By; MOHAMMED MUNIRAT NASIR, Gusau
The ancient town of Kwatarkwashi in Bungudu Local Government Area of Zamfara State better known for its Kwatarkwashi Rock and Water Spring which gushes water beneath the rock.
The popular Kwatarkwashi rock is a massive rock that is about 350 meters above sea level which makes the ancient town a tourist attraction.
Kwatarkwashi people during the ancient time are known for their special annual event ‘Daukar Maiki (catching the eagle) in which a live eagle was caught annually from the top of the rock and presented to the leader of the community.
The people of Kwatarkwashi Emirate are known as people that engages on community development projects and the people also popular in Traditional play known as Baura.
Kwatarkwashi town which was found over 621 years ago recently became a point of destination of sort as Nigerians and people from all walks of life trooped to the town to celebrate a milestone in the life of the Emir of Kwatarkwashi Alhaji Ahmed Umar as he celebrates 60 solid years on the throne of his forefathers.
60 years as a traditional ruler is a no mean feat but Alhaji Umar is still active and agile in providing needed leadership to the people of Kwatarkwashi Emirate.
The 92 years old Emir who was first appointed a village head in Samawa by his senior brother who was then a District Head. Alhaji Umar from all indications has been fully acquainted with all rudiments of leadership which helped him to weather the storm in the last 60 years of his tenure as the traditional ruler of Kwatarkwashi emirate.
The nonagenarian Emir was turbaned as the 28th traditional ruler of Kwatarkwashi by late Sultan of Sokoto, Sir Abubakar III on March 17th, 1961 thus making him one of the longest reigning monarchs in Nigeria apart from Awujale (Oba) Sikiru Kayode Adetona of Ijebu Kingdom.
The incorruptible, courageous and charismatic Emir imbibed the virtues of honesty, bravery which are the hallmark of the sons and daughters of Kwatarkwashi.
Alhaji Umar explained that to be a leader of people in a society particularly as a traditional ruler, one requires a lot of patience and prayers to Allah to guide and grant wisdom to enable one succeed.
He cautioned leaders to be wary of their doings because traditional ruler’s actions and words are what the subjects use to determine the ruler’s reign.
“Traditional ruler must always try to live above board by being fair and just to all people in the kingdom no matter the economic or political status of of the person,” he said.
Alhaji Umar said some of his achievements as the traditional ruler includes the abolishment of social vices such as drinking alcohol and prostitution in the emirate.
“Presently in Kwatarkwashi Emirate there is no a single beer parlour or alcohol drinking spots.
“We also don’t have any where prostitution take place or house where prostitutes stay and practice their trade,” he said.
The Emir said 60 years ago when he ascended the throne, the emirate had only two schools, which include the one for Adult education and the middle school which was established in 1953.
Alhaji Umar said he had propelled several developmental projects which include roads, schools, hospitals, modern markets among others to the emirate.
The Emir is described as a modest and Allah fearing traditional ruler who did not allow his blue blood to influence him to surcharge his subjects directly or indirectly.
Alhaji Yahaya Abdulkarim a former governor of old Sokoto which then included present day Zamfara state who grew up in Kwatarkwashi town described the Emir as a humble and patience person which has made him to stay out of any rift between him and his subjects or the government.
Abdulkarim who also was a former minister said the Emil is an icon who is hardworking, honest, and committed to his primary responsibilities.
“I grew up here in this town and know over 90 percent of the people when I was young.
“I can tell you that the people here are very hospitable and accommodating. They like visitors, they are caring and peace loving people,” he said.
The former governor who is an indigine of the state from Talata Mafara local government area advocated for a constitutional roles for traditional rulers whom he said are the critical stakeholders and custodian of culture and traditions and also play vital roles in ensuring security of lives and properties of their subjects.
An indigine of the town, Alhaji Sanda Danjari, a former commissioner of Information in the state who holds the traditional title of ‘Makama Kwatarkwashi’ described the Emir as a upright leader whose major preoccupation is to see the positive rise of his subjects.
“We are fearless, brave and honest, that is our trademark. We are ” he said.
The Emir’s 60 years anniversary on throne started on Wednesday 17th March with an open air preaching by Islamic scholars and later a special prayer session on Friday was rounded up on Saturday with the turbanning of some individuals who have in one way or the other contributed to the development of Kwatarkwashi Emirate.