Going, Going…Who Will Save the ‘Almighty’ Emir of Kano from Governor Ganduje?

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Going, Going…Who Will Save the ‘Almighty’ Emir of Kano from Governor Ganduje?

Going, Going…Who Will Save the ‘Almighty’ Emir of Kano from Governor Ganduje?
May 07
16:28 2019

… Who Blinks First As Ganduje Perfects Plans to Remove the Emir?

One moment, the Emir of Kano, the Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is all strident and swashbuckling, speaking about the ills of the polity and particularly, his beloved, Kano State. The next moment, he is cowered, silent and scared of the next eventuality. That, perhaps, sums up the current state of the powerful Emir. Indeed, it seems just like eons ago that he wore his verbal ‘anyhowness’ on his sleeves, which may have been subdued as he now lives under the dangling sword of a potential deposition, a consequence of his estrangement with the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje.

Regarded as possessing one of Nigeria’s finest and most fertile minds, Sanusi’s irreverent volubility came to the fore when he served as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. He would go down as one of the most popular persons to occupy that office on account of his audacity in speaking truth to power, anytime, anywhere. In 2013, Sanusi raised the alarm over an alleged unremitted $49.8 billion to the Federation Account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which the corporation denied. He later put the figure at $12 billion while NNPC said it was $10.8 billion.

The matter did not end there. Sanusi went public again, putting the figure at $20 billion. There were many such ‘politically incorrect’ statements and he was suspended in February 2014 by former President Goodluck Jonathan. Four months later, Sanusi was enthroned as the 14th Emir of Kano after the death of his grand-uncle, Ado Bayero. Ganduje was then the Deputy Governor of Kano State who later became substantive Governor in May 2015.

However, bearing criticisms with equanimity is not one of Ganduje’s strong suits. Yet, Sanusi would not stop talking. When Sanusi criticised the award of contracts to Chinese companies by the state government and queried the governor on his frequent foreign trips, the dice was cast between them. Soon, Ganduje bared his fangs when he caused the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission to investigate the misappropriation of N6billion by the Kano Emirate Council “without the approval of the state government.”

The Kano State House of Assembly also inaugurated an eight-member committee to investigate the allegations following a motion of urgent public importance raised by a member. Sanusi hastily denied the allegation via a press conference by the Emirate Council. Surprisingly, both probes were suspended when the governor wrote to the Assembly stating that Sanusi had demonstrated genuine contrition during the reconciliation session convened by the Northern Governors’ Forum in Kaduna State and “admitted all his mistakes and tendered an apology.”

He added that prominent Nigerians like Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Senate President, Bukola Saraki; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; former military president, Ibrahim Babangida; former head of state, Abdulsalami Abubakar; Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar; billionaire businessmen, Aliko Dangote and Alhaji Aminu Dantata, among others had also pleaded on behalf of the monarch. Thereafter, calm returned to the state until electioneering for 2019 began and Sanusi reportedly pandered towards Abba Kabiru Yusuf, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. Yusuf is the son-in-law to the former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, with whom Ganduje had publicly fallen out with.

Ganduje narrowly won the re-run election via a controversial supplementary election but it was obvious that he could have lost because he didn’t get the desired support from the Emir. After he was declared winner, his supporters destroyed the portraits of the Emir in Government House. From that moment, even the blind could see that Sanusi’s reign had become endangered and would be anything but smooth. Yesterday, Monday, news emerged that the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission has reopened investigation into the expenditure of the state emirate council under Sanusi II. Also, during plenary yesterday, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, read a letter from one Ibrahim Salisu and others, seeking the creation of new Kano emirates in Karaye, Bichi, Rano and Gaya. This, sources said, was a move to break the Kano Emirate into smaller units and decimate the power of the Emir, which is reminiscent of what Abiola Ajimobi, the outgoing governor of Oyo State, did to the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, by approving 21 beaded kings for Ibadan, recently. Incidentally, Ganduje and Ajimobi are in-laws.

Considering that nobody wants to be on the wrong side of the government, it is unclear if the same prominent Nigerians that interceded for the Emir would still do so given that on several occasions, he had publicly criticised the president for his alleged ineptitude.


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