Countless sympathizers graced the funeral prayers of the late Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris at his palace in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Idris, who ascended the throne in 1975, spent 45 years as the 18th Fulani Emir of Zazzau, one of the longest reigns in Northern Nigeria. He was both the Chairman of the Zazzau Emirate Council and the Kaduna State Emirate Council.
He was buried inside the palace near the graves of his predecessors.
The late Emir died on Sunday at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna after a brief illness.
Among the dignitaries who attended the funeral included the state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai and traditional rulers from various parts of the North.
The Chief of Staff to the president, Professor Ibrahim Gambari led the federal government’s delegation on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a condolence message to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, the government and people of Kaduna State, President Buhari said: “With the passing of Alhaji Shehu Idris, Nigeria has lost one of its longest-reigning traditional monarchs whose contributions to the promotion of unity and peaceful coexistence among Nigerians cannot be forgotten for years to come.”
According to the President, “The Emir of Zazzau who ascended to the throne in 1975, had used his long reign to serve his people with dedication and identified with their aspirations at all times.”
He prayed to Allah to forgive the late Emir and grant his family and subjects the fortitude to bear the loss.
Former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (retired), says the passing of the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris is for him, a profound personal loss.
In a communique on Sunday, the former president sent his heartfelt condolences to the Governor of Kaduna State, the entire Zazzau emirate and the late monarch’s beloved family, as well as the Federal government.
General Babangida described Idris as a powerful force for keeping Kaduna State so cosmopolitan.
According to the former president, Alhaji Idris has been a pillar of the traditional institution, a bridge between people of various ethnicities and religions.
He further noted that the dead ruler’s wisdom and integrity have been invaluable in advancing the growth and progress of the nation, adding that as a beneficiary of his support and fatherly advice for many decades, the loss was indeed personal.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has mourned the passing of Alhaji Idris.
Gbajabiamila said the royal father lived a life worthy of emulation by the upcoming generation, saying his demise has left a vacuum too difficult to fill at this time.
“For those that knew the late Emir of Zazzau, he stood for peace not just among his subjects but also among Nigerians as a whole.
“While on the throne, he lived an exemplary life. His was a life worthy of emulation. My heart and prayers go to the people of Zazzau Emirate, members of his immediate family, and the entire people of Kaduna State for this painful loss,” Gbajabiamila said.
The Speaker said the late emir has made his mark and positive impacts on the lives of his people.