BRIEF NOTES ON ADO BAYERO AS THE LAST EXEMPLARY TRADITIONAL RULER

July 21, 2012 § 2 Comments

Rumours about Ado Bayero’s ill health circulated round the social media on Monday 9th July 2012 like the ones that went round on the health status of late Umaru Yaradua while he was in power. Some were writing on facebook and twitter that the royal highness was in coma while some were posting his condition was critical with little hope of reviving.  A day after, those rumours turned out to be false, the social media was awashed with the good news that his highness was fine, hale and hearty except for old age. Alhamdulillah.

 Ado Bayero is the 54th traditional ruler of Kano, born in 1930. An octogenarian and the 13th fulani ruler of Kano after the Jihad of Shehu Usman Danfodio. His father was the former Emir of Kano, Abdullahi dan Abbas. He had his Primary education in Kano and proceeded to rumfa college for post primary education.He started a career as dan doka before proceeding to senegal as an Ambassador, he quit his career as a diplomat in 1963 and was turbaned Emir of Kano.

Since then, Ado Bayero has proven to be the most revered and admired traditional ruler in post colonial Nigeria. His subjects, the people of Kano state are hospitable and courageous people who are mostly traders and merchants. They are so proud of Kano and  greatly appreciate everything in and around Kano with dignity. They proudly coined their slogan as Kano ko dame kazo an fi ka, that literally means no visitor can surpass a Kano man in Kano on anything.

Traditional rulership is practiced all over Nigeria. Kingdoms that were conquered by the Usman Danfodio jihadists predominantly in northern Nigeria have emirs in charge and emirates as kingdoms. The jihadists were deciples of Shehu Usman Danfodio who over threw the sitting authorities and established the emirates. The fundamental objective of the jihadist for establishing the emirates was to propagate Islam and to reform the people and their psyche.

The emergence of Shehu Usman Danfodio from Sokoto has made Sokoto the seat of the caliphate by default, that makes the sultan of sokoto the highest ranking emir and all other emirs his subordinates. In spite of the hierarchy, Ado Bayero’s aura and toga are unique and inimitable. He wields power in ways no traditional ruler does. In presence of Ado Bayero, other emirs and traditional rulers are like district heads. His charm and charisma as an emir and a traditional ruler are second to non.

His subjects adore him greatly, they say good things about him that mystify his style of rulership. They adorn their places of business and offices with his portraits. His pictures are their wall papers, screen-savers and bumper stickers. The singers and musicians extol him in their lyrics, the famous and nicest one recently is the one largely used as ring-tone by Aminu Ala.

The influence and credibility of traditional rulers have waned over the years as a result of their cozy relationship with politicians and people of means who are widely perceived as corrupt elements in the society. This has diminished traditional rulership and its operators in the eyes of the people, some see traditional rulers as instruments in the hands of politicians, some see their palaces as extension of government houses. Democracy and civilisation has made traditional rulers mere toothless bulldogs . In Kano the story is different, Ado Bayero is a father to the politicians and a guardian to the elites. He crowned the former Governor Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau as the Sardauanan Kano, at the same time, the father of the present Governor, Mallam Musa Kwankaso is a district head under his watch. He is a symbol of respect and honour for the people of Kano state.

The death of Atta of Igala has now made Ado Bayero the oldest serving traditional ruler in Nigeria. He will be 50 years on throne next year. Stories are going round that there are plans to invite the queen of england for his golden jubilee celebration to add color to the extra ordinary and extravagant anniversary.

Ado Bayero is the only living traditional ruler that brings respect and dignity to the tradtional institution. The influence and respect for the institution are tied to his heart beat. Many people, this writer inclusive, believ the day Ado Bayero’s heart will cease to pumb blood will be the day the final nail on the coffin of traditional rulership will be hammered.

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