Last week, we discussed this vexed issue. Today, we shall continue and finalise same with the emergence of Sanusi as Emir and the beginning of his travails. Read on.
SANUSI’S EMERGENCE AS EMIR AND HIS TRAVIALS
After the Kano House of Assembly hurriedly passed a bill on a Monday for the creation of additional Emirates from Kano (balkanization is a better term), the bill was passed into law with the speed of lighting by Tuesday and by Wednesday, it was assented to by the governor. By Thursday, the law had been gazetted. Such acceleration of the speed of passage of the bill was nothing but evil machination geared towards political vendetta against and witch-hunt of the Emir. It was meant to reduce his influence and gag him.
Nigerians have never heard of Ganduje or any governor for that matter passing bills for the people’s welfare with such “automatic alacrity”. When it comes to political vendetta, the APC government takes the diadem. As is characteristic of the APC-led administration, the governor immediately disregarded a court order, restraining him from acting and presented letters to the newly-appointed Emirs, under the pretence that he was yet to be served with the court order. Remember crass disobedience to court orders running to four years in the cases of Col Sambo Dasuki, El Zazaky, et all? Surely, this is a government that reveres impunity, vindictiveness, intolerance of opposition and dissenting voices. When Emir Sanusi disobeyed Jonathan severally, APC and its chieftains clapped and egged him on. But GEJ never as much as disturbed his emirate or whittled down his imperious powers, aside suspending him as Governor of CBN. The APC had kicked against this.
If this satanic incursion and balkanization of Kano Emirate stands, it means that the Emirate which hitherto was the biggest in Northern Nigeria, will now host an Emir Muhammadu Sanusi, in control of 10 out of the 44 local government areas (LGAs) of the state.
THE UNFORGIVABLE “SINS” OF EMIR SANUSI
The Monarch’s greatest “sin” that led to the balkanization of the Emirate can be traced to 2017. He had first major issue with the state governor when he criticized him for embarking on a jamboree trip to China.
His other “sins,” included blaming the federal government for its inability to end terrorism and poverty, as well as the government’s lukewarm attitude towards the plight of almajiris. Others were the assertive Monarch’s condemnation of early marriages among the elite; and government’s inability to address abuse of drug use among the youths.
Sanusi also allegedly stepped on the governor’s big toes when he (Sanusi) sent his daughter to represent him at an event in Abuja. The young lady was reproached for attending the occasion without a veil, which they consider reprehensible to the norms, culture and religious nuances of the North.
In a bid to intimidate and silence the embattled monarch, Ganduje’s government cooked up allegations of misappropriation of certain Emirate funds and subsequently instituted a committee to probe his expenditures. It was later revealed that the committee sent its findings to the State Assembly, with the sole aim of prosecuting Sanusi in court.
It took the intervention of prominent Nigerians to resolve what would have been the first ridicule the Emir, as the report of the committee was quietly swept under the carpet and the matter resolved.
Trouble again reared its ugly head after the governorship election. Although the ruling APC or the state government has not come out with any official statement on the alleged involvement of Emir Sanusi in politics, feelers show that Ganduje verily believed the embattled emir supported the PDP candidate, Abba Yusuf. The alleged intervention of business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, to pacify the governor to rescind his decision to ridicule this most revered traditional institution, was said to have yielded only three Orwellian from the governor. First, resign; second, he will be prosecuted if he refused to resign; and third, balkanization of the Emirate must be executed.
Some allegations had it that he romanced the opposition, particularly how he gave directive to some District Heads to vote for the PDP, but that unknown to him, some of the them ignored the directive and reported to the governor.
History has a way of repeating itself. Recall that the late Ado Bayero had suffered the same fate as Emir Sanusi. In 1980, the former governor of the state, Abubakar Rimi, had created five emirates and banned the late Emir from travelling outside the city.
The creation of the emirates at the time was, however, met with massive protests by the citizens of Kano, who felt the balkanization of emirate was politically-motivated, just like the current one.
The protesters stormed the residence of Bala Mohammed (husband of Najaatu Mohammed), who was the Special Adviser to Governor Rimi on Political Affairs at the time, and set him and his residence ablaze.
The death of the erstwhile Adviser shocked the entire nation but nothing was done to reverse the decision until 1983, when Sabo Bakin Zuwo defeated Rimi to clinch the governorship ticket. One of the first things Bakin Zuwo did on assumption of office was to dissolve the new emirates created by his predecessor (Rimi).
Almost 40 years after that incident, history seems to be repeating itself. Today, Kano Emirate has been balkanized into five and already. Emirs have been appointed and redeployed to their respective emirates. Nigerians are carefully watching whether the present emirate will suffer the same fate as the previous ones created by late Abubakar Rimi.
Meanwhile, the Monarch, who was away when his Emirate was balkanized was greeted with a rousing welcome on his return at the airport. That was a display of uncommon love by his subjects who decided to remain supportive in the mist of his travails. The Ganduje government must have been greatly embarrassed.
Does president Buhari have a hand in Sanusi’s travails? Nigerians are divided on this. Many have argued that royal fathers should shun partisan politics. But, what if a monarch’s intervention is for the good of his suffering subjects, being nearest to the grassroot? Should he allow sycophancy or hypocrisy to breed selective amnesia into national political discourse? It is common knowledge that, before his ascension to the throne in 2014, the same Sanusi, as the then Governor of Central Bank, was hailed by the then opposition ranks for harassing President Goodluck Jonathan. As Emir, Sanusi equally did not hide his sympathy for Buhari’s opposition candidacy in 2015. Everything was sweet then. What has changed?
The Kano emirate crisis mirrors a distressing future. It is Kano today; but it can be any other Nigerian kingdom tomorrow. Unless President Buhari is crisis-delighted, he should immediately call Governor Abdullahi Ganduje to order. The splitting of Kano emirate is a terrible waste of task-payers’ money as it will increase overhead cost and the abject penury that is deeply rooted in the state as a result of unemployment, ignorance and the alarmingly uncontrolled population growth which is on an alarming rate.
AND THIS WHEN ILLEGALITY DOES NOT PAY
What the Supreme Court did on May 24, 2019, in the APC v Senator Marafa and Others in the Zamfara State imbroglio is meant to deepen, widen and strengthen democracy and our democratic precepts. It shows that parties must maintain internal democracy. They cannot whimsically, capriciously and arbitrarily operate outside their own Constitution, guidelines, the Electoral Act and the Constitution. The Supreme Court has redefined our laws and legal jurisprudence, showing that when a party destroys its own primaries, through imposition of Aspirants, because of rabid preferences, it can never be allowed to reap the proceeds of its illegalities. That is why and how the PDP that came second during the National and Zamfara State elections has now produced the Governor, all Senators, all House of Representatives and all House of Assembly members as winners in one fell swoop. I am quite happy and fulfilled that I handled and won these cases both at the Court of Appeal, Sokoto Division, and at the Supreme Court. However, all thanks, glory, honour and full adoration belong to God Almighty.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
“The glory of justice and the majesty of law are created not just by the Constitution – nor by the courts – nor by the officers of the law – nor by the lawyers – but by the men and women who constitute our society – who are the protectors of the law as they are themselves protected by the law”. (Robert Kennedy).
Nigerians, thank you for keeping faith with the Sunday Sermon on the Mount of the Nigerian Project by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, FCIArb, Ph.D, LL.D, even as you await the next explosive dissertation.
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