Daily Trust (Abuja)

30 January 2013

Nigeria: Why Palace Guards Took Bayero's Bullets - Shehu Malami

Nigeria's former ambassador to South Africa Alhaji Shehu Malami has said that the reason palace guards covered the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, and took the bullets meant for him was because they saw in him a man of great humanity, and an unruffled personality who was with the people.

He said contemporary political leaders will not attract such loyalty from their subjects because they have abandoned the people, ignored their welfare and chose to govern with impunity.

Speaking to Daily Trust in an exclusive interview in Abuja yesterday, Malami who is also the Sarkin Sudan of Wurno, said "as long as leaders remain unapproachable; so long as leaders completely ignore the welfare of the people; the people will ignore them because they are no longer leaders.

"I believe that those who volunteered to take the bullets directed at the Emir of Kano had seen through him a person of great dedication; of great humanity, an unruffled personality. So they must have calculated that it was their responsibility to die for this person since they believed in his honesty," the Sokoto Prince said.

"When we were young, we were told that when the Fulanis came to this part of the world, they were as white as the Arabs and white Europeans. They came to settle in an area that was inhabited by people who were black under the Gobir Empire. So to get his minority Fulani people accepted by the people of the bigger Gobir Empire, Usman Danfodio said to the Fulanis, 'let the people see through you and they will die for you," he added.

Sarkin Sudan noted that the increasing violence in northern Nigeria occasioned by disrespect for leaders was because politicians have taken over the responsibility of the people's welfare, but failed to live up like the traditional institutions did before.

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