In recent times, Kano appears to have been a theatre for ‘political plays’ of all sorts following the power tussle between Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II.
While the actual cause of the dispute is yet to be known, there are speculations that Emir Sanusi had worked against the governor’s re-election, hence the latter sought to take his pound of flesh by whittling down the influence of the monarch. This he started by dividing the Kano emirate and appointing 4 new emirs (including Sanusi’s arch-rival, Aminu Ado Bayero, whose father the former Central Bank chief succeeded) to share the spotlight with him within his domain.
With the war reaching dangerous heights this year, Governor Ganduje on Monday broke the camel’s back as he led the state executive council to announce the dethronement and banishment of Sanusi over what the state government termed “total disrespect to lawful instructions from the office of the state governor and other lawful authorities, including his persistent refusal to attend official meetings and programmes organized by the government without any lawful justification which amounts to total insubordination.” Expectedly, Nigerians are reacting to the development in diverse ways; with a section of thought leaders describing the event as “Karma” playing out following Sanusi’s role in the ouster of former President, Goodluck Jonathan.
Others have welcomed the development as a masterstroke ahead of the 2023 presidential race since the deposed monarch will now be able to use his intellect and wealth of experience to turn the fortunes of the country around, and a few have also described Sanusi as a victim of history, having had his grandfather experience same fate 57 years ago in the hands of Ahmadu Bello.
Although there are a few examples from the past on cases like this, so many predictions, theories, and philosophies have sprung up from this action (inclusive of an alleged conspiracy between the Presidency and the state government, given the influence of the embattled emir). What isn’t in doubt however is the fact that this action of the Kano government is a big blow for liberalism and embrace of cultural dynamism (the very ideals that Emir Sanusi has been preaching) in the North. Thus, setting a bold precedence for political leaders who will want to tow this path in future feuds with their perceived enemies on whatever stool.
Today’s drama has shown that the traditional institution in Nigeria is gradually becoming ‘less influential’ and ‘unhallowed‘ compared to what it used to be, especially if an emirate like Kano is considered. We therefore maintain that regardless of the issues between political or traditional actors, institutions must never be allowed to work at the whims and caprices of a “strong individual,” else we will continue to occupy the backseat among the comity of developed nations.
There is also no gainsaying that if the rich cultural heritage of a people is not jealously protected, we would wake up to find on a “good morning,” the erosion of these unique qualities that make us highly respected across the world from as far back as pre-colonial times by ‘dirty politics.’
It would be interesting however to see the next move of the vociferous ‘Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.’ Full enrolment in politics? Return to the academia, International appointment or forever remain silent? I have grabbed my pack of popcorn. What about you?