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Sarkin Alhaji Ado Bayero
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The story of Sarkin Kano Alhaji Ado Bayero is indeed the story of the transformation of the Emirate from its control of the society to that of community leadership that has earned Islamic legitimacy through service to the people and commitment to the ideals of the Faith. He has become a leader of Muslims of all shades of opinions not only in Kano but in many parts of Nigeria. Various groups seek his blessings in their activites largely because of his influence and the fact that he is one of the most respected Nigerians. Both at the National and International arena he is regarded as a wise counselor because of his experience and diverse cultural linkages that make him a bridge and an asset in promoting mutual understanding and resolving conflicts.

He was born on Sunday 17th Muharram 1349 (15th June 1930) in Gidan Rumfa while his father Sarkin Kano Alhaji Abdullahi Bayero was the Emir. He was the eleventh and second son of his father and mother respectively. He was named after the first son of Sarkin Kano Abdullahi Bayero who had died when he was only five years during the reign of Sarkin Kano Abbas. He grew up in the palace as well as in the house of Maikano Zage as it was the tradition in those days for every prince to be put under the care of one of the leading Cucunawa (Royal Slave) title holders. At that time Maikano Zage held sway as the leading Cucunawa officials – Shamaki, Dan Rimi and Sallama were under suspension (Khalil 2007). He studied Qur’an along with his brothers under the guidance of Hajiya Mallama Umma wife of Walin Kano Sulaiman. He later attended Kano Middle School and School for Arabic Studies Kano.

He started his working career at the Bank of British West Africa which is now First Bank in 1947 and in 1949 he left the Bank to join the services of Kano Native Authority. During his service at the NA he attended courses in Nigeria at Clerical Training Center Zaria and Local Government Course at the United Kingdom. He was the Chief Clerk of the Kano Town Council. He joined partisan politics and he contested and won elections into the Northern Region House of Assembly under the banner of Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) in 1954. He made his inaugural speech in the House on 3rd March 1955. He resigned members of the House in 1957 and took up appointed as Wakilin Doka Chief of Kano Native Authority Police and after five years in 1962 he was appointed Ambassador of Nigeria to Senegal. He was summoned to Nigeria to become the 13th Emir of Kano while on studying French in Switzerland in the second week of October 1963 (Adamu 2007: viii-ix).

Since assuming the position of Emir of Kano Sarkin Kano Alhaji Ado Bayero has served Nigeria in various capacities but most prominently as Chancellor of Universities including University of Nigeria Nsukka, University of Ibadan and University of Maiduguri. He has also served in various councils and has played several mediatory roles. He is a patron of several organizations in Nigeria. In Kano he has spareheaded the construction of many Mosques and Islamiyya Schools more than any other Emir in the history of Kano being the longest serving Emir whose reign has been characterized by prosperity.

As a leader who believes in inclusiveness he has restored many titles to the original holders and has also co-opted many deserving people into the Emirate hierarchy. He has turbaned more Hakimai than any other Emir. Several new titles have been introduced to cope with the rising demand because of the creation of more Districts and the need for new District Heads. He has been patient whenever there was any adversity and despite his humane disposition the radical Peoples Redemption Party Kano State Government of 1979 to 1983 was very rude to his person and the institution (Rufa’i 1995: 31). His patience remains a lesson to any leader as those who steered that sad chapter of Kano social relations lived and regretted their behavior because they now (2008) want to identify with the Emirate since it is the most prestigious source of recognition in the State.

Sarkin Kano Alhaji Ado Bayero celebrated his fortieth anniversary with a reflection in his characteristic dignified manner in form of a National Conference on Chieftiancy and Security in Nigeria Past, Present and Future in October 2003 rather in pomp and pageantry because the period was more in need of scholarly and professional discourse on security. The conference was declared opened by His Excellency Chief Olusegun Obasanjo President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The book of proceedings of that National Conference has been published by Kano State Government under the leadership of Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau.

There are many biographies of Sarkin Alhaji Ado Bayero but the official biography is The Prince of Times by Dr. Omar Faruk Ibrahim published in 2001 and it has been reviewed in Africa (Journal of International Institute of African Studies) by Ado-Kurawa (2003). Similarly many books on the political and social histories of Kano have discussed extensively on the impact of the reign of Sarkin Kano Alhaji Ado Bayero.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 August 2008 22:13