The Shehu of Bama, Kyari Elkanemi, who passed away on Monday in Maiduguri, was buried Tuesday within his palace in Bama town, officials said.
The 63 years old monarch died from an undisclosed illness, suspected to be coronavirus.
An official of the state government had Monday cautioned journalists against reporting that the monarch died from coronavirus, especially as no test was conducted on the deceased before he died.
Commissioner of Information, Home Affairs and Culture, Babakura Abba-Jato, announced the passing of the monarch on Monday during the daily briefing of the state committee on COVID-19.
“The Shehu of Bama was taken to the Teaching Hospital today and sadly he died there,” he said.
“The family members will come out with a detailed arrangement for his burial. And we do know that most of us who are in the 60s or 70s do have one or two health issues to deal with.
“We don’t actually know the cause of his death, but as soon as we get the information as per what led to his death, definitely, we are going to tell you.”
The commissioner also informed journalists on Monday that the blood sample of the deceased would be taken for testing.
He urged the media not to speculate on the cause of the death until the outcome of the test.
On Tuesday, the remains of the deceased monarch was conveyed from the University of Maiduguri Teaching hospital to Bama town by a small burial team comprising members of his immediate family, security personnel, and close palace aides.
The governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, and his deputy, Umar Kadafur, did not attend the burial.
Mr Kadafur is the chairman of the state’s COVID-19 committee.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the top Borno government officials rather assembled at the Shehu of Borno’s palace in Maiduguri where they joined the monarch to receive condolence greetings.
The Shehu of Borno and the deceased Shehu of Bama are of the Elkanemi lineage.
A former governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, who currently represents Borno Central Senatorial District, where Bama is located, was also seen at the palace of the Shehu of Borno in Maiduguri as he joined the governor and other sympathisers to mourn the departed monarch.
It is customary in northern Nigeria that when monarchs of such influence die, governors of the state or their deputies usually lead a delegation of mourners to attend the funeral.
The absence of top government officials at the funeral of the Shehu of Bama raised eyebrows and even put a question mark on the circumstances that led to the demise of the respected monarch.
When the then Emir of Gwoza, Idrissa Timta, was assassinated by suspected Boko Haram insurgents on May 30, 2014, the then governor, Kashim Shettima, defied the predictable attacks on the road to Gwoza to attend the emir’s burial.
When the former Emir of Shani, Modu Mailafiya, passed in January 2014, Mr Shettima also attended the burial in far away Shani.
All the eight emirs in Borno State have first class status.
Official won’t speak on cause of death
At the daily briefing on COVID-19 on Tuesday, in Maiduguri, journalists asked for clarity on whether the deceased monarch’s death had anything to do with COVID-19.
The Borno State commissioner for health who is the scribe of the COVID-19 committeee declined comment.
The commissioner also refused to disclose the test result of the deceased monarch’s blood sample.
“By my professional training, I am not allowed to disclose the medical condition of patients,” Mr Kwayabura said.
However, the committee had, in the past, disclosed the COVID-19 status of Borno’s deceased index case and many other persons who tested positive for coronavirus in the state.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...