Notable Northern Nigeria Leaders – Part II

Shefiu Muib
By Muib Shefiu 8 Min Read

The northern part of Nigeria showcases a vast array of cultures and traditions, where traditional leaders play essential roles in upholding stability, safeguarding heritage, and promoting cohesion.

In our preceding episode highlighting Nigeria’s esteemed traditional rulers, we aired the initial segment featuring notable figures from the Northern region. This current episode serves as a seamless continuation of celebrating the influential traditional rulers dispersed throughout the Northern territories.

1. Lamido of Adamawa, Alhaji Muhammadu Barkindo Aliyu Musdafa:

Image source: Daily Trust 

Alhaji Muhammadu Barkindo Aliyu Musdafa, the revered Lamido of Adamawa, embodies the essence of Adamawa’s rich cultural heritage. Ascending to the throne in 2010 following the tenure of Aliyu Musdafa.

His reign is characterized by a dedication to fostering interfaith harmony, promoting education, and preserving the cultural heritage that defines Adamawa’s identity. Traditionally, the Emir of Adamawa serves as a symbol of unity and stability, representing the aspirations of the Adamawa people

2. Emir of Zamfara, Alhaji Attahiru Muhammad Ahmad

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Alhaji Attahiru Muhammad Ahmad, the esteemed Emir of Zamfara, stands as a pillar of strength and unity in a region steeped in history and tradition. Succeeding his father in 1993.

He champions initiatives aimed at improving livelihoods, fostering peace, and preserving Zamfara’s cultural legacy. The traditional role of the Emir of Zamfara includes overseeing the welfare of the emirate, upholding Islamic principles, and mediating community disputes.

3. Emir of Fika, Yobe State

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Muhammadu Abali Ibn Muhammadu Idrissa, the venerable Emir of Fika Emirates of Yobe State, occupies a position of profound significance in the cultural landscape of the state. Ascending to the throne in 2009.

He succeeded Abali Ibn Muhammadu, and his leadership is guided by a deep-seated commitment to community development, education, and the preservation of Yobe’s rich heritage. Traditionally, the Emir of Yobe plays a crucial role in promoting agricultural practices, ensuring social welfare, and fostering unity among diverse communities.

4. Emir of Jigawa, Muhammad Hameem Nuhu Sunusi 

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Muhammad Hameem Nuhu Sunusi , the esteemed Emir of Jigawa, stands as a beacon of tradition and progress in the heart of Jigawa State. Succeeding his father Nuhu Muhammad-Sanusi in 2024.

His visionary leadership transcends borders, fostering unity, prosperity, and cultural vibrancy across the length and breadth of Jigawa. Traditionally, the Emir of Jigawa serves as a symbol of authority, promoting traditional values, and representing the aspirations of the Jigawa people.

5. Gbong Gwom of Jos 

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Da Jacob Gyang Buba, born on October 10, 1951, is a distinguished retired Nigerian customs officer and esteemed elder statesman. His illustrious career includes serving as the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service from 2004 to 2008.

On April 1, 2009, he ascended to the esteemed position of Gbong Gwom, the paramount traditional ruler of the Berom Kingdom, succeeding the late Da Victor Dung Pam as the 5th Gbong Gwom. In addition to his traditional role.

He holds the esteemed position of Chairman of the Jos Traditional Council of Chiefs and serves as the president of the Plateau State Traditional Council. Moreover, since March 2016, he has served as the esteemed 3rd Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, a role he undertook at the 10th convocation of the institution. 

6. Emir of Muri, Taraba State

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Abbas Njidda Tafida, the esteemed 12th Emir of Muri in Taraba State, commands reverence as a custodian of Taraba’s rich cultural heritage. Ascending to the throne after the dethronement of Alhaji Umaru Abba Tukur in 1988.

His leadership is marked by a steadfast commitment to peace-building, socio-economic empowerment, and the preservation of Taraba’s diverse heritage. Traditionally, the Emir of Muri plays a central role in cultural festivities, promoting traditional crafts, and safeguarding ancestral customs.

7. Etsu of Nupe

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Yahaya Abubakar Kusodu Nupe was appointed as the 13th Etsu Nupe on September 11, 2003, succeeding his late uncle, Alhaji Umar Sanda Ndayako, to rule over all the Nupe-speaking people worldwide.

By virtue of this esteemed title, he serves as the Chairman of the Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers and also chairs the Coordinating Committee of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria.

8. Emir of Suleja

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Alhaji Mohammed Awwal Ibrahim, born on September 8, 1941, is the current Emir of Suleja Emirate. He previously served as the governor of Niger State from October 1979 to December 1983 during the Nigerian Second Republic.

Awwal Ibrahim assumed the position of Emir of Suleja in 1993, facing riots and property destruction by opponents. He was deposed on May 10, 1994, by General Sani Abacha but was later restored to his title on January 17, 2000, after the return to democracy.

9. Ata of Igala

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The reign of Matthew Opaluwa as the 28th Àtá Ígáláà began with his selection by the Ígáláà Traditional Council on April 28, 2021, as Attah-designate. He was confirmed on October 18, 2021, following official approval by the Kogi State Executive Council in Lokoja,

The state capital, approximately a year after the demise of his predecessor, Attah Idakwo Ameh Oboni II, in August 2020. His official installation and presentation of the Staff of Office occurred in a coronation ceremony held on Friday, March 4, 2022, at the Civic Center, Idah, Kogi State.

In conclusion, the diverse traditional rulers of Northern Nigeria embody a rich landscape of culture, history, and leadership. From the revered Lamido of Adamawa to the esteemed Emir of Zamfara, these leaders play pivotal roles in fostering unity, preserving heritage, and promoting development within their respective domains.

Their dedication to peace-building, education, and community welfare underscores their significance in maintaining the cultural vibrancy and societal cohesion of the Northern territories. As custodians of tradition and progress, they continue to inspire and uplift their people, ensuring a prosperous future rooted in the values of their ancestors.

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