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Battle for Kano: Deposition cloud hangs over Sanusi?

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By Abdulmumin Murtala

The development in Kano State that saw the breaking of the mega emirate, with 44 local government areas under it, into five emirates has sent tongues wagging that it may be a prelude to the deposition of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, by the Ganduje administration.

Under the new dispensation, the four new emirates are Rano with 10 LGAs, Gaya with eight LGAs, Karaye with seven LGAs and Bichi with nine LGAs. Kano Emirate has 10 LGAs under the headship of Sanusi.

The speed with which the matter was processed by Kano State House of Assembly is, in itself, significant.

The Assembly had reviewed the law on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs seeking the upgrade of some traditional rulers to the status of First Class Emirs.

This followed a petition by a team of lawyers led by Ibrahim Salisu Chambers.

And within 48 hours of the passage of the bill by the lawmakers, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje gave his assent.

A State Emirate Council was also founded by the bill, that will have the five Emirs heading the emirates, the Secretary to the State Government, the Commissioner for Local Government, Chairmen of all the Local Government Councils in the state, at least two kingmakers from each of the five Emirate Councils as well as not more than five others to be appointed by the state governor, as members.

The State Emirate Council will be chaired by the Emir of Kano, who will be assisted by the Emir of Rano.

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The chairmanship will be renewed every two years.

Analysts believe that the move, though wrapped as an effort to bring development to Kano, decentralize the traditional council, bring the emirates closer to the people and enhance security, is primarily targeted at reducing the influence of Emir Sanusi II in the state.

Sanusi II is believed to have fallen into the black books of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, in Kano during the general elections as well as the inconclusive election that took place in the state.

He was alleged to have exhibited support for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, through certain actions in an election in which Ganduje was seeking second term as the candidate of APC.

But the embattled monarch was reported to have publicly apologized to Ganduje after he was declared winner of the inconclusive election.

The apology, it was reported, followed widespread rumour that he was going to be deposed by the regime.

No one actually doubted the deposition rumour because, at the peak of the celebration of the governor’s victory at the polls, his supporters allegedly destroyed the pictures of the Emir at the Coronation Hall of the Government House Kano, when Ganduje went to celebrate with them.

They allegedly chanted slogans calling on the governor to remove Sanusi.

Serial offences

The Emir actually is said to have committed serial offences against the governor and the ruling party in Kano on the grounds of his alleged sympathy for the PDP.

This, according to observers, is not unexpected as the PDP leader in Kano, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso played a major role in making him the emir.

Sanusi’s problem with Ganduje is traced to his critical comments in 2017 on the award of contracts to some Chinese companies by the state government and on the governor’s foreign trips.

In addition to the breaking of the Kano Emirate, the allegation of the monarch spending of N6 billion of the Kano Emirate Council without the approval of the state government, which was earlier closed, is being revisited by the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission.

In a letter dated May 2, 2019, the state anti-graft body invited one Isa Bayero to appear before it to shed light on the payment vouchers from 2013 to 2017 in his name.

There are also three other members of the emirate scheduled to be quizzed by the anti-graft commission.

The anti-graft commission invited them over alleged violation of Section 26 of its enabling law which borders the management of the emirate’s funds while the invitation is sequel to the powers conferred on it under Section 9 and 15 of Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission Law 2008 (as amended).

There are also accusations bordering on the destruction of some artefacts in the Kano palace levelled against the monarch.

The artifacts were said to have been in existence for hundreds of years but were said to have been destroyed to pave the way for the construction of a modern palace.

In fact, the artifacts destruction, according to sources, did not go down well with a lot of people who have direct link with the royal house.

As the state government decided to appoint new emirs for the new emirates, the powers of Sanusi II have apparently been curtailed.

Meanwhile, if the Emir fails to appear before the anti-graft commission and he is indicted on the allegations, analysts say there is the likelihood that he might be deposed even as the Ganduje administration will definitely issue a white paper barring him from the palace.


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