The dethroned Emir of Zurmi in Zamfara State, Abubakar Atiku, died in an Egyptian hospital on Friday after an undisclosed ailment.
A palace source who spoke to Premium Times said the Emirate Council is set to transport his body back to Nigeria for burial arrangements. Atiku is an uncle to the current Emir, Wikki Times learnt.
“He had been sick for some weeks before he was taken out to Egypt by his immediate family,” the source said. “We were immediately informed when he died.”
When asked why the body was yet to be brought back as of Monday night, the source said he did not know because it was “a family matter.”
In April 2022, the Zamfara State government deposed the late emir alongside his counterpart from Dansadau, Hussaini Umar, following accusations of abetting banditry.
Similarly, the district head of Birnin Tsaba, Sulaiman Ibrahim, was expelled for a similar offence.
At first, they were suspended in 2021, and a committee was launched to investigate the allegations levied against them. The panel later recommended that the traditional rulers be ousted.
“Zamfara State government has approved the immediate deposition of the Emir of Zurmi, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Emir of Dansadau, Alhaji Hussaini Umar and also directed the immediate removal of the District Head of Birnin Tsaba, Alhaji Suleman Ibrahim Dan Yabin Birnin Tsaba,” the deputy governor, Hassan Nasiha, announced during the dethronement of the three monarchs.
The north-western state of Zamfara has for a long time suffered attacks by bandits and terrorists who assault mostly rural communities and abduct travellers.