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  • 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.