The Kaduna State Government has confirmed receiving a list of nominees for the position of emir of Zazzau which became vacant on Sunday.
The throne became vacant following the death of Shehu Idris who was appointed in 1975.
Princes from three of the four dynastic lines of the emirate are jostling for the post with four of them believed to be frontrunners.
PREMIUM TIMES has early on Friday reported that three names were submitted to Governor Nasir El-Rufai by the kingmakers for his final selection.
‘’SSG stated that he can confirm that the report of the kingmakers has now been submitted to the Commissioner of Local Government, a step that will trigger the next sequence of events in the chain of reporting and security vetting,” a government statement Friday evening stated.
The statement by Muyiwa Adekeye, Mr El-Rufai’s spokesperson, quoted Balarabe Lawal, the secretary to the state government.
The state government said the selection process “is proceeding with the careful attention befitting such a momentous decision”.
Mr El-Rufai had announced mulling the selection scope by reading a book on British colonial administration of Northern Nigeria and government secret files.
“KADUNA UPDATE: I am on my second book throwing more light on the emergence of the Emir of Zazzau Jafaru in 1937. I have also reviewed the secret files on his selection, & that of Emir Shehu Idris.
“I await the recommendations of the Commissioner responsible for chieftaincy matters after due security clearance of the aspirants,” Mr El-Rufai wrote on his Facebook page.
The governor wrote that it was only after those steps that he will “be in a position to select the next Emir if Zazzau”.
Pundits last night fear that the governor may pull a shocker by going for an underdog as it happened in the selection of emirs Ja’afaru and Idris in 1937 and 1975, respectively.
Both princes were not direct sons of emirs and were, in each case, not favourites of the palace powers.
In an earlier Twitter post, Mr El-Rufai said the government had received 11 names of interested applicants.
“The Commissioner responsible for chieftaincy matters is reviewing the 11 aspirants and the assessment of all of them by the kingmakers,” he wrote.
How the selection will be done
Meanwhile, the statement from the Kaduna government explained that the procedure for picking a new emir is for the kingmakers of Zazzau Emirate to address their recommendations to the Commissioner of Local Government Affairs, who will in turn process the document and forward to the SSG.
‘’Upon receipt of the correspondence from the commissioner, the SSG will avail the security agencies of the names on the shortlist for the necessary checks. It is the duty of the SSG to forward the recommendations and the associated security report to the Governor for his consideration,’’ Mr Adekeye said.
The governor’s spokesperson appealed for calm and understanding “as the responsible institutions manage a selection process that was last used 45 years ago”.
In his Friday evening tweet Mr El-Rufai said he will consider the recommendations after the screening in selecting a new emir.