By: Muhammadu dikko kofar Sauri.
The eventful and father of modern Katsina, Alhaji Muhammadu Dikko, was installed as the 47th Emir of Katsina, and first from the Sullubawa Clan, about a century and decade ago.
As fate will have it, Sarki Abubakar appointed Muhammadu Dikko who was then the Durbin Katsina and district head of Mani, as his liaison officer between him and the British colonialists, he appointed him to this post because of his influence over and above other district heads, interms of good public relation, as well as his wealth and generosity to the general public. When Sarki Abubakar was Dethroned in 1904, and his uncle Mallam Yaro was appointed to succeed him, Mallam Yaro too, was deposed after reigning for just two years, Mohammadu Dikko was then temporary appointed in 1906 and later officially installed as the substantive Emir of Katsina in January 1907.
The tenure of Emir Muhammadu Dikko as the Emir of Katsina from 1906 to 1944 was eventful to Katsina emirate in particular, and Northen Nigeria in general.
He was pragmatic, and understood the changing power equation of the world, and was very realistic about European civilizations and the Colonial rule. This made it easy for him to get close to them and used this closeness to become the pivot of reforms, modernization and development to his emirate.
It was largely because of the influence of Sarki Dikko that the premier college of Northern Nigerian, the famous Katsina College was situated in Katsina town in 1921. This was the college that trained the first batch of civil and political leaders from Northern Nigeria.
In the field of health, Sarki Dikko was the first Emir to embraced western Medicine on consistent basis, hence, in Katsina a medical facility established, as early as 1907 and by 1938, Katsina native authority hospital was not only the best in Northern Nigeria, but the second largest Hospital in the whole of Nigeria. He also had interest in agriculture, especially animal’s husbandry and mixed farming. Infact in one of his visits to England in 1921, he brought along with him, new breed of cattle which was cross-bred with the local ones. He also encouraged mixed farming and introduced new crops including wheat, mangoes and variety of other crops.
It was equally through the influence of Emir Muhammadu Dikko that Katsina emirate was upgraded from being divisional to provincial Headquarters, during his visit to his majesty king George, in Buckingham Palace, in his third visit to England in 1933, he made specific request to that effect and his request was granted.
In the field of sports, Katsina emirate took its leading role in Northern Nigeria. He established the first polo club as far back as 1921 and consequently produced one of the most popular polo team in the world and the best in Africa.
Muhammadu Dikko was a bridge builder, besides constantly visiting his fellow Emirs and Chiefs in their domains, he also encouraged inter-marriages not only within his extended family, but also between his family and the families of other Emirs and Chiefs in Northern Nigeria.
Sarki Dikko was humble, humane and very considerate to the plight of his relatives and subjects. During his lifetime, he made strenuous effort to see that he strengthened the bonds friendship and brotherhood both within his immediate and extended family. He has his own personal farms at places like kurmiyal, Bakiyawa, and Karaduwa. At the farms he was so humble that he jokingly supervised the workers by moving among them, praising the hardworking ones and chiding the lazy. He has a good relation with his district heads; infact he knew more of what is happening in these districts than most of these district heads themselves, because he was constantly on tours to these districts. Sarki Muhammadu Dikko had the courage to start and initiate new things, and that was why even the colonialists had high regard for him. He was a pivot and principal architect in establishing a firm basis for socio-economic political development to the emirate.
He scored first in several fields of human endeavours, as the most progressive Emir in Northern Nigeria by then, he was the first to visit England, first to perform hajj by road and then by air; first to own and rode on a car, and first to fly in an aeroplane among all the Emirs and Chiefs of Northern Nigeria.
Even the late Sarki Taushin Katsina summarized the achievement of the late Emir in one of his numerous songs about him, he said: “Zakaran Gwajin Dafe Dan Isa, Duk Wani Aikin Cigaba, Kaine farko, sai dai Akwatanta da Kai”.
These were the traits of Sarki Muhammadu Dikko who ruled Katsina, for thirty seven years (37 years) between (1906 – 1944) and these are the traits he imbibed to his son and grandson who succeeded him, but unfortunately these traits have now been abandoned and neglected by the present leadership of the emirate.
To the CRITICS who are CRYING-WOLF, simply because some monuments are named after him, they are ignorant of the fact that this gesture is just history repeating itself, for more than seventy years after his death; hardly will the name of Katsina be mentioned anywhere in Nigeria and beyond without the slogan of Katsinan Dikko or TA Dikko Dakin Kara.
Infact, his name is so synonymous with Katsina that he even superseded the legendry founder of the ancient Katsina Town. “Kumayau” who reigned around 1503. A.D.
The writer is a great-grand son of the late Emir. A Director with Bromtech Company in Abuja, and a Research Consultant with an NGO based in Zaria
Muhammad dikko kofar sauri
Was a former librarian at
Ahmadu Bello university zaria.
Can be reached at [email protected]