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Celebrating the Emir of Argungu at 21

By Ibrahim Ahmad Argungu [email protected] | Publish Date: Dec 3 2017 3:00AM

His Royal Highness, Alhaji. Samaila Mohammed Mera, the 33rd Sarkin Kebbi (Emir of Argungu), the son of Mohammad Mera and grandson of Muhammadu Sani, is now 21 years on the throne. He was appointed on November 4, 1996, after the demise of his father, Emir Muhammadu Mera on October 19, 1996. The late emir reigned for 37 years.

Emir Samaila Mera is a descendant of the famous legend and war general, Sarkin Kebbi, Muhammadu Kanta, who founded the Kebbi Empire. The empire had its first capital city at Surame in 1515. In 1722, Sarkin Kebbi Tomo, son of Ibrahim, moved the capital from Surame to Birnin Kebbi. In 1831, Sarkin Kebbi, Samaila Karari left Birnin Kebbi, and in 1849, Sarkin Kebbi, Yakubu Nabame re-established the empire at Argungu after 18 years of its interregnum. Therefore, in the list of the emirs of Kebbi, from 1515 till date, Samaila is the 33rd. In terms of Argungu emirship he is the 13th in the list. He is also the second to have directly succeeded his father, among all the 13 emirs in Argungu. The first, in order of succession, was his grandfather, Muhammadu Sani, who succeeded his father, Muhammadu Sama. unusual bridesmaid dresses

His Royal Highness Samaila Mera ascended the throne at a youthful age of 35 when he was the commissioner for agriculture and water resources in Kebbi State. In spite of the fact that he is the second male child of the late emir, Samaila had never held any traditional title before he became the emir. This was because the young Prince Samaila was living a very calm and simple life. The first time I saw him in complete royal attire was on his wedding day, otherwise Samaila was always in a simple dress, just like any ordinary man. Therefore, I can confidently say that among all the princes I know, Samaila is the most modest, simple and easygoing.

His simplicity and outstanding leadership style have really helped him to continue with the good work of his father in uniting his subjects, by carrying along almost every clan in the emirate. That is why he is loved by both Kabawa, Arawa, Zabarmawa, Kyangawa and all other clans in the emirate.

These 21 years are very significant in the history of Argungu. During my research, I was surprised to find that within a short period of time after his appointment, the emir was able to reach almost all the royal families known as Lekawa in Argungu. In fact, all the six families of Yakubu Nabame and his two younger brothers, Yusuf Mainasara and Abdullahi Toga II, were conferred with the traditional titles of either district head, village head or ward head. This undoubtedly helped him in maintaining peace and unity within the royal family he inherited from his predecessors.

Moreover, in the last couple of decades there were many political and socioeconomic transformations. For instance, within this period, he was able to increase the number of districts from 8 to 29, as well as the number of village heads to 312.

On the famous Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival, the emir introduced durbar, which added colour to the festival. And more importantly, the festival was last included into the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) during its 11th Session of Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding the ICH in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The ancient Kebbi capital city of Surame was also declared a national monument by the National Commission for Museums and Monuments. Until now, Surame remains the only national monument in Sokoto State. Similarly, Kanta Museum, popularly known as Gidan Nabame, was also declared a Centre for National Monument during his rule.

The emir also made a significant contribution towards unity and the development of Islam. He ensured that there is peace and harmony between various Islamic sects. Though Argungu is well known for her prominent Islamic scholars from different sects, that is Izala and Tijjaniyya, these sects are united and living together peacefully in the emirate. They are always consulted on the religious affairs of the emirate. More so, they are part of members who appoint imams.

In terms of education, both Islamic and western reached its climax during this period. He led the establishment of Argungu Emirate Primary School, barely after one year of his appointment. Within 20 years, the school grew to become the best of its kind in the state. The school has both primary and secondary sections. It operates both boarding and day.

On agriculture, as an experienced farmer and former commissioner for agriculture, we all know his role in making Argungu become what it is today. We also know the role he played for the realisation of WACOT rice processing company in Argungu, which is the largest in Africa. The list is endless. There is no doubt that the 21 years of His Highness on the throne had made a huge impact in Kabawa.

I congratulate His Highness on his 21 years on the throne. I congratulate all the people of Kabawa on this landmark anniversary.

By Ibrahim Ahmad Argungu

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