Lagos and Francis Onoiribholo in Benin, Celestine Okafor , Chesa Chesa, Rotimi Akinwumi in Abuja, Gbenga Faturoti in Osogbo, Chinwendu Nnadozie in Minna — The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, whose death was announced early on Friday has been laid to rest according to Muslim rites amidst eulogies from eminent Nigerians. The revered monarch who died at 83 was buried in his ancestral home known as Nassarawa.
Kano metropolis was under tight security throughout the burial rite which started after the 4 o'clock Muslim prayer. The late Emir was a well-regarded figure in Nigeria and was seen as a key link between tradition and modernity.
Politicians inclding the state governor also sought his opinion and counsel, and he was seen as a bridge between Muslims and Christians in the country.
Saturday Independent, gathered that kingmakers had, already, even before his burial, gone into a closed-door session to select the three names that will be submitted to Kano State Government for approval as his successor.
The late emir had kept a low-profile recently because of his illness which worsen after an attempt on his life and had been receiving treatment in a London hospital, according to palace and state government sources.
Those tipped as his likely successor include the former Governor Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who is the grandson of the late emir's brother.
Another prominent name on the list is one of his sons, Aminu Ado Bayero, who holds a royal title and is currently a popular district head in Kano.
Meanwhile eminent Nigerians have been elugoising the virtue of the late Emir for a life well spent. President Goodluck Jonathan in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Reuben Abati, said that the late emir demonstrated "uncommon leadership qualities and evident faith in the peace, unity, progress, and prosperity of Nigeria which stood him out as one of the most respected traditional rulers in the country during his reign."
He said the nation would miss his immense wisdom and competence.
"The President reaffirms his declaration on the occasion of the Emir's 50th anniversary celebrations last year that the late Alhaji Ado Bayero was one of the most decent and respectable Nigerians he has had the privilege of interacting with, and he will always treasure pleasant memories of their last meeting earlier this year," the statement read..
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar described the demise of the Emir as a big loss to Nigeria.
Atiku, in a personal tribute made available to newsmen by his media office, said that the death of the first class monarch was a personal loss to him, saying he has "lost a father in Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero."
He praised the late monarch's amazing ability to rule over a vast, complex, heterogeneous, and cosmopolitan city like Kano without losing his humility, a quality he said was rare most leaders.
Speaker of the House of Representatives,Aminu Waziri Tambuwal in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Imam Imam said "under his long and glorious reign, Kano witnessed unprecedented boom in all spheres of human endeavour. Its eminent status as a trading point and centre of commerce in sub Saharan Africa was not only reaffirmed, but enhanced. "People of Kano and indeed all Nigerians will miss his advice and reassuring presence. It is gratifying, however, that he has left behind towering legacies for posterity," Tambuwal added.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu through his his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Uche Anichukwu, said that the late royal father was a man of many parts who departed in a blaze of glory.
"This is indeed a shocking exit of a sage and end of a glorious era. "HRH Ado Bayero was everything a people could have wished for in a leader and royal father in a pluralistic nation. He not only served Nigeria in many exalted capacities before and after ascending the throne of his fathers, but cultivated friendship and admiration that cut across all ethno-religious boundaries," Ekweremadu said.
Also the Northern States Governors' Forum (NSGF) expressed its condolence to the government and people of Kano state over the death of the Emir
Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu, described his death as a monumental loss not only to the people of northern region but the entire Nigeria.
The statement which was signed by his chief press secretary, Mr. Israel Ebije read in part, "the North and indeed entire Nigerians will miss the Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, especially now that the country needed people of his rare wisdom who believed in one indivisible entity, Nigeria, to chart a better future especially in the area of security. We all as humans come from Allah and to him we will all return."
According to the governor, the forum is consoled by the fact that the late Emir lived a life worthy of emulation and urged the government and people of Kano to see the Emir's death as the will of Allah.
In the same vein, several state governors extolled the virtues of the late Bayero. Governor Rauf Aregbesola of State of Osun said "Indeed the death of Alhaji Ado Bayero is very sad. We have lost a father-figure; we have lost a great leader; we have indeed lost a bridge builder and a great man whose image stood tall not only in Kano State and the North but also the country as whole.
"I have no doubt that we are going to miss this eminent leader greatly. On behalf of myself, the state and entire people of Osun, we extend our heart-felt condolences to the family- immediate and extended- of the late Emir and, especially his intimate friend, His Royal Majesty, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, the Ooni of Ife, Kano State Government and the entire people of the ancient commercial city.
Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina described his death as a tragic loss to the country.
Shema, in a statement said Bayero died when his wisdom was needed to achieve peace and stability in the country.
"He was an easy going traditional ruler who de-emphasised materialism and encouraged the worship of God through numerous Islamic religious engagements that he spearheaded in his life time, Shema said.
Also, Governor Abdulfatai Ahmed of Kwara State in his own reaction said that Emir Ado Bayero added colour and panache to the traditional institution of not only Kano Emirate, Northern Nigeria but the country as a whole through his candour and statesmanship.
Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko said "the late Emir was a rare gem, a stabilising factor in Nigeria, a complete royal father and an exemplary custodian of culture who was loved by all. "He was very humble even in his mightiness as a very influential Emir. No doubt he will be sorely missed by all."
His Ekiti State counterpart, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, also described Bayero's demise as the end of an era of one of the longest and most prosperous reign in the history of the traditional institution in Nigeria.
The Governor said that the late Bayero presided over an emirate that became a rallying point for all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds.
Also, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State in a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Peter Okhiria, said "despite his exalted seat, he was a most worthy friend of the talakawa, an embodiment of wisdom and learning, compassion and selflessness. He was an inspiration to millions and a reference point in authentic leadership and service to the Community."
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) also commiserated with Kano Emirate Council and the entire people of Kano.
In a statement signed by its President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, CAN described the death of the emir as a great loss not only to his family and the emirate council but to the entire nation and humanity at large.
"On behalf of the entire Christian community in Nigeria, I condole with the Bayero family, the Kano emirate, the government and people of Kano State over the demise of Alhaji Ado Bayero.
"It is with shock that I receive the news of the demise of the revered traditional ruler; an elder statesman who stood for the peace and unity of Nigeria at all times. The Christian Association of Nigeria mourns with the family of the deceased, the members of the emirate council and the entire people of Kano over the great loss," CAN said.
The burial was witnessed by Vice President, Namadi Sambo, Speaker House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, state governors, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu'azu, emirs and traditional rulers from other parts of the country.