A leading prince in the Zazzau Emirate, Alhaji Munir Ja’afaru, has tendered his resignation to the emirate council as the district head of Basawa.
The outgoing district head is currently the holder of the traditional title of Madaki, strictly reserved for outstanding crown princes in the order and tradition established by the 19th century reform of Shehu Usman Danfodiyo.
He was first crowned Yariman Zazzau by the late Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris, in 1995 and made district head of Hanwa, Sabon-Gari and Zaria.
With the appointment of Mallam Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli as the 19th Fulani Emir of Zazzau, the emirate council elevated Munir’s position from the traditional title of Yerima to Madakin Zazzau, a position exclusively reserved for leading princes in the emirate.
Munir Ja’afaru is the son of the late emir of Zazzau, Ja’afaru dan Isiyaku, from the Barebari dynasty, who reigned from 1937 to 1959.
Efforts to contact the former district head, Munir Ja’afaru, were not successful as he was said to be out of town and his mobile phone was not connecting as a text message sent to him was not delivered.
However, sources close to him said Madakin Zazzau resigned as the district head of Basawa following some issues with the emirate council.
According to the source, who sought anonymity, “the Madaki decided to resign his position after the Emir of Zazzau, Mallam Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, declined to appoint a ward head in his district.
“Traditionally, it is the responsibility of the district head to nominate a ward head and thereafter present him to the Emir through the scribe of the district head for blessing and confirmation.
“However, when the ward head was presented to the emir, he asked the whereabouts of the district head, and he was not there, so the emir declined to confirm the ward head.
“I guess this could be the reason behind the district head’s resignation,” the source speculated.
Meanwhile, a statement earlier issued by Abdullahi Aliyu Kwarbai, media and publicity officer of the emirate, said the Emir of Zazzau, Mallam Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, has since approved the resignation of the district head and subsequently appointed his replacement.
The statement read in part, “Subsequent upon receiving a letter dated July 29, 2023, from Madakin Zazzau, Alhaji Muhammadu Munnir Ja’afaru, the district headship of Basawa District, the Emir of Zazzau, His Highness, Mallam Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, CFR, LLD, has with immediate effect approved the appointment of Architect Haruna Abubakar Bamalli, Barfe Kerrariyyan Zazzau, District Head of Zangon Aya, as the substantive District Head of Basawa.”
The statement did not give reasons for the resignation of the traditional title holder, but disclosed the movement of some district heads from one district to another in the emirate.
Sources at the emirate council revealed that the 19th Emir of Zazzau, Mallam Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, is embarking on reforms to restructure the traditional and administrative settings of the emirate for fruitful results.
According to the source, since coming on board, the emir has taken some harsh decisions in a bid to reposition the emirate and restore its traditional and cultural glory.
Bamalli, apart from taking decisive measures against any member of the emirate found wanting, is also embarking on structural development around the emir’s palace, thereby giving it a befitting facelift.
A cross section of people interviewed in the emirate expressed displeasure with Munir Ja’afaru’s decision to relinquish his portfolio as a district head, being one of the leading princes in the emirate.
They feel the presence of such national figures and technocrats in the emirate as title holders adds great value and recognition, even in the outside world, looking at the intimidating pedigree of the resigned district head.
“We would have loved to see this issue resolved amicably between the emirate and the Madaki no matter what happens so that Munir Ja’afaru can continue to retain his district headship unabated.
“Such development doesn’t speak well of our emirate, as we are widely known as people of peace and tranquilly all over the country,” they said.
Munir Ja’afaru is a certified lawyer, technocrat, and administrator with multiple accomplishments, including chairing the Board of Directors of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited, Unity Bank, and heading the National Maritime Authority.
The prince had also served as commissioner at various times in different ministries in Kaduna State, including those of local governments and community development, information, home affairs and culture, and finally agriculture and natural resources.
The Madakin Zazzau equally served at the federal level, first as secretary of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) in 1990 and as director-general of the National Maritime Authority from 1992 to 1996.
While serving as the DG of the Maritime Authority, he was also the chairman of the Nigerian Unity Bank, director of FSG Bank International, and director of the Leasing Company of Nigeria.
He is a holder of the prestigious national award of Officer of the Order of the Niger OON.