Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Noah Ebije, Kaduna, Sola Ojo, Kaduna and Abdul Hassan, Zaria
Zazzau Emirate Council of Kaduna State, yesterday, announced the death of the Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris, at the age of 84, after a 45-year reign.
Wazirin Zazzau, Ibrahim Aminu, in a statement said: “Idris died in Kaduna on his way to a London hospital. He has been sick for three weeks. He was aged 84 and was the 18 emir in Fulani dynasty. He was turbaned on February 11, 1975.”
The late emir marked his 45th anniversary on the stool on February 8 and would go down in history as one of the emirate’s longest serving monarchs.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in a condolence message to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, government and people of Kaduna State, by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said: “With the death of Idris, Nigeria has lost one of its longest reigning traditional monarchs whose contributions to the promotion of unity and peaceful co-existence among Nigerians cannot be forgotten for years to come. The Emir of Zazzau who ascended the throne in 1975, had used his long reign to serve his people with dedication and identified with their aspirations at all times.”
Also, former governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Kalu, described Idris’ death as a big loss to the nation. He said the late monarch was a selfless statesman and a rare gem and called on the family of the deceased to uphold the remarkable legacies of their late patriarch.
In a condolence message, Kalu while commiserating with government and people of Kaduna State, and in particular, Zazzau Emirate Council, said the late traditional ruler was passionate about development at all levels, noting that the late emir would be remembered for serving his people selflessly.
“The death of emir of Zazzau and chairman, Kaduna State Emirate Council, Shehu Idris, is a huge loss to Nigeria. The late monarch was known to be upright, patriotic, selfless and charismatic.
“His 45 years’ 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. The late monarch will be missed by all and sundry, as he was a highly detrabilised Nigerian,” Kalu said.
Kalu extended his heartfelt condolences to members of the Idris family while urging them to take solace in the fact that their late patriarch lived a purposeful life dedicated to the service of humanity.
Governor El-rufai also condoled the family of the late emir, saying he had offered distinguished service to the state for over six decades in various roles, culminating in his ascension to the throne in 1975.
National leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, said the death of Emir Idris marked the end of an era in Zazzau Emirate and the North.
In his condolence message, Tinubu, described the late emir as a detribalised Nigerian who was committed to Nigeria’s unity and progress.
“Idris ruled with dedication and distinction. He was extremely humble and unassuming, and a friend of all,” he said.
Senator representing Kaduna Central, Uba Sani, described the death of the Emir as a great loss not only to the people of Kaduna State but also Nigeria as a whole.
In a statement, he described the late monarch as a father, leader and elder statesman.
The remains of the late emir was laid to rest at the emirs palace in Zaria besides past emirs. Funeral prayer was led by Chief Imam of Zazzau Emirat, Dalhatu Kasimu and was attended by thousands of people.
Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari led the Federal Government delegation to the funeral.