THIRTY YEARS ON THE THRONE

Gombe Emirate was founded by the Fulani Jihad of 1804. The expedition that established the Emirate was led by Modibo Bubayero who was one of the flag bearers of Shehu Usman Danfodio during the Jihad. Modibo Bubayero was a descendant of Fulbe Walorbe that came from Mali on their way to Mecca to perform Hajj, which is one of the pillars of Islam. That group of Fulbe Walorba was under the leadership of famous Fulani leader Salihu Jahollo, who was nicknamed Alfa Salihu Laro. Mallam Bubayero received his first Qur’anic education from his father Ardo Usman. After the death of his father, Bubayero travelled to Kukawa in Borno where he acquired more Qur’anic education and lessons in Islamic theology and jurisprudence. In 1810, he travelled to Degel to meet the famous Shehu Usman Danfodio. On his way to Degel he made a brief stop at Katsina where the Emir of Katsina gave him Zulaihatu, his daughter, in marriage. The couple was blessed with Suleiman, the first Emir of Gombe. Bubayero was also at Daura on his way to Degel, where the Emir of Daura gave him his daughter Hauwau in marriage, the mother of Muhammadu Kwairanga the second Emir of Gombe. Bubayero stayed almost ten years with Shehu Usman Danfodio, and in 1820 he was honoured with the fifth flag among the twelve that were distributed. Like many of Usman Danfodio flag bearers, he never reigned as Emir of the Muslim community he founded, but preferred to remain a teacher, which earned him the title Modibbo Gombe.

The Emirs of Gombe and the year each was crowned are as follows:-
1 Mallam Buba Yero 1804
2 Mallam Sulaiman (son of Bubayero) 1843
3 Mallam Muhammad Kwairanga (son of Bubayero) 1846
4 Mallam Abdulkadir Zailani (Son of Muh’d Kwairanga) 1881
5 Mallam Hassan (Son of Muh’d Kwairanga) 1888
6 Mallam Tukur (Son of Muh’d Kwairanga) 1895
7 Mallam Umar Faruq (Son of Muh’d Kwairanga) 1898
8 Mallam Haruna (son of Umar Faruq) 1921
9 Mallam Abubakar (son of Umar Faruq) 1935
10 Alh. Usman Shehu Abubakar (son of Mal. Abubakar) 1984

During the reign of Umar Faruq the seventh Emir of Gombe the British Colonialist Army came to Northern part of present Nigeria, and the episode of Bormi Battle where a bitter battle ensured with heavy casualties from both sides. The British forces won after a hard fought battle an in the end both the bodies of Sultan Attahiru and Major Marsh the Commander of the Colonial Army were found among the casualties. The graves of both Sultan Attahiru and Major Marsh are to be found near the ruins of Bormi, a town which remains but in history. Also the Divisional Headquarters of Gombe was moved from Gombe Abba to Nafada. The Emir of Gombe Umar Faruq also attended Kano Durbar when Edward the III came to Kano. After his return from Kano a new
site was selected for administrative convenience, that is present Gombe Doma. Umar died in 1922 and was succeeded by his son Haruna as the Emir of Gombe. During the reign of Haruna the British began to establish a system of indirect rule, under Lord Lugard. This was also during his reign that cement buildings of Native Authority (N.A) offices were built. In 1930, the Emir Mallam Haruna attended the first meeting ever to be held of Emirs and Chiefs in Jos and Kaduna. It was also the period of Mallam Haruna that the Emirate was upgraded to 2nd Class status and honoured with the 2nd Class staff of office by Lieutenant General Lord Lugard. It was also during this year that the mail services were instituted between Gombe and Bauchi. In 1934 Mallam Haruna visited Lagos on sightseeing. He died in 1935 and was succeeded by Mallam Abubakar, his younger brother. Mallam Abubakar Umar was the first Emir of Gombe that had primary education among the dynasties. His reign will be remembered by historians for being the period Gombe Emirate was upgraded to a first class status, and was honoured with a first class staff of office at a ceremony in Gombe by the then British colonial Governor Sir Gawain Bell. It was during his reign that Nigeria went through drastic changes first as a Colonial entity, later as an independent nation under Civilian and Military regimes. He was to be honoured with OBE and CBE, and Nigeria medal CFR. Mallam Abubakar Umar died on Wednesday, 4th January 1984 and was succeeded by his son Alhaji Usman Shehu Abubakar on Friday 13th January, 1984 to date.

The Current Emir of Gombe (Chairman of the state Traditional Council Alhaji Usman Shehu Abubakar is the 10th Emir of Gombe and Chairman Gombe State Council of Emirs and Chiefs, was born in 1938 and he is the 5th Son to late emir of Gombe, Mallam Abubakar Umar. He had his secondary education at the Famous Barewa College Zaria as far back as 1966. A brilliant public service career spanning a period of nearly 30years, a statesman who had become a Divisional Officer, and worked in Ilorin Province, Lafiagi, Bussa, Sokoto and the Niger Dam Resettlement Area. With the creation of the former North East States, he was transferred as a Divisional Officer to the Adamawa Province. Between 1972-1973, he took a post graduate Diploma in Public Administration of the Ife University now Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. A seasoned administrator having served as a Permanent Secretary, in the Ministries of Establishment, Parastatals, Local Governments, Animal and Forestry and also served as the Chief Administrator, Agricultural Development Programme (A.D.P) of the World Bank. He also served twice as a member of the National University Commission, he was a Chairman Bauchi State Polytechnic Council, and College of Education Azare Council and served as a member National Political Conference and now is the Chancellor Gombe State University. He was honoured with National Merit Awards of CON and C.F.R. His Hobbies include reading military and Civilian Literatures, Hunting, Farming and The promotion of our culture and tradition. History will remember him by his unquantifiable contributions in the struggle for the creation of Gombe State to its reality.

Source:- Dan Galadiman Ningi.

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