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The amendment of the existing chieftaincy law was at the instance of a petition filed by one Ibrahim Chambers who argued that some traditional rulers in Kano State ought to be elevated to the status of emirs.
Many believe that the move to create more emirate councils in Kano State is a ploy by the Umar Ganduje-led government to reduce the influence of the Kano Emirate, currently headed by Muhammad Sanusi, former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Ganduje and Sanusi are reported to have fallen out over yet to be disclosed issues. A probe is currently underway by the Kano State anti-corruption agency into the finances of the Kano Emirate, a move, many believe, is targeted at removing Sanusi from the throne.
Reports say Sanusi did not support Ganduje’s bid to be re-elected for a second term in office. In the February governorship election in the state, Ganduje lost significantly in Kano metropolis, an area largely controlled by the Emir of Kano.
The governorship election was majorly between Ganduje and Abba Kabiru Yusuf of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who had the support of his father-in-law, former Governor Rabiu Kwankwanso.
It was a closely contested poll that required a supplementary exercise before Ganduje was declared the winner with a margin of just over 8000 votes. Both Ganduje and Yusuf gathered over one million votes apiece.
Already, Ganduje has commended the state’s lawmakers for the new amendment to the local government and chieftaincy Act, saying that he would sign it into law as soon as the bill gets to his table.
He said this while address a press briefing on Wednesday before the commencement of the State’s Executive Council Meeting.
“We heard about a bill sent to the State House of Assembly, requesting them to make a law for the creation of four more emirs in Kano. We believe the petitioners did it in good faith. And they want the development of the state,” Ganduje was quoted as saying.
“I hope the legislative arm would work on it and forward to me for assent of which I am ready to sign into law without any waste of time.
“That is the popular wish of our people. This will also go a long way in hastening growth and development for the state.”
“With the creation of more Emirates, all sectors of the society would improve. It will also lead to more concentration on our health, education and other equally important sectors of the society. That is why I said there will be no waste of time in signing the bill into law.
“That is the popular wish of our people, the people of Kano State. This will also go a long way in hastening growth and development for the state.
“The efforts didn’t get through many years ago but now we are happy to see that the idea would come into fruition.”
The development in Kano is similar to what happened in Oyo State in 2017 when the Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, reviewed the 1957 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration and created 21 new traditional rulers in the kingdom which historically had only one known ‘oba’, the Olubadan.
Though many claimed at the time that the move was targetted at whittling down the authority of the Olubadan, Ajimobi said it was the contrary.
“What we have done is an elevation of the Olubadan to Imperial Majesty and members of the Olubadan-in-Council to Royal Majesties. We will never disparage nor relegate the status of the Olubadan of Ibadanland,” he maintained.
Incidentally, Ganduje and Ajimobi are in-laws. The latter’s daughter is married to the former’s son.