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Zazzau: The don and history biases


By Muhammad Sidi Zaria

When Aristotle wrote his magnum opus, Nichomachaen Ethics, it seems like he had in mind the future scholars who are slaves of their mind and prejudices. As a result, Aristotle insisted on what he called “ethnic neutrality”, where he set the minimum standard required of any worthy researcher to embrace in his writing no matter what.

A scholar worthy of his certificates is expected to shun prejudice and bias in his writing and consider objectivity as the hallmark of whatever he is writing about. But recently a lecturer from Cardiff University slaughtered objectivity on the altar of his ego; he laboriously tried to distort history just for his whims and caprice.

If a scholar like him, from a well known University, will do that, then who else is safe? That’s the question that came to my mind when reading his vituperation against the appointment of Malam Ahmad Nuhu Bamalli as the Emir of Zazzau.

The writer whose name is Dr Bashir started his writing by accusing Malam Nasiru El Rufai, the executive governor of Kaduna State of an attempt to distort history. he never said lucidly what exactly is the distortion of the history.

Is it by appointing Malam Ahmad Nuhu from Mallawa ruling family as the new emir, which is within his constitutional powers to do? Or because Malam didn’t pick the new emir from Katsinawa ruling family who had been on the throne since the 1960s for the past 60 years? Or is it personal, because the governor didn’t choose his father as the new emir? Are the Mallawa no more part of the ruling houses? Is he not aware that, the great grandfather of Mallawa was the original owner of the throne? Is he not aware that, Katsinawa came to Zazzau much later after the Jihad?

The writer needs to be school on the history of Zazzau and how generous the Sullubawa were/are in relation with the succession in the emirate their grandfather conquer together with his ally: Malam Yamusa of Barebare ruling house.

Another issue that the don need to be reminded is, as a party to the case now in court, what he did is illegal and will jeopardise the case in court. whatever the outcome, if it favours them at last, people will question the verdict.

In an idle situation a party to a case in court, will always respect the sanctity of court opinion and allow the court to do its duty. It is not in his interest or that of his father, who is in court challenging the turbaning of his brother as the emir, to do that. I want to caution him to be careful with his pain, till the end of the case before the court now.

What baffles many readers of the article is: how the writer exposed his own biases throughout the writing. Where he falsely accused Malam Aliyu Dansidi who ruled the emirate of Zazzau between 1904 – 1920.

That he was removed because he was trading on slaves. This is false because no record of his removal ever shows that. It is also pertinent to note that, colonialists in their attempt to tarnish the image of the revered Emir of Zazzau, Majority of the scholars who studied what exactly happened that lead to his removal from office did not cite any economic reasons.

what exactly happened was purely on social cum religious issue, which culminated into a serious misunderstanding between him and the white men, the emir in his poem: Tarbakoko lamented how his courtiers planned for his removal. Seems like there was a conspiracy among his palace officials to move for his removal from office, a detail which I won’t go into in this writing.

Another issue raised by the writer is his argument that Malam Nasiru want smuggle rotation into the system, which is alien to the emirate. Nothing is furthest from the truth. From Malam Musa to his great-grandson today, the throne has been rotating between the four houses though at a random. in the last 120 years, three out of the four houses rotate the throne among themselves, from Malam Aliyu Dansidi Bamalli to Malam Jafaru a Barebari to Alhaji Shehu Idris Bakatsine to Malam Ahmad Nuhu who is Bamalle. A reader with a discerning mind will see a rotation sequence among the three ruling families.

What Malam El Rufai want do, is to formalize the process for fairness sake. He also argued Mallawa were not known for leadership but their scholarship. I wonder what he was trying to show here, about five of them were/are emirs at one time or another, how can someone from the ruling family try to justify their disqualification by such falsity. Is he not aware that, the triumvirate of the Caliphate: Shehu Usman Danfodio, Abdullahi bin Fodio and Muhammad Bello all emphasized scholarship as the basic criteria for choosing a leader in the Caliphate. Seems like the guy is trying to be clever by half, which falls short of the minimum requirement of a prince cum academician like him.


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