By Sama Dagasoye
At last, Kano state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, finally opened the bitter pill of pandora’s box by creating four additional emirates and four first class emirs in a move aimed at weakening the power of Kano Emirate and the paramount ruler of the state Muhammad Sanusi II in particular.
Governor Ganduje’s re-election was marred by electoral violence allegedly sponsored by the governor.
It could be recalled, armed men armed with machetes, knives and cudgels took over polling stations, assaulting observers and journalists in Kano and it was this act that Emir Sanusi reportedly condemned which earned him the enmity of the governor.
Now the fight begins
Since then, the fight begun, ‘’ you know the governor is on coalition course with the emir over his refusal to help him (the incumbent governor) rig in the just concluded gubernatorial elections in the state,’’ a source said.
Credible sources familiar with the situation argued that “ The governor felt Sanusi’s call for free and fair elections in the state was an affront on his plans to return to office and that it means he was backing the opposition PDP candidate in the last governorship election, Abba Yusuf.’’
To settle the scores, Ganduje sought the approval of the state House of Assembly to create more emirates in the state.
Although the governor did not officially initiate the move, insiders said the governor had earlier held meeting with principal officers of the Kano State House of Assembly, during which the idea of making the move by proxy was hatched.
“The governor wanted to whittle down the influence of Emir Sanusi, so he created the rival emirates and put them on the same level,” said another source.
“The first plan is that they now want to probe how he (Sanusi II) is spending emirate funds as they did before” the source revealed.
On the May 7th, 2019, the Kano state Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission swung into action and opened a fresh probe on the alleged financial mismanagement in Kano Emirate Council under the watch of Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II.
The commission invited two of the Emirs uncles and brothers to appear before it on Thursday; they are to answer questions on what they know over alleged financial scandal rocking the Kano Emirate Council.
The source further that, the second step is to “pick up the account details and then give it to the media to embarrass Sanusi and use that as a basis to dethrone him”.
The third step, “is to create new emirate councils that will serve as a bulwark against the Emir”, and within two days only, the State House of Assembly on Wednesday to be precise passed the law establishing four additional emirates and four first class emirs in the state.
The new law, seen by journalists, provides for rotational chairmanship of the state council of traditional rulers among the emirs.
This controversial law, initiated on Monday, passed first reading on Tuesday, and then scaled through second and third reading on Wednesday.
“There is no opposition in the House. Those against the law have walked out,” one of the members who preferred anonymity has said.
According to the law, the emirates are Kano Emirate, Rano Emirate, Gaya Emirate, Karaye Emirate and Bichi Emirates.
A similar move was made about four decades ago by the late former governor of Kano State, Abubakar Rimi, when he created more emirates in the early 80s to settle scores with the late Emir Ado Bayero. But the emirates did not last long as the succeeding administration of Sabo Bakinzuwo dissolved them in 1983.
Well for now there were mixed reactions with many unanswered questions as Governor Ganduje is also enmeshed in a huge bribery scandal which has cast a question on his integrity and the anti-corruption agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration
On October 15, 2018, there was a viral video of Gov. Ganduje receiving a kickback from contractors surfaced but as at the time of filing this report the state lawmakers are yet to pass verdict.
Shortly after the video, the Kano State Government revoked three contracts awarded to Tiamin Multi Services Ltd, a company belonging to Aminu Mohammed.
Mr. Mohammed is believed to be the contractor behind the videos showing the state governor Ganduje receiving kickbacks in US dollars from one of the contractors. The three projects were worth N1.6 billion.
President Buhari’s reacting to the clip while responding to question in the build-up to the 2019 general elections said: “That clip, somebody brought it to me of how the Kano Governor was receiving dollars and smiling and putting it in his pocket.
“I don’t know the extent of technology used and I can’t answer now because the state assembly has gone to court I decided not to talk about it, and the state assembly constitutionally could have dealt with that but then I heard the matter was taken to court,” Buhari said.
Will Lamido Adamawa, Other emirs survived?
Already the Kano pandorax’s box has sent a shiver down spine of many traditional rulers who were alleged to have supported defeated candidates in the just concluded elections.
A political pundit, Josiah Musa recalls that, ‘’ I can tell you that the Kano’s unfortunate saga has since sent shivers down the spine of our royal fathers who were alleged to have openly supported defeated outgoing governors, particularly in Adamawa and Bauchi.
‘’ For instance, here in Adamawa, it was an opened secret that some of our royal fathers had supported some candidates.
‘’ It was on media that with due respect,the Lamido Adamawa, Alhaji Muhammadu Barkindo-Mustafa, the powerful monarch of the home state of Atiku Abubakar, has endorsed his rival, President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term, appealing to all Nigerians that Buhari needs more time to actualise his dream for the country.
‘’ I can recall vividly during Buhari’s campaign tour at his palace here the words of the royal father ‘Mr. President there is no doubt that much has been achieved during your present tenure, but certainly you need more time to actualise your dream for a better Nigeria.’
‘’ This in interpretative journalism, what does it mean? Open endorsement?
‘’ In late November 2018, the Lamido installed Atiku as the 7th Wazirin of Adamawa, a chieftaincy position that ought to earn Atiku the political sympathy of the monarch!
‘’ Not only that, in the governorship elections, district heads and other ward heads were ordered to campaign and support the defeated incumbent governor.
‘’ Now an opposition candidate of the PDP, Fintiri has won. So, how do you think the incoming governor will look at these traditional institutions?’’ Musa asks.
The pundit further warned that,’’ It’s very unfortunate that our hitherto revered traditional rulers are being dragged into the murky water of politics to the extent of open support and endorsement; they ought to respect their titles of royal fathers of all.’’
For now, with what happened in Kano, only time shall tell what will befall in near future time!