By Babangida kakaki
It is a traditional institution of Katsina and the person is a royalty – personified.
He is very traditional and modern as the same time. By all measures, he is an insider and a blue- blooded.
He is the pillar upon which the entire emirate stands and waxing stronger by day. Due to his guardianship and protection, the Emir and the emirate have remain so relevant and attuned to the yearnings and aspirations of its subjects. In the Emirate’s history, he is the most important, trusted and embedded secretary of emirate council who serves as the bedrock as well as a shield to the Emir Abdulmumini per excellence.
He has four most powerful connections to the Emir and the emirate more than any Secretary before or perhaps after him.
How can one stand up to a person whose mother is a sister to the Emir, he is marrying the elder daughter of the current Emir, he holds the title of Sallama to the Emir and above all, the appointed Secretary of the emirate council. That strength is inestimable and impregnable. His is a combination of royalty, trust, consanguinity and agility.
In the history of Katsina emirate since its establishment by its founder, the late Emir Muhammadu Dikko to date, no council secretary has ever been so attached and embedded to the emirate, powerful, a gallant promoter and defender of the emir like Alhaji Bello Mamman.
His father the late Sarkin yaki of Katsina Late Slhaji Mammqn Ifo is a bosom and trusted friend to the late Emir Muhammadu Kabir Usman. That friendship has snowballed into marriage, in which he married a princess, Hajiya Abu who gave birth to the current Secretary to the emirate council. He is a cousin son, a son-in-law and trustee to the Emir and his great defender and the emirate per excellence.
His mother is a sister to the current Emir. he is married to the eldest daughter of the Emir. He holds a traditional title of salaman Katsina who serves as a emissary to the Emir and to crown it all, an appointed Sectetary to the entire Emirate Council.
Born in Katsina in 1979, the young Bello then enrolled into Katsina polytechnic staff school for primary education and later Government College Katsina for his junior secondary education where he passed out successfully with flying colours. From there, he proceeded into Government Day secondary school for his senior secondary education.
Being educationally minded and ambitious, Sallama gained admission into Federal College of Education (FCE) Katsina where he bagged a NCE certificate in Social studies Double major. Not done yet, he obtained a Bachelors education degree in History / Social studies from the same institution in 2003.
Being part and parcel of the traditional institution and his potentialities, the current enir His Highness, Alhaji Dr Abdulmumini Kabir Usman CFR, LLD turbaned him his sallama in the same year he became the Emir, in 2008. He performed his duties diligently and in utmost trust.
It was as a result of this that his father, the current Emir turbaned him the sallama, meaning the emissary to the Emir. That title is preserved only for trusted aides who inform and takes guests and visitors to the Emir.
That is why when the position of Secretaryship to the emirate council became vacate, without any hesitation the Emir recommended Sallama for the post.
That appointment is the highest position a royalty can occupy not only in Katsina but in all the traditional palaces of northern Nigeria. He is a confidant, a trusted, a shield and a conscience of the Katsina emirate council, having been tested, trsuted and approved by the Emir Abdulmimini himself. Over the years, his conduct is satisfactory.
Being part of the emirate council, he learnt the rudiments of the palace and obtained an demonstrable ability to conserve and defend its traditional etiquette.
It is based on this title that, the Emir having being at home with his conducts, paved way for his emergence as secretary to the emirate council. It was a combination of like-‘minds. Bello Mamman is a son and the most trusted and closest person to the person of the Emir. He is his pillar and strength like no other.
When he became the secretary to the council, he allowed his vast knowledge and experience to bear on the emirate. He embraced trust, confidence and tact as his guiding lights towards shielding the Emir and becoming a bedrock for him against unwarranted traits. He is a bridge builder that connects people with the emir as well as other Emirates and chiefdoms across the country.
From the time Sallama became the Secretary to the Emirate council, he has allowed his vast traditional experience to bear on the council.
First, as a good bridge builder and communicator, his emergence has normalises and cemented the palace relationship with the state government. He serves as a a good emissary, a diplomats per excellence in fostering good relationship with the government. And that gladdens the Emir ‘a heart and all council as well. The cordial relationship that ensue between the Emirate and the Katsina state government bears the imprint and credit of the Secretary.
Secondly, it is under him that a general renovation of the palace has taken place. He initiated with the tacit approval of his Highness the Emir, the rebuilding and renovation of traditional edifice and structures of the entire palace, which makes it unique, more royal and in tune with modern times.
In fact, with that massive work undertaken under his guidance, the Katsina Emirate council is one of the beautiful palaces in the country today. That is a good credit.
Thirdly, he is the precursor and executioner of all the Emir’s reform policies being implemented in the council. To crown it all, he is the Emir’s think-tank to a larger extent. He many a times, initiate ideas, policies in the council and serves as implementers of all ideas, policies, programmes of the council.
In the same vein, it was he that established a befitting website and engages in media publicity of all royal undertakings. That is why there is now a substantial information on the personality of His Highness the Emir and the Katsina emirate council in the public domain than at any other period in the past.
Similarly, Sallama has also established another online platform for people from far and near to make inputs, suggestions, offer advices to the emirate which were hitherto not so in the past. And many of such suggestions are being digested and implemented by the council. That only goes to demonstrate his foresight and embrace of wide range of ideas.
In a nutshell, Sallama Bello Mamman is part and parcel of the Emirate from all sides. He is powerful in four areas – a cousin to the Emir, ‘his son-in-law, his sallama and above all, the Sectetary to the emirate council. No one with such credentials has ever held this position. He is an insider whose trust is acknowledged and rewarded. His Highness, Emir Abdulmumini is his father has no defender and a shield like him. Over the years, Sallama has proven to be capable in piloting the council to the delight of the Emir, the council members and the Kasina subjects. The number of reforms he initiated for the good of the council and those he is bringing to the fore speaks volumes, are well appreciated by the Emir and would fown in history as the best.
As the emirate waxes stronger, the Emir Abdulmumini is gaining national acclaim, and serving the Katsina state people and country, the efforts of Sallama from behind the scene as the Secretary of the council would also be appreciated in line of the Dikko sullubawa dynasty.
Babangida kakaki is the Publisher& CEO of BALLPOINT newsmagazine based in Kaduna