Kano: How Kwankwaso Laid The Foundation For Emir Sanusi’s Dethronement

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By Suleiman Umaru

Between April 2014 and  Monday, March 9,  2020, Muhammadu Sanusi, a former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN , and now deposed Emir of Kano , never knew peace. This is because of the circumstances that led to his selection by the King makers   and subsequent appointment as the Emir of Kano by  Rabiu Kwankwaso, a former governor of the state in 2014 .

He was said to be the most unpopular Candidate among the six contenders for the position including the most  favoured and qualified among them, Aminu Ado Bayero, son of  Ado Bayero,the late Emir of the Ancient City. The Pressure on Kwankwaso, the All Progressive Congress, APC,  former governor of the state  became pronounced that he was  forced to speak out stressing that the ‘’decision was final and and could not be changed   by anybody’’.   

Note that in anger Ado Bayero’s supporters were aid to have taken to the to the street to protest the selection of Sanusi as the Emir of Kano by the state government . The anger in the face of the protesters, according to sources, was very revealing as they defied all odds to match to the government House to confront Kwankwaso, the state governor,  but were stopped by fierce looking soldiers and policemen who were said to have been  armed to the teeth.

 An aggrieved Kwankwaso had   accused the former President Goodluck Jonathan  of instigating the protest against the state government over the choice of Sanusi, the former CBN, governor  as the Emir of Kano but that was how far he could go.

Recall that the former CBN, governor had told those that cares to listen that  his life ambition was  to be the Emir of Kano.  It was not surprising why he used his enormous wealth to pursue the ambition to its logical conclusion.

  Towards quitting the apex Bank job  in 2014 after a fallout with  the former President and his subsequent suspension and eventual  replacement with Godwin Emefiele, he offered himself to be the Emir of Kano. Bank sources said he lost  his  job after  he had accused  the  Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, of remitting $20 billion to state coffers. He was said to have written the  former President Jonathan stating  that the Corporation also failed to remit  $9.8 billion from crude oil sales into the Federation account.      The matter was said to have dragged on to the Senate.

Many believe that Sanusi may have   accepted he appointment as the Emir of Kano  in a bid to avoid a probe of his five years in office as the governor of the CBN by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, at the instance of the Presidency.

Critics  knew that his tenure as the Emir of Kano would be short-lived  if Abdullahi Gandunje, a former Deputy governor  and political ally of Kwankwaso if he  succeeds him as the  governor of state  in  the2015 election.   Insiders told The Value News learnt that  Gandunje had never hidden his opposition to the Kingmakers selection of Sanusi and subsequent  as the Emir of Kano by Kwankwaso, the then governornor of the state, insisting that he was the rightful person.  

It was not surprising that  when he won the 2015, governoship  election in the state , he started perfecting his plans  to  break the wings and reduce the influence of Sanusi, the Emir of Kano in the state. He was said to have used the APC dominated House of Assembly to  actualise his plan.

As a prelude to frustrating the dethroned Emir and whittle down his powers, he had balkanised Kano Emirate Council by carving out four additional Councils: Rano, Bichi, Gaya and Karaye, thus bringing the number of Emirate Council in the Ancient City to five, including Kano.

Abdullahi Gandunje: Governor of Kano State, Plotted Sanusi’s Fall

The newly carved out Emirate Councils were place under the control  of different Emirs with equal powers to the Emir of Kano. The Emir of , Kano, was allowed to maintain his position as the Chairman, Kano Council of Chiefs to keep his respect. Despite balkanising the Kano Emirate Council into five,  Ganduje   was said to have moved a step further to plot the removal of Sanusi II, as the Emir of Kano and banish him to another northern  state to spend the rest of his life .

 The Value News online learnt that when it became obvious that Sanusi 11, the  embattled  Emir of Kano , would not survive the plot with the backing  of the state Lawmakers  and the Emirs of the newly carved out  Emirate Councils, Ganduje and his foot soldiers were said to have   reached out to one  or two APC , northern state  governors to provide a facility to accommodate   Sanusi II, who is on his way out as the Emir of Kano. It was gathered that only Abdullahi Sule, an Engineer and governor of Nasarawa state, agreed to provide  such a facility for him in one of the local government Areas of the stae.

It was not surprising why Gandunje and his political allies started working on their plot to remove Sanusi II,as the Emir of Kano and banish him to a distant Nasarawa state to spend the rest of his life.  Aware of the happenings at the  Kano Emirate Council, coupled with  Complaints  and petitions  written against  the Emir  by aggrieved persons which the governor considered weighty, he had set up a Public Complaints  and Anti-corruption Commission ,PCACC to investigation the  allegations.

The probe panel which has a mandate  to probe a suspected  N2.2 billion land scam and spending of the Palace budgetary allocations over the last five years  was headed by one Muhyi Magaji Rimngado. The governor and his political allies  knew from the onset that  the Emir would fight back but were fully prepared  to force him out of the Palace  and install another  Emir  of Kano.   

 Political watchers believe that the state governor was merely acting out a script from political forces both at the Federal and state level ,  the opposed to the Emir  because of his outspokenness and criticisms of a decadent traditional Institution and political structure that had brought backwardness, in terms of education and development to the 19 northern states of the Federation.

His traducers fear   that with the way he was running the traditional Institution in the state with his reformist and radical approach to issues of state importance he might destroy the Institution and the only way out is to stop him. The process of removing the former Emir which started in Gandunje’s first term in office was said to have culminated in this second term.

In announcing his removal as the Emir of Kano on Monday March 9, 2020, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, the Secretary to the state government attributed it and his subsequent replacement to total lack of respect for Lawful instructions from the office of the governor.

Political watchers believe that the governor and his political allies were merely acting out a script to remove the former  Emir over his growing influence in the state and for fusing to throw his  weight  for h reeis lection bid in 2019 .The analysts believe that Aminu, the son of the late Ado Bayero, who was  incidentally a former Emir of Kano, had been prepared to take over from Sanusi II, when he was installed as the Emir of Bichi, one of the newly carved out Emirate Council from Kano Emirate.

It was not surprising that when the former Emir was deposed, he was quickly  named him  as a replacement  and the next occupant of the Emir’s Palace in Kano.

 Eyewitness account disclosed that heavily armed  police personnel were quickly deployed to the deposed Emir’s Palace to force him out. He was said to have been arrested and taken to an undisclosed location where his Lawyers and family members could not reach him.

Insiders confirmed that when it was time to take him to his new home in Nasarawa state from the hidden location  he was put into a vehicle and other backup vehicles  provided by the state government amidst tight security for the jorney. The security personnel were said to have taken him to the  first facility  provided for him by the Nasarawa government at Loko local  government  Area of the s but lack of facilities  forced  the government to take him to another  facility at Awe local government under heavy security.

Not many are surprised at the treatment being meted out to Sanusi, the dethroned Emir of Kano. Muhammadu Sanusi I, his grand father and a one- time  Emir of Kano, was said to have been  deposed by Ahmadu Bello, the Premier of the old  northern region in 163 and banished him to Azare, Headquarters of Katagun  Local government in Bauch state, north  east geopolitical region.

In taking the decision to remove Sanusi I, as the Emir of Kano, Bello was said to have contacted late Abubakar  Tafawa Balewa, the then Prime minister and some other   powerful ministers from the old northern region  including the Late shehu Shagari,  who later became President of Nigeria in 1979. They were said to have  kicked against  to to avoid throwing Kano into crisis. The banished Emir  was said to have died in 1984 and buried in Azare.

This may have informed why people  believe including kwankwaso, a former Kano state governor, that Ganduje, could not have taken the decision to depose Sanusi, without informing President Muhammadu Buhari, of the ruling APC

. But Garba Shehu, a senior Special Assistant to the Katsina state born Nigerian President on Media and Publicity has enjoined Nigerians to keep the President out of the Kano crisis that led to the dethronement of Sanusi as the Emir of Kano by the state government.

The Presidential Media Aide insists that the President  was not involved in anyway, directly or indirectly in the dethronement of HRH Muhammadu Lamido Sanusi, the former CBN, governor as the Emir of Kano. Shehu, who could not hide his feelings  averred  that the President does  not have a’’ history  of intervening  in the  affairs of any state in the country unless it is of national importance.

Olusegun Obasanjo: Sanusi’s Removal A Bad News

According to him the appointment or removal of an  Emir or any other  Traditional ruler across the country falls within the Constitutional powers of the state governors and therefore has nothing to do with the Presidency.

Olusegun Obasanjo, a former President described Sanusi’s removal as the Emir of the Kano by the Kano state Executive Council as both sad and good  news. The retired Army General who could not hide his feelings in a letter sent to the deposed Emir said ‘’it is sad because it is undeserved’’, stressing that ‘’it is good because he has paid the price’’ for be outspoken against the system.

Advising the deposed Emir to continue  on the path he had chosen for himself , he noted that ‘’it is in the best interest of the country and humanity’’.

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