The ancient city of Kano on Saturday stood still as the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero formally received his staff of office from the state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, 15 months after his appointment.
The event which witnessed several dignitaries including Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, historically held at the Sani Abacha Stadium, the same location the father of the Emir, late Ado Bayero received his staff of office from the then northern government some 58 years ago.
His predecessor, Muhammadu Sanusi, who was deposed last year by the state governor, had his coronation inside the Coronation Hall of Government House.
As early as 6am, well-wishers and spectators from the states and neighbouring states stormed the venue for the coronation ceremony while several others lined up on the street to receive the dignitaries.
The stadium gradually became adorned with hundreds of horses beautifully decorated with colourful horse attires. The venue was flooded with heavy security presence as not less than 4,000 security personnel was said to be deployed to provide security during the historic event.
After being adorned with the legendary Ibrahim Dabo’s hat, bow and arrow as well as the traditional regalia of Dabo from the Madakin Kano, the Emir was administered the oath of office by the Chief Imam of Kano, Professor Muhammad Sani Zahraddeen.
After his coronation by the executive governor of Kano, the emir gave his speech in which he said that his being the Emir of Kano doesn’t mean he is better than others but it is the will of Allah.
“I inherited my forefathers, not because I am better than others, this is the will of Allah,” he said.
The emir also called on people in various positions to remember that they will be accountable before God. He also pledged to protect the rights of his subject to the best of his ability as the Emir of Kano.
Osinbajo thrills audience in Hausa
Speaking at the event, Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari eulogised the Emir, Kano city, the emirate and the late Emir Ado Bayero.
“This city of Kano is no ordinary city in both historical and modern times, Kano has always been revered as the major commercial and economic centre in Africa and the melting pot of diverse tribes and culture,” he said.
He added that it is only with the tolerant culture of the city that opposite ideas can co-exist peacefully “that you could have a thriving, free-market economy with several millionaires and yet also be the base for the radical left-centre of the political idea. This is, after all, the city of the socialist man of the masses, Malam Aminu Kano and is also the home of the capitalist richest man in Africa, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.”
Speaking in Hausa to the cheering of the crowd, the VP reiterated the popular saying of the people of Kano that “Kano ko da mai ka so, an fi ka”, which loosely translate as with whenever you arrive in Kano, the city or its people will surpass you.
“We are all proud of this city, proud of its legacy of tolerance and warmth and that it remains a home for all Nigerians,” he added.
To the emir, the VP said he must recognise that the privilege of emirship “comes with the obligation of preserving the rich tradition of a brotherhood of all tribes and tongues.
“You did not only inherit one of the most revered thrones in Africa but on a more personal level, your late father was known for his wisdom, courage and integrity. He loved his people and served them with honour and complete commitment, you have a good inheritance and a difficult task to accomplish. But we are confident that by the grace of God you will accomplish the task.”
Be careful of self-centred persons – Ganduje tells Emir
Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje described the Emir as a man of the people, which he said explained “the reason for exceptional jubilation in Kano by thousands of well-wishers after his appointment as the new Emir of Kano. The new Emir is among the few princes who are down to earth and freely intermingle with ordinary people.”
He said his administration “holds the traditional institution in high esteem”, and therefore charged the Emir to make good use of his position to promote peace and unity in his domain and the state at large.
He also charged the Emir to “distance himself from anything capable of tarnishing your revered position. I advise that you remain the father of all Kano people and not allow yourself to be used by self-centred persons.”
Confusion as Gambari reads Buhari’s message
Daily Trust on Sunday reports that there was confusion during the event when the Master of Ceremony (MC) invited Ibrahim Gambari, the Chief of Staff to the President, who is also an uncle to the Emir and who led the federal government delegation to deliver his goodwill message, but instead announced that he was reading the goodwill message of the President.
The MC, the Emir and the state governor had all referred to the VP as the representative of the President, a position also confirmed by the VP when it was his turn to address the gathering.
Emulate your father, Buhari urges new Emir of Kano
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday in Kano advised the new Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, to emulate his late father.
President Buhari gave the advice in a letter he sent to the Emir at his coronation ceremony read and presented by the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, who is also an uncle to the new Emir.
The President, who extolled the virtues of Alhaji Ado Bayero, the late Emir of Kano, described him as a man of remarkable culture and principles, who staked his own life at several junctures in the defense of his people.
The president shared some memories and anecdotes of his interactions with the late Emir whom he said was his friend.
“I remember with nostalgia, the passion and commitment he always exhibited in pursuit of any cause he believed in, a distinctive character that almost cost him his life prematurely on January 19th, 2013 because of his vociferous stand against Boko Haram terrorists,” said the President.
The President, who expressed his belief in Aminu Ado Bayero, said: “I have confidence that you would exhibit such leadership qualities and much more as you have demonstrated in the few months of your Emirship.”
President Buhari, in the letter delivered by the special delegation, said: “deep and wholehearted congratulations to you for your ascension to the throne of your forefathers as the 15th Fulani Emir of Kano from Sullubawa Clan.”
He added that “your turbaning is providential because it is happening at a time in the history of our country when prevailing social and political conditions resonate with the ascension to the throne of my friend, your late father, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero. May his soul Rest In Peace.”
The President, who prayed for the success of the Emir, said he looked forward to his contributions to uplifting the people of Kano Emirate in particular and the nation in general while assuring him of his support towards leaving a sustainable legacy.
Massive turnout of dignitaries
Daily Trust on Sunday reports that the event witnessed a turnout of several governors, ministers and traditional rulers across the country.
The delegation of the FG included ministers of Defense, Major General Bashir Magashi (Rtd), Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, Water Resources, Engineer Sulaiman Adamu, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika as well as the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), Garba Shehu and Yusuf Buhari, the President’s son.
The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha as well as governors of Jigawa (Badaru Abubakar), Kogi (Yahaya Bello), Lagos (Babajide Sanwo-Olu), Katsina (Aminu Masari), Zamfara (Bello Matawalle),
Bauchi (Bala Mohammed), Sokoto (Aminu Tambuwal) and the former governors of Zamfara (Abdulaziz Yari) Jigawa (Sule Lamido) Kano (Ibrahim Shakarau) were among the dignitaries at the occasion.
Others are the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar; the Ọọni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; the Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe; and Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare as well as representative of the President of Niger Republic, members of the diplomatic corps and captains of industries, including Alhaji Aminu Dantata, who also witnessed the coronation of late Emir Ado Bayero, some 58 years ago.
Clement A. Oloyede, Ibrahim Musa Giginyu, Kano & Muideen Olaniyi