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His Highness Alhaji Ado Bayero LLD, CFR, JP

  • Born in the royal palace of Kano on 15th June, 1930 while his father, Alhaji Abdullahi Bayero was emir.
  • Underwent Islamic education early within the confines of the palace.
  • Also started formal western education within the palace at Kofar Kudu Primary School.
  • Went to Kano Middle School 1942 - 1946.
  • Attended School for Arabic Studies 1946 – 1947.
  • Clerical College Zaria (ABU) 1952.
  • Exhibited remarkable leadership qualities very early (at kindergarten level) earning him the sobriquet:

“Dan Umma dogarin ‘Yan Sarki”   or

“Son of Umma the disciplinarian of royal princes”.

  • Since early childhood was adjudged to be very honest, forthright, steadfast and a disciplinarian, among peers and in his relationship with elders.  Was respectful and respectable.
  • After completing school and unlike most royal princes he sought and obtained his father’s permission to work outside the Native Authority, the preserve of his forebears.
  • He worked at the British Bank for West Africa (BBWA) from 1947 at a tender age of 17 years.
  • This experience made him cosmopolitan in character having worked alongside not only the British but also members of other ethnic groups from Southern Nigeria like the Ibos and Yorubas.
  • In 1949 after learning the art of proper book keeping he came into the mainstream of public service as a Clerk in the Kano Native Authority.
  • Emir Ado Bayero went for further studies in Zaria and at the United Kingdom during his stint as the Chief Clerk of Kano N.A.
  • Ado Bayero contested and won elections into the Northern Regional House of Assembly in Kaduna while working for the N.A. (1955 – 1957).
  • At that time membership of the legislature was on a part-time basis.
  • Parliamentarian Ado Bayero made very worthy contributions in the Regional House of Representatives Kaduna.
  • As a person he believes in thorough homework and getting his facts right.
  • During proceedings, Ado Bayero always articulated his position with confidence with his contributions on the floor of the House always well researched and well presented.
  • He was appointed Chief of Police of the Kano Native Authority in 1956 where upon he immediately resigned membership of the Regional Assembly.
  • In a letter to the President of the Legislature Ado Bayero stated that he has given up political partisanship.
  • As Native Authority Police Chief – Ado Bayero initiated a new code for the force.  This ensured that:

     The police should act and behave as friends, helpers and protectors of the people rather than as extortionists, harassers or intimidators of the citizenry.

     The police were to be properly trained and conditioned for service.

     Police were henceforth to cultivate the friendship and trust of the people.

     Police should be independent, in the discharge of their duties, so as not to be used as tools to harass and intimidate citizens to settle political scores.

     Police was disciplined and living above board.

  • This non-partisan posture as being championed by Police Chief Ado Bayero made the NPC leadership uncomfortable.
  • The measure however endeared the N.A. Police and its new leadership to the massive followers of opposition Party – the NEPU.
  • Police Chief Ado Bayero’s stewardship came in the midst of a very difficult period characterized by intense political pressure due to reawakening.
  • What Police Chief Ado Bayero did was to ensure that nobody was punished or penalized without a just cause.
  • This was a novelty since at that time police was used to favour the powers that be.
  • Late 1962 saw the appointment of Ado Bayero as Nigeria’s Ambassador to Senegal.
  • At the inception of his duty tour, Ambassador Ado Bayero championed three things:

     Discipline at the Chancery - without which, he believed, no success would be achieved in any venture.  Staff were also reconditioned to see themselves as members of one family.

    Cultivating good friendship with the Head of the host country. This   strengthened Nigeria-Senegal relationship to good effect.

     The Ambassador developed keen interest to learn the French Language to enable him operate without need for an interpreter.

  • Indeed Ado Bayero’s diplomatic skills were called into service during the difficult civil war years – after he became emir – and such skills were utilized to worthy and beneficial cause.


  • Alhaji Ado Bayero became the 13th Fulani Emir and 56th in the line of kings since Bagauda (999 AD) on October 11th 1963.
  • He was chosen to become emir following the demise of his uncle – Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Abbas whose reign did not last up to a year.  Late Emir Mohammadu Inuwa succeeded Sir Muhammadu Sanusi who was dethroned by the Northern Nigerian government under the Sardauna.
  • At the time of his appointment Emir Ado Bayero was away from Senegal – his duty post – and attending a French Language course in Switzerland.
  • Prior to his appointment as Emir, Alhaji Ado Bayero never held a traditional title as has always been the case with royal princes.
  • He is thus a run-on-the-mill public servant, banker, city council chief clerk, Chief of Police, parliamentarian and diplomat who ascended the throne of his ancestors at a tender age of thirty-three.
  • Then the Emir had full executive, legislative and judicial functions.  He had total control of the treasury, police, prison, the courts as well as being the spiritual head of his people.
  • There is no traditional ruler in Nigeria today who has witnessed such dramatic changes as to have completely whittled away his authority and power like Emir Ado Bayero.  Various Local Government reforms have stripped him of virtually all the functions the emir had at the advent of his reign.
  • His Highness has, through unbounding equanimity and dignity, continued to tag along with the times despite the dramatic changes. He is imbued with so much faith in the will of Allah and is so full of contentment that the Emir has exuded so much resilience as well as capacity to adapt to changes easily.
  • In his forty two years stewardship Emir Ado Bayero has discharged and acquitted himself, and the institution, with so much honour and respectability.  His charm, charisma and towering majesty have enabled him to shine so brightly as to make him a centre of attraction all over.
  • Kano has attained phenomenal prominence in national affairs over the past four decades as to make it a compulsive cultural Mecca for almost all visiting Heads of State and governments coming to Nigeria.  The marvelous display of such pomp and pageantry at the durbars staged during Sallah festivities by the emir and his lieutenants have given Kano a remarkable grandeur as well as unique traditional greatness.
  • Various Heads of State visiting the country requested that the Emir of Kano held durbars for them.  British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Presidents Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Leopold Sedar Senghor of Senegal, Omar Hassan-al-Bashir of the Sudan as well as Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Ghaddafi were among the many that were thrilled enormously by such durbars.
  • The cultural display is not only for foreign visitors, but also helps to hold together the various communities living within Kano.  Every religious Eid celebration is accompanied by five days of horsemanship during which the Emir and his councillors as well as courtiers ride all around the State Capital to the Old City, Government House, Nassarawa and Sabon Gari residential areas and out past. Bayero University to Dorayi, and also Panisau to meet and greet the people.

Emir Ado Bayero’s Achievements

  • Massive contribution towards the development of Islamic infrastructures including the building of mosques, schools and institutions.
  • Attends, on a sustained and continuous basis, endless graduation ceremonies of Koranic Schools.  He makes very tangible financial contributions towards the sustenance of such schools.
  • Never shuns openings of mosques even in far away locations as other States in the southern parts of Nigeria.
  • As the spiritual head of his subjects Emir Ado Bayero always ensures that only the most capable and competent are appointed as Imams in mosques within his domain.
  • Like his forbearer, the late Sarki Alhaji, Ado Bayero is a champion of women causes.  Both emirs have made remarkable contributions towards the enhancement of women education –Islamic and Western.
  • Since Islam has always been the basis of legitimacy for the traditional institution in the bulk of Northern Nigeria, Kano Emirate Council and especially Emir Ado Bayero have remained the veritable custodians of all places of worship and Islamic institutions.
  • It is the responsibility of the Emir to ensure that information about the sighting of moon is processed and passed with despatch to the adherents of the Islamic religion at the beginning and end of the Ramadan period.
  • The tafsir – exegesis – of the Holy Koran – is observed throughout Ramadan in the palace with the emir in attendance.
  • The Emir also leads other faithfuls in the observance of the Eid – Sallah festivals.  These are usually marked with durbars – mounting of gaily dressed horses, pomp and pageantry.
  • In terms of Statesmanship, Alhaji Ado Bayero’s counsel has so much been espoused, sought and cherished by all the political leadership in this country from the times of the Sardauna/Tafawa Balewa to-date.

During the unfortunate events that led to the 30 months Civil War period, Emir Ado’s diplomatic prowess and ability were gainfully applied to the positive benefit of the Nigerian federal authorities.

  • The Emir also played a pivotal role in cooling otherwise frayed nerves after the assassination of General Murtala Ramat Muhammad in 1976, thus averting another massive civil unrest in Kano in particular, and the country in general.
  • In short Emir Ado Bayero is the synthesis of patience, perseverance, resilience and exemplary character.
  • Easily a larger than life role model whose hall marks are honesty, dignity and honour.
  • He is altruistic and detests injustice.
  • Throughout his reign – now spanning nearly forty two years – he has continued to inspire one and all towards peaceful co-existence and religious tolerance.





  • The history of Kano rulers will be incomplete without a mention made of King Muhammadu Rumfa 1463 – 1499.
  • It was during his rulership that the official residence – or palace was moved out of the then densely congested area around Gwammaja to its present location.
  • Rumfa built the first palace where the present Gidan Makama Museum now stands.
  • Shortly afterwards it was moved to its present position.
  • The Kano Palace is today referred to as Gidan Rumfa in direct reference to the massive role Sarki Muhammadu Rumfa played in the establishment of the palace.
  • Another prominent ruler whose role in the development of Kano can not be wished away is Emir Ibrahim Dabo.
  • He is the actual progenitor of all Fulani Emirs in Kano.  His own sons – four of them – became Emirs one after the other.
  • The turn of the Twentieth Century saw the arrival of the British on to the political horizon of modern day Nigeria.
  • It has been exactly 904 years since the transformation of traditional authority under the Sarki or Emir.
  • When the British over ran Kano, Emir Aliyu bn Abdullahi – popularly known as Emir Alu was at the helm of affairs.  On the defeat of Kano forces Sarki Alu was exiled to Lokoja and Emir Muhammadu Abbas installed.
  • It could easily be said that British rule in Kano began consolidating during the reign of Sarki Abbas – 1903 - 1919.
  • The Sarki, according to the principles of the British Indirect Rule, was the head of Executive, Legislative and Judicial systems running the Native Authority treasury, the police, the prisons and the courts. 
  • In effect the British came and met a well established administrative set up in Northern Nigeria and had little or no cause to tinker with it.
  • Revenue was generated through an effective taxation system.  Little guidance, by way of fine tuning, was thus needed for an effective method of governance.  The resources were used not only to run the Native Authority system but also oil the wheels of the colonial administration.
  • Emir Muhammadu Abbas it was whose reign saw the formal commencement of Western education in Hausaland.
  • The school at Gidan Dan-Hausa started to enroll students – actually sons of emirs and royalty – from 1908.
  • Dan-Hausa school attracted students from all over the provinces in Northern Nigeria.
  • Students were taught literacy and numeracy as well as various trades including metal works, carpentry, survey and motor driving.
  • Maps of Kano Province and its neighbours began to be drawn from the reign of Emir Abbas.
  • Emir Usman bn Abdullahi – also known as Sarki Dantsoho due to his advanced age (became emir at over 85 years) succeeded Emir Muhammadu Abbas bn Abdullahi (Maje Nassarawa) reigning for seven years – 1919 – 1926.
  • The colonial administration innovated Kano Inner Council to invigorate Local administration.
  • This arrangement admitted the Wali (Judiciary) Madaki (District and Central Administration) Sarkin Bai (Security) to sit in council with the Emir, the Resident and District Office to decide on all administrative matters.
  • Durbar commenced during Emir Usman’s era when Prince Edward of Great Britain was hosted in Kano with Emirs from all over Northern Nigeria in attendance.
  • Then came Emir Usman’s nephew Alhaji Abdullahi Bayero – popular referred to as Sarki Alhaji – 1926 – 1952.
  • Kano saw tremendous infrastructural development during Emir Abdullahi Bayero’s reign.
  • It was when Kano Airport moved to its present site while Kano Judicial School, Kano Middle School (now Rumfa College), School for Arabic Studies, Kano Technical College (then known as Trade Centre) Women Teachers College, Murtala Mohammed Hospital, Challawa Water Works, Kano Printing Press, etc., etc. were put in place.
  • Sabon Gari – the market and the settlement as well as Syrian Quarters (Kantin Kwari) came into being to accommodate the ethnic groups migrating from the Southern part of Nigeria and Arab Countries.
  • Pipe borne water, electricity were introduced to Kano while the railway line was expanded into its present location from Challawa, where it terminated then.
  • Emir Abdullahi Bayero was the first Sarki of Kano to have performed the Hajj in Saudi Arabia.
  • The concept of the Native Authority, or N.A., started during Emir Bayero’s reign.
  • Traditional authority was partially democratized from that time when people were selected to partake in the affairs of District Councils. This was the beginning of political party activity.
  • During Sarki Alhaji’s twenty-seven year reign trade and commerce grew very strongly and flourished.
  • Following the demise of Sarki Alhaji, Sir Muhammadu Sanusi became Emir 1952 – 1963.
  • Sir Muhammadu Sanusi’s reign coincided with intense political activity during the hey days of NPC and the NEPU.
  • The first and only Kano Emir to have attended Nigeria’s Constitutional Conference in London 1954.
  • Enforced the tenets of Shari’a Law vigorously during his time.  Forbidded the existence of brothels, fought prostitution and alcohol consumption with full force.
  • Put in place for the first time Koranic exegesis – tafsir – during the holy month of Ramadan in the palace.
  • Kano became centre for Hajj operations with pilgrims from all over the Northern provinces converging in Kano for journeys to the Holy Land during the reign of Sir Sanusi.
  • Newspapers made their debut while Sir Sanusi was Emir – Comet and Sodangi newspapers – since political activity began to gather serious momentum then.
  • Northern Nigeria gained self government in 1959 while Nigeria became a sovereign State in 1960 both during Sir Sanusi’s reign.
  • It was Sir Sanusi who hosted Queen Elizabeth II during her visit in 1956.
  • An International Trade Fair was hosted by Kano in 1959 bringing about various articles of trades from within Nigeria and also from overseas.
  • Kano football team won the Challenge Cup during Sir Sanusi’s reign.
  • Emir Muhammadu Sanusi was perhaps the most scholarly spiritual head modern Kano ever had.  He was thoroughly versed in Islamic jurisprudence.  Sufism gained real impetus during his reign.
  • Acted as Governor of Northern Nigeria.
  • Brought to light Kano’s grandeur, pomp and pageantry during the Independence Durbar of 1960 in Kaduna.
  • He was one of the most charismatic Emirs of Kano.
  • Contributed enormously to the growth and spread of Islam in Kano, Northern Nigeria and Nigeria as a whole.
  • Emir Muhammadu Sanusi was deposed and exiled to Azare in Katagum Emirate by the Sardauna’s government in 1962.
  • Perhaps the shortest reign as Emir was that of Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Abbas 1963 (about seven months).
  • The period was very brief to have enabled the Emir record so much remarkable strides.
  • He however contributed enormously in ensuring peace and stability.
  • After his demise the Kano Kingmakers unanimously selected Alhaji Ado Bayero as the 13th Fulani Emir.
  • His appointment on 11th October, 1963 was hailed by everybody as very well deserved and appropriate.
  • At a very tender age of 33 years Ado Bayero was adjudged to be suited for the modern challenging times.  Then he was Nigeria’s Ambassador to Senegal.
  • For more than four decades now Emir Ado Bayero has been rendering a selfless service for the benefit of his people.
  • He is often viewed as the pinnacle and quintessence of championing Hausa cultural ideals.
  • Through him Kano and Hausa land is highly respected in national and international affairs.
  • Emir Ado’s voice is always regarded with veneration most especially in critical periods.
  • He is highly respected in Arab and Western countries which enables the Emir to successfully intercede on major diplomatic fronts.
  • Served as Chancellor University of Nigeria Nsukka, University of Maiduguri, and is presently Chancellor University of Ibadan his second tour of duty there.