By Adagbo Onoja
It is fit and proper that I pay a tribute to Nuhu Muhammadu Sunusi, the Emir of Dutse who passed on earlier this week. He was, indeed, very friendly, accessible and sarcastic when necessary. As a dweller in Dutse from 2007 to 2012, I enjoyed his support.
Ordinarily, I should have been the one to have gone to him to announce my presence in the town following my appointment into the Sule Lamido government in May 2007. My poor grasp of traditional protocol meant that I didn’t do that. But the Emir didn’t mind. He still reached out to me and throughout, he always spoke kindly about me. That reached its climax when the Government organized the Jigawa Talakawa Summit in 2008 and the Sultan of Sokoto, at a very short notice, accepted gracing the occasion. When I went with Dr. Aminu Taura, the Secretary to the Government at the time to greet the Sultan, the Emir told the Sultan in few words that I was a great guy.
Before then, he had invited me to join him in playing golf. I contemplated that possibility and concluded it wasn’t practicable. I didn’t know how it would look if an aide of the governor joined the emir on the pitch. Two, there was no way the governor would not find a way of disrupting such plumage, more for the fun of it than anything substantive. Lastly, where would I have found the time to play golf since there were no weekends or holidays? So, I lost that opportunity to be initiated into that game. It would have been a good investment for a later day dweller in Scotland.
Dutse or Jigawa State is a smaller and less influential state by comparison with its wealthier neighbour – Kano. Unknown to people, however, is how the Emir’s exploits in golf brought many people of different ethno-religious and professional backgrounds to the state beyond what it would have been if otherwise. One of such visitors was General Yakubu Gowon, although Gowon may not be regarded as a visitor to any state in Nigeria, having been a former Head of the larger Nigerian State.
As the Emir whose emirate hosts the state capital, Sunusi was needed to play host to several visitors that Sule Lamido reconnected from his ministerial days. And the Emir played such roles perfectly. That seemed to be his own uniqueness. Every emir in Jigawa has something to offer. For instance, the Emir of Gumel is a computer and a social media buff. The Emir of Hadejia must have his own specialty for the Government but what I haven’t forgotten about him are the special fish meals the governor’s entourage was treated to each time we were there. I don’t know if that is why I got on with Hadeijia to the extent that I got a reception in my own right when once I went but not with the governor. I will stop at just these two.
The late Emir of Dutse was one of the most enthusiastic about the policy of the Government paying a stipend to the category of the most physically challenged persons. If my memory serves me well, the emirate had better organized documentation of that category than the Government itself, although this was not peculiar to Dutse Emirate.
Beyond the regalia, the late Emir of Dutse was very relaxed. That was hardly surprising, being a well- educated and highly cosmopolitan royalist, with a background of sojourn in the United Kingdom and the United States. May Dutse Emirate get a successor who will add value to what exists!