late Dr. Aliyu Musdafa (centre)
The people of Adamawa Emirate and indeed Nigerians were in a mournful mood in the evening hours of Saturday, 13th March 2010. Dr Aliyu Musdafa, the longest serving Lamido of Adawawa passed away. Dr. Aliyu Musdafa, who would have been 88 years by April, was a spiritual and Islamic leader by nature and father of all by socialization. From the ordinary man on the street, to the elites, he was referred to as BABA. The father of all is no more today!
The late Lamido has left an indelible legacy; he maintained social harmony among his heterogeneous subjects. For the nearly six decades he steered Adamawa emirate, he extended his hands beyond the border of Islam, maintaining a balance between Muslims and Christians in his domain. For instance, Adamawa emirate has traditional titleholders from diverse ethnic, religious, educational and social background. Late Dr. Aliyu Musdafa exhibited the character of a Statesman; he spread love and compassion within his domain. He was a man that loved his people and his people loved him. It was attested by a prominent member in the inner caucus of Adamawa Emirate, Alh. Muhammadu Barkindo Aliyu Musdafa, the first sons of the Lamido, who is also the Ciroman Adamawa, he said: “the Lamido was an epitome of peace, who seek feedback about his domain from the ordinary people perspective”
Born in 1922, Dr Aliyu Musdafa was turbaned as the 11th Lamido of Adamawa on 26th July 1953; he received the staff of office from Governor Sir Bryan Sherwood-Smith of the British colonial Administration. The Lamido was instrumental in the transformation of the emirate. For the 57 years he was Lamido, he helped preserved the culture and traditions of Adamawa people, and also embraced modernization; the Lamido’s palace is today a modern edifice and also houses the Fombina Museum; where all historical monuments of the emirate are on display, and the historic Modibbo Adama mosque beautifully reconstructed. His leadership and record as one among the longest serving emirs in Nigeria, has helped in ushering a new era in Adamawa state and Nigeria as a whole.
The Adamawa emirate was founded in 1806, by Modibbo Adama bin Ardo Hassana, a disciple of Othman Danfodio. Modibbo Adama bin Ardo Hassana was born in 1771 and ruled the Emirate from 1806 to 1847, he had 11 Sons and 4 Daughters. Some of his sons later ruled the Emirate. Lamido Muhammad Lawal bin Adama who was born in 1797, was the second Lamido of Adamawa, he ruled the emirate for 25 years from 1847 to 1872. The third Lamido was Lamido Umaru Sanda bin Adama, he ruled the emirate for 18 years from 1872 to 1890, and he died in 1890. The fourth Lamido was Lamido Zubeiru bin Adama, he ruled the emirate for only 3 years from 1890 to 1903, he died on 25th February 1903. The fifth Lamido was Lamido Bobbo Ahmadu bin Adama who died in 1916. The sixth Lamido was Lamido Muhammad Yarima Iya Bin Sanda. The seventh Lamido was Lamido Muhammad Abba bin Bobbo Ahmadu he ruled the emirate for 14 years from 1910 to 1924, he died on 23rd August 1924. Eighth on the throne was Lamido Muhammad Bello bin Ahmadu, who died in 1928 after reigning for 4 years from 1924 to 1928. The ninth Lamido was Lamido Muhammad Mustafa bin Abba who ruled the emirate for 18 years, he was born in 1900 and died in 1946, and the tenth Lamido was Lamido Yarima Ahmadu bin Muhammad Bello he rules for 7 years from 1946 to 1953.
Late Dr. Lamido Aliyu Musdafa was born in Yola. He received his education at Yola Elementary School and Yola Middle School (1936-1943). He worked at the Adamawa Native Authority in 1943 and was appointed the Chief of Police in Adamawa Province in 1945 with the title of Wali. After eight years of supervising the force, Aliyu Musdafa was selected as Lamido following the deposition of Lamido Ahmadu Maigari. Dr. Aliyu Musdafa was an exemplary leader, as well as a true Nigerian, who believed in one Nigeria. His old age didn’t deter him from attending his farms at Yola, Girei, Ngurore, Mandere and Bole. Late Dr. Aliyu Musdafa together with Alh. Ado Bayaro the Emir of Kano, Alh. Bashir Usman the Emir of Katsina had served with devotion the old Northern-Nigeria native police popularly called Dan-Doka. . During his stint as the Lamido, he served under 13 Heads of State since independence and witnessed several constitutional changes and political reforms. Most of all, his tenure had witnessed an era of peace and stability in the emirate. He was on record to have made tremendous contributions to the Northern House of Chiefs where he served as a member of the Public Accounts Committee. He was also a member of the Northern Nigeria Development Corporation. He was also a member of the Council of Chiefs in North-Eastern State, 1967-1976. When Gongola State was created in 1976, he was made President of the Council of Chiefs. In 1979, in accordance with the provisions of the new constitution, he was appointed to the National Council of States by virtue of his position as President of the State Council of Chiefs. Following the upgrading of second class traditional rulers to first class status by the former Governor of Adamawa State, Mr. Boni Haruna in 2005, Lamido Adamawa was designated the Premier Ruler of Adamawa State.
Late Dr. Aliyu Musdafa, the 11th Lamido of Adawawa will be remembered for his philosophy of non-discrimination, dialogue and entrenchment of peace, love and honesty. Those were the components that marked his 57 years as Lamido of Adamawa. May Allah grant him Paradise, Ameen.
Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State, email@example.com, 08036070980