By Wale Odunsi
Kingmakers of the Zazzau emirate have protested cancellation of the selection process for a new Emir by Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
Last Thursday, they screened eleven princes – from four dynasties – who indicated interest to succeed the late monarch, Shehu Idris.
Three came tops after voting and their names were submitted to the Secretary to the State Government, Balarabe Abbas, the next day.
One week after the SSG and other state officials witnessed how the top 3 emerged, the confirmation of a new Emir is still being awaited.
Fears that the process would take a longer time were confirmed on Wednesday when El-Rufai announced that the kingmakers voting had been jettisoned.
To the chagrin of many who already accused him of “delayed tactics”, the governor annulled the exercise on the ground that two applicants were excluded.
El-Rufai disclosed that the kingmakers were engaged in a fresh process.
“KDSG directed a new round of the selection process after cancelling the initial process, which excluded two interested applicants.” he tweeted.
On Thursday, DAILY POST gathered that the kingmakers are not happy about the turn of events, and that the dethroned Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, has intervened.
Close watchers are insisting that the law empowers the emirate functionaries to recommend to the governor. They are also criticizing El-Rufai for allegedly hijacking the process.
“The governor first claimed he had not received the kingmakers’ report. Then said he was reading books on the matter, then meets the President, then cancels the process. This is laughable”, an indigene said.
A source told DAILY POST that as El-Rufai tweeted on Wednesday, the kingmakers met the government’s delegates at the State House in Kawo.
“Ibrahim Aminu (Waziri Zazzau), Umar Muhammad (Fagacin Zazzau), Muhammad Abbas (Makama Ƙarami), and Dalhatu Ƙasimu (Limamin Juma’a) were seen there around 6pm. Muhammad Aliyu (Limamin Kona) arrived around 9pm”, he said.
“The kingmakers maintained their position; that they stand by the cancelled process and selection of three princes – Bashir Aminu (Iyan Zazzau), Aminu Shehu Idris (Turakin Zazzau), Muhammadu Munir Ja’afaru (Yariman Zazzau).
“They reminded state officials that the SSG conducted the voting process, using government’s criteria. They complained about not being officially notified about the nullification tweeted by the governor.
“They then completed the assessment forms of the two ‘excluded applicants’ who submitted their documents. The duo are the reason the governor cancelled the initial process. The kingmakers did not vote again.”
The two applicants Balarabe Tijjani (Bunu Zazzau) and Shehu Umar (Sarkin Dajin Zazzau).
The source added that the kingmakers were asked to reconfirm their votes.
“They reaffirmed that they voted consciously and without prejudice, in line with the governor’s public directive in his closing remarks of the third-day prayer for late Emir Shehu Idris.
“Sanusi Lamido, the former Emir of Kano, came on Zoom video to plead to them for a change of heart for his friend, Ahmad Nuhu Bamalli (Magajin Garin), but they flatly refused. They returned to Zaria around 11pm on Wednesday.”
Bamalli, the immediate past Nigerian Ambassador to Thailand, was among the eight the kingmakers dropped during screening.
Meanwhile, policemen and soldiers have been deployed to some strategic parts of Zaria.
They are currently around Kofan Doka, Babban Dodo and at the Emir of Zazzau’s Palace.
With the two excluded applicants now added, the names of all 13 interested princes are Balarabe Tijjani (Bunu Zazzau), Shehu Umar (Sarkin Dajin Zazzau), Bashir Aminu (Iyan Zazzau), Aminu Shehu Idris (Turakin Zazzau), Muhammadu Munir Ja’afaru (Yariman Zazzau), Ahmad Nuhu Bammali (Magajin Garin Zazzau).
Others are Abdulkarim Aminu (Wanban Zazzau), Aminu Umaru Idris (Dangaladiman Zazzau), Bello Umaru Idris (Baraden Zazzau), Saidu àMailafiya (Ciroman Zazzau), Shitu Dikko (Dangaladiman Waziri Zazzau), Sambo Shehu Idris (Sarkin Kudun Zazzau), and Yusuf Shehu Idris (Sadaukin Zazzau).