•As President commends Kano people for keeping calm
•We didn’t banish Sanusi to Nasarawa — Kano Attorney-General
•Sanusi’s a global citizen, his deposition, an embarrassment to the world —Kwankwaso
•Bayero ascends throne as Emir of Kano • We’re solidly behind Sanusi, says Graca Machel

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abdulmumin Murtala and Ibrahim Hassan

President Muhammadu Buhari

THE Presidency said, yesterday, that President Muhammadu Buhari has no hands in the dethronement of former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Lamido Sanusi 11.

The reaction came against the backdrop of claims by former Kano State governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, in a British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, Hausa interview that the President was responsible for the dethroned emir’s travail.

This came on a day the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Kano State, Ibrahim Muktar, dismissed insinuations that the dethroned emir was banished to Nasarawa State.

This is even as Kaduna State government, yesterday, named the dethroned emir as  Chancellor of Kaduna State University, KASU.

Also yesterday, Amnesty International condemned Sanusi’s dethronement and banishment, while a renowned cleric, Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, appealed for calm over the deposition of the former emir.

Presidency reacts

Reacting to Kwankwaso’s allegation, the Presidency in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, explained that the constitution made it clear that the appointment of emirs and traditional leaders remained the responsibility of state governors.

READ ALSO: Dethroned Emir of Kano’s new home under construction

The statement, titled “Leave President Buhari out of the Kano emirate issue”, said all insinuations on President Buhari’s involvement were untrue, malicious and politically motivated.

Kwankwaso had earlier yesterday alleged on BBC Hausa that President Buhari ordered the removal of Muhammadu Sanusi as Emir of Kano, describing the removal of Sanusi as a sad incident to both Kano State and Nigeria in general.

But the Presidency in its reaction said: “The President does not have a history of intervening in the affairs of any state in the country, unless the issue at hand is of national consequence.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has no involvement whatsoever in the dethronement of HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II from the position of Emir of Kano. All such insinuations are untrue, malicious and politically motivated.

“The President does not have a history of intervening in the affairs of any state in the country, unless the issue at hand is of national consequence. On such matters which impinge on national security, he has a duty of involvement as the law stipulates.

“As outlined in the Constitution, the appointment or removal of emirs and other traditional leaders is strictly within the jurisdiction of state governments. It is unfair and disingenuous of opposition politicians to try to link the situation in Kano State to the federal government and the Nigerian President.

“Although a retired General and former Military Head of State, President Buhari clearly understands that under the current democratic dispensation, the government at the centre cannot read instructions or twist the arms of all or any of the 36 state governments making up the federation.

“They all have their powers specified under the Constitution. President Buhari commends the people of Kano for keeping calm in the past few days of the dethronement announcement.

‘’He prays that the will of Allah will be done at all times, and that the emirate/state and its people continue to experience progress irrespective of who is on the throne.”

We didn’t banish Sanusi to Nasarawa, says Kano Attorney-General

Clarifying issue on the banishment of the dethroned emir yesterday, the Attorney-General of Kano State, Ibrahim Muktar, said the state government did not banish him from the state.

Speaking on Channels Television  the Attorney-General said the government only removed Sanusi from office for insubordination.

Asked if the emir had been banished from Kano, Muktar said: “Of course, of course.” But when the question was asked a second time, he denied the banishment, saying it was not part of the state government’s decision.

He said the former emir was only taken out of Kano State by the police based on  intelligence reports, adding that he was not aware of any decision to banish Sanusi.

He said: “If you listened to the secretary to the state government when he was addressing the press on the issue of the removal of the emir from office, there was nowhere he stated that the emir was banished from Kano State.

“So, the decision of the government, when the emir was removed on Monday, was that he was removed from office and a new one appointed. The issue of banishment was not part of the decision of  Kano State government.

“We have been hearing from the media that he has been banished but what I know is that he was taken out of Kano State but banishment was not part of our decision. There is no such decision to the best of my knowledge,’’ he said.

He said the decision to dethrone Sanusi was not based on the issues in court, but on administrative grounds.

Muktar said: “The state government has not taken the law into its hands. Let me explain that the decision to remove the emir from office is administrative and was not based on the issues pending before the court.

‘’All the issues pending before the court have nothing to do with the removal of the emir or the dethronement.

“No decision on that actually (continuation of Sanusi’s probe). I cannot pre-empt the position of the government on whether investigation will stop or continue.”

Sanusi’s lawyers had asked for the  release of the former emir, saying his forced relocation to Nasarawa is illegal and unconstitutional.

Kwankwaso speaks on Sanusi, slams Buhari, Ganduje

Speaking on a BBC Hausa programme, yesterday, former Kano State governor, Senate Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, had alleged that President Buhari was complicit on the dethronement of the former emir, stressing that the President shouldn’t have kept mute while the feud between the state governor, Ganduje, and Sanusi raged.

He also maintained that constitutional provisions were not followed by the Kano State government in dethroning the former emir.

Kwankwaso said:  “Honestly speaking, what happened on March  9, 2020, is a sad thing for the entire people of Kano, Nigerians and the entire people of the world because the dethroned Emir is a global figure because of the struggles he lead in his entire life, especially when he served as the CBN governor and this job at the Kano Emirate.

“On this day, we have seen very annoying things, especially the way impunity and disregard to the constitution and the laws were employed in dethroning His Highness, the Emir of Kano. We see this action as totally unjust.

“More so, the way we saw deployment of security agents, it is clear that this is beyond what a state governor alone can do. Despite the intervention of his (Sanusi II) lawyers seeking for him to be allowed to move to Lagos where he chose, he was forcibly put in a plane and taken to the remotest place in the country and after some plea, he was taken to another part of the same Nasarawa State.

“We see this as a violation of the constitution, especially as Nigeria has grown above this. It is especially a violation of section 35 of the constitution which emphasises on the rights of the citizen.

“But even as you have chosen to use impunity to dethrone him, I wish to remind you that this is a democratic dispensation and not a military regime.’

‘’From what we’ve seen, from what we’ve heard, no responsible government will take the kind of decision that was taken by Kano State government, deposing Emir Sanusi 11.

“But importantly, even if you despise a person, you should allow him to chose where to stay.

“Considering remarks made by those closer to Mr. President that he does not interfere in misunderstandings, that he keeps mute whenever there were such conflicts but we, especially in Kano, look at this attitude of Mr. President differently.

‘’Where he was supposed to intervene, he never did so but where he was not supposed to intervene, you find him intervening. Here, government officials were saying that they were instructed to depose Emir Sanusi.”

Asked if he had tried to settle the feud that culminated in dethronement of the Emir, the former Kano governor said:  “But the President has numerous advisers, important dignitaries enjoying salaries, he does not need people’s advice, especially if such advice was not solicited.”

Asked if his political movement, Kwankwasiya, had fueled the crisis between   the deposed Emir and the authorities in Kano, he said:  “Whoever knows the ideology of Kwankwasiya should know that we only align with the truth, everyone knows these are fallouts of the past elections.’

Asked if Sanusi supported his governorship candidate in Kano, Abba Gida Gida, Kwankwaso said:  “What I know, which his Highness, the Emir had said, and what I heard from government officials was that whoever wins the election should be given the mandate.

‘’They said the Emir had mentioned that whoever was the rightful winner of the election, the court should declare him governor. Such are things they don’t like. These are not the only problems but the constitutional provisions were not adhered to.  Regrettably, the people of Kano were humiliated, scandalized by this act( deposition).”

Reminded that if he had continued as governor of Kano State, he would have also removed Sanusi as Emir, going by popular opinion that Kwankwaso as governor had issued queries twice to Emir Sanusi, he said:  “I have never issued a query to his Highness, Emir Sanusi, or anything of such.  What I know is that whoever is a governor or President should be just, someone who must be helpful to the community, peace loving, and not one that will  use the paraphernalia of office, especially security agencies, to humiliate the people as was exemplified in Emir Sanusi’s case in our state.”

On whether the development should be blamed on lack of a forthright leadership in the North, he said the President was a Northerner, stressing that where the head was faulty, the entire system was bound to be affected.

Sanusi II appointed Chancellor of Kaduna State Varsity

Meanwhile, Kaduna State government, yesterday, named the dethroned emir as Chancellor of the Kaduna State University, KASU.

A statement from Sir Kashim Ibrahim House which announced the new appointment, said  Sanusi II would be succeeding the pioneer Chancellor, His Highness, Malam Tagwai Sambo, the Chief of Moro’a, who was appointed to the role in 2005.

Signed by Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, Special Adviser on Media and Communication to Governor Nasir el-Rufai, the statement said: “In public life, His Highness has demonstrated a strong commitment to education.’

“Kaduna State government has no doubt that as Chancellor, His Highness, Muhammadu Sanusi, would provide symbolic and substantive leadership in raising the profile of KASU as an emerging centre of learning on the national and global level.’

“Appointment of the new chancellor comes at an exciting moment for KASU which is transiting to a multi-campus structure with presence across the state.”

Adekeye said Governor el-Rufai has conveyed the profound appreciation of the state government to HH Malam Tagwai Sambo for the long years of distinguished service to KASU and the state.

“Malam Nasir el-Rufai welcomes with gratitude the consent of His Highness, Muhammadu Sanusi, to serve as Chancellor of KASU and as Vice-Chairman of the board of KADIPA.

“Kaduna State government is grateful that HH Muhammadu Sanusi II continues to support and assist the realisation of the governance objectives of Kaduna State government,”  he said.

Amnesty Int’l condemns Sanusi’s dethronement, banishment

Condemning the dethronement of Sanusi, it said in a series of tweets: “Amnesty International calls on Nigerian authorities to respect the human rights of former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II; his right to dignity, freedom of expression and freedom of movement.’’

According to the group, restricting Sanusi and placing him incommunicado is against his human rights as protected under the Nigerian Constitution and international human rights law.

It, therefore, asked the authorities to ensure they respected and protected the fundamental human rights of the former Emir, in accordance with the rule of law.

Dahiru Bauchi sues for calm over Sanusi

Reacting to the development in a BBC Hausa interview yesterday, renowned Islamic cleric, Dahiru Bauchi, appealed for calm.

He said: “The deposition has happened, that was destined and no one should be disturbed, remain calm.

“They have the weapons, they have money, they can shoot people and no one can challenge them.

“We should leave everything in the hands of Almighty Allah, intensify our prayers. This situation was made possible by Almighty Allah, He knows its end.

“Now that we are ordinary in the state, we are in a sorry state, we should, therefore, remain calm. There shouldn’t be any act of trouble.

“To the deposed emir, may Almighty Allah reward him pleasantly. He shouldn’t be disturbed. May Almighty Allah continue to bless him.”

We’re solidly behind you, says Graca Machel, wife of late Mozambican president

Also reacting, Graca, wife of Samora Machel, the late President of Mozambique, said: ‘’Your Highness,  I am deeply saddened to learn of your being relieved of your official duties as Emir of Kano and held by government authorities.

READ ALSO: Dethronement of Emir Sanusi is unconstitutional, Human rights lawyer says

‘’I am sending you this message of solidarity in the hopes that it provides you, in some small measure, with reassurance and a degree of comfort that you are not alone in your valiant struggles to confront corruption and the social ills burdening Northern Nigeria.

‘’Your influential voice as a man, as a traditional leader and as a religious authority challenging the status quo is sorely needed not only in Nigeria but also throughout Africa. You are a bold inspiration for leaders to hold themselves to account and do all in their power to improve the well being of all citizens under their watch, especially women and children.

‘’Your Highness, we hold you in very high regard, and count on your knowledge, expertise, experience and wisdom to continue to lift the continent to higher heights. We proudly count you among the Graca Machel Trust’s International Board as Advisors and stand with you in your courageous efforts to speak truth to power.

‘’We are here for you should you feel there is something we can do to assist during this challenging time.  Your convictions are powerful ones that ring loudly in the hearts and minds of all those who value human dignity and equality and the causes you are fighting so steadfastly cannot be silenced. ‘’Rest assured that critics of progressive thinking and action find themselves on the wrong side of history. Please remain strong and resilient. We are praying for your safety and your freedom.’’

She is the founder of Graca Machel Trust Foundation for Community Development.

Bayero ascends throne as Emir of Kano

Meanwhile, the newly appointed Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero has finally ascended the throne.

Bayero ascended throne at about 7:30pm, yesterday.

He was accompanied by a huge crowd that escorted him from the government house where he received his appointment letter  down to the palace.

It was gathered that the Emir is expected to tomorrow receive visitors who will pay him homage at the palace.

Bayero ascended throne as the  15th Emir of Kano in the ruling Fulani dynasty ater the deposition of  Muhammad Sanusi II.

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