Chinese trader made chief in Nigeria

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A leader of the Chinese community in northern Nigeria has been crowned, or “turbaned”, as a chief by the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

The emir holds a lot of influence and is a religious and cultural leader in the region.

At a traditional ceremony in Kano, Mike Zhang took the title of Wakilin Yan China, meaning the leader of the Chinese residents, as his head was wrapped in a turban.

This ceremony is a recognition of the growing importance of the Chinese community in Kano, the largest city in northern Nigeria, BBC Hausa editor Jimeh Saleh says.

There are a lot of Chinese businesses and traders in the city who are sometimes accused of taking other people’s jobs and engaging in unfair competition.

Mr Zhang will be a vital link between the Chinese community and the locals.

The BBC reports that with this appointment, Mr Zhang will be expected to be attending meetings at the Emir’s palace and may wish to take part in the traditional horse riding festival, known as a durbar, along with his entourage during Eid festivals.

The Kano Emirate said the appointment followed “an increase in the number of Chinese businessmen who engage in different forms of businesses without a unified leadership structure”.

One member of the Kano Emirate told the BBC that “the emirate needs a liaison officer to solve conflicts that emanate from business transactions between Chinese and Kano traders”.

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