledge of issues and his broadminded outlook on life.”
He noted that the late Emir Idris was a towering personality whose legacies in 45 years on the throne shall remain indelible.
The Wazirin Adamawa expressed his deepest condolences to the Shehu Idris family, the Zazzau Emirate Council and the government and people of Kaduna State over the loss of a frontline monarch.
Meanwhile former governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, the death of the late Emir of Zazzau is a colossal loss.
In a condolence letter he personally signed, Makarfi said, “I have received with shock and sadness, but also with total submission to the will of Allah, news of the death of our father, His Highness Alhaji Shehu Idris, Emir of Zazzau and Chairman of Kaduna State Council of Chiefs, earlier today.
“The late Emir of Zazzau was no doubt, a colossus the loss of whom has certainly created a vacuum, not only in Kaduna State, but the entire country, that will be difficult to fill”.
On its part, the apex northern sociocultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), said the death of the late emir Dr Shehu Idris was received with shock and sadness.
ACF in a condolence message issued by it national publicity secretary, Mr Emmanuel Yawe, said the news of the death of Alhaji Shehu Idris, the Emir of Zauzau, at the age of 84 was quite sad.
The forum stated: “Until his death, he was one of the oldest and highest ranking traditional rulers not only in the north but the whole of Nigeria.
“He ruled his Emirate through a period of rapid political, economic and social changes but never lost his focus on his primary responsibility which is the maintainance of peace and progress in his Emirate.
“The Arewa Consultative Forum Condoles with his immediate family, the Zauzau Emirate and the Kaduna State government over this tragic and untimely loss. The forum will miss his fatherly advice on all issues that were tabled before him”.
The Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, also commiserated with the Zazzau Emirate Council over the death of the Emir of Zazzau, Alh Shehu Idris.
Sulu- Gambari who described the demise of the frontline monarch as colossal lose to the entire people of Zazzau Emirate, Kaduna State and Nigeria said, ” His Royal Highness, Alhaji Shehu Idris was a compassionate traditional ruler whose contributions to nation building process would not be forgotten in a hurry.”
Also, the vice-chancellor of the University of Abuja, Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, expressed shock over the death of the Emir of Zazzau, Alh Shehu Idris, who was the Chancellor of the university.
The Na’Allah commiserated with the family and governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, the Zazzau Emirate Council, the entire people of Kaduna State, and Nigerians on what he termed a terrible loss.
According to a statement by the Head Information and University Relations, Dr Habib Yakoob, the vice-chancellor said the death of the Emir came as a rude shock especially at a moment that the school needed his counsel most.
“We are indeed proud of his great and superb achievements as the first rate Emir of modern Zaria. The late Emir will always be remembered as a dutiful, very resourceful and committed individual, who believed in the development of education, particularly of our dear University, the University for National Unity, the UofA of Nigeria”, he stated.
The Senator representing Kaduna North Senatorial District, Senator Suleiman Abdu Kwari, described the death of the Emir of Zazzau, Dr Shehu Idris, as one of the saddest incidents recorded by the country in recent times.
Describing the Emir as a highly cultured leader who was urbane and cosmopolitan in the handling of issues, Sen. Kwari who is the chairman, Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes noted that the late Emir’s commitment to peace exemplified by his patriotic disposition to national issues was a factor that distinguished him.
Also, Senator Uba Sani representing the Kaduna Central District described the late Emir of Zazzau a father, leader, elder statesman and legendary monarch.
In a condolence statement, Uba Sani said the news of the death of the Emir came to him as a shock.
The Senator noted that the history of Northern Nigeria and indeed the great nation cannot be written without a mention of the immeasurable contributions of the late Emir Idris.