Ado Bayero

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Alhaji Dr. Ado Abdullahi Bayero
Emir of Kano
Reign22 October 1963 – 6 June 2014
PredecessorMuhammad Inuwa
SuccessorMuhammadu Sanusi II
Born(1930-07-25)25 July 1930
Kano, Northern Nigeria
Died6 June 2014(2014-06-06) (aged 83)
Kano, Nigeria
HouseGidan Dabo- Clan of Sullubawa
FatherAbdullahi Bayero
MotherHajiya Hasiyatu

Alhaji Dr. Ado Abdullahi Bayero (CFR, LLD, JP) (25 July 1930 – 6 June 2014) was the Emir of Kano in Nigeria, from 1963 to his death. Bayero was seen as one of Nigeria's most prominent and revered Muslim leaders[1] who was a successful businessman and had worked as a banker, police officer, MP and diplomat. He was a former ambassador to Senegal. He was the son of Abdullahi Bayero son of Muhammad Abbas. Ado Bayero was the 13th Fulani emir since the Fulani War of Usman dan Fodio, when the Fulani took over the Hausa city-states. He was one of the strongest and most powerful emirs in the history of the Hausa land. He was renowned for his abundant wealth, maintained by means of stock market investments and large-scale agricultural entrepreneurship both at home and abroad.[2]


Inside the Emir's reception room

Ado Bayero was the son of Abdullahi Bayero, a former emir, who reigned for 27 years. Muhammadu Sanusi who was Ado Bayero's half brother ruled after their father from 1953-1963. Following his dethronement in 1963, Muhammadu Inuwa ruled only for three months. After his death, Ado Bayero ascended the throne in October 1963. Bayero was the longest-serving emir in Kano's history. Bayero's Palace plays host to official visits by many government personnel and foreigners, but in 1981 Governor Abubakar Rimi restricted traditional homage paid by village heads to Ado Bayero and excised some domains from his emirate. In 1984, a travel ban was placed on the emir and his friend Okunade Sijuwade. Although the military are sometimes seen as relying on traditional rulers for support, many military regimes in the past reduced the powers of traditional rulers such as Bayero.

Bayero was a former chancellor of the University of Nigeria and served as the chancellor of the University of Ibadan. He has served as the chief of the Kano police. He was installed the Emir of Kano on October 22, 1963, becoming the 13th Fulani emir of Kano and the 56th ruler of the Kano Kingdom. He died on 6 June 2014. He was succeeded by his brother's grandson Muhammadu Sanusi II.[3]

Early life[edit]

Bayero was born to the family of Hajiya Hasiya and Abdullahi Bayero and into the Fulani Sullubawa clan that has presided over the emirate of Kano since 1819. He was the eleventh child of his father and the second of his mother. At the age of seven, he was sent to live with Maikano Zagi.[4]

He started his education in Kano studying Islam, after which he attended Kano Middle School. He graduated from the School of Arabic Studies in 1947. He then worked as a bank clerk for the Bank of British West Africa until 1949, when he joined the Kano Native Authority. He attended Zaria Clerical College in 1952. In 1954, he won a seat to the Northern regional House of Assembly.[4]

He was head of the Kano Native Authority police division from 1957 until 1962, during which he tried to minimize the practice of briefly detaining individuals and political opponents on the orders of powerful individuals in Kano. He then became the Nigerian ambassador to Senegal. During this time he enrolled in a French language class. In 1963, he succeeded Muhammadu Inuwa as Emir of Kano.[4]


Bayero became emir during the first republic, at a time when Nigeria was going through rapid social and political changes and regional, sub-regional and ethnic discord was increasing. In his first few years, two pro-Kano political movements gained support among some Kano elites. The Kano People's Party emerged during the reign of Muhammadu Inuwa and supported the deposed Emir Sanusi, but it soon evaporated. The Kano State Movement emerged towards the end of 1965 and favored more economic autonomy for the province.

The death in 1966 of many political agitators from northern Nigeria, and the subsequent establishment of a unitary state, consolidated a united front in the northern region but also resulted in a spate of violence there, including in Kano. Bayero's admirers credit him with bringing calm and stability during this and later crises in Kano.[4]

As emir, he became a patron of Islamic scholarship and embraced Western education as a means to succeed in a modern Nigeria. The constitutional powers of the emir were whittled down by the military regimes between 1966 and 1979. The Native Authority Police and Prisons Department was abolished, the emir's judicial council was supplanted by another body, and local government reforms in 1968, 1972, and 1976 reduced the powers of the emir. During the second republic, he witnessed hostilities from the People's Redemption Party led government of Abubakar Rimi.[4]

In 2002 he led a Kano elders forum in opposing the onshore and offshore abrogation bill.

Assassination attempt[edit]

Ado Bayero was seen as a vocal critic of the Islamist group Boko Haram who strongly opposed their campaign against western education.[by whom?]

On 19 January 2013, he survived an assassination attempt blamed on the Islamist group which left two of his sons injured and his driver and bodyguard dead, among others.[5] A prime suspect confessed to have participated in the attack on the Emir's motorcade and so many other co-ordinated attacks in the state which led to the arrest of six others.[6]


  1. ^ BBC News - Nigeria's Emir of Kano Ado Bayero buried after palace funeral
  2. ^ "Emirs of Nigeria". ONLINENIGERIA.COM. ONLINENIGERIA.COM. June 5, 2005. Retrieved April 11, 2012.
  3. ^ "Sanusi Lamido emerges new Emir of Kano - Vanguard News". Vanguard News. June 8, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Ado Bayero". Nigerianwiki. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  5. ^ Nigeria: Gunmen Attack Emir of Kano's Convoy - Wound Sons, Kill At Least 3. Retrieved 2013-01-27.
  6. ^ "Africa News". News24. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  • BBC, Nigeria: The Rioting in Kano, The British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, July 13, 1981.
  • "Alhaji (dr.) Ado Bayero: 40 Years of Service to Humanity", Daily Trust, October 13, 2003.
Ado Bayero
Born: 25 July 1930 Died: 6 June 2014
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Muhammadu Inuwa
Emir of Kano
1963 – 2014
Succeeded by
Muhammadu Sanusi II