Condolence messages have been pouring in nationwide over the death, of the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, aged 84, who had been on the throne for 45 years.
In his condolence message to Governor Nasir el-Rufai, the government and people of Kaduna State, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed shock and prayed that Allah forgives the late Emir and grant his family and subjects the fortitude to bear the loss.
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A statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, said: “With the passing away 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.”
It 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.”
Senate President Ahmad Lawan, also expressed his condolences with the people of Zazzau Emirate, saying “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.”
The Northern Governors Forum (NGF), through its Chairman, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, also described the death of the royal father as a big loss to the people of Zazzau Emirate, Kaduna State and the nation at large.
“The late Emir lived a very productive life and represented the virtues of truth, service, and honesty in his 45 years on the throne. He will surely be missed,” the message read.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, described the passing away of Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, as the end of an era in Zazzau Emirate and the North.
In a condolence message by his media aide, Tunde Rahman, Tinubu described the late Emir as a detribalised Nigerian who was committed to Nigeria’s unity and progress.
Former military President Ibrahim Babangida in his condolence message said he received the news with great sorrow and described the late emir as a pillar of the traditional institution, a bridge between people of various ethnicities and religions, and a powerful force for keeping Kaduna State so cosmopolitan.
“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,” he said.
Also, Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State expressed sadness over the Emir’s death, saying Nigeria has lost one of its most revered traditional giants.
In a statement by his Director, Media, Abdu Labaran Malumfashi, obtained by Daily Trust, Masari said the death of the leading monarch, whom he described as one of the last greats, was a devastating loss for Nigeria, “Coming at a time the nation is buffeted by many threatening challenges.”
“A man of compassion, peace and clear perspectives, the death of Dr. Shehu Idris has robbed the nation of his rich and wise counsel, creating a huge vacuum that will be difficult to fill, while the impact will be felt beyond the shores of Nigeria,” he said.
Also, the Emirs of Katsina, Dr Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, and that of Daura, Alhaji Umar Faruk Umar, expressed grief over the death of one of their own.
In their separate condolences through their information officers, the emirs prayed Allah forgives the late emir his shortcomings and grant him Jannatul Firdaus.
Similarly, the Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, has expressed sadness over the passing away of the Emir of Zazzau and Chairman, Kaduna State Emirate Council, Alhaji Shehu Idris.
Acknowledging his age-long relationship with the late Emir, Oba Oyewumi described the deceased as a reliable and dependable friend.
In a condolence message signed by his Private Secretary, Toyin Ajamu, Oba Oyewumi extended his condolences to Zazzau Emirate Council, people and government of Kaduna State, over the sad loss.
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State said the late Emir would be remembered for his role in the behind-the-scenes settlement of disputes that became intractable in other domains which were referred to him by his peers.
He added that the octogenarian was until his passage one of the last-standing third-generation Northern monarchs who contributed immensely to national and regional development.
Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai, while expressing sadness over the news of the emir’s death, said the late monarch offered distinguished service to the state for over six decades in various roles, culminating in his ascension to the throne in 1975.
A statement signed by the governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, said: “Throughout his long reign of 45 years, HRH Dr. Shehu Idris worked hard for the people of Zazzau Emirate. He offered wise counsel and was committed to the goals of improving health outcomes for all our people, raising school enrolment and peace and security in the state.
“He demonstrated dedication in his roles as chairman of Kaduna State Council of Chiefs and a member of the State Security Council. The state will miss his experience, institutional memory, and wisdom. We pray Allah to grant him Al-Jannah Firdaus.’’
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) in its condolence message said the late emir was one of the oldest and highest-ranking traditional rulers not only in the north but the whole of Nigeria.
A statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, also said late Alhaji Shehu Idris played a prominent role as one of the five emirs who founded the ACF.
A former Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, described the late emir as a colossus whose death has created a vacuum in the state and the entire country that will be difficult to fill.
“During my time as governor of Kaduna State between 1999 and 2007, I benefitted immensely from his wise and fatherly counsel, especially at those times that we were trying to navigate through turbulent waters,” he said.
Also, a former senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, described the late emir as a pillar of transformation, a bridge between religion, culture and modernity. He said via his Twitter handle that the late emir was a “unifying figure, a titan of peace and an exemplar for tolerance.”
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Kaduna State chapter, while commiserating with the family and entire people of Zazzau Emirate, said the late Emir Shehu Idris left at a critical stage of rebuilding and restoration of peace.
The chairman, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, in a statement said: “The late emir left us at a very important time of rebuilding and restoration of peace, love and friendship in our dear state, a role he has been playing as emir over many years.”
The Vice-Chancellor, University of Abuja, Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, on behalf of the Governing Council, Senate, staff and students of the university also commiserated with the family of the late Emir of Zazzau, who was the chancellor of the university.
“The death of the chancellor comes to us as a rude shock especially at this moment that we need his counsel most. We are indeed proud of his great and superb achievements as the first-rate Emir of modern Zaria,” a statement signed by the institutions spokesman, Dr Habib Yakoob, said.
The Emir of Ilorin and Chairman Kwara State Council of Chiefs, HRH Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, through his spokesman, Malam Abdulazeez Arowona, described the death of the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, as a colossal loss to the entire people of Zazzau Emirate, Kaduna State and Nigeria in general.
“My heart and prayers are with the immediate and extended families of the monarch and the entire Zazzau Emirate Council at this period of monumental loss to humanity. I pray Allah to accept his good deeds, forgive his shortcomings and grant him Al-Jannatul Firdaus”, it said.
Also, a press statement from the National Youth leader and Convener, #YouthAriseDemocracyNow, James Makeri said, “It is with great sadness that we learnt of the passing away of the Emir of Zazzau, HRH Dr. Idris”.