‘Late Ado Bayero protected Igbo property during civil war’
A RESEARCHER on Kano Emirate Council, Ibrahim Ado Kurawa, has described the late Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, as a genuine leading voice for the unity of Nigeria despite suggestions to the contrary.
In a paper titled, “The Contributions of Late Emir Ado Bayero to the Development of Islam in Kano,” which he delivered at the first Ado Bayero Memorial Lecture, Kurawa claimed that the late monarch did his best during the civil war to protect the property of Ndigbo in his old Kano domain.
He hailed Bayero as non-discriminatory in matters of tribe or sections of the country but rather a mediator who made attempts to stop the civil war. According to him, “when the civil war started and the Igbo left Kano, many of their property were vandalised and looted.
“The emir appealed to the people to stop the carnage and advised the state government to set up a committee to take inventory of Igbo property in Kano with the assistance of the native authority under his leadership.
“Two sub-committees were created and they made registers, one for landed property and the other for vehicular and industrial property.”
He explained that when the war ended and the Igbo started returning to their former locations, the late emir called on the committees to return the abandoned property to their rightful owners.
Describing him as fearless, patriotic and exemplary, Kurawa disclosed that Bayero refused to support the late Gen. Sani Abacha’s bid to transform from military head of state to civilian president “at a time many traditional rulers had supported the General’s agenda.”
He listed Bayero’s other unique virtue as a leader to be high-level self-contentment, as “he never sought personal favours. Some of the governors of Kano acknowledged this quality.”
This attribute, he said, was acknowledged by the state’s former military administrators, Col. Sani Bello and Air Vice Marshal Hamza Abdullahi, who said that unlike other traditional rulers in other states, “the late emir did not ask for any plot of land after the promulgation of the Land Use Decree in 1977, which transferred all lands to state governments.
“President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida also made this testimony in a BBC interview after he had left office.”