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Home arrow Africa arrow Influential Hausa Leaders In South-West -Module for peaceful coexistence with host communities
Influential Hausa Leaders In South-West -Module for peaceful coexistence with host communities PDF Print E-mail
Written by OLAOLU OLADIPO , Adebayo Waheed, David Akinadewo, Joshua Dada, KUNLE OLAYENI   
Sep 13, 2013 at 02:55 PM

Sarkin Hausa in the South West

All over Nigeria, there are individuals selected by their people to keep them together and promote relations with their host communities. We bring you, for starters, the influential Hausa leaders in South-western part of the country. - See more at: http://leadership.ng/news/130913/influential-hausa-leaders-south-west#sthash.9rBJ0h1x.dpuf

I have not received salary since 1984 - Sarkin Sasa, Ibadan

The Sasa community in Akinyele local government area of Oyo State, which hosted immigrants from the northern part of the country, was established in 1982. The immigrants were led from Oja’Oba by Malam Haruna Maiyasin Katsina, who was installed by the Olubadan of Ibadan in 1984.

Ten years after, in a letter dated December 3, 1994, the late head of state and commander in-chief of the armed forces, General Sani Abacha, appointed him as Sardaunan Yamma and chairman, Council of Arewa Chiefs, in 17 southern states. By the appointment, he became a member of the National Council of Traditional rulers as well as member of the State Council of Obas. Speaking on his appointment as the Sarkin Hausawa of Sasa, Ibadan, he said it was due to competence as well as the fact that he was the most qualified among the immigrants who left Oja’Oba to Sasa.

However, he lamented that since his installation he had not received salary both from the state and local government. He said government had been doing everything possible to ensure the right and privileges of the people. “I have been living at the mercy of the people including military leaders who patronise me as Islamic cleric,” he said. “As Imam who works for people including those in high places, I have been enjoying the goodwill of such people and this has been sustaining me since governments have refused to pay me salary since 1984.”

The 76-year-old Sarkin Hausawa of Sasa, who claimed to have worked for the late generals Musa Yar’dua and Yakubu Gowon, said that they brought him from Katsina to Ibadan on the same mission. “Government is not paying me anything but people have been assisting me. No government in the state has done better than the present administration. During the military regimes in the country, I was being paid especially for the prayers I offered not only for the state but for the country,” he said.

We follow due process in selecting a Sarki - Sarkin Hausawa, Lagos State Alhaji

Sani Kabiru the Sarkin Hausawa of Lagos State and chairman, Council of Arewa Chiefs. As the name suggests, he oversees and coordinates the activities of the other Sarkin Hausa was that are of Kanuri, Fulani, Nupe, Igala and Tapa stock.

Although he inherited the throne from his father after his death, the founding director of Independent Company Nigeria Limited, the publishers of The News magazine PM News, was unanimously endorsed by all the Sarkis in Lagos State based on his successes in commerce and industry.

To make the task of leading the Hausas in Lagos State easy, he said, “We have structure in Lagos State. Different Hausa communities in the state have their Sarki; virtually all the local governments have their Sarki, but I am the chairman. By that arrangement, the different Sarkis are in charge of administration in those areas and if there is any problem that is beyond them they bring it to my notice. That is for easy administration and closeness to the grass roots.

“I can tell you every other Sarki is properly chosen by the committee of elders in their community and at the same time endorsed either by the Oba or Bale of that community, and then it must be approved by the Arewa Council of Chiefs before you can become Sarki in Lagos State.”

Kabir, who traced the history of Hausa sojourn in the state to over 500 years, said the Hausa are very comfortable living in the state.

My position as Sarkin Hausawa is affecting my businesses – Zungeru

The present Sarkin Hausawa of Ibadan land, Alhaji Ahmed Zungeru, claimed that he read in the archives that most of the northern immigrants moved out purposefully to get to Ghana, which was then known as Gold Coast, in search of kola nuts. He recalled that they used to go there in search of kola nuts. On their way back, the immigrants were said to have believed and agreed that there were kola nuts at Eba-odan, as Ibadan was then called. According to him, the immigrants had to stay in the village, Omi Adio, asking the villagers to search for kola nuts which they bought from them.

It was when they realised that they could get kola nuts in Ibadan that they decided to settle there, so whenever they were coming from the north they would come with live cows and, after selling them they would buy kola nuts and return home.

The community disclosed that after the demise of his grandfather, the elders of the community asked his father to continue, adding that it was his late father who integrated the Yoruba people into the business of buying and selling of cows which hitherto was regarded as the business for the Hausa people.

The appointment of a new Sarkin Hausawa is based on the powers of the elders who, based on the constitution, tradition and religion of the people, vote for the new leader. The about 17 elders whose ages range between 80 and 100 vote and pass their resolutions to the constituted authority and later present the new Sarkin Hausawa to the Olubadan of Ibadan land.

“The elders will and through our culture and religion, we do not like to drag ourselves to the court of law like our host community. We like to settle our differences amicably. We have our own constitution and based on that the elders drawn from different parts of Oyo State will meet.”

According to him, the elders are expected to meet, pass a resolution to confirm the appointment of the new Sarkin Hausawa and this will be passed to the people including the clerics after which they will present him to the Olubadan for the installation.

The northerners residing in Ibadan have no doubt been enjoying the peace not only in Ibadan but in the entire state. This was evident in the explanation given by the Sarkin Hausawa when he disclosed that of all the Hausa community in the south-west and in fact Oyo State in general is safe.

 

Ondo State is home to Hausas – Sa’ada

Though ethnic conflicts are witnessed periodically in some states in Nigeria, Ondo is home to the Hausas living in all the nooks and crannies of the state. For the Hausas and other tribes from the northern part of the country spread across the 18 local government areas of the “Sunshine State”, the hospitality of the host communities has made the state be home away from home. The Sarkin Hausawa of Ondo State, Alhaji Babangida Sadiq Sa’ada, who spoke with LEADERSHIP in Akure, the Ondo State capital, gave an insight into the harmonious relationship that has been existing between the Hausas and their host communities in the state for about a century.

Alhaji Sa’ada revealed that the Hausa community in the state was established over 100 years ago and, whenever he reflected on those many years, the only thing he could say was that the community had come of age. He noted that it was formed by his father from whom he inherited his title. And he gave Allah the glory for the experience he had gathered during his father’s reign, which he said had been helping him all along.

On whether the Hausa community in the state includes non-Hausas from the north, the Sarkin Hausawa said: “Alhamdulillah; as we are all aware, in northern Nigeria, we have different tribes who are also typical northerners, but the common tribal sentiments that might be in existence in the north among the northerners does not apply to our being together here as one family.

“I can tell you categorically that we didn’t adopt such negative traits here; we all co-exist as children from one father and one mother. A northerner is a northerner. That is how we treat everyone.

“Any tribe that comes from the north… we don’t care about your tribe, nor do we care about your religion; you are a northerner and we take you as one of us.”

Sa’ada noted that the love and unity among the people makes it difficult to differentiate between the Hausa Muslims and Christians in the community.

On his emergence as the leader of the Hausa community, he said: “Alhamdulillah, I emerged as the traditional ruler of the Hausa community in this town in the year 2009, after the death of my father, Alhaji Sadiq Sa’ada, who happened to be the first Sarkin Hausawa in this town. He was from Katsina.

“We are from Katsina and it was the king of the Yorubas then, that is, Oba Adebobajo, the then Deji of Akure, who made my father the first king of Hausas and, years after Oba Adebobajo’s demise and my father passed on, there was another king of the Yorubas called Oba Adesina, who enthroned me in the year 2009 on my late father’s throne and crowned me the Sarkin Hausawa of this town.

“But I must however add that it was all made possible by the overwhelming support of our people, the Hausa community here in Ondo State.”

The Sarkin Hausawa, who revealed that he was born in Akure and had been living in the town since his childhood, stated that he never heard of any crisis between the leaders of Yorubas and those of Hausas in the state. “We all live together in harmony.”

He said the community respects the Yoruba elders and they also give the Hausa leaders their due respect in return.

He said, to his surprise, the Yorubas have even taken them as indigenes, because there is nothing that is provided for the host community that they don’t provide for the Hausas too.

“As a result of that, the state government has even taken us into its fold. This I can tell you; we have been given a position in the administration of the present-day government. One of us was appointed as SA to the governor on Hausa community matters.

 

Osun State is peaceful – Gwamna

Though it is right to accord equal opportunity to every Nigerian wherever they might find themselves in the country, it is imperative for them also to appreciate and conform with the acceptable norms of the host community. Those were the words of the Sarkin Hausawa of Osogbo land, Alhaji Lawal Gwamna, while speaking with LEADERSHIP Friday in his palace at Osogbo, Osun State capital.

The septuagenarian had lived all his life in Yorubaland and, to him, he feels at home and secure in the place he has achieved much and hope to live the rest of his life.

Alhaji Lawal Gwamna was installed as the Sarkin Hausawa of Osogbo by the late Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Iyiola Oyewale Matanmi, in 1995. By virtue of his position as the Sarkin Hausawa of Osogbo, he is not only the head of Hausa community in Osogbo but also the traditional head of all other tribes from the northern part of the country. He is also the representative of Sarkin Hausawas and other ethnic groups from the north in governments across the state and has authority over their activities.

Like his predecessor, Alhaji Suaib Gwamna, he is responsible for the installation of the Sarkin Fulani, Sarkin Sabarumo and other community leaders from the north in Osogbo on the advice of the elders of those ethnic groups. Alhaji Gwamna, who claimed to have known no fewer than four Sarkin Hausawas, noted that the installation of Sarkin Hausawas is as old as the ancient town. He said he can authoritatively discuss the history of Osogbo, as he was born and bred in the town.

 

Ekiti is home to all – Adamu

The Hausa community in Ado-Ekiti, like any other in the non-Hausa-speaking states in the southern part of the country, was a rallying point for one of the major ethnic groups in the country. Members of the community were made up of non-Hausas, which include Zuru, Zabarumawa and Nupe.

There was no clear-cut process leading to the emergence of Alhaji Abdulahi Adamu as the Sarkin Hausawa of Ado-Ekiti who said that he was not elected but was persuaded by the people to lead them.

The community in the Ekiti State capital has been existing for over 70 years but was without a history of formation, since there were pockets Hausa settlers before the arrival of Alhaji Adamu.

He said: “I can really say that this was how the group was formed because I met a community of eight people on ground. My emergence as Sarkin Hausawa was not through election but as a result of the unanimous decision of the members of the community who begged me to assume the position.”

The Sarkin Hausawa, who described the relationship between the members of his group and their host communities as cordial, said “we do business and live together in peace and harmony”.

He disclosed that members of his group are not being treated as second-class indigenes just as their business interests are not in any way threatened. Moreover, many of the group members and people from the host community now inter-marry to cement the relationship.

Like any other group or organisation, the Hausa community has rules and regulations guiding the conduct of the group.

Any member whose action contravenes the set rules of the group will be suspended and will not be allowed to carry out his or her business activities. A consistent erring member is banished to serve as a deterrent to others.

The 83-year-old Alhaji Adamu, a businessman who specialises in the sale of local sponge and kola nuts, became the Sarkin Hausawa of Ado-Ekiti over 40 years ago.

 

I initially refused to be Sarkin Hausawa – Hassan III

On a typical day, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Hassan III settles in the courtyard of his palatial residence and presides over different matters. As the Sarkin Hausawa of Egbaland, he regularly receives in audience various people and interest groups who throng his home after the Subhi (Muslim dawn prayers) to lodge complaints or seek favour about pertinent needs.

Speaking Yoruba language fluently, the Sarkin amicably resolved the contentious matter between his guests. “That’s how we normally do,” the chief told LEADERSHIP Friday shortly after. “We don’t have problems here. Many Yoruba people in Sabo would even prefer to bring their case to me when they have problem with themselves rather than going to the police.”

Having emerged the Sarkin Hausawa of Egbaland in 2007, the 53-year-old says living in an environment far away from his ancestral home has been quite interesting. He describes the relationship existing with the Hausas and their host community as cordial.

Hassan said, “I was chosen by my people, the Hausa community, after my father’s death in 2007. Prior to my appointment, I was working in Lagos at a bureau de change. I didn’t want to become the Sarkin but people liked me and chose me. That’s why I’m here now.

“I had a brother that wanted to be the Sarkin. There was another man, a younger brother of my late father, who also wanted to be Sarkin. Actually, I didn’t want to be Sarkin. So, I left everything to my brother and uncle. But none of them agreed to step down for each other. Consequently, that was why people chose me to become the Sarkin.

“I am 53 years old now but I was born here. I grew up in this community. I went to primary school here; then, I went to the north for my secondary education, before I came back in 1986. From then, I left Abeokuta to Lagos and spent almost 19 years in Lagos working with the bureau de change. I came back to Abeokuta to become the Sarkin.”

He recalled that the Hausa community had been living in the Sabo area of Abeokuta since 1948. According to him, the community includes non-Hausa people who are northerners.

He said: “Hausa people have been in Abeokuta for so long. They came to Sabo in 1948 because they were in Mokola and Ake before. Because of the traditionalists’ culture, they decided to move. The then Alake of Egbaland sent them to Agura, who subsequently led them to Sabo area. They chose this place, Aloba, and Oluseye families leased the Sabo land in the year 1948.”

“We have many non-Hausa people in this community. We have Nupe, Ebira, Tiv, and others who are non-Hausas but are also northerners. We understand one another and our relationship with the host community is very cordial.”

As a result of the long years of relationship with their host community, Hassan disclosed, inter-marriages exist between the Hausa and Yoruba resident in Sabo.

“Yes, we inter-marry. Many of our people marry Yorubas. We mix with the indigenes here.”

The Sarkin stated that most Hausas in Sabo engage in trading, especially in food items. He enthused that their businesses have been smooth and devoid of any threat.

 

Awwal Wangara: Young and emerging player in haulage business

Born in 1979, Alhaji Awwal Idris Wangara, a native of Wangara town in Gisara local government area of Kano State began life as a pupil of Wangara Primary School in 1987 from where he proceeded to the Wangara Junior Secondary School in 1992. He ended his formal education at the senior secondary level after leaving Wangara Senior Secondary School in 1996.

After acquiring formal education, he left his hometown to join his maternal uncle, Alhaji Abubakar, in Lagos. Abubakar had established himself as a trader of note at Alaba Rago, a trading post of traders from the northern part of the country.

“When I arrived in Lagos, I worked for him for some time to oversee some of his trading interests in areas such haulage, transportation and trading in goods that came mostly from the northern part of the country,” he said.

Young Awwal’s thirst and zeal for success soon became manifest when he ventured out alongside other young men of his age to float a new trading company. This decision obviously ruffled some feathers, as it soon strained the relationship between him and his uncle. This was further accentuated by the fact that they (the new business owners) were establishing the same business as that of the uncle.

He stated that the major reason for the movement was due to the failure of his principal to keep to an agreement he reached with him: that a certain amount of money that accrued to the company would be paid to him. His uncle reneged on the deal, he said.

On his role in the new company, Alhaji Awwal said, “My friends called me to join them in the company they founded; they practically begged me to join and I did. I initially objected to their request but when they told me that they needed me because I could read and write, I was touched.”

According to him, the major task in the business is record-keeping of transactions. “I was the clerk; it was majorly a transport company and I was to keep records of sales and commuters’ manifest.”

His ambition to succeed soon necessitated another shift and he left the joint venture after spending a little over six years alongside his co-owners to establish his own business in 2005. The business has varying interests in sectors and commodities such as transport, trading, and haulage.

“I was under intense pressure from many people who kept telling me I could float my own outfit and that, based on what they had seen, I stood a good chance of succeeding. I later budged, sensing the genuineness of their call,” he said.

He stated however that there were those who felt he couldn’t survive the harsh business climate owing to his relative young age and the glut of players in the transport and haulage industry. “Many of the people in the sector actually felt I would soon fade away; they thought many of the people in the industry who had been well established would swallow me.”

Owing to combination of foresight and sheer organisational ability, he was soon instrumental in the creation of a section within the Alaba Rago Market devoted exclusively to transport and haulage, separate from the main trading post involving many other traders. The new location was not far away from the popular Lagos-Badagry expressway, thus making access and logistical movement easy for traders and transporters alike.

Awwal Wangara soon moved away from deal brokerage between clients and service providers with which he began the operation of his company, Wangara Transport, to become a proud owner of a large fleet of articulated vehicles in their hundreds. The company had grown from a mere broker to owner of a pool of vehicles.

- See more at: http://leadership.ng/news/130913/influential-hausa-leaders-south-west#sthash.9rBJ0h1x.dpuf


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