The creation of four additional emirate councils in Kano by the executive governor of the state, Abdullahi Ganduje and their elevation to first class chiefs on the excuse of facilitating rural development in the grassroots has been viewed by many as a desperate attempt by the governor to whittle down the influence of the current Emir whose loquacious nature has led him into publicly disparaging the governors many economic policies.
The creation of these emirate councils is ridden with political undertones with key players outside the Kano political geography. An investigation carried out by TheNigerian News revealed that while Ganduje is on the news and seen playing the politics of cutting Emir Sanusi Lamido to size, the bulk of the decision was signed and sealed in Abuja. Ganduje just acted a script beautifully written and sold to the cabal by an insider in Abuja politics. Ganduje was appointed on the grounds of common interest to execute the plans.
This claim is further strengthened by the fact that the Kano emirate council whose origin dates back to 1805, a rich cultural heritage cannot be meddled with without approval by the political schemers in the capital.
Similarly, in the 1980s during the administration of Abubakar Rimi in Kano state. The governor who came to power on the platform of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) in 1979, a party that led the political radicalism in Kano state. According to the Sawaba declaration of 1959, political radicalism is the conscious effort to bridge the class distinction between the aristocrats and the talakawa.
The talakawa (poor majority) favoured the party owing to the history of Kano state politics which is driven by the talakas. When Rimi and the then political leader of the state, Mallam Aminu Kano had a face-off which caused a division in the PRP, Kano chapter into the “tabbo” and the “Santsi” with the court’s recognition of the group led by revered Mallam Kano as the authentic PRP of the state, Rimi took desperate steps to pry into the hearts of the talakas and his first move was to whittle down the aristocratic class.
He went against the then Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, created three more emirate councils of Gaya, Rano and Dutse and elevated them into first class emirs. He also elevated some district heads of Hedejia, Gumel and Kazaure who were hitherto under the Kano state emirate into first class chiefs. He declared to the chagrin of political onlookers and lovers of our rich traditional heritage in a famous interview he granted in Ibadan that the Emir of Kano is a public officer whose appointment and dethronement is at the pleasure of the governor.
The Emirs were inaugurated but their reign was shortlived largely due to the disinterest of the National Party of Nigerian (NPN) government led by late Shehu Shagari at the centre. A violent protest erupted in the state. The state House of Assembly was invaded with many vital documents destroyed. The enraged protesters went against organizations they felt were articulating government propaganda against the Emir, Triumph newspaper office in Kano and that of Radio Kano were reduced to ashes and Dr Bala Mohammed, a lecturer in Bayero University, Kano and a veteran journalist who was the political adviser to the governor and believed to be writing the whitepaper for the Emir’s removal was murdered.
About 34 persons died in that violent protest. The federal government was unperturbed and stood aloof in the face of this as even the judicial commission of enquiry led by Justice E. A. Fernandez reported that the police watched while these rampaging thugs went on causing mayhem and destroying properties in that protest without intervening.
Even the apparent dislike of Emir Ado Bayero by the then Governor of Kano, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso did not lead to the removal of the Emir. Though it is believed that the threat of the Kwankwasiyya govt to create two additional emirate councils in Kano led the late Ado Bayero who immediately developed a heart attack to his death.
The greatest fear of the Emirs has always been whittling down their powers and influence. Political players, meanwhile, have exploited this to cow and bring them to doing their biddings.
The success Ganduje has recorded so far is attributed to the cooperation and support of Abuja allegedly brokered by the minister of interior, A.B Dambazzau. The retired Army senior officer who is of a royal family is believed to be powering the engine house in Abuja so that the governor would be able to conclude the process without any weighty oppositions.
It is shocking that Emir Lamido who was the love bird of the APC and whose claims of a missing $12billion played an invaluable role in the removal of the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2015 would come under an attack by the same government of APC. This only proves that the Emir might be for everybody and belong to nobody. He speaks for the masses.