Traditionalists believe that traditional rulers are close to God and nature and thus endowed with high degree of wisdom that can greatly enrich the intellect of their subjects, and ensure their welfare.
One of such traditional rulers that commanded respect and displayed discipline and perseverance was the late Sarkin Dutse, Abdullahi Maikano, 12th Emir of Wase in present Plateau state.
He was a man who preached and believed in peaceful co-existence and was an epitome of justice that presided over the famous Wase traditional institution with passion and dexterity. He exited as one of the most respected and adorned traditional rulers in Northern Nigeria.
Alh. Abdullahi Maikano, a scion of Madakin Bauchi Hassan was born in Wase in 1912. An astute ruler, he had his early education at Wase elementary school before proceeding to tertiary institution for a diploma in veterinary service and attended several Qur’anic schools in search of knowledge preparatory for future endeavors which paid.
He was the youngest of his four brothers and four sisters. Two of his brothers were Emirs that ruled in 1917 and 1929-1947 (Sarki Sambo and Abubakar) before he ascended the prestigious throne in January 1948. Prior to his ascending the throne, he was a civil servant with the Native Authority as a veterinary assistant from 1930-1948 at Mai Idon Taro (Tsohuwa) in present day Barikin Ladi local government of Plateau state.
As a veterinarian, he performed excellently at the field and became a source of pride to his employers and his people. While in service of the Native Authority, he visited several places in line of duty including the Gambia.
Prior to his enthronement as the 12th Emir of Wase with a third class status, he was a former member of the following: Northern House of Representatives in Kaduna, Regional Joint Council, Plateau Province Development Committee and also the defunct House of Chiefs of Plateau Province.
In recognition of excellent services to Northern Nigeria, he received several distinguished awards, national honors and recognition that brought pride to his domain. These include; Member of the British Empire (MBE) and Officer of the British Empire (OBE) by the Queen of England, Her Royal Majesty, Elizabeth II. He was also a recipient of the federal medal of Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) and several commendation letters from past governors of Plateau state that include, Joseph Dechi Gomwalk, Col. Abdullahi Muhammed, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman, Gen. Chris Alli, Navy Captain Bitrus Samuel Atukum, Joshua Mamman Madaki, Lawrence Onaja, Muhammed Mana and the first civilian governor, Chief Solomon Daushep Lar.
Abdullahi Maikano was undoubtedly a great asset to Wase in particular and Plateau state in terms of development initiatives, socialization and social services, economic drive and political stability. The path to uplifting the Emirate to second class status was paved by Chief Solomon Lar the first civilian governor of Plateau state, 1979-1983 through the influence of an illustrious son of the soil, Khadi Yakubu Idris then an honorable commissioner for local governments.
The Emirship stool was later upgraded to 1st class status in 1982. He served as vice chairman of Plateau State Traditional Council and President, Wase Local Government Traditional Council.
Indeed, Abdullahi Maikano commanded respect and raised his domain to greater heights politically and effectively when he divided the emirate into four districts and appointed District Heads to preside over the affairs of the new districts. The districts are; Bashar, Kadarko, Wase and Lamba. In the traditional customary and cultural contiguity, he created traditional title holders for his smooth administration. That was a commendable effort of bringing government closer to the people. In pursuance of his noble objectives as a focused leader, he hurriedly abolished all inherited exploitative institutions that subjected the people to greater wants by halting the obnoxious practice of advances of taking foodstuffs, and unholy gifts from anyone visiting or welcoming the then District Head (D.O).
He also stopped the practice of forced labor on the Emir’s personal farm and chose to instead pay for any requested labor, abolished storage of foodstuffs at the Emir’s palace by his subjects thereby bringing respect to himself and unyoked his people from slavery.
He contributed a lot to the creation of the local government and paid attention to its development alon with the first chairman of the council, Khadi Yakubu Idris who hails from Bashar District.
First, Abdullahi Maikano saw to the autonomy of Wase Native Authority with its own treasury, prison and police station. This was not an easy task as it led him to several unpleasant encounters with the colonial authority who rated his effort as a move to break and destabilize the then Lowland Division of Shendam that comprised present day Quan Pan, Langtang North, Langtang South, Mikang, Wase and Shendam local governments as nucleus. But for charisma and intelligence coupled with sincerity of purpose, he managed to succeed with his request when the colonial District Officer, intelligently argued his position in his letter to the colonial Resident Officer in 1955. The request was considered based on merit and an input from the late Premier of Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello Rabah on the need for the people to have such separation based on genuine request.
When granted, it took off constitutionally and administratively embedding the four districts structure which had their district heads and members representing them.
Because of its anti-corruption stance and transparency in management, the 1961 Provincial Annual Report of Northern Nigeria, described it as one of the best Native Authorities in the Northern Region in terms of financial prudency, probity and accountability and was graded B+ far ahead of other Native Authorities in the region.
On the gerontocratic administration of Abdullahi Maikano, he enunciated a government of the people, by the people and for the people. He built social, economic, religious and political developments on the high rising expectation of the people. The pace of development was well paddled to provide instant solutions to most of the identified problems for a better Wase Emirate that is now a source of pride to many including visitors and tourists.
He was a great advocate of western education that saw to the establishment of several schools including Farm Training and Vocational centres and went out shopping for qualified teachers to support his crusade against illiteracy and idleness within his domain. He encouraged commerce to flourish and maintained a cordial relationship with his neighbors and extended hands of friendship to the traditional institution.
He was a great disciplinarian that believed in optimum results no matter the consequences involved. Alh. Abdullahi Maikano, Sarkin Dutse was a leader loved and respected by all.
Muhammad is a commentator on national issues