President Muhammadu Buhari, Northern governors, ex-Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Ahmed Idris Wase, Former Military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and many prominent Nigerians yesterday expressed grief over the death of the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris.
The president, in a condolence message to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, the government and people of Kaduna State, said Nigeria has lost one of its longest serving monarchs.
In a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, Buhari noted that the late Emir contributed immensely to the unity and peaceful coexistence of Nigerians.
“With the passing of Alhaji Shehu Idris, Nigeria has lost one of its longest reigning traditional monarchs whose contributions to the promotion of unity and peaceful coexistence among Nigerians cannot be forgotten for years to come.
”The Emir of Zazzau who ascended to the throne in 1975, had used his long reign to serve his people with dedication and identified with their aspirations at all times,” the president said.
Wase, in a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Umar Muhammad Puma, expressed regret that the royal father passed on at a critical period in the history of the nation.
The Northern Governors Forum said it was saddened by the death of the Emir. The chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State Simon Bako Lalong, in a condolence message, described the death of the royal father as a big loss.
Lalong said: “The late Emir lived a very productive life and represented the virtues of truth, service and honesty in his 45 years on the throne.
“His leadership and goodwill attracted enormous development to the Emirate and also improved the living standards of his people.
“He connected easily with people from all parts of the country and offered wise counsel to Governments at all levels. He will surely be missed.”
The ACF, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, said: “The deceased was the 18th Emir in the Zazzau Emirate, recalling that in February the late Emir celebrated his 45th year on the throne.
“He ruled his Emirate through a period of rapid political, economic, social changes, but never lost his focus on his primary responsibility of maintenance of peace and progress in his Emirate.”
Babangida, in a statement, said the late traditional ruler was a pillar of the traditional institution, a bridge between people of various ethnicities and religions, and a powerful force for keeping Kaduna State cosmopolitan.
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq also commiserated with his Kaduna State counterpart and the Zazzau Emirate over the death of its monarch His Royal Highness Dr Shehu Idris (CFR).
“I join our compatriots nationwide to commiserate with His Excellency the Governor of Kaduna State Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and the Zazzau emirate on the painful death of the revered monarch who served his people meritoriously and built bridges of friendship and goodwill across the country,” the governor said in a statement.
Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari expressed profound sadness over the death of the Emir.
Masari: “The loss of His Royal Highness, the Emir of Zazzau at this material time, is most devastating, because it has come at a time when his vast experience, influence and global network of friends and associates were very much needed to help the nation navigate through her current economic, security and social challenges.’’
The University of Abuja commiserated with the family of the late Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris who passed away on Sunday.
Until his death, the monarch was the Chancellor of the university of Abuja.
In a statement by the Head Information and University Relations, Dr Habib Yakoob the Vice-Chancellor of Uniabuja prof Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, said the death of the emir was received by the university community as a “rude shock especially at this moment that we need his counsel most.”
Senator Uba Sani representing the Kaduna Central District has described the late Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris as a father, leader, elder statesman and legendary monarch.
In an emotional condolence statement Uba Sani said the news of the death of the Emir came to him as a shock.
The Senator noted that the history of Northern Nigeria and indeed Nigeria cannot be written without a mention of the immeasurable contributions of the late Emir Idris.
According to Senator Sani, “For decades he deployed his peace building skills in managing differences in his strategic and complex domain. Through the force of his personality and deft human management, he raised the Zazzau Emirate to one of the most influential Emirates in Nigeria.
“We have indeed lost an icon of culture, tradition and socio-economic development. He stood for equity, fairness, justice and peaceful co-existence. His big shoe will be very difficult to fill.
“We celebrate his impactful life. He will live forever in our hearts. May the Almighty Allah forgive the shortcomings of our Royal Father and grant him Aljanah Firdaus. May He give us the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss,” he said.