For the first time in the history of the Zazzau Emirate, Emir Shehu Idris marked 45th anniversary on the throne. The event was well attended.
Alhaji Idris was turbaned as the 18th emir of the emirate on February 8, 1975 at the age of 39 to become the youngest prince ever to ascend to the exalted throne.
Although it is not the first time the emir delivered an emotion-laden speech at occasions, that of yesterday attracted the highest reactions, perhaps because of his age, 84.
As Alhaji Idris moved to mount the podium for his speech, palace courtiers and jesters ushered him with sonorous praises: “You will live to see the golden jubilee anniversary and beyond.”
However, the emir seemed not to be carried away by the praises of the palace crew. He began his speech, like in the previous anniversaries, by expressing his gratitude to Allah for granting him good health and long life to become the longest serving emir on the Zazzau throne.
Deep in the speech, the monarch’s voice became emotion-laden. He pleaded with his counsellors, district heads, subjects and residents of the emirate, as well as Nigerians in general, to forgive whatever wrong he might have done to them.
The plea of the emir, as usual, made listeners sober and the atmosphere became calm.
As Alhaji Idris pleaded, the gathering, like in the previous events, thunderously responded, “We have all forgiven you. May you live long in good health.”
The emir added, “I will like to start by thanking Allah. When I assumed the mantle of leadership of this great emirate, I was only 39. Today, I am celebrating 45th anniversary on the throne. This is a rare privilege. For this, I want to seek for your forgiveness for any wrong that I might have done to you.
“I will like to also use this opportunity to appeal to Nigerians to continue to give peace a chance. Without peace, Nigeria cannot achieve its developmental goals. Parents are also advised to continue to monitor the activities of their wards. Only descent and well-trained youths can drive the development of this great country,” he said.
The emir used the opportunity to remind the Federal Government of his appeal during the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the palace on the need to look into the challenges facing the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria.
“Let me use this event to appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for the various developmental projects being carried out in different parts of the country, especially the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road. Similarly, let me remind the president about my earlier appeal on the need to look into the challenges facing the ABUTH as the main tertiary health facility serving our people,” he added.
In his address, President Buhari, represented by the Minister of Environment, Alhaji Mamman Mahmud, went memory lane on how Alhaji Idris emerged as emir, as well as the progress the emirate recorded during the 45 years of his reign.
Buhari prayed to Allah to continue to grant the emir good health and long life to witness the golden jubilee anniversary.
In his speech, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, thanked the various clerics and called on Nigerians to return to Allah for solution to the present predicaments of the country. He urged leaders at all levels to pay more attention on how to improve the citizens’ welfare as the impact on peace on security would be enormous.
A mini durbar was staged as part of the event. Horse riders, mostly princes of the emirate, fully dressed in royal regalia, displayed their skills and artistry to the admiration of hundreds of guests and spectators.
In the 45 years of Alhaji Idris’s reign, Zazzau Emirate has witnessed tremendous progress, according to the titleholder of Ubandoman Gabas Zazzau, Alhaji Aminu Abdulkarim Aminu.
Alhaji Aminu said when the emir was turbaned in 1975, there were only 15 district heads in the entire Zazzau Emirate.
He said, “The emirate now has tens of district heads. His Highness has created new titles to accommodate and give a sense of belonging to more princes. For example, my title was created on August 2, 2019. We have nothing to say to His Highness than to pray to Allah to continue to guide him.”
Alhaji Idris contested for the Zazzau throne with many other princes before he emerged victorious and was appointed emir by the then governor of Kaduna State, the late Brigadier-General Abba Kyari.
Among the princes that contested but lost to Alhaji Idris were Dangaladiman Zazzau; Alhaji Umaru Idris; Sa’in Zazzau; Alhaji Muhammad Lawal; Madakin Zazzau; Alhaji Abubakar Aminu; Dan Iyan Zazzau; Alhaji Nuhu Bayero; Walin Zazzau; Alhaji Lawal Sambo; Wamban Zazzau; Alhaji Sani Megamo.
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