Kaduna: Emir of Zazzau contender, Aminu dies of COVID-19, last wishes revealed

The Zazzau Emirate of Kaduna State has lost two princes – Iyan Zazzau, Bashir Aminu and Talban Zazzau, Abubakar Pate.

The duo died just over three months after the former Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris, joined his ancestors.

DAILY POST gathered that COVID-19 complications claimed Aminu, who aspired to replaced Idris; while heart attack took Pate.

The princes died within 24 hours. The Iyan passed away on New Year Day, six days after he clocked 70, while the Talban gave up the ghost on Thursday.

President Muhammadu Buhari, in a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, called it a double tragedy.

The Nigerian leader said the death came to him as a rude shock.

Buhari extended sympathies to their families, the Zazzau Emirate Council, the Government and people of Kaduna State.

“May Allah forgive the gentle souls of the departed and reward their good deeds with paradise,” he said.

The President dispatched a ministerial-level delegation to visit the palace on his behalf.

DAILY POST reported that after a selection process for a new Emir late September, the kingmakers submitted three names to the state government.

The princes were late Aminu (Iyan Zazzau), Aminu Idris (Turakin Zazzau), and Muhammadu Munir Ja’afaru (Yariman Zazzau).

They emerged after a stringent process participated in by eleven princes from four dynasties.

They were scored on 20% for being a District Head, 15% for having a Degree or HND, 10% for Public Service, 10% for no proven adverse report, 15% for a good relationship with people, 10% for physical fitness, and 5% for national award.

Following three rounds of voting (normally concluded in one round), Iyan scored 89%, Yariman 87%, and Turaki 53%.

But Governor Nasir El-Rufai refused to pick any of the three.

After weeks of anticipated announcement and accusations of “delay tactics”, El-Rufai appointed Ahmed Bamalli, a former Nigerian Ambassador to Thailand.

The kingmakers kicked, insisting that he was not among princes screened.

Within 24 hours of Bamalli’s selection, a Zazzau Emirate official, Aminu Yakubu-Wambai, dropped his traditional title.

Wambai resigned as the Wakilin Raya Kasar Zazzau, a position he held for 19 years.

The Iyan, who was number one on the list submitted to El-Rufai, fought Bamalli’s installation in court.

In a chat with DAILY POST Monday night, a source confirmed that Aminu died in Lagos.

He said: “The Iyan spent 45 years beside the late Emir of Zazzau, and understood traditional systems are important for national development. He died with the conviction that customary laws must be respected.

“He wished his last prayers be held in Sabon Gari Central mosque, the mosque he facilitated to be built by Alhaji Sani Rimin Tsiwa. He also wished to be buried in Sabon Gari community burial ground Anguwan Jaba, like every member of the society, not how princes are buried.”

Aminu was born into Katsinawa ruling house on December 26, 1950.

He graduated from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 1975, with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, and was a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (UK).

Aminu was District Head of Sabon Gari from 1979 to 2017. His son replaced him; another is equally a titleholder in Zazzau.

The businessman was on the board of G Cappa when the company built the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Towers, and the Ministry of Finance headquarters in Abuja.

Aminu was also on the boards Chi Limited, West African Cotton Company, among others.

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