Emir of Bauchi: A traditional leader worthy of emulation

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By Usman Abdullahi Koli


The leadership qualities that make some people qualify for positions could only be found in few. A true leader is the one that struggles for the development, emancipation and tranquillity of the people he or she leads. 
For centuries, before the coming of colonial masters, Bauchi has been in existence for long ahead of Malam Yakubu who was the Sheikh Usman Danfodio’s student, cleared the darkness of traditional religions and brought Islam to the people.


Originally, Bauchi got its name from a great hunter called ‘Baushe, the city has nine entrances and nine wells with nine mountains. Every Bauchi emir is referred to as ‘Sarkin Yakin Daular Usmaniyya’ which means the ‘War Head’ for the Usman’s Caliphate, Malam Yakubu was first given the title which descended down to all emirs after him. According to history, the first Emir of Bauchi was Malam Yakubu who ruled from 1805 to 1845, after his death, Ibrahim Dan Yaqubu came to the throne and ruled for 32 years —from 1845 to 1877. The third emir was Usman Dan Ibrahim who ruled between 1877 to 1883, after Usman’s demise, Umaru Dan Salmanu emerged as the fourth emir 1883 between 1902.

The fifth Bauchi emir was Muhammadu Mu’allayidi Dan Ibrahima but died a few months after his emergence as the Emir in the year 1902. The sixth emir of the Emirate was Hassan Dan Mamudu who ruled from 1903 to 1907. Ya’qubu II Dan Usman was the seventh emir that ruled between 1907 down to 1941. Yakubu III Dan Umaru was the eighth emir that ruled from 1941 to 1954.


The grandfather to the present Emir Alhaji Adamu Jumba emerged as the ninth monarch, he ruled for 27 years, between 1955 to 1982. Late Dr. Sulaiman Adamu was the tenth Bauchi Emir who ruled between 1982 and 2010, he passed away at the age of 77, the current Emir was enthroned after his father’s death.


His Royal Highness, Engineer Dr. Rilwan Sulaiman Adamu is the eleventh of the 16 children of the late Emir, Dr. Sulaiman Adamu, he was born on October 14th in 1970. He attended Kobi Primary School between 1976 to 1982. From there he proceeded to Government Secondary School Toro in 1982 to 1987. He attended Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic in 1991 and successfully graduated in 1995 where he obtained a National Certificate of Education (NCE).


Later on, he enrolled into the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University between 1996 to and 2001 where he studied Building Technology. Dr. Rilwanu worked with the Nigerian Port Authority for years, he was working with the Nigeria Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority in 2010 before his appointment as the Bauchi Emir. 


After the demise of his father, 20 interested candidates stepped forward for the throne but only three names were submitted to the then Governor Malam Isa Yuguda for approval. They are; Marafan Bauchi, Alhaji Abdullahi Yakubu, Chiroman Bauchi, Alhaji Nuru Adamu Jumba and Rilwanu Sulaiman Adamu who initially did not apply but a few days before submission he applied and luckily emerged victorious. The 11th Emir of Bauchi is an easy-going man that treats haves and the haves not as equal, he grew up in Kobi where young and old knew him for his charitable efforts on every Friday. During political campaigns, whenever candidates of different political parties pay homage on him; he always embraces all and wishes them success.


The current Emir is the longest Amirul Hajj in Bauchi who oversaw the activities of the pilgrimage committee for years, it was because of his vast knowledge and experiences. Dr. Rilwanu, for decades has been an advocate of the importance of getting voter cards which is key for electing good leaders. He openly enlightened people on the significance of cleanliness which prevents the spread of diseases. 


Bauchi Emir encourages parents to enroll their children into both religious and Western schools in order to brighten their future. On every Friday of the week, thousands of Almajiris and the vulnerable converge at the Emir’s Palace to receive financial assistance and food items which is one out of His Highness’ immeasurable generosity. 


In the Holy month of Ramadan, the Bauchi Emir also feeds thousands, especially during Iftar at the Bauchi Central Mosque. One interesting thing about Dr. Rilwan is that he prioritises youths who are the backbone of the society to acquire skills for self reliance and not relying heavily on government’s works. 


Whenever Christian or Muslim faithfuls pay a visit to him during Sallah festivities, he preaches the gospel of peaceful coexistence to them which is vital for development. 


In an interview with BBC Hausa during the Emir’s 10th year anniversary on the throne, he said that “Our door is always open for advices that will bring ease to people, advices that we could act upon, we would do our best while those that require government’s intervention we forward to them and they are doing the needful’. This is a clear indication that the Emir has an open heart that loves all despite their religious, tribal and host of other divergences. 


Dr. Rilwan at different seminars or any social gathering always cautions on the decline in moral and parental responsibilities, he reminds parents about their pertinent tasks of parenting. The Emir’s wide experience has made him relate with those in government cordially. 


Fervently, the Bauchi Emir serves as the bridge that links two opposing parties and he forgives those that wronged him. The Emir’s good habits are what make people love him more, including his antagonists. In view of his huge contributions, Crescent University Abeokuta and the Federal University of Technology, Akure appointed him the Pro-Chancellor, and recently the Federal Government appointed him as Chancellor in University of Abuja.


He has secretly sponsored treatment of many poor patients. The Emir is happily married and endowed with three children.


May God continue to guide and help him over future challenges.


Usman Abdullahi Koli, mernoukoli@gmail.com

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Sky Daily