Since the Emir of Gumel, HRH Ahmed Muhammad Sani (CON), clocked four decades on the throne on December 16, 2020, tributes have continued to pour in from eminent citizens of the emirate.
The Dallatun Gumel, Alhaji Musa Ayuba, who has been an acquaintance of the emir since birth, recalled how during their childhood they used to gather at the palace after Juma’at prayers for the emir to give them gifts.
Alhaji Ayuba said, “HRH as a child was a very cool, sober and silent person.”
The Dallatu also recalled the moment when HRH Sani was appointed emir, saying, “On a Saturday came the announcement of the death of the late emir, and Sani being a crown prince and with all the qualifications, was automatically picked by the kingmakers and accepted by the Government of Kano State.
“Earlier, we cried when he lost a senatorial election, but we celebrated when he was crowned the Emir of Gumel. Of course, it was not easy. With old men around who had old ideas, HRH Sani had to broker between the old and the new. Like the European will say, ‘Traditions die hard’, he had to grapple with the old people, but he surmounted it and here we are today celebrating him on his 40th anniversary on the throne.”
He also recalled the role of the emir in the establishment of the Import, Export Processing Zone in Maigatari, narrating that, “He was then the Chairman of the Kano State Agricultural Development Authority (KNARDA). He fought for a College of Education (COE) to be brought to Gumel. It was sited at Kumbotso in Kano, but he made it a commitment that the college was brought to Gumel. I cannot even tell you how many secondary schools we have courtesy of his effort.
“Look at the problems that arose during a sugarcane project in Gagarawa. In fact, they even took him to China. So, that is the essence of having somebody who has the capacity and education to foresee, understand and lead despite all odds to make his society develop, grow and enjoy the goodies of government. That is why we are celebrating.”
On his part, the Wazirin Gumel, Alhaji Adamu Muhammad Na-Soro, who is a brother and childhood friend of the emir, said he grew up together with the emir, partly attended the same primary and senior primary schools together and finally went to the same university in America.
Alhaji Na-Soro said, “We grew up together, ate together and slept in the same room. He is two years ahead of me and so went to elementary school before us, but we used to follow him to the school and waited outside till closing time. So, the then headmaster of the school talked to our uncle, late Wazirin Gumel, Alhaji Ibrahim, and said, ‘These two boys,’ referring to me and Dallatu, “We open school together and close together but they are not enrolled because of their ages. Why can’t you enrol them?’
“Our uncle said we had not reached the age of starting elementary. The following year, the headmaster complained again. So our uncle directed him to register us in class one, while the emir was in class two. He warned the headmaster not to promote us to class two in order to meet the emir.
“Again, when HRH Sani went to senior primary school we went and met him there. It went to the extent that whenever I did something wrong and someone complained to my mother, she would refer that person to the emir, and when the emir did something wrong to somebody, that person would be referred to me for solution.”
Also speaking, the Majidadi Gumel, Alhaji Murtala Aliyu, who is a former private secretary to the emir, recalled that when they were young, “We heard the news of the appointment of the emir. He was a commissioner under the late Abubakar Rimi in the old Kano State. I started working with him in 1997 and I’m very close to him.
“As I started working with him I learnt so many good things from him. He is very intelligent, very educated, humble and carries everybody along. You can discuss with him like friends. Though we are cousins with a wide age gap between us, but he has created a lot of space for me to discuss with him at will.
“We exchange ideas and laugh together, and in some cases we disagree with him on some issues; that is the kind of person he is. He can accommodate and be open to ideas even if not in line with his thoughts, but he can correct you where he feels you have gone astray.”
Alhaji Aliyu further said, “This town was like a village because there were no features of a modern town. Power was supplied by the Rural Electrification Board (REB), there was no pipe borne water, no roads, there were few schools; of course, we had primary and secondary schools here, but he was the person that was instrumental to bringing a tertiary institution to Gumel. This is one of the most important things that he did which attracted many people from all walks of life to Gumel to study in the college.”
A former Secretary to Gumel Emirate Council, Alhaji Muhammad Maiyaki, who is the Gadu Damasu of Gumel, observed that the emir was able to steer the administration and improve the living conditions of the people of Gumel to greater heights “because he is extremely a patient person, but that does not mean he cannot balance conflict and dispute.
“The particular legacy that HRH is leaving behind is his exemplary behaviour. He is seriously concerned about the development of education in his emirate.
“Secondly, the issue of agriculture, he was the Chairman of KNARDA Zone 4. During his tenure he introduced many high-yielding varieties of sorghum and millet into this area. The varieties are quick to mature.
“Thirdly, one of the legacies he will leave behind is his ability to introduce what you may call bi-cameral system of administration in the traditional set up.”
Culled from Daily Trust written by By Mohammed Abubakar, Dutse