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A brief history of Zazzau rulers

It is unfortunate, history has been relegated to the back burner. Shehu Usman Dan Fodio did not bring Islam to Hausaland, he is Mujaddadi who…

It is unfortunate, history has been relegated to the back burner. Shehu Usman Dan Fodio did not bring Islam to Hausaland, he is Mujaddadi who wanted to strengthen the true teaching of Islam and to ensure the then rulers follow the correct path.

He did not appoint rulers but sent emissaries to ensure compliance as Prophet Musa was sent to Firaun of Egypt of that time.

From Sarki Gunguma of Zazzau including the Muslim sarakuna from Moran Abu1505-1530 as the 15th Sarki to Muhammadu Makau 1802-1804 all were Sarakunan Zazzau and indigenous to the land.

Sarki Ishaku Jatau 1782-1802 was the father of Makau and accepted the ideals of Usman Dan Fodio. However, on his demise, the people of Zaria insisted that for Makau to be turbaned Sarki, he must agree to re-establish some of the idolatry practices, which he did. This action was what made the clerics, sent by the Barebari Mallam at Barnawa, to collect the flag to move to Zaria to enforce the new doctrine.

At that time there were three independent fiefdoms of Durum, Kauru and Kajuru. When the Sokoto contingent arrived Zaria through Kudan the Sarkin Zazzau was at eid praying ground outside the city and thus the city was easily occupied.

If the Sarki had accepted the new ideology the case of conquest would not have arisen. His fleeing first to Kauru and  Kajuru in 1804 made the city, and in the real sense, the Zazzau, to be a conquered land to be administered by the contingent sent from Sokoto. Makau was finally killed in1824 in Lapai 20 years after fleeing from Zaria. His brother Abu Fari establish a town under his name Abuja, son of Ishaku Jatau.

Now coming to the present day, one wonders what percentage of Malians are there in Zazzau or the Fulata Borno of Yamusa who came as a cleric to Turunku from Katagum with his brother Bappanyo when Katagum was under Borno and Sarkin Katagum was answering the title of Sarkin  Borno na Yamma. Could Zazzau then be a conquered territory that now needs independence? If so, probably the rulers of now Suleja can contest for the throne their forefathers had ran away from. Or should we ask who are the real rulers of Zazzau after the legendary Queen Amina had conquered most of the then North and died at faraway Attagara. Little wonder, Sarkin Suleja added Zazzau to his title. Is the list of candidates still on the increase? Zagezagi over to you. We are from Kukawa but having arrived Zaria in1836 and as Mallams we are not in contention.

Rear Admiral Suleman Saidu (rtd)

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