Sarkin Bai: Life and times of oldest Kano kingmaker | Dailytrust

Sarkin Bai: Life and times of oldest Kano kingmaker

Late Sarkin Ban Kano
Late Sarkin Ban Kano

Perhaps the wealth of experience acquired by the late Sarkin Ban Kano, Alhaji Mukhtari Adnan, is what made the Kano State government describe his death as the loss of a rare gem, a highly disciplined and patriotic leader, who passed away when Kano needed his foresight the most.

Indeed, it is very rare these days to come across an individual who has led a fulfilled life the way late Sarkin Ban Kano did. In a condolence message sent to the family by Kano State Governor Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the governor said the state will always appreciate the late traditional ruler’s contribution towards the attainment of positive development in the state.

“We still appreciate the development he brought to the education sector when he was Commissioner of Education; in fact the first Education commissioner in the state. As a federal legislator who served at the National Assembly of the First Republic, Dr Mukhtar Adnan, was one of those politicians who shaped our democracy to its present state of development and survival,” Ganduje said.

Probably, it might be appropriate to term a life well-spent by the late traditional ruler as a successful life because one can’t count on how many lives the late traditional ruler has positively impacted as a teacher, a technocrat and a traditional ruler. That is why his death is seen as a great loss not only to Kano State emirate, the state government and Nigeria as a whole but also a great loss to the world’s traditional institutions.

To many who lived close to the late traditional ruler, they regard the late Sarkin Ban Kano as an icon of humility and hospitality who takes everyone as his biological son; he was known with the words “Da na” meaning my son. It was gathered that he was always in touch with the world as he read his papers, especially Daily Trust almost every day.

Born on the 25th of December 1926 in Dambatta of the old Kano province, the late Mukhtari Adnan’s father was Mohammadu Adnan, the then Dokaji at Babura and Sarkin Bai between 1942 and 1954 when he retired.

The late Sarkin Ban Kano went to Dambatta Elementary School from 1935 to 1939; Kano Middle School 1939 to 1944; Clerical Training College Zaria, 1946 to 1947; Rapid Result College London (A Levels) 1954 to 1956 and attended course on Parliamentary Procedure and Practice in the UK in 1961 for which be obtained a Diploma.

He started working as an Audit Clerk in the Colonial Office in Kaduna, Zaria and Kano between 1948 and 1950 before becoming an assistant accountant in the then Kano Native Authority Treasury from 1950 to 1953.

He was appointed District Head of Dambatta in 1954 a position he held till his death. He was also a Member Kano Emirate Council and Kingmakers. He participated in the selection of Emir of Kano Muhammadu Inuwa (1963), Emir of Kano Ado Bayero (1963-2014), Emir of Kano Muhammad Sanusi II and the current Kano state Emir Aminu Ado Bayero in 2020.

During his active life, he joined the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) in 1953 and was elected under the party to represent Kiru/Karaye Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives from 1954 to 1959. He was re-elected to the House for the 1959 to 1964 session but this time representing Dambatta.

He was again re-elected in 1964 to 1966 when the government was brutally sacked. He was also the chairman of the Kano NPC from 1954 and NPC Chief Whip in the Federal Parliament from 1957 to 1966. After the January 1966 coup, he returned to Danbatta and resumed his district headship until he was appointed Civil Commissioner of Education in the newly created Kano State from 1968 to 1973. He served diligently until he voluntarily resigned from the cabinet together with Alhaji Aminu Dantata.

The late Sarki Ban Kano also served as Chairman, Kano State Rural Electricity Board 1974 to 1976; member, State Primary Education Board 1978 to 1992 and member Scholarship Board 1982 to 1987.

He was conferred with the Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) in 1982 and Honorary Doctorate Degree of LLD by Bayero University Kano in 1992.

In a condolence message by the Kano State House of Assembly, the Speaker, Engineer Hamisu Ibrahim Chidari, described the death of Sarkin Ban Kano as a great loss to the state and the nation. 

In addition, history would forever remember him for his total commitment to the development of the state, he said, pointing out that Dr Mukhtar Adnan led a life worthy of emulation.

The speaker also extolled the virtues of the deceased as one of the few elder statesmen who put Kano State on the right path, considering his utmost contributions in different spheres of human development, especially in the education sector as the pioneer commissioner of Education in the old Kano State.

Late Sarkin Ban Kano was buried in his Dambatta house after the funeral prayer led by Dambatta Chief Imam, Malam Nasir Abubakar, was observed immediately after the Jumaát prayer at Danbatta Central Mosque in Danbatta Local Government Area of the state.

Before his death, Adnan was the longest-serving member of the Kano Emirate Council, since the establishment of the emirate in the 19th century. He served for 63 years as district head, councillor and kingmaker, he died at the age of 95.

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