From Abdulgafar Alabelewe, Kaduna
The late Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, was born on 20th February, 1936 into the family of Malam Idrisu Auta and Hajiya Aminatu of Katsinawa ruling house.
His grandfather, the father of Malam Idrisu Auta, was Sarkin Zazzau Muhammadu Sambo who reigned from 1879 to 1888 and Auta’s grandfather was Sarkin Zazzau Abdulkarimi who reigned from 1834 to 1846.
The late Emir started his education first 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.
He continued 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 became a teacher at a school in Hunkuyi, presently the headquarters of Kudan Local Government, and then taught at a few other schools in Zaria.
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Alhaji Shehu Idris left teaching in the 1960s, to become a private secretary to Sarkin Zazzau, Muhammadu Aminu, he was also appointed as the secretary to the Zaria Native Authority council in 1965.
The late Emir rose in rank 1973 when he was turbaned with the title of Dan Madamin Zaria and appointed the District Head of Zaria and Kewaye, the position he held till he ascended the throne of Zazzau.
Shehu Idris was turbaned the 18th Emir of Zazzau on 8th February, 1975 following the demise of his predecessor, Alhaji Muhammadu Aminu, the 17th Emir of the Emirate.
The emirate under Alhaji Shehu Idris witnessed tremendous amount of development in terms of education as the Emirate hosts various educational institutions that have uplifted different personalities in Nigeria and the neighbouring countries. The Emir during his reign attracted most of those institutions to his domain.
The late Emir was also well acknowledged for his prominent roles in promotion of peace in his emirate and Kaduna state as a whole.
His contributions to the healthcare development were equally unquantifiable, especially in the area of routine immunisation and primary health care of his people.