It was an atmosphere of celebration as hundreds of well-wishers trooped to the palace of the Emir of Zazzau on Wednesday to register their support for the new and 19th Emir, Ahmed Bamali.
In the crowd were many traditional title holders who had also rushed to the palace to pay obeisance to the new emir.
His appointment was announced in a statement yesterday by the Commissioner of Local Government Affairs, Alhaji Ja’afaru Ibrahim Sani.
Bamali’s appointment follows the death of Shehu Idris who died on September 20 after reigning for 45 years.
He was shortlisted alongside three other candidates: Iyan Zazzau, Alhaji Bashari Aminu; Yariman Zazzau, Alhaji Mohammed Munir Ja’afaru and Turakin Zazzau, Alhaji Aminu Shehu Idris.
The new monarch was born in 1966 in Zaria.
He is currently Nigeria’s ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand and served as the ambassador to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar till 2017.
Bamali holds a degree in law from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and a master’s degree in international affairs and diplomacy from the same institution.
He also has a post graduate diploma in management from the Enugu State University of Science and Technology and did a fellowship on conflict resolution at the University of York (UK) in 2009.
He holds another diploma in organisational leadership from Oxford University and he is also a senior Chevening fellow with 26 years of cognate experience covering banking, public sector, telecommunications and manufacturing.
He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School where he obtained his GMP in 2011.
Bamali is not the first in his family to rule in the emirate. His great grandfather, Musa Bamali, was a flag bearer of Uthman Dan Fodio and first Emir of Zazzau around 1804 to 1821.
His mother is also a granddaughter of Aliyu Babba, the son of Muhammad Bello and brother to Sheikh Uthman Dan Fodio in Sokoto.
He succeeded his father as the Magajin Garin Zazzau.
While announcing his appointment in a statement, el-Rufai disclosed that Bamali is the first emir from the Mallawa ruling house in 100 years after the demise of Dan Sidi, his grandfather, in 1920.
Bamali served as acting managing director/chief executive officer & ED corporate services Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Plc from 2011 to 2014. The company is charged with the responsibility of printing currency and security documents for Nigeria.
He was the commissioner for the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission from 2015 to 2017 and was a member of the transition committee in the state in 2016.
He was the general manager, human resources management for Nigerian Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTEL) from 2007 to 2009.
Bamali is married to Mairo Bamali and the union is blessed with five children.
President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, governors under the Northern Governors’ Forum umbrella and All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, among others, have congratulated the new emir.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu, the President urged the emir to unite all interests in the Zazzau Emirate.
The President was quoted as saying in the statement: “I congratulate you on making history by becoming the first emir from the Mallawa Ruling house in 100 years. You deserve the appointment and I am confident you will justify the confidence reposed in you.
“While you bask in the glory of the moment, I want you to be the leader to all and treat all your people fairly in the performance of your duties.
“This is a challenging moment and therefore, I want you to use this opportunity to unite all members of the ruling houses for the interest of your people.
“May Allah grant you wisdom and guidance in the discharge of this responsibility.”
Lawan described Bamali’s appointment as well-deserved, expressing hope that the monarch would meet the high expectations of the revered office and justify the trust and confidence reposed in him.
The Senate President also hailed the state authorities, particularly the people of Zazzau Emirate, for the peaceful and smooth transition after the painful exit of their 18th emir.
Lawan prayed that Bamali’s reign, like that of his predecessor, would enhance peace and development in Zazzau Emirate and Kaduna State.
Congratulating the emir in a statement from his Media Office, Asiwaju Tinubu also commended El-Rufai for making a good choice in Ambassador Bamali.
The statement signed by Mr. Tunde Rahman quoted the one-time Lagos governor as saying: “Ambassador Nuhu Bamali is a prominent diplomat, tested administrator and a first class traditional title-holder. I congratulate him on his appointment as the 19th Emir of Zazzau.
“My congratulations also go to Governor Nasir El-Rufai for making a prudent appointment. As Magajin Garin Zazzau, Ambassador Bamali distinguished himself as an excellent high chief of the Zazzau Emirate, just as he performed brilliantly well as top diplomat, serving Nigeria as Ambassador to Thailand.
“Like his immediate-past predecessor, Alhaji Shehu Idris, who died last month after 45 years on the throne, Ambassador Bamali is also a highly detribalised Nigerian and a friend of all. I urge him to continue in that fashion and consolidate on the tremendous gains recorded by the late Emir.
“As the first Emir from the Mallawa Ruling House in 100 years, the burden of history is on Emir Bamali. I pray to Almighty Allah to grant him divine wisdom, guide and protect him so he can steer the ship of the Emirate successfully.
“May his reign bring forth peace, development and prosperity to the Zazzau Emirate, and indeed, to Northern Nigeria.”
Speaking through their Chairman and Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong, Northern governors described Bamali’s appointment as a good omen for the people of the Zazzau Emirate, Kaduna State and Nigeria as a whole.
Lalong said: “We rejoice with you over this worthy opportunity given to you by God to serve your people like your ancestors did and also surpass their achievements because of the rich heritage they have passed down to you.
“Your exposure and experience hightens the excitement that by the help of Almighty God, you will improve the lives of the people and also make valuable contributions to national development.”
Lalong reminded the monarch that he was ascending the throne at a time when the nation and Northern region in particular are facing serious challenges of insecurity, poverty, illiteracy and health burden, despite its rich human and material endowments.
He assured the royal father that the Northern Governors Forum will support his reign and also benefit from his wisdom and influence as they work to emancipate the region from the myriad of challenges confronting it.
Former Kaduna State governor Ahmed Makarfi said the emir would deploy his wealth of experience in providing purposeful leadership for the people.
Makarfi said: “I heartily congratulate Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamali on his appointment as the new Emir of Zazzau. I believe that the new Emir will deploy his wealth of experience to provide a purposeful leadership to both the Zazzau Emirate and the State Council of Chiefs at this challenging time.
“I am confident that the new emir would build a roof large enough to accommodate all shades in the Zazzau Emirate and beyond.”
Meanwhile, one of his major contenders for the throne, Alhaji Mohammed Munir Ja’afaru, has also congratulated him and wished him well.
Jafaru, on Wednesday, released a statement stating that: “It is with deep sense of gratitude to Almighty SWT that I learnt of the appointment of Magajin Garin Zazzau, Ambadsador Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, as the new Emir of Zazzau by Governor Nasir Ahmed El- Rufai.
“We all must all accept the will of Allah SWT, and congratulate the new emir, HH Ambassador Nuhu Bamali on his appointment.
“May Allah SWT guide, lead and direct his actions on the throne and usher in peace and prosperity to our people. Allahumma Amin.”