Day Zaria turbaned emir’s ‘representative’

The celebrant, middle, with some of the guests

The celebrant, middle, with some of the guests

San Turaki Babba Zazzau is one of the prominent titles in the Zazzau Emirate. The title qualifies the holder to be one of the counselors of the emir. As tradition demands, San Turaki Babba is usually picked from among the princes of the emirate; hence the occupant of the office has to be someone with royal background.

The foregoing and other virtues qualified Malam Surajuddeen Balarabe Yakubu to be crowned as the new San Turaki Babba of Zazzau by the emir, Alhaji Shehu Idris, on Saturday, January 19, 2019.

Yakubu’s exposure, interaction and the various offices he held in the public and private sectors for about 38 years made the crème de la crème from different parts of the country to witness the event where tens of horse riders, fully adorned with royal regalia, entertained the guests and other spectators.

The demonstration of horse riding skill by these gallant, majestic and tradition-loving riders left the guests that graced the occasion amused with many of them jumping out of their seats because of excitement. Signs of happiness were palpable on the faces of the guests and onlookers, suggesting that they were fully tickled.

The title of San Turaki Babba, according to Dr. Aminu Ladan Sharehu (Mutawallen Zazzau), who was the chairman of the organizing committee of the turbaning and former Director General of National Teachers’ Institute (NTI), Kaduna, gives the occupant the privilege of being the representative of the emir at any place in Zaria and beyond.

Dr. Sharehu added: “One interesting thing about Malam Surajuddeen Balarabe Yakubu and his emergence as the new San Turaki Babba Zazzau was his rich background as far as royalty in concerned. Many of his grandparents were titles holders at different period in the history of this great emirate and even that of Kano. Some of them include Walin Kano, Aminu Yakubu. In Zaria, we have people like Ma’aji Isiyaku, Mutawalle Sheikh Ladan Sharehu, Magajin na Gaba Jumare Jalaluddeen, Wazirin Zazzau Umaru, Salanke Iyal, Alkali Suleiman and many others.”

Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that despite Yakubu’s strong link with royalty, it took the intervention of elders to convince him on the need to accept the title of the San Turaki Babba Zazzau.

Dr. Sharehu confirmed this, saying that the turbaning could have taken place long time ago, but for the reluctance of Yakubu, it has to be delayed to last Saturday.

  The celebrant, right, with Dr. Aminu Ladan Sharehu
The celebrant, right, with Dr. Aminu Ladan Sharehu

“Naturally, he is somebody who doesn’t like to show up. He has a large family and a cream of friends. He used to assist these people and other residents without allowing the public to know. If he wants to assist, he usually collects your account number without any prompting. And from time to time, he would send the assistance, usually in accordance to need. Not only that, many people are what they are today through Malam Surajudeen.

“He has secured employment for many people. Aside that he has assisted many to start vocations and become self reliant. He sponsored many people for their pursuit of education and after that he would assist them to secure employment. Some of these people are now civil servants and judges. Many mosques and Islamiyya schools in Zaria and other places where built by Malam Surajuddeen. These types of humanitarian activities, his humility and other virtues informed the decision of the Zazzau emirate council to honour him with this title,” Dr. Sharehu said.

Malam Yakubu was born on June 12, 1957 to the family of Alkali Malam Balarabe Yakubu. The history of the family showed that its patriarch hailed from Kukawa in the present day Borno State.

Like most children of the Muslim north, he started his education pursuit from Qur’anic school. He was later enrolled in the Kofar Fada Primary School, Kano. He also attended Kofar Kuyambana Primary School, Zaria as well as LEA Primary School, Tudun Wada, Kaduna.

Later, Yakubu moved to Government Secondary School, Malumfashi, Katsina State and College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria. He earned his first degree in law from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria in 1980 before he moved to Queen Mary College, Oxford University, United Kingdom and Howard University, Washington DC, United States of America.

His career cut across different organisations and institutions before he set up his consulting firm in 2004. He served as legal adviser in the Nigerian Mining Corporation and New Nigerian Development Company, as well as Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, among many others. He is a member of many professional bodies that include the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and International Bar Association (IBA) among others.

Daily trust

Hassan Usman Author

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