Emir Shehu Idris, 42 Years Hence
Kings, it is said, are born not made. So it is with His Royal Highness, The Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, who is celebrating 42 years of reign on the throne of his forefathers. In those number of years, Zaria, as it is known today, has recorded milestones in the course of retaining its famous history yet becoming a modern cosmopolitan city and centre of learning. The emirate, overtime, especially since the royal father ascended the throne, became very populous with noticeable changes in education and agricultural sector of the economy. Within this era, the emirate has recorded both political and socio economic development. Zaria is now not only eminently qualified to be described as a centre of Islamic learning but has also imbibed the benefits of western education.
As the 18th Fulani Emir of the ancient kingdom as well as the Chairman of Zazzau Emirate Council, Alhaji Idris has been able to hold the beauty of its cultural heritage just as he has tried to accommodate other cultures that have enhanced qualities that make the emirate a unique melting pot of the ancient and the modern.
With the noticeable presence of mosques and other cultural institutions that hallmark the remarkable position in the annals of the Hausa- Fulani tradition, Zaria also showcases agricultural institutions such as, National Animal production Research Institute, NARICT, not to mention the majestic Ahmadu Bello University, the largest of its kind in the country, the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, National Research Institute for Chemical Technology and the famous Barewa College.
The Emir ascended the throne on February 8, 1975 following the demise of Alhaji Muhammadu Aminu, the 17th Emir of Zazzau. He was born to the family of Malam Idrisu Auta of the ruling House of Katsinawa.
Idris started his education by being tutored by two Islamic scholars in Zaria and then continued with formal studies at the Zaria Elementary School. He was at the elementary school from 1947 till 1950. During this period, the young Idris lost his father when he was 12 years old. Idris continued both his qur’anic and formal education and enrolled in the Zaria Middle School in 1950 and finished studies in 1955. He then attended Katsina Training College to become a teacher. In 1958, he was a teacher at a school in Hunkuyi and then taught at a few other schools in Zaria. Thereafter, he left teaching. In the 1960s, he was a private secretary to Sarkin Zazzau, Muhammadu Aminu, he was also appointed as the secretary to the Zaria Native Authority council in 1965. In 1973, he was bestowed the title of Dan Madamin Zaria and was appointed the district head of Zaria and Kewaye.
He has not ceased thanking God Almighty for his long life and the peaceful coexistence of the various ethnic and cultural diversities in the state just as he commends his council members, religious leaders and people of the emirate and entire state for their support and cooperation that has made his reign not only peaceful but also prosperous.
A deeply religious man, the royal father makes the Divine the centrepiece of his activities as the spiritual and traditional leader of his people. In his own words, he said, “I owe my long life, peaceful coexistence to Almighty Allah”. These have always been the humble words of the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris whenever he is approached for a remark on his decades of accomplishments on the throne of Zazzau.
In Kaduna state and, indeed, throughout Nigeria and beyond, he has since earned for himself the sobriquet, the instrument of peace for which he has dedicated 42 years of his reign. He achieved this by persistently and consistently preaching peace, cooperation, harmony and giving assurances, confidence, and hope to different nationalities, cultures, social, classes, races and religions.
In recognition of his quest for peaceful coexistence and drive for the overall development of his people, he has been conferred with several national and international awards including doctorate degrees from the Federal University of Technology, Minna, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Sarkin Shehu Idris has served many committees across the country especially on peace as well as conflict resolution. We wish him good health as he reigns over his people.
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