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Late Emir of Misau, HRH Muhammadu Manga III OON (1937-2015) 

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Late Emir Muhammadu Manga III of MisauLate Emir Muhammadu Manga III of Misau [picture above] was a selfless leader to the core who like the proverbial candle burnt himself for others to see light.

Usual of a real leader, he was always accessible and open to the people so that he would listen to their problems and proffer solutions. At Zaure na Biyu he was always there to meet and share thoughts and ideas with his people and also give fatherly advice whenever the need arises. He was indeed a generous personality who cared and shared with his people.

The late Mai-Misau’be was genuine and had conscience as a leader. In telling truth, he was blunt and direct. For instance, during one of our several visits to him whilst we held sway as national officials of Misau Emirate Students Association (MESA), lamenting the state of affairs in the polity, the late emir told us he no longer go out on the usual tour to meet his subjects. According to him, there was no reason to meet them in so much pain and want whilst government wasn’t willing to save us from untold hardship. He never shy away from telling even political power the bitter truth for the consequences were not his problem so long his people were safe and happy.

The late Sarkin Borno ta Gabas, like his father, recognized the importance of education. From his words and actions, it could be deduced that he so much believed in the fact that the future of any nation solely relies on its youth and therefore they should be well nurtured in the name of a better tomorrow. And that was why he welcomed any initiative, not only education related, that was of benefit to the emirate in particular and the nation in general.

The late emir`s story was unique if not unprecedented. He was truly humble and modest in the strict meaning of the word. It was indeed astonishing that in this era of opportunism and materialism the late Muhammadu Manga III, being a first class emir, left behind not even one personal bank account, a house, a plot of land or any other investment. And we are all witnesses to the fact that whatever he got went to the people. Thus it wasn’t a matter of surprise that even at his last breath; the 9th gallant and pious successor of Gwani-Mukhtar was loved and respected by almost all.

Consequent to a protracted illness that ultimately proved terminal, Monday 17th August, 2015 saw the passing away to the great beyond of the 9th Emir of Misau HRH Muhammadu Manga III. The day marked the end of a thirty-six year epoch which began on 30th October, 1979 in the aftermath of the death of the 8th Emir of Misau Ahmadu Alhaji III. The latter who was father to the former was the emir who served for the longest period in the contemporary annals of Misau Emirate.

History of contemporary Misau Emirate dates back to circa 1804 when a Kukawa based Quranic prowess and master of Islamic theology, Gwani-Mukhtar received a flag of authority from Danfodio to fight jihad against the Borno people. After recording so much success in this regard, Gwani-Mukhtar moved further to conquer the then Borno capital city of Ngazargamu on 12th March, 1808 thereby forcing Mai-Ahmad to seek asylum elsewhere on the eastern territories.

At the eve of 1809, Mai-Dunama who succeeded Mai-Ahmad following the latter`s death on exile gathered forces with El-Kanemi to recapture Ngazargamu from Gwani-Mukhtar. The battle saw the assassination of Gwani-Mukhtar whose eldest son, Manga I had travel to Sokoto the year before to pay the annual homage to Shehu Usman Danfodio. On the way back to Kukawa, Manga I heard of what happened whilst he was away.

At Gujba thus, together with his father`s remaining forces and followers Manga I changed route to preclude themselves from what may come from the combined forces of Mai-Dunama and El-Kanemi. He moved eastwards to found the towns of Damaturu, Lafiyaje and Guber consecutively before settling at Bulangu of Hadejia country. Manga I later moved to Shira and found Andulum town before moving into Darazo to found Gwalo. Buriburi town of Bauchi boarders was found by Manga I in 1824.

In 1827, Yakubu I of Bauchi and Dan-Kauwa of Katagum combined forces to conquer Misau territory. And by 1830/31 they were in disagreement as to who takes charge of the territory. To resolve the brouhaha, then Sultan Bello gave Misau to Manga I thereby marking the emergence of Misau as an Emirate. The event also saw the beginning of the reign of the Fulata-Borno dynasty in Misau. Muhammadu Manga I held sway until 1834 when he died and was succeeded by Ahmadu I who reigned between 1834 and 1849.

The subsequent emirs of Misau were Usman (1849-1860), Saleh (1860-1886), Muhammadu Manga II (1886-1901), Ahmadu II (1901-1902), Alhaji (1902-1926), Ahmadu Alhaji III (1926-1979) and Muhammadu Manga III (1979-2015). Muhammadu Manga III became Emir in the early days of the former President Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari administration.

Born on 27th September, 1937, late Muhammadu Manga III proceeded to Bauchi Middle School in 1952 upon completion of Misau Elementary School in 1951. In 1955, he became an Assistant Clerical Officer with Misau Native Authority before moving on, in the same year, to the Institute of Administration, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for an administrative course. Manga III rose through the ranks at the central office of the Misau Native Authority to become Council Secretary in 1957 and Yerima of Misau in 1958. He undertook a study tour of the United Kingdom in 1963.

Amongst several other awards received by the late emir were a Fellowship Institute of Administration Management of Nigeria (FIAMN), Development in Nigeria Merit Award and an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Management and Public Administration from Atlas University, Okija, Anambra state. In May 2009, he received from the Nigeria National Honours the distinguished service award of the Officer of the Order of the Niger, OON. The late Muhammadu Manga III was survived by four wives and twenty-seven children.

Condolences to Governor Muhammad Abdullahi Abubakar and the good people of Bauchi state for this big loss. Heartfelt condolences to the late emir`s immediate family, Misau Emirate Council and the good people of Misau emirate. May we have the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss and may Muhammadu Manga III find eternal peace. And to the new emir HRH Alhaji Ahmed Suleiman, mni, Allah Ya taya riko Ya ja zamanin Sarki; Allah fod’u band’e lamid’o!

Jarmajo can be reached via dattuwamanga@gmail.com


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