Home OPINION Kano Games Of The Throne: A Fight To Finish

Kano Games Of The Throne: A Fight To Finish

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By Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa

“If you pursue evil with pleasure, the pleasure passes away and the evil remains; If you pursue good with labor, the labor passes away but the good remains.”— Cicero

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With the unfolding events in the history of Kano Emirate Council, the name of  His Excellency, Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf will be laced on the plates of gold considering the role he is devotedly playing to restore the battered image and regretful distortion of the revered Kano Emirate. The evil intention to destroy, balkanize and ridicule the historic Kano Emirate was hatched, plotted and carried out by the immediate-past administration of Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who, out of malice and chronic urge for political vendetta, dethroned and banished the 14th Emir of Kano, His Highness, Muhammad Sanusi II, even after dividing the Kano Emirate into five places, against the wish of the people.

At the first instance, the division of the Kano Emirate and elevation of the District Heads of Bichi, Rano, Karaye and Gaya to First Class Emirs was one to spite Emir Sanusi, who after all, did not give a wink. Unsatisfied that dividing the Kano Emirate did not distract the popular Emir Sanusi from speaking truth to power, Ganduje and his co-travellers concocted allegations of insubordination that led to the unjust dethronement and banishment of Emir Sanusi, an action, which was widely condemned by men of good conscience. Emir Sanusi fought and secured his freedom and fundamental human rights of freedom of movement through the Court; and moved on with his life—- going about doing good and offering valuable advise to administrators and leaders across the world for a better world.

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During his electioneering campaigns, part of the promises made to the people of Kano by Governor Yusuf was that his administration will not only restore the battered traditional institution of Kano, but will also reinstate Emir Sanusi who was maliciously removed by ex-Governor Ganduje. Based on this promise, among others, the good people of Kano state overwhelmingly voted for Abba Gida-Gida. Today, the Governor has no choice, than to implement and execute the wishes of the people. It is a social contract he signed with the people of Kano, which must be fulfilled, no matter, whose, Ox is gored.

In any case, Governor Yusuf’s populist action is not new to Kano political cum traditional landscape. Adequate legal steps were taken to repeal the Kano Emirate Council Law (2019). The enactment of the Emirate Council Law (2024) ensured the death and burial of Kano Emirate Law (2019), maliciously created by Ganduje as a weapon to humiliate and ridicule Emir Sanusi. Indeed, Emir Sanusi’s return as the 16th Emir of Kano rekindled important aspect of Kano history which played out in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

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Recall that during the administration of ex-Governor Abubakar Rimi of blessed memory, there was an attempt to create five emirates in Kano State by splitting the Kano Emirate into five. Some members of the royal family and other traditional rulers, who saw it as an attempt to weaken the Kano Emirate’s influence opposed this move. However, Rimi went ahead with the plan and created the new emirates of Gaya, Karaye, Dutse, Rano, and Kano in April 1981. The Kano Emirate was reduced in size and given a more ceremonial role, while the new emirates were granted more administrative and political powers.

The Emir of Kano at the time was not deposed. But was queried for his movements in July 1981 after returning from a journey. The move led to riots in Kano and Rimi never recovered politically and resigned in 1983 after falling out with Aminu Kano. When Governor Sabo Bakin Zuwo took over in 1983, he reversed the decision and restored the Kano Emirate to its original size and status, with the other emirates abolished. His decision was seen as an attempt to restore the traditional balance of power and to address the concerns of those who opposed the creation of the new emirates. Sabo Bakin Zuwo’s action was viewed by many as reflecting the wishes of the people, just the same way the good people of Kano state are hailing the People’s Governor, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf for restoring the integrity of Kano Emirate.

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I can vividly recall that many northern leaders and elite condemned the decision of Ganduje to balkanize the Kano Emirate into five in 2019. They criticized the decision. They questioned the motive. They foresaw the consequences. They advised Ganduje against it, but all their overtures fell into deaf ears. A renowned historian at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Prof. Nadir Nasidi, is among the experts who opposed the creation of the new emirates in Kano. According to him: “Kano is the only Emirate in the country with one unifying king. The creation of unnecessary kings is not palatable. Many people, including myself, told the Ganduje administration that what he was doing wasn’t a good one.”

It is also pertinent to note that nobody agitated for the creation of four other Emirates in Kano. It was entirely the sole decision of Ganduje and his gang to create problem in Kano’s traditional institution simply because they do not like the face and patriotic stance of Emir Sanusi. The people of Kano never asked to be divided. We are one people. Nobody asked for new emirates. So, what we are dealing with is a situation where somebody divided us. Kano Emirate is a kingdom that has existed for over 1000 years. If you go to the king’s list in Kano, the king’s list from Baguada starts in 999 AD. We have a list of kings from Baguada up to the 16th Emir of Kano, Khalifa Muhammad Sanusi II.

Last Thursday, a Federal High Court, sitting in Kano, presided over by Justice A.M. Liman affirmed Aminu Bayero’s deposition as Emir of Kano. The Court also held the validity of Kano Emirate Law (2024). Indeed, Justice Liman’s ruling, brought to an end, the argument on the deposition of former Emir Aminu Ado Bayero as the court ruled that the new Kano Emirate Repeal Law 2024 remains valid.

According to the ruling, all five Emirates of Gaya, Rano, Karaye, Kano and Bichi remained abolished. While delivering the ruling, Justice A.M. Liman held that the Kano Emirate Repeal Law 2024 remains the law and its validity is intact but actions taken after assenting the law when an order from the court was issued are voided. Recall that Governor Yusuf had assented to the new law and reinstated the 14th Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II as the 16th Emir of one united Kano at the same time. The Liman, however, declared that: “Law is still the law, but actions carried out in the execution of the law are set aside.”

Justice Liman also granted a stay of proceeding and transfered the case to his learned brother of court three, Justice Amobeda. This bars all parties from taking any step to enforce the ruling till after determination of the appeal. By this decision of the Federal High Court, the five former Emirs including that of Kano with eight Local Government Areas remain deposed and the defunct Emirates remained abolished. It is therefore, ascertained that the 16th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II remains on throne and Aminu Ado Bayero remains deposed while the legal tussle continues.

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There is no gainsaying the fact that forces from outside the state are hanging up with the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) to destabilize security in Kano, all in a bid to distract and discredit the administration of Governor Yusuf. They are intentionally fueling the Kano Emirate crises to achieve their evil ambition. The National Leader of our great party, the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, saw the handwriting on the wall when during the flag-off of 82-kilometer rural road construction in his Madobi country home declared that the people of Kano will resist any attempt to undermine the constituted authority in the state. The Grand Commander of the Kwankwasiyya Movement reminded them that: “We have mass followership because people believe in us. We are pro-people and the NNPP administration is determined to serve them anywhere they voted for it. We will not fold our arms and watch enemies of the state destroying the peaceful co-existence of our dear state, as we shall do everything possible to support the governor to succeed. I am happy that he is not distracted and is focused on achieving his goals.

“There are people from Kano, enemies of the state, who also suffer mental illness and are the ones advising the Federal Government on how to take over Kano through a State of Emergency. This is madness of the highest order that the good, peace loving and committed people Kano will resist. In the build up to 2027, some desperate politicians are already on a mission of disruption, but we will rather prefer the two of us to loose than to allow them crush us. We dare anybody, who thinks he can victimise us politically, to go and be rest assured that we are ready for the fight. We are not afraid to be out of power because we will remain politicians in or out of government. We cannot run away from our destiny, we are humans, we know what is good for us and we will pursue it vigorously. The Federal Government is listening to some unpatriotic politicians from Kano, who will only contribute to its failure because the people of Kano will resist any attempt to undermine the constitutional responsibility of the Governor by any individual or group. We are open to dialogue, truce and reconciliation, but we will not accept intimidation and political harassment of any sort. We know how to play politics and we have all it takes to protect ourselves from any evil.”

More so, during the 6th edition of Shagalin Bikin Sallah, organized by the Kwankwasiyya Development Foundation (KDF) in honour of Senator Kwankwaso, held at his Miller Road residence last Tuesday, the former Defence Minister and Presidential candidate of NNPP in the 2023 general elections, reminded the audience that the Kwankwassiya members, where ever they are, remain peaceful people! And we will keep on being peaceful.

Our leader recalled that, “in 2019, we won election in this state (Kano), but the enemies of the State worked against us through INEC, through the Court, and so on, but what happened is now history.
The same thing! This time around, in 2023, we won election, overwhelmingly, and there was a lot of efforts by the enemies of the State, who are the minority here—they worked so hard to take it; but by the grace of God, Allah in his own wisdom, decided to ensure justice is done; and I am sure that has gone a long way in maintaining peace and order in the State. Now, it looks like the enemies are at it again! You know what is happening on the issue of the Emirate Council. We thank all those who are supporting the position of the government. We are one and we will continue to be one.”

Indeed, it amuses me when some people question the choice of Emir Muhammad Sanusi II! Ours is a government determined not to fail the people of Kano state. Governor Yusuf craves to getting the best of team capable of giving Kano the best it deserves in terms of leadership and dispensation of democratic dividends. In Emir Sanusi II we have an invaluable adviser that can help take Kano to greater heights. People from across the globe seek for his advise on economy and other divergent issues. They tap from his wealth of experience in building community and nations. Why then should we not make adequate and proper use of the asset God has bestowed on the people of Kano? Emir Sanusi II is an asset that we cannot afford to wish away. An accomplished administrator, banker, financial risk manager, former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), motivational speaker, and above all, leader with unflinching love, charity to humanity and fear of God. We cannot wish him away. Kano state cannot wish him away.

Therefore, emir Muhammadu Sanusi is here to stay as the Governor retains the exclusive right to depose or appoint emir in whatever circumstance. The courageous leader and the Executive Governor of Kano His Excellency Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf is known for his determination to take any decision if he truly believe that decision will change the narrative of the state in a positive way.

Those thinking that Gov. Yusuf will have a rethink on his decision about reinstatement of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II would certainly be disappointed, as a prince, a blood of the royal family and a political leader, the Governor is ready for the fight to finish on the ongoing emirate tussle.

“As it is today, the Governor retains the exclusive right to appoint or depose an emir in the state and to the layman’s understanding, matter of chieftancy is completely in the hands of state High Courts, there have been so many authority to it through various Supreme Court judgments.”

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Former Emir of the Kano metro, Aminu Ado Bayero as simple as he used to be should have known that the Governor’s decision stands, it was the same executive power aided by the amendment of Emirate’s law by the State Assembly used by the former Ganduje to dethrone Emir Sanusi II and apointed him.

For the records, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero was never an emir of Kano, he was appointed an emir of eight metropolitant local government areas and from the look of things, he lacks all the qualities of an emir who is supposed to be patient and loyal to constituted authority. By the new law which was accepted as valid by the latest judgement, Alhaji Aminu should resume to his former title of Wanban Kano and district head of Dala if he so wish.

My candid advise to him is and of course it’s coming from my sincire heart, staying in graveyard of late emirs at Nasarawa cemetery will not in anyway make the Governor revert his decision, the earlier Alhaji Aminu realise this the better for him to take a suit into the style of the 16th emir Sanusi II when he was dethroned, he should resigned to fate and accept his destiny by moving forward as a free man to once again enjoy his life as a private citizen.

No amount of pressure, harassments and intimidation from within and outside Kano will stop Kano state government from insisting on Khalifa Muhammad Sanusi II as the 16th Emir of one and indivisible Kano Emirate.

I conclude with the quotes of our leader, Senator Kwankwaso that: “The average Kano person does not want injustice; and that is the position of the Kwankwasiyya Movement. Our fathers and great grand-fathers fought injustice; and we will continue to do it as their sons and daughters here in Kano.”

Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa is the spokesperson to Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf/Director-General, Media and Public Relations, Government House, Kano

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