SPECIAL REPORT: Reinstatement of Sanusi II a political interference ‘destroying sanctity’ of monarchy

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His Royal Highness Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, Middle, flanked from Left by: Governor of Kano State Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf and His Royal Highness Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II.

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*The genesis, the reinstatement controversy and need for politicians to hands-off monarchy affairs

*Why I reinstated Sanusi II as Emir of Kano – Gov Yusuf

*Where the Governor went wrong – Respondents

*On Sanusi, no going back – Govt Camp

*Achieving a peaceful Kano requires a reversal of Sanusi’s reinstatement – Kogo Umar

*Says Ado Bayero was not deposed

By JOGBODO OLU FULANI…contributing from Abuja

 

“And the best solution is for Abba Yusuf to reverse his decision. Yes, you said once a Bill is signed into law, nobody can change it. But law is made for the people not for itself or any VIP alone. If you make a law that you know is causing crisis in your community or state, what are you supposed to do? You that know the process that you used that gave you that law also know the way to retrace the process to repeal it.”

 

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The emirship tussle in Kano State has scaled through all would-have-been possible interventions but still defies suggestions for repair to the point of disrepair. The more the problem is looked at from the point of politics and judiciary the bigger it widens and higher it grows.

Therefore, the only solution that is more practicable in ensuring sustainable peace in the ancient kingdom, as it stands currently, is for all political and judicial hands in the matter to disembark so the establishment – that is the Customary and Traditional Council – with natural responsibility to handle the matter come on board to do so.

In the first instance, the problem that is currently bedeviling Kano Emirate Matter started from the point of appointment – by the administration of Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso in 2014 – of then Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, recently sacked by the Peoples Democratic Party-led Administration of Goodluck Jonathan. Kano Emirate had been peaceful for 50 uninterrupted years until the demise of His Royal Highness Alhaji Ibrahim Ado Bayero, father of Aminu Ado Bayero, that year.

To many, the hurried selection of Sanusi for the stool was seen as a political measure taken by some opposition, who at that time were the All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders and some of their cronies within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) acting as New PDP leaders, to give a soft landing that would shield Sanusi from the Goodluck Jonathan Administration’s axe that would have come following his sack as CBN Governor.

As an opposition party that time, the newly merged APC leaders – relying on the popularity of Retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari who they had all chosen as their party’s Presidential Candidate and other gladiators including former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the ring – poised for unseating the PDP administration.

And, as an ally to many of those opposition members, Sanusi’s appointment as Emir of Kano was considered would be a great deal of opportunity for seamless political somersaulting, imminent of PDP, and so the gladiators mobilised, flew and landed in Kano on the very day the Kingmakers of the Nigeria’s political headquarters were in the Majilisa (council) to conclude on their list of candidates for Governor Kwankwaso to pick.

Their mission in Kano was to mount pressure on Governor Kwankwaso to pick him Sanusi although the same leading figure among them organising it eventually betrayed Kwankwaso after they got what they wanted (won election as opposition) and Kwankwaso moved out of the APC.

Although the Governor is reserved with the prerogative that is exclusive to him, which empowers and allows him to pick even the last man on the list submitted by the kingmakers, investigations revealed that Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who became Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II by royalty rearrangement, was picked for political reasons.

His removal through an allegedly concocted idea of legislative act 2019 and disobedience to court orders on the part of succeeding Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, therefore, was played down simply as because, he was seen as only being pushed out through the same political arrangement that brought him therein. That was how the removal of Sanusi II as 14th Emir of Kano became justified by those who viewed the development from the lens of Governor Ganduje.

But since then, Sanusi II had moved on with his life while Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero had carried on well with his leadership of Kano State Emirate Council even with four other additional Emirates that had now been resolved within the minds of many as having brought development beyond only the Kano City to the respective Emirates of Rano, Karaye, Gaya and Bichi. Without allegation of corruption and gross misconduct – whether true or concocted as leveled against Sanusi II in 2019 – the controversial legislative process that ended in the new Kano Emirate Bill 2024 passed on Thursday May 23, 2024 became the albatross that brought the state to this stalemate it now suffers from.

Worse, it was further gathered, was that the Bill – seeking to repeal the Kano Emirate Law 2019 to pave the way for the dissolution of the four Emirates and removal of Ado Bayero as Emir of Kano – became implemented automatically by Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf same day of passage even before his assent to it. Hence the disagreements with a government that people had hitherto loved and claimed was to represent the interest of the Talakawas of Kano, in whose hands the political power of Kano resides, which include showing respect and high regard to their traditional institution.

Why I reinstated Sanusi II as Emir of Kano – Gov Yusuf

The Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, had on May 23, 2023, said the reinstatement of the Muhammadu Sanusi II, deposed as 14th Emir of Kano, was a fulfillment of a campaign promise. On Thursday May 23 after assenting to the bill on new Kano Emirate Law 2024 passed same day by Kano State House of Assembly repealing the Kano Emirate Law used to create four emirates and depose Sanusi with Aminu Ado Bayero as his replacement, Governor Yusuf , through a statement by his spokesman Sanusi Bature, said: “The law provided an opportunity for reinstatement of the 14th Emir of Kano Muhammad Sanusi II and removal of 15th Emir of Kano Aminu Ado Bayero, the Emir of Bichi Nasir Ado Bayero, Emir of Rano Kabiru Abubakar Inuwa, Emir of Karaya Ibrahim Abubakar II and Emir of Gaya Aliyu Ibrahim Abdulkadir.”

Governor Yusuf, who noted that Sanusi was mischievously deposed in 2019, further said that he had now done what he believed was in the best interest of Kano State people, saying the return of Muhammadu Sanusi II back on throne would propel peace and prosperity. He added that law repealing the council law was in realisation of his campaign commitments to restore the lost glory of the state and its rich cultural heritage. He expressed satisfaction that the new law will bring about unity of the people of Kano and foster sustainable socio-economic development.

Where the Governor went wrong

It was at this point that many that even voted and fought for Abba Gida during the election and legal battles for the retrieving of his governorshp mandate now began to have a rethink because, according to them as related by one Bashari, “he tampered with our revered and most cherished Emirship and this will have its consequences”, he said.

To him, “We are not saying that what Ganduje did was good but we saw that since Sanusi’s ascendance to the throne was shoddy and shrouded in political ambiguity in the first instance, we have since moved on since five years of his removal through the same political ambiguity. Abba Gida should not have reopened an already healed wound. And while even doing that, he did not do it in a way that we could say ‘oh, we were aware that he started this process and these are our inputs’. No. He didn’t let us know.

“Forget about all that were being read and said in the media about calls for reinstatement of Sanusi, they were all figments of imagination of sponsors of those media ideas. Now you see people going to courts. You see people protesting in Abuja and some doing that in Kano. That should tell you that you have taken an action that the majority of the people are saying enough!

“You should have therefore considered between the personal interest of Sanusi, your own, our respected leader, Kwankwaso and the collective interest of Kano State people with which we fought hard to get your governorship mandate for you, which one should you obey? If you choose personal interest over collective interest of Kano, the kind of crisis that would naturally come is what is currently happening.

“And the best solution is for Abba Yusuf to reverse his decision. Yes, you said once a Bill is signed into law, nobody can change it. But law is made for the people not for itself or any VIP alone. If you make a law that you know is causing crisis in your community or state, what are you supposed to do? You that know the process that you used that gave you that law also know the way to retrace the process to repeal it.

“It is not late for you to listen to the voice of reason, ask Sanusi to return to his position as Leader of Jama’atul Tijaniyyah of Nigeria and let Emir Aminu Ado Bayero now move on from his Nasarawa Palace to the main Kofar Kudu Main Palace to continue with his duty as noiseless, respectful, peace loving and very effective Emir of Kano,” he said.

‘On Sanusi, no going back’

His position was, however, countered by another source from the camp of the governor, who said, “There is no point in that. Whoever is he that told you this should know that Emir Sanusi has come to the palace and there will be no going back. I am NNPP supporter and I support the decision of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf to reinstate Emir Sanusi. Well, I am not angry to see some people having opposing views to mine and I know that we are many in this. Supporters of both Emirs cut across political parties’ support groups. We have APC and NNPP supporters among us but Kano is our Kano, let Sanusi sit on,” he said.

Achieving a peaceful Kano requires a reversal – Kogo Umar

Alhaji Mainasara Kogo Umar, Member, Kogo Royal Dynasty in Katsina, while speaking in an interview on Arise Television, refused to agree with people or reporters that call Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero ‘deplosed Emir’. He said he is not deposed.

According to him, “Let me start with the clip I just watched. They are talking about the need for reinstatement of Emir Aminu Ado Bayero as deposed Emir. Those two statements are wrong. Number one, Ado Bayero is not deposed, number two there is no question of reinstatement. Let me clinically astray and analyse these whole things in summary.

“First of all the state Assembly decided to abrogate the law that establish the four additional Emirate Councils in Kano State. They have the right to do it under Section 4 and 11 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. But there is a fundament breach there because under Section 14 sub-Section 1 Sovereignty belongs to the people and there is a fundamental thing in legislative practice, what is called Public Hearing.

“They deliberately omitted Public Hearing in that exercise and as a result of which some people rushed to the court, demanded that the implementation of the outcome of that exercise should be halted by the court. That was what led to the issue of court order restraining the implementation of that particular legislation.

“Now in that, whenever there is any court order, you must respect the hegemony of the institution of the judiciary. Under Section 6, Section 230 to 304 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, where you are not in consonance with a court order, the best thing for you to do is, first of all, to implement the order, secondly you go and challenge or vacate the court order. That is the thing you should do in decorum not to refusal to respect the court order, Mainasara Umar said.

He continued, “Now, in flagrant refusal to respect the court order, a notice of 48 hours injunction was given to the Emirs that they should leave the palaces within the period of 48 hours which is a misnomer because the Emirs are entitled to be informed what are the articles of their offence first to merit that t they should evict themselves within 48 hours. They have not been informed up till this moment what are the articles of their offence, they have not been informed.

“And apart from that, they have the sanctity of fundamental rights to be guaranteed by the government for them. Under Sections 33, 34, 35 up to Section 44 they have the leverage fundamental rights. It is Section 34 that talks about the respect for human dignity. They ought to be given their respect till reasonable time with which they should be able to pack their things and get out of the monarchs’ houses.

“And that notwithstanding, His Excellency the Governor of Kano decided to consult, that was the word used, the kingmakers. He should have allowed the kingmakers to do the exercise by selecting the three candidates that would be presented before His Excellency the Governor out of which the Governor has the leverage to decide who he wanted.

“But the Governor decided to consult them, in his own statement on Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, which makes the whole thing uni-central to a particular person and uni-central to a particular person is contrary to Sections 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23 and 24 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that talks about the impossibility of you to derogate some other people in favour of another person in the context of the management of affairs in Nigeria.

“And immediately that one was done, without even giving His Highness Sanusi Lamido Sanusi the staff of office, he now directed that he should quickly go and start performing as the monarch and at the same time, simultaneously, issued order of arrest to His Highness the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero.”

He said, “Now, it is in that context Aminu Bayero now requested for protection of the fundamental rights for self defence and for giving him the adequacy of security which under Section 14 sub-Section 2 (states that) security is the most primary responsibility of the government. And under Section 214 to 218 security is what should be guaranteed to the citizens. And the President and Commander-in-Chief under Section 130 of the Constitution and under Section 153 and under Section has the responsibility to restore law and order.

Therefore, my take is that, if this brouhaha continues like this, then definitely, the President will be compelled to invoke State of Emergency so as to bring about stability, civility, order, decorum and sanity in the affairs of Kano as it is going on currently,” Umar said.

Investigations revealed that all the controversies that have surrounded the reinstatement of Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II are not so because Sanusi is not qualified but because the context by which Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf achieved the latest action is against the establishment of Kano Emirate system and smacks more of ambiguity laced with direct disposition towards self-centeredness, politically, and if it is allowed to stand, the entire traditional institution in Nigeria should forget the honour and respect they are known to have as the political class will have completely succeeded in destroying it by such action.

Only few days ago, a video was circulated showing Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun sitting down and nonchalantly listening to and discussing with a traditional ruler with a crown on his head but who was on his kneels while the governor was talking to him sitting on high seat. To show that the governor knew what he was doing, one politico-religious man called ‘Biobaku’ came and the governor stood up in apparent display of the kind respect that he failed to give to the Oba.

In conclusion, it was gathered that, despite the make-believe crowd showing up at the Kofar Kudu main palace, His Royal Highness Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, a non-activist leader with knowledge, understanding and regard for royalty and traditional institution, remains the sitting Emir of Kano not Sanusi II.  This was adduced as reason he is the one being guarded by security agents at his Nasarawa Palace near the Government House as the reinstatement of former Nigeria’s CBN Governor threatens the peace and unity of Kano as a kingdom and a federation unit.


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