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Sarkin Musulmi Umar Dan Aliyu appointed him Sarkin Kano in Dhi al-Qa’da 1299 AH (September 1882) (Last 1966) to succeed his elder brother. He was very pious and generous scholar before he was appointed Sarki but after that he implemented very unpopular policies, which culminated in the devastating Kano civil war (Paden 1973: 261-264). He wrote Kitab fi dhikr ba’d alamat al-sa’a (Hunwick 1995: 259).

When Sarkin Kano Muhammadu Bello assumed the Emirship he decided to alter the status quo established by his predecessor who had appointed his sons, in-laws and clients in powerful political offices. This was in pursuance of his determination to make his eldest son Tukur to succeed him which could not be possible with chiefs loyal to Majekarofi’s descendants. He dismissed Galadima Ibrahim Bazazagi a loyalist of his predecessor and appointed his eldest son Tukur as the Galadima. And his Waziri who supervised the affairs of the Emirate was his close friend Sarkin Fada Nagytum (Palmer 1928: 132 and Fika 1978: 51-52). He deposed Qadi Sulaiman Bajobe (Fika 1978: 54) who was a favourite of his predecessor and appointed his own loyalist Baffa Bagyane (Palmer 1928: 131).

Sarki Bello deprived the successful Dan Waire of his title of Sarkin Yaki, and exiled him because according to some sources he was jealous of Dan Waire’s miltary exploits. The Sarkin Musulmi requested Sarkin Katsina to appoint Dan Waire Sarkin Ruma. Sarkin Gwaram Ado and Sarkin Tudun Wada Aliyu, both Manyan Dagatai and Salama Barka, Jakadan Garko Dankumatu and Lifidi Yiga-Allah who were the prominent cucanawa were either deposed or killed for various reasons (Fika 1978: 57).

Sarkin Kano Bello ordered all the Emirate titleholders marrying the daughters of his predecessor to divorce them or relinquish their titles. Prominent among them were, Madakin Makama Hamza, Sarkin Rano Jibril, Sarkin Dutse Irema and Sarkin Fulanin Jahun Modibo. Sarkin Rano Jibril and Sarkin Dutse Irema divorced their wives and later lost their titles. Sarkin Fulanin Jahun Modibo refused to divorce his wife, Rabi and maintained his title because of the strategic importance of his town (Fika 1978: 52 and Jahun 1986: 9-12). While Madakin Makama Hamza relinquished his title rather than divorce his wife Daje, mother of Muhammad Dahiru who later became Makaman Kano and the greatgrandmother of the present Makaman Kano Sarki Ibrahim.

Sarkin Kano Bello was able to curtail the incursions of the Ningawa and their allies despite these unpopular policies. He rebuilt the fortress town of Tudun Wada that was destroyed by the Ningawa in the 1870’s (Fika 1978: 55 and Dantiye 1985). He also defeated Dan Yaya of Ningi at a battle near Kachako. One of his braviest miltary commanders Sarkin Gaya Abubakar defeated Gajigi son of the notorious Dan Maje with much booty which the Sarki shared according to the injunctions of the Shari’a (Said 1978: 365-369).

Sarkin Kano Bello was very generous to his loyalists as expected of any wise ruler Mallam Muhammad Amin and Alkali Baffa Bagyane were among the major beneficiaries of this generosity (Paden 1978: 262). He morally and materially supported many Islamic schools and Scholars (Said 1978: 365-369). His generousity was not limited to Kano because he made more contributions to Sokoto than his predecessors. He was also more submissive to the Sokoto central government he even consulted them on trivial issues. He was subservient to Sokoto because of his desire to be succeeded by his eldest son Galadima Tukur (Ubah 1979: 309).

He died on Saturday 16th Jumada Awwal 1311 AH (25th November 1893) (Last 1966) in Kano and was buried at the cemetery of Gidan Rumfa where his father Ibrahim Dabo was also buried.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 August 2008 22:13