Emir of Kano, Alhaji Dr. Ado Abdullahi Bayero is dead. He died in the early hours of today at the age of 87.
The cause of his death was not immediately disclosed, but Ado Bayero had not been fully recovered from the shock of a violent attack on him by suspected members of Boko Haram in Kano a couple of years ago. He spent months in a specialist hospital overseas.
Ado Bayero became the 13th Emir of Kano in October, 1963
The Emir was born on Sunday June 15, 1930 (17th Muharram 1349) in Gidan Rumfa while his father, Alhaji Abdullahi Bayero, held sway as the Emir of Kano. He was the eleventh and second son of his father and mother respectively. He was named after the first son of his father who had died when he was only five years during the reign of Sarkin Kano Abbas. He grew up in the palace as well as in the house of Maikano Zage as it was the tradition in those days for every prince to be put under the care of one of the leading cucunawa (royal slave) title holders.
Bayero is certainly a man of destiny whose reign has been most exciting and eventful.His parents Abdullahi Bayero, 1926-1953) and Muhammadu Abbas 1903-1919) were both Emirs of Kano. His two great grandfathers were also Emirs beginning with the second emir, Ibrahim Dabo, who reigned between 1819 and 1846 and Abdullahi, the father of Abbas, who reigned between 1855 and 1883.
As the tradition with the royal family, the young Bayero studied Qur’an along with his brothers under the tutelage and guidance of Hajiya Umma, wife of Walin Kano, Sulaiman. At the later stage of his charming and humble life, he attended Kano Middle School and School for Arabic Studies, Kano.
His stint in public service started at the Bank of British West Africa, now First Bank in 1947. In 1949, he left the bank, to join the services of Kano Native Authority. During his service at the NA, he attended courses in Nigeria at the Clerical Training Center, Zaria and a Local Government Course in the United Kingdom. He was also the Chief Clerk of the Kano Town Council.
Bayero also joined partisan politics where he tested his electoral prowess. This, he did successfully , as he contested and won elections into the Northern Region House of the Assembly under the banner of Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) in 1954. He made his inaugural speech in the House of Assembly on March 13, 955.
When the need for him to go back to the traditional authority arose, the young Bayero did not hesitate to resign as a member of the House in 1957 and subsequently took up appointment as Wakilin Doka, Chief of Kano Native Authority Police. Having served the emirate at that capacity for five years up to1962, he was appointed Nigeria’s Ambassador to Senegal.
While in far away Switzerland studying French, the prince was summoned to Nigeria in the second week of October, 1963, to become the 13th Emir of Kano. The ascension of Ado Bayero to the throne was both historic and monumental.
He was reportedly said to have ascended the throne exactly 500 years after Sarki Muhammadu Rumfa, the worthy ancestor to whom he could most appropriately be compared.
The prince was beckoned from far away Europe to fill the vacuum left by his uncle, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa, who became the only alternative to the political crisis that engulfed Kano and the Northern region; after Sarkin Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi abdicated under a serious political storm, threatening the entire Northern establishments and the stability of Kano especially.
In the six months he served as emir, Muhammadu Inuwa, had stood firmly and successfully against regional politics that threatened to balkanise Kano then.
According to Malam Adamu Adamu, a seasoned columnist, Rumfa “was the first avowedly Islamic ruler of the polity credited with improving the defence of the capital city, consolidating the status of Kano as a commercial center and being the polity’s leading patron of learning.”
The Emir, apart from being an agent of change, he also sat at the meeting point between the immediate post -independence period and modern times, which was crucial for laying a solid foundation for modern education.
“In Ado Bayero sarauta found an exponent who was to shape at least its outside features as he himself was to be shaped by it. He has come to symbolise sarauta and become its icon almost without trying to do so; because either by virtue of his charisma, or the pre-eminence of Kano as a metropolis without equal, or his possession of other qualities and a variety of royal attributes, he seemed to have set a standard that would remain unattainable for a very long time,” Malam Adamu said.
Since assuming the position of Emir of Kano, Sarkin Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, has served Nigeria in various capacities but most prominently as Chancellor of the Universities including university of Nigeria Nsukka, University of Ibadan and the University of Maiduguri. He has also served in various councils and has played several mediatory roles. He is a patron of several organizations in Nigeria.
In Kano, he has been spearheading the construction of many Mosques and Islamiyya schools across the length and breadth of the emirate, more than any other Emir in the history of Kano. Today, Bayero’s reign is believed to be longer than all of the Sarakuna and Emirs of Kano, with the exception of the famous four: Bagauda, who ruled for 63 years; Yusa, 58 years; Naguji, 53 years; and Muhammadu Kisoki, 56 years. Among the longest rulers of Kano, San Kano’s was the most characterised by abundant prosperity.
As a leader who believes in inclusiveness, he has restored many titles to the original holders and has also co-opted many deserving people into the Emirate’s hierarchy.He has turbaned more district heads (Hakimai) than any other Emir. Several new titles have been introduced to cope with the rising demand because of the creation of more districts and the need for new district heads.
He overcomes his opponents by his perseverance and humility. This humane disposition was evidenced during the administration of Alhaji Abubakar Rimi of the radical Peoples Redemption Party (PDP) in Kano state from 1979 to 1983. When the emir paid a condolence visit to Rimi’s residence when his wife was murdered, many could not understand that “breach” of royal protocol.
The emir also carved a niche for himself as a dynamic sustainer of both tradition and change in Kano emirate.
While advancing modernity and change in all spheres of human endeavour, he equally champions the preservation of the traditions of the royalty, Hausa culture and Islam. His apolitical stance, many belief, has to a greater level, enabled him survive the political intrigues that characterised the military and civilian regimes in the last 45 years.
During his 40th anniversary, Dabon Kano, Magajin Rumfa, as the Emir is fondly called, was celebrated with a firm reflection in his characteristic and dignified manner in form of a national conference on Chieftaincy and Security in Nigeria. This was because the period was more in need of scholarly and professional discourse on security. The proceedings of that conference was later published by the Kano State Government. [myad]