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Aliyu Dan Sidi Emir of Zazzau (1903-1921)

Aliyu dan Sidi is the grandson of the first Fulani Emir of zazzau, Mallam Musa Bamalli. Aliyu dan Sidi lived with his teacher/tutor Mallam Abubakar Limamin Durum since the age of 5. He was a very intelligent pupil who turned out to be the tutor’s favorite to a point that fostered jealousy from his colleagues. 

He became the Emir of Zazzau at the age of 62, though a bit elderly, his God-given wisdom and brilliance remained intact. As a result, he was been cheered with chants like “Aliyu dan Sidi Sakaina mai iya ruwa”. Moreover, his courage was so immense that during the railway construction from Lagos-Kano, he rode with some of his men to Bida, which was before they reached Kano. His presence lifted their spirits and served as a motivation which also curbed some rumors going round about the railway project. Aliyu dan Sidi wrote a song titled “Wakar Diga” dedicated to that project. 

 

Furthermore, At the time governor Sir Hugh Cliford was to depart Nigeria after his service, the Northern Emir organized a send forth for him in Kano where Emir Aliyu dan Sidi stormed Kano with his battalion. This led to some chants of praise like “Aliyu Na Awwa mai iya sarki!” and because of the huge gathering, the Emir wrote a song specifically to commemorate the event titled “Taron Kano”. Interestingly, despite his old age, tagged with royal duties, he still had time to write songs on whatever he sees or pleases him. This is why no one can really state the number of songs he wrote. 

Emir Aliyu dan Sidi and Liman Durum didn’t really live in Durum, he was only addressed as Liman Durum because he once lived in Durum during a period when scholars in Zaria had some misunderstanding with the incumbent Emir then. The scholars moved to Durum where Mallam Abubakar was chosen to be their Imam. However, they later came back to Zaria when issues with the Emir were resolved and he was given the title of Magatakarda.

He held the title till the reign of Emir Kwasau. Aliyu dan Sidi and his tutor continued living in Zaria where he continued learning from him and got to mingle with his siblings-other princes. Amidst them, he proved his brilliance and intelligence, to top it, his courage. 

 He always participated in the time of war. When things get tough in the battlefield, silver- made saddle stirrups take charge (i.e royal princes with silver-made saddle stirrups), that’s where Aliyu dan Sidi proved his courage the most. As things went on, Kwasau ascended the throne of Zazzau. But Aliyu dan Sidi figured they were not going to have a smooth relationship, so he left Zazzau till he got to Kontagora. The then Emir of Kontagora, Ibrahim Mai Sudan Na-Gwamatse welcomed him with open hands because of his renowned courage.

 When, the Scholars in Kontagora saw his courage, brilliance and intelligence as signs of a potential Emir, they alerted the Emir of Kontagora by advising him to send Aliyu dan Sidi back to his hometown. On hearing that, Na-Gwamatse informed the Sultan telling him there is a prince in his town who is not in good terms with the incumbent Emir in his hometown, so he should consider being the mediator to reconcile their differences. After receiving this information, the Sultan sent his Waziri (Buhari) to take Aliyu dan Sidi back to Zaria and settle the differences between him and Emir Kwasau, which he eventually did.

Not long after that, Aliyu’s elder brother, Wambai Muhammadu passed away and then he succeeded him as Wambai. Aliyu dan Sidi had just served nine months as Wambai when the British came and ousted Emir Kwasau from the throne and appointed Aliyu dan Sidi. He reigned for 18 years before his dethronement in1921. He was taken to Ankpa and later Lokoja for exile just like his predecessor Muhammadu Kwasau and other Emirs from Northern Nigeria like Emir of Kano, Aliyu Mai Sango and Emir of Gwandu Muhammadu Aliyu. He lived in Bida for 6 years where he taught Quran till he died. Aliyu contributed immensely to the development of Zazzau Emirate from all accounts. 

 

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