Leadership, as defined by Webster’s Dictionary, is “the office,
position or function of a leader or the quality of character and
personality giving a person the ability to gain the confidence of and
By this definition, anyone can be placed in a leadership role;
however, a true leader possesses the ability to learn how to lead
The ability to lead others, in my opinion, is not something that can
be learned. Possessing effective leadership traits is a gift that
allows those fortunate to guide others to succeed.
In today’s society, everyone wants to be a leader and that’s great;
however, becoming an effective leader is most important.
This is what stands Alhaji Shehu Idris, the Emir of Zazzau, out.
Over the four decades he served as the 18th Fulani Emir of Zazzau,
Alhaji Shehu Idris had by all standards proved himself an effective
leader with great skills.
As proof of this, and in recognition of his quest for peaceful
coexistence and drive for the overall development of his people, he
has been conferred with several national and international awards
including Doctorate Degrees from the Federal University of Technology, Minna, University of Nigeria, Nsuka and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
The latest in this chain of awards came with the decision to award
Alhaji Shehu Idris with another Doctorate Degree by the University of Abuja during its combined 15th – 20th Convocation Ceremony scheduled Friday 26th and Saturday 27th.
News of the decision broken by the University’s Registrar, Mrs.
Rifkatu H. Swanta said part of the events to be witnessed on Saturday 27th February, 2016 on the Convocation Ground, would be the
investiture of the Chancellor,His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr) Shehu
Idris CFR Emir of Zazzau.
And that this would be followed by the award of Honorary Doctorate
Degree to the Chancellor.
As the Royal Father takes this award on behalf of all the people of
Zazzau, it is important to remind everybody that what that meant, is
planting another seed for the future.
Predictably however, the Emir’s personal response to this honour would be: “I Owe this one too to Almighty Allah” – these have always been the humble words he utters whenever he is approached for a remark on his chain of accomplishments over the decades.
As the 18th Fulani Emir of Zazzau, he marked the 41st year of his
ascension on Monday, February 8, 2016.
He was born in 1937 in the ancient city of Zazzau. He succeeded his
mentor, Alhaji Muhamadul Aminu, the 17th Fulani Emir also from same Katsinawa dynasty, on February 8, 1975 during the regime of Brigadier Abba Kyari, the then governor of the north central state.
He was born on the 20th of February, 1936 to Mallam Idris Autan Sambo.
Shehu Idris is the grandson of Mallam Muhammadu Sambo, the tenth Emir of Zazzau who reigned between 1878 and1888.
Muhammadu Sambo was the son of Mallam Abdulkarimu Bakatsine who was the 3rd Emir of Zazzau between 1835 and 1846.
At the age of five, Shehu Idris received Qura’nic education from
Mallam Bawa and Mallam Abubakar Unguwan Iya, Zaria.
And at the age of eleven, Shehu was enrolled at Zaria Elementary School in 1947.
He lost his father in 1948 while he was only 12, but forged ahead and
secured admission into the Zaria Middle School in 1950.
He also attended the Katsina Training College for two years where he received training as a teacher in 1957 and commenced his teaching career in 1958 at Hunkuyi.
This took him to Zangon Aya and Paki as headmaster and later to Zaria
as the first Administrator of Kaura Primary School before graduating in Public Administration from Nigerian and Australian institutions.
In the rulership circle, Shehu rose from the position of Dan madamin
Zazzau and District Head Zaria da kewaye between 1973 and 1975 to the exalted throne of the Emir in1975.
In Kaduna state and indeed throughout Nigeria and beyond, he has since
earned the synonym of the instrument of peace for which he has
dedicated 41 years of his life.
He achieved this by persistently and consistently preaching peace,
cooperation, harmony and giving assurances, confidence, and hope to different nationalities, cultures, social, classes, races and
While awards are wonderful to receive, just knowing that our great
Emir has helped the people he leads in several area of development is truly reward enough.
The Emir of Zazzau is one of those fortunate leaders who go to sleep
knowing he has made a difference in his community just by being humane and simply steadfast.
And if this award stands for anything, it stands for the united spirit
in all of team members of the council he leads even though it has
Emir’s name on it.
The Emir achieves because his team achieve and they all achieve
because the Emir leads them to meet the challenges together!
*Abdul-Azeez wrote from Tukur-Tukur, Zaria
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