From Sani Muhammad Sani, Gusau; Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto; Fanen Ihyongo, Kano and Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
Governors, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, senators and monarchs on Monday mourned the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, who died on Sunday aged 84.
The late Idris spent 45 years on the throne, having ascended the position in 1975 after the death of Muhammadu Aminu, the 17th emir since the 1804 Fulani Jihad.
Obasanjo commiserated with the emirate council of Zaria in Kaduna State, saying the late emir fought or unity.
In a condolence letter made available to reporters in Abeokuta by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, the former President said: “His style of leadership, which was characterised by fairness to all, objectivity, moderation and a burning commitment to the development of his Emirate and the nation, had impacted most positively on the polity.
“He was one of the most admirable apostles of inter-ethnic understanding and cohesion; inter-religious accommodation and tolerance and inter-cultural co-operation.
“I had to call on him when I was the President to mediate on the Plateau issue of farmers and herdsmen.
“Indeed, the emir will long be remembered for his peaceful reign during which several manifestations of physical and human development were recorded in the Emirate.
“His vigorous promotion of the educational development of his subjects as well as his vast knowledge of traditional administrative lore and culture will be greatly missed.”
Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle said he was saddened by the news of the emir’s death.
In a statement by his Director-General on Media, Publicity and Public Enlightenment, the governor said he also received the news of the death of the 28th Emir of Biu, Alhaji Mai-Umar Mustapha Aliyu, who died at 80 on September 15.
He noted the significant roles played by the two monarchs in ensuring the indivisibility of Nigeria and their contributions peace.
He prayed that Allah in His endless mercies hosts the departed souls of the two great rulers in Jannatul Firdaus, grant the people and governments of the two states the fortitude to bear the loss and continue to bless members of the families left by the natural rulers.
“The duo will be remembered for their patience, honesty, sincerity and preaching of peace and unity in Nigeria,” Matawalle said.
Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal said the Emir of Zazzau, until his death, was one of the third generation of Northern monarchs who contributed to regional and national development.
He said the late Idris will be remembered for his role in settling intractable disputes referred to him by his peers.
“I, on behalf of the good people and government of Sokoto State, deeply sympathise with the government and good people of Kaduna State over this irreparable loss.
“I also condole with the family of the late Emir, just as I pray that may God grant him Aljannatul Firdaus,” Tambuwal said.
Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa condoled with the government and people of Kaduna State.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, the governor stressed that the deceased, who was one of the longest-serving traditional rulers, was a strong proponent of peace, progress and development.
According to the governor, Nigerians across political and religious beliefs will miss the leadership and warm disposition of the emir.
Okowa said: “The late emir was an iconic leader and exemplary peacemaker whose influence and commitment to good leadership traversed beyond his emirate.
“In the last 45 years of his reign, the Zazzau Emirate developed further in the areas of infrastructure, especially education and peaceful co-existence among the people of the emirate and their neighbours.
“He played a fatherly role in his regular call for peace among farmers and herdsmen in the state and the nation at large.”
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, described Emir Idris’ passing as a blow to the traditional institution.
In a condolence message issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Abba Anwar, the governor said: “We have lost a national hero who is an embodiment of humility, discipline, respect, statesmanship and exemplary leadership.
“His death leaves an indelible mark in the history of the Nigerian nation-state.
“It is with a deep sense of agony that we receive the news of the demise of this rare gem and traditional leader of high repute.
“On behalf of the government and people of Kano state, I offer my condolences to the families of the late Emir, the Kaduna state government and Zazzau Emirate.”
A former Abia State Governor, Senator Orji Kalu, described the monarch’s passing as a big loss to Nigeria.
Kalu, the Senate Chief Whip, called on the family of the late royal father to uphold his remarkable legacies.
“The late monarch was known to be upright, patriotic, selfless and charismatic. His 45-year reign as Emir of Zazzau was remarkable and historic.
“During his reign, Zaria and Kaduna state at large witnessed robust development. His legacies will remain evergreen in the minds of the people,” he said.
Former Sokoto State Governor, Senator Aliyu Wamakko, said the emir’s death was a loss to the country.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Bashir Mani, the lawmaker, who represents Sokoto North Senatorial District, in the Senate said the late Idris invaluable contributions to peace, unity and socio-economic development of Zazzau Emirate, Kaduna State, Northern region and Nigeria.
Wamakko said the monarch will continue to be remembered for his unique nature as custodian and the true father of his subjects.
The Emir of Ilorin and Chairman Kwara Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, commiserated with people of Zazzau Emirate and Kaduna State government over the death of Emir Idris.
In a condolence message issued by his media aide, AbdulAzeez Arowona in Ilorin, Sulu-Gambari described the passing of the frontline monarch as a colossal loss to the entire people of Zazzau Emirate, Kaduna State and Nigerians in general.
The monarch said late Idris was a compassionate personality whose contributions to nation-building would not be forgotten in a hurry.
He condoled with Governor Nasir El-Rufai as well as traditional rulers in Kaduna State over the irreparable loss.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) expressed grief over the death of the emir.
Its director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, in a statement, also commiserated with the head of the Nigerian Muslim community, the Sultan of Sokoto and the Governor of Kaduna State over the death.
He said the late Emir Idris was a diligent, pious and patriotic Nigerian.
“He once ordered his convoy to turn back and find another route instead of telling the police to attack a Shiite procession that refused to allow his convoy to drive past.
“May Almighty Allah overlook his shortcomings and grant him a lofty place in Al-Jannah Firdaus. May Allah give the family the fortitude to bear the loss,” he prayed.