Sanusi: Ganduje replies Kwankwaso, says new emirates are permanent

KANO State governor Abdullahi Ganduje on Monday, May 1, said four new emirates created by his administration are permanent and cannot be revoked.

The governor spoke during the 2023 Workers’ Day celebrations held at Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano.

The ICIR had on Sunday, April 30, reported that the incoming administration in the state had promised to review the dethronement of former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Muhammadu Sanusi, the 14th Emir of Kano.  

National Leader and candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in the February 25 presidential election, Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, announced the plan to review Sanusi’s dethronement.

Kwankwaso said in a viral video: “As elders, we will continue to advise them to do the right thing. We tried not to intervene in the issue of bringing or removing any Emir, but now, an opportunity has come.

“Those who were given this opportunity will sit down and see to the issues. They will look at what they are expected to do. Beside the Emir, even the emirate has been divided into five places. All these need to be studied. Usually, a leader inherits good, bad and issues that are hard to reconcile.

“Any of you that visits the headquarters of these new emirates will believe me that we have brought development to these places. These emirates were created for unity, progress, history, and also for the recovery of the reputation of the traditional institutions. We created them to honour the people of these regions.”

In an apparent reaction to Kwankwaso’s statement, Ganduje, while speaking at the Workers’ Day celebration, reassured residents of the state that the new emirates will be protected.

According to him, God will protect the new emirates against evil.

“I want to assure you that these emirates are permanent, they have come to stay. And anybody that will destroy them, God Almighty will not bring him to Kano State. We assure you that these emirates were created because of you, because of your progress.

“Even if we are not in government, we are praying and we will keep praying for God to protect these emirates from all evils,” Ganduje said.

Sanusi’s dethronement and creation of four new emirates

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was appointed during the tenure of Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, following his removal from the position of Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in April 2014.

He was removed from the CBN due to his allegation that some individuals stole $49 billion during the Goodluck Jonathan administration. 

However, on March 9, 2020, the current Kano State governor, Ganduje deposed him for insubordination and sent him to Awe in Nasarawa State. 

According to Ganduje, Sanusi’s appointment was made out of spite towards Jonathan, stressing that he removed Sanusi from his position in order to protect the system and traditional institutions from being abused. 

Additionally, he criticized Sanusi for publicly speaking out about missing funds and believed that he should have discussed the matter privately with the former President. Ganduje suggested that the former President could have then directed an investigation into the allegations.

Subsequently, the Kano State Government dethroned Sanusi and banished him to Awe, Nasarawa State, where he was detained in a private home until March 13 when he obtained an interim order of the court for his release from house arrest.

The former CBN governor did not challenge his dethronement but, on March 12, 2020, he sued the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Director-General, State Security Services (SSS) over what he called “unlawful detention/confinement”.

His detention/confinement was later deemed illegal, unlawful, and unconstitutional by the Federal High Court in Abuja in November 2021.

While delivering his judgment, the judge, Justice Anwuli Chikere, awarded N10 million compensation to Sanusi and against the respondents comprising the police, the State Security Service (SSS) and the Attorney-General of Kano State.

She also ordered them to tender a public apology to Sanusi in two national dailies.

Meanwhile, before Sanusi was removed as the Emir of Kano, Ganduje, in 2019, approved a bill for the creation of four new emirates for Gaya, Rano, Karaye and Bichi, all of which were previously under the Kano Emirate Council. 

    Emirs were immediately appointed for the new emirates.

    “By signing this law, we are bringing more developments closer to the people of Kano in our efforts to take the state to the next level,” Ganduje said, adding that all the emirate councils would be independent of each other under the Kano State government.

    “We thank the state assembly for passing the bill into law and the people of Kano who have been yearning for this kind of development. I urged the new emirates to continue to render services to their subjects in the area of education, health, agriculture and socio-economy.”

    Even though the Kano High Court nullified the creation of the new emirs, Ganduje rejected the decision, noting that it is the constitutional responsibility of the State House of Assembly to create new emirates.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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