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Inside the world of our Emirs
Up North, they are referred to as the "League of 10". These are the highly prominent and powerful traditional monarchs. Apart from their highly exalted traditional stools, these royal fathers are financially solid, with vast interests across numerous blue-chip companies within and outside Nigeria's shores. Most of them, prior to their current status, had served the country in different capacities, which obviously has helped a great deal in strengthening their influence within the corridors of power and other segments of the society. In this piece, we unveil these powerful Northern monarchs.
He is the the very powerful Sultan of Sokoto. Alhaji Muhammud Maccido. Apart from his exalted traditional position as the Sultan of Sokoto, also occupies the prestigious position as the spiritual head of all Muslims in Nigeria. Most times, Islamic leaders all over the world seek for his advice and guidance on religious issues. Within the Government circles, both at the Federal and state levels,the Sultan's position on any issue is very relevant. Alhaji Maccido's counselling since he ascended the throne has tremendously helped in shaping some government policies and decisions. For instance, months back when the Federal Government was experiencing deep apathy from some Northern States in respect of application of polio vaccines, Sultan Maccido was one of the top traditional rulers who helped in re-shaping the thinking of some defiant Northern governors over the contentious issue.
In the league of Northern Emirs, two factors obviously stand out Alhaji Ado Bayero, the highly revered Emir of Kano. They are; his exalted position as the paramount traditional ruler of the people of Kano and of course his mega wealth. Over the years, the Emir has become an institution of sorts who is highly respected, not only in the North, but across the country. His counselling and advocacy are treated with utmost seriousness and attention. Till date, it is on record that no governor succeeds in Kano without the support of Alhaji Ado Bayero. Years back, the first democratically elected Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, almost got his fingers burnt when he engaged the Emir in a political feud. Kano almost became ungovernable for him, before he later retraced his steps and apologised to the Emir. Beyond the state level, Ado Bayero, a retired diplomat, is a close ally to virtually all the heads of state that had ruled Nigeria.He is known to be one of the close confidants of the incumbent President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Alhaji Ado Bayero's mega wealth,indeed goes beyond the shores of Nigeria. Apart from being a leading investor in lots of blue chip companies, he's also a large scale-farmer. The Emir is a former ambassador to Senegal. He became the Emir in 1963.
Apart from his traditional position as the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji lbrahim Sulu-Gambari till date, remains one of the highly respected jurists in the country. A retired Appeal Court Judge, the Emir's contributions to the legal system dispensation have continued to be a reference point to so many upcoming legal practitioners.
Mustapha EI- Kanem:
In the north, Alhaji Mustapha EI- Kanem, the highly adored Shehu of Borno is in his own class. Over a period of about three decades, Alhaji Mustapha has become an institution of sort in the North East geopolitical zone. His advice is always strongly adhered to and treated with utmost respect. He is also a wealthy traditional ruler with considerable interest in oil , and landed properties.
Ado Ibrahim Atta:
He is the highly influential paramount traditional ruler of 1gbiraland in Kogi State. Alhaji lbrahim Atta is one traditional ruler that is highly respected by his subjects. Since he ascended the throne, he has made tremendous efforts in attracting
foreign investors to his domain. Apart from his traditional role, the traditional monarch is reputed to be a top-rated boardroom player with considerable interest in top-rated companies.
He is the influential Etsu Nupe of Niger State. Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, a retired army general, is a traditional ruler who enjoys tremendous support of his people.
He is the highly respected Emir of Zazzau since 1975. His reign has witnessed tremendous development of the ancient town of Zazzau. Alhaji Shehu ldris' relevance and influence can never be underrated within the corridors of power. A story was once told of how the late General Sani Abacha reprimanded a former military governor of Kaduna State for daring to be rude to Emir Shehu ldris. In Zaria, and by extension in the entire North, it is a general belief that you can only ignore Shehu ldris' relevance and influence at your peril. He is also a man of immense wealth and also sits on the Board of several blue- chip companies, including the United African Company Nigeria Limited (UACN) and Nigeria Tobacco Company.
He is the highly revered Emir of Gwandu, one of the four emirates that constitute Kebbi State. Alhaji.Mustapha Jokolo's relevance and prominence dates back to his days as the Aide-de-camp (ADC) to former Head of State, General Muhammud Buhari. Then a Major in the Nigerian Army, Mustapha, by virtue of his position, wielded enormous powers in the corridors of power. Since he became the Emir of Gwandu, he has brought lots of positive changes to the town. Aside operating one-on-one with most of the top military officers (both retired and serving), Mustapha has unrestricted access to President Olusegun Obasanjo.
He is also another highly influential Emir in the North. Alhaji Sama 'la Mera is the Emir of Argungu, whose sense of conflict resolutions and judgment is highly appreciated by his subjects. Alhaji Mera is one of the respected traditional rulers within Government circles, both at the Federal and State levels. What makes him exert so much influence in Kebbi State is because he knows the politics of the state like the back of his hand, having served in different top capacities to the various Chiefs Executives of Kebbi State. Some of his former appointments was as a Commissioner before ascending the throne. Alhaji Mera, only a few years ago, was honoured by the Federal Government with the award of Commander of the Niger (CON), in appreciation of his contributions to his domain and Nigeria at large.
He holds the singular honour of being the longest reigning monarch not only in the North , but in the entire country. Alhaji Aliyu Mustapha, the Lamido Adamawa is a man of immense relevance and influence within the corridors of power. He is Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar's father-in-law on account of his daughter's marriage to the Vice President.