By Lukman Muhammad Rabiu
THE most trending news from Kano since May this year has always been on the relationship between Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the Governor of Kano State and Sarkin Kano, Muhammad Sanusi, the Emir of Kano. The social media is dominated by stories on this relationship most of them fake with the intent of smearing the image of the Emir. Kano State Government, its agents and sympathizers have always triggered the first salvo at every given opportunity. Emir Sanusi has many sympathizers across Nigeria and the world because of his global status: he was one time best Central Bank Governor in the World and now a United Nations Sustainable Development Advocate, hence whenever they launch attack his sympathizers respond.
Emir Sanusi’s position in the world and the importance of Kano Emirate to Nigeria and the whole of West African sub-region made every reasonable person in Nigeria and beyond to be concerned with the unnecessary crisis in Kano sustained by those who benefit from it. Those aggrieved in the Kano Emirate have been pursuing their rights in the courts as provided by the Constitution, and this has angered those fuelling the crisis.
First they tried as much as possible to spread fake news about the Emir to aggravate the relationship with the Governor and stop, every step of restoring cordial relationships. It could be recalled that there were several attempts by both sides to work together for the interest of Kano State. A good example was the last trip to China at the instance of the Emir in which the deputy governor represented the state government. Before then the Emir wanted to visit the governor and congratulate him on his victory at the Elections Petition Tribunal but the governor extended hand of good leadership and decided to visit the Emir.
Many observers and commentators believe that Governor Ganduje decided to create the Emirates to whittle Emir Sanusi’s influence just as Governor Rimi who was his mentor did to deal with Emir Ado Bayero. It took Governor Ganduje and the State House of Assembly forty-eight hours to dismantle the 1000-year old Kano Sarauta. However, Emir Sanusi did not respond to this attempt at destroying one of the most enduring institutions in Africa hence he remained silent. The Minority Leader of the Kano State House of Assembly sued the state government.
The Kano Emirate kingmakers also sued the government. Meanwhile agents of the state government were contemptuous but no one from the Emirate cared because they believe that in end the truth would triumph, as the Judiciary is an independent and just arbiter. Kano State Government agents made several radio programmes and interviews as well social media postings to ridicule the judicial process.
In November the Kano High Court presided by His Lordship Justice Usman Na’abba declared the Kano Emirate Council Law 2019 null and void. Most people thought this would have been an honourable safe exit for the state government but unfortunately the hawks pledged to continue the war against the Emirate. The propagandists and political job seekers would not allow the governor to concentrate on more useful endeavours rather than the destruction of the 1000-year old Kano Sarauta.
Another legislative adventure was embarked upon in total disregard to the pending suit of the Kano kingmakers. Both the Legislative and Executive arm of the government were cautioned but they ignored the wise counsel. The Legislature was dishonourable as it sent letters to stakeholders to provide written inputs to the Bill, which it passed 24 hours after the delivery of letters and it was signed 24 hours later. All in haste, to nail Emir Sanusi and they continued with their propaganda in the most dishonourable manner, as there was a pending suit. In fact they believe by harassing the Judiciary they could get what they want.
Immediately after the new law was signed some prominent Kano citizens filed another suit challenging the government’s decision to tamper with the 1000-year old Kano tradition. This is in addition to the kingmakers suit which was also pending. The government agents lied that the suits were struck out and they continued with their contempt and disrespect to the Judiciary as their propaganda was pure blackmail to coerce the Judges. They exposed their evil intention and publicly stated the booby traps laid for the Emir of Kano in the new law. As he crosses a trap another one was brought up. They even stated that he is now under the chairman of the Kano Municipal Local Government Council.
One wonders why the governor should be bothered about removing someone under the supervision of a local government chairman.
President Muhammadu Buhari became dissatisfied with the turn of events in Kano State, the most populous state in the country, his major political base and the commercial nerve centre of Northern Nigeria. He immediately accepted the mediation of a committee of elders headed by the former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar. The committee urged both the state government and the Emirate to refrain from any public utterances. However, the Kano State Commissioner for Information, could not restrain his zealousness, he declared that the committee, cannot repeal the Kano Emirates Law 2019 whereas no one ever made any statement that such an action was even contemplated.
So what was his motive? His intention was perhaps to ridicule the committee and Mr. President who endorsed their mediatory role. He also stepped up his propaganda against the Emir in a sponsored TVC Television Programme aired 12:55 on December 24, 2019, where a discredited group that impersonated as a coalition of Civil Society Groups was reported as calling on the governor to remove the Emir. The authentic Kano Civil Society Forum has since denied any association with the imposters.
The propaganda of those who do not want peace was intensified in the social media where they continued to hire people to inflame the situation despite the cautionary statement of the General Abdussalam Committee. In fact they planted a story in the Daily Post and other junk online newspapers that Governor Ganduje has snubbed the committee to escalate the tension. They became more desperate when one of their Facebook hit men alleged that Emir Sanusi went to plead with the His Lordship the Chief Justice of the Federation to annul Governor Ganduje’s election.
They circulated the allegation widely to smear Emir Sanusi and tarnish the integrity of the Chief Justice. This was one of their most wicked attempts to smear the Emir. Unfortunately for them the Emir is a public personality and all his schedules in Kano and beyond are in the public eye. He never met the Chief Justice. Apparently the boy and his masters realized the danger and that it could boomerang and he retracted his evil post claiming that one Islamic scholar preached to him. This is the danger we are now facing some people in their personal vendetta have set to destroy 1000-year old tradition and along with it the Judiciary, last hope of the weak and the oppressed.
Would they be allowed to continue assaulting the Judiciary including the Supreme Court the apex court of the country? May Allah, deliver us from them, amen.