Odds appear to be in favour of Senator Mohammed Shaba Lafiagi as aspirants jostle for the next Emir of Lafiagi vacant throne.
The royal seat became vacant following the passing of His Royal Highness, Alhaji Sa’adu Kawu Haliru, who became the Emir of Lafiagi in 1975 and ruled till he passed on at the ripe age of 86.
Shaaba Lafiagi was the governor of Kwara State between January 1992 and November 1993 and he also represented Kwara North in the senate between June 2011 and June 2019. The 81-year-old Shaaba Lafiagi has not only shown interest to become the next Emir of Lafiagi, he has also made it clear that he is fully committed to it.
Already, the top politician has been consulting prominent Nigerians including a former Head of State who is his in-law, and top traditional rulers in the north while he has been sending lobby delegates to others.
A prominent traditional ruler in the north had reportedly suggested to Shaaba that he should have his son nominated but he got a ‘ready’ answer; ‘it is a lifelong ambition that must be achieved’.
Shaaba had narrowly missed becoming the Emir of Lafiagi in 1975 1975, save for a last-minute ‘intrigue’. Therefore, he would want such lifelong ambition realized.
Sequel to the passing of Alhaji Sa’adu Kawu Haliru, aspirants from the ruling houses, including Alhaji Sambo, Alhaji Shehu Abdulrahman and Dr Mansuma Ndaaba, have equally shown interest to become the next Emir of Lafiaji.
The Shaaba Lafiagi family is standing out in the contest for the vacant throne, according to reliable sources, and they have all shown that a blue blood will never value anything above the ‘royal seat’.
Two among the former governor’s sons; Kawu and Danladi, have made it somewhat clear that blood links cannot serve as a barrier when it involves jostling for a vacant throne.
While the buck stops on the governor of Kwara State, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq’s table with some thinking he may feel uneasy about Shaaba’s choice based on political differences, keen analysts are of the opinion that the governor may not deny him such a passionate request being one of his predecessors.
Also, Shaaba has an advantage in a former aide and protégé in politics, Alhaji Ahmed Makama, a one-time commissioner, who is the Ndaji of Lafiagi, the head of the Lafiagi kingmakers.
One of the aspirants, Alhaji Shehu Abdulrahman, who ought to have used his APC membership to his advantage also has an obstacle; the APC leaders in Lafiaji in particular and Edu local government as a whole including Nda Musa Guyegi, who represents Edu constituency in the state House of Assembly, and can put in a word for him, belongs in the Bolarinwa faction of the party.
However, if Shaaba ultimately becomes the Emir of Lafiagi, he would be the second former governor to become a traditional ruler in the North Central. Before becoming the Emir of Suleja, Alhaji Awwal Ibrahim had also served as governor of Niger Sstate between October 1979 and December 1983.