The Emir of Bichi, Nasiru Ado-Bayero, on Thursday, broke down in tears while paying tribute to his late mum, Maryam, at the official launch of her biography in Abuja.
The launch of the biography titled, “Maryam Ado Bayero: A Woman of Royal Virtue”, which took place at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja, attracted political bigwigs and first-class monarchs in Nigeria.
The Emir, whose daughter Zahra, had an elaborate wedding with Yusuf, son of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), two years ago, wept for some seconds before continuing with his speech.
He said, “My late mother, Maryam Ado Bayero, was full of many qualities. She was bright, virtuous, patient, endurance and tolerant. She had a good relationship with her husband, co-wives and children in the palace.
“I also shared a special moment with her. I remember how she paid me a visit when she heard I was reluctant to accept the offer to become the second emir of Bichi. She said in her usual gentle voice and I quote: “Allah has blessed me with two gifts in my lifetime. Why are you trying to throw one of them away?
“I was completely disturbed by her words because whenever she wanted to criticise you, her criticisms were always constructive.”
The emir broke down in tears at that point.
The late Maryam Ado Bayero was the granddaughter of the seventh Emir of Ilorin; daughter of the eighth Emir of Ilorin; wife to the late Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, and mother of the current Emirs of Bichi and Kano respectively.
In a related development, President Buhari has recommended that the late matriarch for mention in the World Guinness Book of Records.
The president stated that aside from how she impacted humanity positively, Maryam appeared to be the woman to be linked with four first-class emirs in history.
Buhari, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, further described her as the embodiment of tradition and modernity, a thorough-bred royal who lived a life of a trailblazer.
“Nobody exemplifies the link between tradition and modernity than the lady we are honouring here today. As a professor of political science and a student of history myself, I am yet to stumble upon a more interesting personality such as my late elder sister, who in her lifetime had the good fortune of being the granddaughter of an emir, daughter of another emir, wife to the outstanding revered Emir of Kano and mother of two Emirs (Bichi and Kano).
“This should have entered the Guinness Book of Records. By virtue of this great piece of history by Ambassador Sani Hajo (author), we have captured and immortalised her life and works for future generations to rely on as a compass.”
The event was well attended by the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Muhammadu Sa’adu Abubakar, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, serving Ministers, Senators, captains of industries, among other prominent Nigerians.
In his opening address, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, explained that the decision by his government to immortalize the late ‘Mai Babban Daki’ through his biography project was informed by their desire to inspire younger generations, especially the girl child.
Ganduje said documenting the life of a distinguished mother is a service to history, knowledge, and development, adding that “every part of her life is but a mirror for the present and future generations.
“The idea behind the book is in itself unique. It started as a discussion between the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and myself during the period of mourning for her departure, when he briefed me about her royal pedigree from the eminent scholar and leader, Sheikh Salihu al Alimi, the founder of modern Ilorin, through many emirs.
“The subject of this biography of Nana Maryam Ado Bayero is special in many ways. She has been recognized for her humility, generosity and unassuming. Despite her position, she lived a simple life worthy of emulation.
“The state government will also support the establishment of a foundation to continue with the good work she had been doing when she was alive which included the building of a Friday Mosque, an Islamiyya school as well as sponsoring an annual Maulud at the Kano Emir’s Palace and Qur’anic Recitation Competitions. Therefore, as a step forward, proceeds from today’s launch will be directed to that foundation.”
The Ooni of Ife, who described the late matriarch as her mother, further urged Nigerian women to train their children properly in such a way that it would bring them future glory.
The monarch said: “Our late mother is a virtuous woman and I am proud to have identified with her. I will urge Nigerian women to train their children so that one day they will bring glory to them.”