Buhari mourns as two Emir of Zazzau contenders die 24 hours apart

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President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed shock over the demise of two princes of the Zazzau Emirate of Kaduna State, Iyan Zazzau, Bashir Aminu and Talban Zazzau, Abubakar Pate.

The pair died just over three months after the former Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris, joined his ancestors.

According to reports while Aminu died of COVID-19 complications, Pate passed of suspected cardiac arrest.

The princes died within 24 hours. The Iyan passed away on New Year Day, six days after he clocked 70, while the Talban gave up the ghost on Thursday.

In a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, the president descrbed the deaths as a double tragedy.

Buhari extended sympathies to their families, the Zazzau Emirate Council, the Government and people of Kaduna State.

“May Allah forgive the gentle souls of the departed and reward their good deeds with paradise,” he said.

The President said he has dispatched a ministerial-level delegation to visit the palace on his behalf.

Recall that three names were selected to replace the late monarch in September.

The princes were late Aminu (Iyan Zazzau), Aminu Idris (Turakin Zazzau), and Muhammadu Munir Ja’afaru (Yariman Zazzau).

They emerged after a stringent process participated in by eleven princes from four dynasties.

They were scored on 20% for being a District Head, 15% for having a Degree or HND, 10% for Public Service, 10% for no proven adverse report, 15% for a good relationship with people, 10% for physical fitness, and 5% for national award.

Following three rounds of voting (normally concluded in one round), Iyan scored 89%, Yariman 87%, and Turaki 53%.

But Governor Nasir El-Rufai refused to pick any of the three.

After weeks of anticipated announcement and accusations of “delay tactics”, El-Rufai appointed Ahmed Bamalli, a former Nigerian Ambassador to Thailand.

The kingmakers kicked, insisting that he was not among princes screened.

Within 24 hours of Bamalli’s selection, a Zazzau Emirate official, Aminu Yakubu-Wambai, dropped his traditional title.

Wambai resigned as the Wakilin Raya Kasar Zazzau, a position he held for 19 years.

The Iyan, who was number one on the list submitted to El-Rufai, fought Bamalli’s installation in court.

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