The passing of Alhaji Shehu Idris, the Emir of Zazzau, on September 20, 2020 after a long and illustrious reign, has left a void in the hearts of many Nigerians. As a respected and influential leader, he dedicated his life to serving his community and leaving behind a legacy of compassion and progress. Through his steadfast leadership, he championed causes ranging from education to healthcare, always striving to uplift those around him.
Today, we remember the Emir’s life and time proudly, celebrating his legacy and the many contributions he made during his lifetime. As a beacon of hope and an advocate for progress, Alhaji Shehu Idris will always be remembered as a statesman whose efforts helped to shape Nigeria’s history.
From education to healthcare, the Emir of Zazzau was a champion of the people and the causes that mattered to them. His dedication to his community has undoubtedly left a lasting impact, inspiring others to follow his example and strive to make a difference in the world around them.
Born on February 20, 1936, Alhaji Shehu Idris was the 18th Emir of Zazzau, and held the position for over 45 years. During his reign, he oversaw the modernization and development of Zaria, the capital of the Zazzau Emirate, and worked tirelessly to improve the lives of his people. He was known for his commitment to education, and was instrumental in the establishment of numerous schools and educational institutions in his kingdom.
Beyond his local community, Alhaji Shehu Idris was a respected voice in Nigerian politics and society. He served as a member of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, and worked closely with other traditional rulers to promote peace and unity in the country. He was also a strong advocate for the rights of women and children, and worked to improve their access to education and healthcare.
His reign spanned over 45 years, making him one of the longest-serving Emirs in the history of Northern Nigeria. His leadership style was characterized by his deep-seated commitment to the welfare of his people, the promotion of peaceful co-existence, and the preservation of the culture and tradition of his people.
One of the most significant legacies of the late Emir is his contribution to the development of education in Zazzau. He was material to the establishment of several schools and provided scholarships to many students, especially the less privileged. Today, many of the schools he helped in establishing have become centres of learning and excellence.
Through his initiatives, he encouraged many children to pursue education, which helped to reduce illiteracy in the emirate.
Another remarkable legacy of the late Emir was his contribution to the development of agriculture. He was a strong advocate for the advancement of agriculture in Zazzau. He initiated several programs aimed at improving the agricultural sector, such as the provision of improved seedlings, fertilizers, and other farm inputs. He also encouraged his people to embrace modern farming techniques, which resulted in increased productivity and improved their standard of living.
The late Emir was also a peace-loving leader. Throughout his reign, he worked tirelessly to promote peaceful coexistence among his people, and between his emirate and neighbouring emirates. He preached and practiced tolerance and ensured that every resident of the emirate was treated fairly and equally, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or social status.
Shehu Idris will always be remembered as a great leader who preserved and promoted the cultural heritage of Northern Nigeria. He was not just a traditional ruler but also a custodian of Northern culture and values. His reign saw the expansion of Zazzau Emirate to one of the most influential emirates in Nigeria.
The Late Emir’s commitment to education also played an important role in preserving Northern culture and values. He established various schools and educational institutions to promote education among his people.
His educational initiatives helped to create a pool of educated northerners who would later become the advocates of the culture and values of the North.
As a true custodian of Northern culture and values, the late Emir of Zazzau was a voice for peace, tolerance, and unity among the diverse ethnic groups in Northern Nigeria. He worked tirelessly to promote peace and harmony among the various ethnic groups under his domain. He believed that it was only through tolerance and peace that the cultures and values of the people could be preserved.
He left an indelible mark on the emirate and his legacy will continue to inspire generations to come. His name will forever be remembered as one of the greatest Emirs in the history of Northern Nigeria.
As we take time to honour the Emir’s life and time, let us never forget the values he stood for and the legacy he leaves behind. May his spirit guide us as we continue to work towards a brighter future, one where the soaring potentials of Nigeria is fully realized.
Abdul-Azeez Suleiman wrote from Zaria