Kano played host to thousands of who’s who recently during a dual ceremony that locked the ancient city. Writes BASHIR MOHAMMED.
The ancient city of Kano was last Friday witnessed arrays of private jets at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) as they conveyed ‘who’s who’ in the country just as they trooped into Kano city to witness two epoch-making occasions: the wedding of Yusuf Buhari and Zarah Nasir Ado Bayero as well as the formal coronation of Bayero as the second Emir of Bichi by Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the executive governor of Kano state.
The epic wedding
Gowns were all over flying in and around the Bichi Central mosque with regalia worn by respective Emirs, Obas and Obis also flying anxiously waiting to witness the consummation of the marriage of the president’s only male son and the daughter of Emir Bayero at a dowry of five hundred thousand naira paid in the presence of the bride and the groom emissaries.Alhaji Mammaman Daura, the president’s uncle, was the one who handed over the dowry to the representative of the bride, the renowned business mogul, Alhaji Aminu Al-hassan Dantata, which culminated in the formal solemnisation of the marriage in line with Islamic injunction, a function performed by the Chief Imam of Bichi Central Mosque, Sheikh Muhammad Lawan.
It was however, a herculean task for even ministers, governors, other monarchs and notable personalities to gain easy access to the palace entrance gate where the marriage rites were performed due to heavy security presence mounted by heavily armed soldiers, mobile police and the operatives of the Department of State Security(DSS).
What had elicited the attention of on-lookers and other invitees at the colourful event, was the presence of former president Goodluck Jonathan and Wazirin Adamawa, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the way they exchanged banters with President Buhari as if they all belonged to the same political fold.
It was however, a day after the wedding Fatiha that the formal coronation of the Emir took place also in the presence of retinue of eminent personalities, including governors, ministers, Sultan of Sokoto and others who converged on the Bichi Stadium to witness the grand coronation.
Governor Ganduje called on the newly coronated Emir not to lend credence to all forms of divisiveness capable of tarnishing the image of the traditional institution he had sworn to respect adding that the exalted throne must be safeguarded in line with the norms and tradition of the palace.He said, “Your coronation today as the second Emir of Bichi is a clear demonstration of our resolve in promoting the traditional institution as a bastion of revered cultural heritage. Going by your pedigree, I have no doubt in my mind that you are equal to the task. Iam calling on you to avoid every form of divisiveness that would tarnish the image of the traditional institution you have sworn to respect.”
Ganduje described Bayero as one who had garnered a lot of experiences from his late father, Alhaji Ado Bayero, which was brought to bear in all aspects of the leadership role he played when he was a district head, adding that his coronation as the second Emir of Bichi would serve as an additional impetus to forge ahead.
“Those of you who knew what Bichi was before can attest to the fact that it has been a citadel of royal authority and high influence. “The late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Abdullahi Bayero, was the Ciroman Kano during the reign of his own late father, Emir Abbas. it was after his stint as Ciroma that he eventually became the Emir. “The same thing also happened to his son, the late Emir Muhammadu Sanusi I who also became the Emir of Kano after serving as Ciroma,” he stressed.
“We have purposefully taken the decision to create four additional emirates in order to bring the traditional authorities close to the masses for the quest of socio-economic development to be entrenched. Looking at your remarkable background as a banker and technorat, I am pretty confident that you would employ your immense wealth of experience and expertise in propelling the Bichi emirate to greater height,” he remarked.
New Emir speaks
Speaking shortly after taking the traditional oath of office and the presentation of the staff of office from the Chief Imam of Bichi Central Mosque, Shiekh Lawan Bichi, the newly coronated Emir stated that he was grateful to God for according him the opportunity of ascending one of the most exalted thrones having had his finger on the traditional tiller in respect of various traditional titiles he had held in the past.
He said, “Iam highly grateful to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje for being instrumental to my appointment as the second Emir of Bichi as ordained by God. Iam not unmindful of the great responsibility that lies on my shoulders . I am willing to contribute my widow’s mite in transforming the lives of the people of in my domain,” he said.
“I would also endeavour to render my immense contribution in certain critical areas like education and agriculture with considerable emphasis on mechanised farming. One of my major concerns is the introduction of a subtle mechanism to fight desertification and address the causative factors of climate change. I am ready to make my emirate unique by becoming a fountain of development and discernible change,” he opined.
“I want to sieze this opportunity to express my gratitude to my senior brother, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, whom I believed had positively impacted in whatever I do. To me, he is like flesh and blood. we have become inseparable and inextricably intertwined. We respect each other, love each other like flesh and blood,” he stressed.
President Buhari extols virtues of Dabo dynasty
In his remarks, President Muhamadu Buhari said the coronation of the Emir of Bichi, Alhaji Nasir Ado Bayero has exposed the uniqness of Kano being a leading pace-setter in the business of royalty, spanning over centuries adding that for what it was known, the Dabo dynasty had proven its efficacy and industriousness in surmounting obstacles that would relagate the reverence of traditional leadership to the background.
The president who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, however stated that the evolution of monarchy had far trasncended all known frontiers of human development and the ability of stakeholders in the institutions to stamp their feet on whatever they were asked, stressing that transforming the institution to excel entailed a huge commitment and the sacrifice needed to forge ahead.
However, the absence of the Emir of Kano at the wedding fatiha of his brother’s daughter has undoubtedly received much publicity and excessive spin from observers who had the impression that even the wedding fatiha should have been brought to the palace of the monarch in Kano on the premise that the Emir of Bichi is his junior brother.
As if the Emir of Bichi got wind of the flurry of behind the scene gossips that were bandied about as a result of the non appearance of his elder brother, the Emir told anyone who cared to listen that his relationship with his junior brother remained absolutely cordial and they mutually loved each other and respect each other as they were ordained to do so on the basis of their upbringing.
With notable opinion leaders expressing their respective opinion most especially over the pomp and pageantry that greeted the coronation ceremony, the creation of four additional emirates by Governor Ganduje has brought to the fore the necessity of expanding the frontiers of traditional authority to cut across different strata for the quest of progress and meaningful development to be realistic.
It was however the contention of Alhaji Shehu Bichi that the creation of Bichi Emirate is undoubtedly a good development coming at a time when people in rural areas are in dire need of rapid development in a democratic setting, adding that Bichi town had in recent times witnessed remarkable change and wore a new look, days to the coronation of the second Emir.
“We are really grateful to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, for injecting succour into our lives. We are short of words to thank him. It is just a matter of time that we would continue to witness a myriad of giant strides. The governor really deserved all accolades”.
Speaking in the same vein, a resident of Bichi town who craved for anonymity said it would be devastating for the entire people of Kano to remain under the tutelage of one emirate council considering the vast population of Kano, stressing that it is only when Kano is fragmented into different emirate councils that an all-encompassing development would be recorded.
According to him, the situation is peculiar to Kano alone where a single emirate is known to be perpetually existing over the years with the status quo remaining static. He stressed that in states with more than one emirate council, people have come to appreciate the fact that with time, they would become much more developed.