May 27, 2024

Emirship: Protest rocks Kano over Sanusi’s reinstatement


•Aggrieved residents demand return of Bayero
•Northern youths seek Tinubu, Int’l bodies intervention
•NSA threatens to sue Kano dep. gov. for defamation
•MURIC demands end to govs’ power to depose monarchs

By Kingsley Omonobi, Bashir Bello & Luminous Jannamike

KANO—Activities across the ancient city of Kano, in Kano State, were, yesterday, paralysed by angry residents protesting the abolishment of the five emirates, the deposition of Aminu Ado Bayero as the emir of Kano and the reinstatement of Muhamadu Sanusi II in his stead.

It was gathered that the protests were recorded in the Kano and Gaya emirates of the state and lit bonfires.

Leading the protest around Gidan Nassarawa in Kano, Aminu Umar said all they demanded was the immediate return of Aminu Ado Bayero to his seat, saying “We are in support of the return of Aminu Ado Bayero to his seat. We don’t know any other person. He is the man of the people. And that is why we are calling for him to be returned to his seat with immediate effect.”

The protesters who observed a special prayer to seek divine intervention displayed placards with inscriptions such as: “Abba Kabir Yusuf, Obey Court order”, “Court Brought You”, “You Must Obey The Court”, “Aminu is still our Emir”, “We are against injustice” among others.

However, it was gathered that earlier in the day some youths around the Kano Emirate staged a solidarity protest in support of the reinstatement of Muhammadu Sanusi II.

Youths petition Tinubu, others

This came as the Northern Youth Assembly (Majalisar Matasan Arewa) had written to President Bola Tinubu, seeking his intervention in the emirship tussle.

The letter dated May 25, 2024, was also sent to the United Nations Office in Abuja, the European Union Embassy, the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, in Abuja, the US Embassy in Abuja, the British High Commission in Abuja, the US Congress, and the European Union.

Signed by the President and Secretary General of the group, Dr. Ali Idris and Dr. Garba Abdulhafiz, respectively, the group expressed concerns about the recent changes to Kano State’s emirate law which it claimed some are exploiting to create unrest.

“As representatives of the Northern Youth Assembly, with chapters in the Nineteen Northern States and Abuja, we feel compelled to inform you of the developments regarding the Kano Emirate,” the letter stated.

They emphasized Nigeria’s federal structure, which grants state assemblies the authority to legislate for their states’ welfare, citing the 2019 amendment to Kano’s Emirate Councils Laws and the recent repeal of the same law by the current assembly.

“This blatant encroachment on constitutional democratic practices undermines sub-national authority and constitutes interference in their constitutional powers,” they said.

The youths warned that such actions could damage Tinubu’s reputation as a democrat and provoke unrest among Kano’s 20 million residents, potentially affecting the entire Northern region.

“We urge you to maintain peace and respect democratic institutions, as any attempt to disrupt Kano’s stability could reflect poorly on your administration and invite animosity from the people of Kano and Northern Nigeria,” the letter concluded.

NSA demands retraction

Meanwhile, following the allegation of facilitating the return of deposed Emir Bayero to Kano State after he was removed and banned from entering the state, the National Security Adviser, NSA, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu has demanded an immediate retraction and apology from the Deputy Governor of Kano State, Aminu Gwarzo.

In a letter through his counsel, Aliyu & Musa Chambers, the NSA noted that the retraction and apology must be published in the media and failure would result in alternative measures, as the deputy governor is covered by immunity to be sued.

Among others, it reads “The attention of our client was drawn to a video clip being shared on different social media platforms wherein you granted an interview at Emir’s palace in Kano on Saturday, the 25th day of May 2024, in a very calm atmosphere, and without any provocation whatsoever, falsely accusing our client of using his office to kill the people of Kano State and maim their properties. In the clip, you were shown to be saying in Hausa.

“Your false accusation against our client portraying his office as an appendage of a political party and a willing tool to cause chaos in Kano is false and done to damage the hard-earned reputation of our client in the eyes of the right-thinking members of the society and indeed it has succeeded in doing so.

“In all the places he has served, our client has never been accused of any wrongdoing. Given this illustrious background, it is inconceivable that someone would harbour the thought that our client would descend his exalted office so low as to interfere in the local tussle of the Kano Emirate.

“The wide coverage you gave your interview has caused serious embarrassment to our client and his family. Since the publication, our client has been receiving a barrage of telephone calls both within and outside Nigeria from friends and associates who felt disappointed in him because of the false allegation it came from a person occupying the office of Deputy Governor of Kano State.

“Our client and his office take your allegations seriously and by this letter, our client is demanding that you provide irrefutable evidence to substantiate your claims. If you have no proof, our client demands you to within 24 hours similarly retract the libelous allegation you made it as well as give it wide media circulation; and issue a public apology in five National dailies with wide national coverage and on popular online platforms. Note that if you fail to do so, our client will be compelled to seek redress in a court of law.”

MURIC demands end to govs’ powers

Also reacting, Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has called for an end to the power of state governors to depose traditional rulers, citing the need to protect the sanctity of traditional institutions and prevent political interference.

According to MURIC’s Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, “The city of Kano is currently embroiled in crisis as the state governor, Abba Yusuf, deposed five emirs and reinstated Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi who was dethroned as emir of Kano on Monday, 9th March 2020.

“MURIC is shocked by these developments. It is not only embarrassing but confusing and that is to say the least as we struggle to restrain ourselves from going into any explosive outburst.

“Politicians are out to debilitate, destabilize and finally dismantle the traditional system. The governors have bastardised the traditional system the same way they messed up the local government system all over the country.

“The show of power in Kano in the last 48 hours is symptomatic of a serious decay and a big threat to our nascent democracy. Traditional rulers are made victims of political intrigues and the fear of the total collapse of traditional values hangs above our heads like the sword of Damocles.
“It is an open secret that governors act with politics at the back of their minds.”