The Zazzau ‘Game of Throne’ and the Threats to Arewa Traditional Institutions By Zaid Ayuba Alhaji

By Zaid Ayuba Alhaji

AREWA AGENDA – Gradually, kingdoms in the North are falling, not because the kings are dying but because the political players with the key are applying the western ideological formula in handling our traditional institutions. Over the years, we’ve seen lots of unbelievable events happening in Arewa emirates, most recent of them is the one currently happening in Zazzau, more of a drama or politics, bureaucratic procedure or toss of dice in a game of interest.

The twists of events about the emergence of a new emir of Zazzau have provoked questions of weather Masarautar Zazzau is in Politics’ or ‘Politics is in Masarautar Zazzau’?. The last 8 days kept surprising the world; in the name of due process, rule of traditional law and concerns for choosing the best emir for Zazzau, we’re gradually becoming an insulted people, events unfolding are abusing the sanctity of Zazzau and the Arewa traditional institution, the whole system is becoming mocked and embarrassed; the values, tradition and the entire chronicles of our preserved system is passing through a ‘systematic recolonization’ process.

Something is wrong somewhere; either from the state Governor, the kingmakers of Zazzau Emirate or possibly there is a complete plan to violate or overhaul the existing traditional system of Zazzau emirate that’s historically grounded far back to 1456. Historically, we cannot forget the british for crippling our traditional system; but most importantly we can never forgive these ambitious modern politicians that kept rubbishing the system into a more ‘politically scrambled circle’.

A popular quote from the Game of thrones says “A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of a sheep.”-Tywin Lannister. These lines should be reflected while analyzing the ‘behind the scene roles’ of the Governor and the Zazzau emirate Kingmakers; let’s ask ourselves why can’t Zazzau have a new king several days after the death of our late father and king?.

From 1696-1701 era of Bako dan Musa to the era of Musa dan Suleiman 1808-1821 and down to 1903 which is the beginning of colonial domination of our traditional system, never had the kingdom of Zazzau faced a ravaging effect as the one happening now. Even when Sarki Muhammadu Amin Usmam died on 4th February 1975, Sarki Shehu Idris immediately assumed the throne on the 8th February 1975. What is keeping the throne vacant this long, is it that the kingdom now want to have a golden king or a diamond Emir?.

The kingdom of Zazzau is silently crying for days witrhout a successor, 8 consecutive days without a King is like a conquest and indirect collapse of a Kingdom, this is simply because politicians with western ideologies are the ones to decide the fate of the kingdom. As an Islamic institutions, instead of searching from the Qur’an, Hadith and the existing tradition of the Zazzau people, the chief king maker chose to be gallivanting from one less relevant book to another; yet we expect to have a suitable and reliable result in Zazzau emirate, forgetting that even when conventional books are sources of inspiration and guidance, *they can never guide you on issues related to religious values and traditional norms.

How can the chief king maker who is also an ambitious politician chose to rely on reading western books while searching for the new King? What was he doing all these years without reading such books if at all the books are truly relevant to the traditional institution of Zazzau?. How can one refer back to an outdated *”New Nigeria Newspaper” of February 1975 in deciding the fate of a kingdom in 2020?.

In a sacrosanct matter like selection of a king that may likely lead Zazzau for the next 5-6 decades, Instead of the Governor to declare 3 days fasting and prayers with consultation from religious scholars, we ended with one reader of a book in libraries displaying on social media, isn’t it funny and insulting to be reading western oriented books written by colonial scholar like “THE BRITISH IN NORTHERN NIGERIA by Robert Heussler written in 1968 while reflecting on a Hausa/Fulani traditional institution in Zaria?.

What is the direct rational of reading the “Principles of leadership: according to the founding fathers of the Sokoto Caliphate” by Hamid Bobboyi in 2011 and how practically relevant is it to crowning an emir chosen by the king makers?. Innalillahi Wainna Ilaihirrajiun!! Arewa have fallen, so much that an almighty Kingdom like Zazzau Emirate is left flinging emptily, the chief politician is busy playing his chess in a comfortable chessboard.

It is evidently clear that in all the 19 state of the North, nobody can call a governor back to order!. The Cartoonists, writers, youth activists, traditional rulers, religious scholars, respected elders and every serious stakeholders have kept mute; just for a fear or love of one politician, so much that nonone can shout to save the image and cultural heritage of Zazzau emirate. Let me additionally drop a very important quote from the Games of thrones “Power resides where men believe it resides. It’s a trick, a shadow on the wall. And a very small man can cast a very large shadow.” — Lord Varys

2 days ago, Friday Sermons just past and no Imam could dare speak over what is happening. Today is sunday, all the Pastors in Arewa especially Zaria will never say a word toward what’s happening, simply because of fear from the almighty Governor. Powerful Northern elites kept dead silence over what they know is an insult to the traditional practice of an emirate like Zazzau. Its alright!, let’s keep watching how the drama may end, i just want to remind all of us that “the same silence that sparks thunder to our neighbors can equally spark sandstorm in our homes”. May Allah save Arewa from the hands of Ambitious politicians. Ameen.

Zaid Ayuba Alhaji (Sir Kuli Kuli), is the President and Coordinator of Arewa Youth Consultative Council (AYCC). He can be reached via 08069835881 or comradezaid6@gmail.com.com

Culled from Arewa Agenda a Publication of young writers from Northern Nigeria towards Peaceful Coexistence and National Development through positive narratives

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