How ex-envoy Bamalli emerged Emir of Zazzau

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Following weeks of anticipation, anxiety and lobbying, Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state Wednesday approved the appointment of Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli as the19th Emir of Zazzau.

 Bamali succeeded Alhaji Shehu Idris, who died Sunday, 20th of September, 2020  after reigning for 45 years, 

The former Nigerian ambassador to Thailand emerged as the first emir from the Mallawa ruling house 100 years after the demise of his grandfather, Emir Dan Sidi in 1920,  Commissioner for Local Government Affairs in the state, Alhaji Ja’afaru Ibrahim Sani said in a statement Wednesday.

 His appointment is expected to douse tension that had built up across Zazzau Emirate, particularly in Zaria City, where people waited with bated breath and apprehension for their next leader. 

His emergence

Bamalli’s emergence followed the cancellation of the selection process following what Governor el-Rufai described as some irregularities and exclusion of some qualified aspirants from the process.  

The new emir, according to Blueprint’s findings, was not among the three contenders initially nominated in the first process.

Bamalli’s emergence may not fully douse tension as there are still some apprehensions over alleged plan by the governor to split Zazzau Emirate into three domains with the creation of new emirates in Kaduna and Kudan. 

The statement further said Governor el-Rufai congratulated the new monarch on his appointment and wished him a successful and peaceful reign as Emir of Zazzau.

“Until his appointment as Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli held the title of Magajin Garin Zazzau and served as Nigeria’s ambassador to Thailand, with concurrent accreditation to Myanmar. He has been a permanent commissioner in the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission in 2015,” the statement added.

The commissioner also said the new emir had worked in the banking sector as executive director, and later acting managing director of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Corporation (NSPMC).

“He was a staff of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Agency before a stint as head of Human Resources at MTel, the mobile communications arm of the old Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL).

 “Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli studied law at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and holds a master’s degree in international relations and diplomacy and a diploma in organisational leadership from Oxford University. He is also a fellow on Conflict Resolution of the University of York, United Kingdom (UK),” the commissioner said. 

Ambassador Bamalli is a direct descendant of Malam Musa Bamalli, the flag bearer and first Fulani Emir of Zazzau, who ruled from 1804 to 1821.

His father, Nuhu Bamalli, held the position of Magajin Gari (the second most important princely title in the Zazzau Emirate) for 40 years. 

 Malam Ahmad Nuhu Bamalli acted in the capacity of Magajin Gari, representing his father in public functions for 20 years.

He was officially appointed to the position in 2001, following his father’s passing.

From his mother’s side, he is a direct descendant of the Islamic scholar and founder of the Fulani Empire, Usman Danfodio.

 His mother is the daughter of Abdulrahman Dikko, and the great granddaughter of Sultan Aliyu Babba and Sultan Muhammadu Bello, as well as Shehu Usman Danfodio. 

 Blueprint observed that people were seen in clusters discussing the latest development. 

One of our correspondents who visited the Emir’s palace reports that there was calm in Zaria City, with well-armed security personnel keeping watch at some strategic locations around the palace to forestall possible breach of law and order.

 Ja’afaru congratulates new emir

Meanwhile, a frontline contender for the royal seat, Malam Munir Ja’afaru, has accepted the choice of Bamalli as Emir.

The prince, who was believed to be among those likely to succeed Idris, was one of the shortlisted three princes initially recommended for the appointment to Governor  El-Rufai by the Zazzau Emirate kingmakers.

Accepting the choice of the new emir in a statement Wednesday, Ja’afaru said: “It is with 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.”

While describing the development as the will of Allah, the prince called on his supporters to accept same and congratulate the royal father.

“May Allah SWT guide, lead and direct his actions on the throne, and usher in peace and prosperity,” the prince said.

He also expressed “profound gratitude” to his well-wishers “for the outpouring of support/solidarity and prayers.”

Buhari, Lawan, Tinubu too

Also, President Muhammadu Buhari congratulated the new Emir of Zazzau, and advised him to be the leader of all.

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.”

He prayed Allah to “grant you wisdom and guidance in the discharge of this responsibility.”

Similarly, Senate President Ahmad Lawan in a statement described Bamalli’s appointment as well-deserved and expressed 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.”

He 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.

Lawan prayed that the reign of the new Emir like that of his predecessor would enhance peace and development in Zazzau Emirate and Kaduna state.

In a similar message, National Leader All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Asiwaju, has commended Governor el-Rufai over  Bamali’s choice as emir.

Tinubu said: “Ambassador Nuhu Bamalli is a prominent diplomat, tested administrator and a first class traditional title-holder. I congratulate him on his appointment as the 19th Emir of Zazzau.

“My congratulations also goes to Governor Nasir el-Rufai for making a prudent appointment.

“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, Alhaji Shehu Idris, who died last month after 45 years on the throne, Ambassador Bamalli is also a highly detribalised Nigerian and a friend of all. I urge him to continue in that fashion and consolidate on the tremendous gains recorded by the late Emir.

“As the first Emir from the Mallawa Ruling House in 100 years, the burden of history is on Emir Bamalli. I pray to Almighty Allah to grant him divine wisdom, guide and protect him so he can steer the ship of the Emirate successfully.

“May his reign bring forth peace, development and prosperity to the Zazzau Emirate, and indeed to northern Nigeria.”

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