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The Kingmakers council, Adamawa Emirate

An important part of the Adamawa traditional institution is the Kingmakers Council which, apart from its advisory role in the day-to-day affairs of the Adamawa Emirate, selects a candidate in the event of the death or deposition of a Lamido. The kingmakers, eleven men of high repute and caliber, are responsible for the selection and scrutiny of candidates for the throne of Adamawa. Members include the Waziri, Galadima, Lamdo Katsina and Kaigama who are title-holders. Others are the district heads of Gurin, Malabu, Ribadu, Song, Zumo, Daware and Mayo Farang.

When Modibbo Adama, the first Lamido, died in 1848, there was a vacuum for a while as there was no existing system of selecting a successor. In the period before the establishment of Adamawa Emirate and after the jihad, the Ardo (Fulani clan leader), as the most senior man selected by closely related groups to be their head and guardian. This proposal explains the predominance of the Ardo' en (district heads) in the Kingmakers Council.

Even though the existing practice had the Ardo'en, choosing a candidate to succeed an Ardo, closest advisers of Modibbo Adama decided to handle it differently to avoid chaos and open contest between the sons of the Lamido. It was said the Modibbo decreed a formula for his succession as La-U-Zu, meaning that Lauwal, Umaru Sanda, and Zubairu should succeed him in that order. In effect, Muhammadu Lauwal became Lamido, while the others, too, sat on the throne but at different times. The decisions of the Ardo' en in choosing Lauwal, Umaru Sanda and Zubairu had to be endorsed by the Caliph in Sokoto.

The procedure of selecting the Lamido from then was ratified by the Resident in Yola who was the representative of the High Commissioner (later Lieutenant-Governor and Governor in various eras) and the British Colonial Office. Following the shift of power to the Northern Regional Government, the choice of the present Lamido (Aliyu Musdafa) in 1953 by the Kingmakers' Council was approved by the Lieutenant Governor, a position which is replaced today by the Governor of Adamawa State.

Today's Kingmakers Council include Waziri, Galadima and Kaigama. These office-holders equally held high positions in the early emirate governments. While Kaigama was the highest ranking military official, Lamdo Katsina was a respected community leader and army commander. The rest of the kingmakers are Ardo'en or leaders of the principal districts.

Adamawa Emirate's Bicentenary Celebration, 11th April,


Read Also:
  1. The Emirate Council
  2. The Title Holders
  3. The Palace Officials
  4. The Districk Heads

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