Kano Emirate Saga: Ganduje Treading On Wrong Constitutional Path


One of the most widely debated topics trending all week in Nigeria has been the creation of four new emirates by the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje. Although many politicians and highly placed individuals in the country have had their say on the matter, it will be ideal to take you down memory lane as to how all this began.

During the inauguration of the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II as the 14th monarch, the past Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwakwanso stated that Muhammad Sanusi II was the best person to ascend the throne and he trusted him to drive development and bring his public experience to assist the state government to function well. Fast forward to when the present governor of Kano State was elected into power; it has been a tale of unending back and forth with Muhammad Sanusi II. From public reprimands and subtle jibes to unending counter statements and remarks by both individuals. Many Nigerians are of the opinion that the straw that finally broke the camel’s back was the preference by Emir Sanusi II to have Abba Kabir, Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship candidate as governor of the state as opposed to Umar Ganduje.

It will be recalled that the issue of having new emirs did not just spring up overnight as records show that this same attempt has been thought of and almost implemented but for the timely intervention of Alhaji Aliko Dangote. Following the departure of Emir Sanusi II on a London trip, the move by the Kano State House of Assembly to swiftly pass the readings for the installation of four new emirs graced the headlines of all major news outlets in the country. The bill which speedily passed the first and second readings was implemented into law by Governor Ganduje. Some might even say that the swift action might have triggered the Emir of Kano State, Muhammad Sanusi II to cut his London trip short and return back to the country.

Coincidentally, the event of Emir Sanusi’s return from London almost took over the headlines during the presentation of the staff of office to the four new emirs. In an event that should have created wide jubilation and celebrations, the presentation was hampered few hours after when a high court order annulling the appointment and installation of the new emirs surfaced on the news. Meanwhile, in the capital of Kano State, the Emir, Muhammad Sanusi II was received to a hero’s welcome.

Although many politicians and highly influenced Nigerians have had their say on this matter, The News Chronicle went out on the streets and gathered some reactions of Nigerians from diverse tribes on the subject. According to Mohammed Musa, a barber and resident of Abuja, he noted that the move by Governor Ganduje to install four new emirs without the consent of Emir Sanusi II was a very wrong one. He further stated that although the governor is the ruler of the state, he has no constitutional right to tamper with tradition that has been in existence since our forefathers. He noted that there must be more to Governor Ganduje’s swift actions and this should be what Nigerians should look into. In his words, he said that “there is more to it that meets the human eye because the governor cannot just wake up one morning and decide to install four emirs without Emir Sanusi II’s consent”.

Also addressing the subject, The News Chronicle’s media team ran into Mr. Daowudu Gidado, a businessman and resident of Abuja who blatantly criticized the Governor for his actions. “Actually it is not a good idea and it was a bad move by the governor because it is not in consonant with the tradition of the emirate. You know this is a very historic place that has been for decades now and all my life, I have not heard or seen anyone suggest or opine that they can share the emirate with anybody” he said. He further noted that the move by Governor Ganduje was first unconstitutional according to tradition and second, the move to create four new emirates was not going to last. He went further to give an example of the similarity of such circumstances with the case of Ibadan, Oyo State. Similarly, he concurred that if it was on the approval of the Emir to have sub emirates in the state, it was allowed but for the governor to wake up one morning in view of spiting Sanusi II by creating four new emirs, it was very wrong and unconstitutional.

Another resident in Abuja simply going by the name of Jack categorically stated that the actions of Governor Ganduje are not right because he has altered tradition and history with the installation of four new emirs. He noted that “despite the governor being who he is in his capacity, he is not the supreme ruler of the state. The Emir of Kano has his own right to implement laws and call for the creation of new emirates without the governor’s interference but what Governor Ganduje did, I do not support it”.

Have Nigerians heard the last of this subject yet? It is too soon to say but the upcoming week should make things clearer. Stay tuned to The News Chronicle‘s Twitter handle (@News Chronicle_) as we will be having a Tweet Chat on this subject next week.


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