A Chinese man has been appointed chief in Nigeria

Photo: Mr Mike Zhang, as “Wakilin Yan China. Credit Face2FaceAfrica

The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II has approved the appointment of a Chinese man, Mr Mike Zhang, as “Wakilin Yan China” which means chief, representative or leader of Chinese people. After his turbaning on April 25 at the Emir’s palace in Kano, he will be responsible for the proper management of the Chinese community and he would act as their representative in the state.

The announcement was made on Friday, April 19 by the Emirate’s spokesperson, Sa’adatu Baba-Ahmad. In his speech, Sa’adatu explained that the appointment was very similar to that of ‘Sarkin Inyamurai’, chief of Igbo residents in Kano and ‘Sarkin Yarabawa’, chief of Yoruba residents in Kano and was a move to establish a peaceful coexistence between non-indigenes and their host.

“The appointment of Mr Mike Zhang was necessary due to the rapid increase of Chinese businessmen in Kano who did not have proper representation and trading union. The rise in Chinese traders has caused several conflicts between the Chinese and Kano traders and this is a problem the Emir wants to solve to prevent a more complicated situation in the near future.” Sa’adatu added

While this is not the first time a foreigner from another country will be given such a position by the Emir,

In the past, the Emir has appointed a Yemeni, a Libyan and an Arab as chiefs for various positions in Kano Emirate but, the selection of a Chinese chief still comes with mixed feelings to many people as the Chinese have been accused by the United States of slowly taking over the continent.

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