Sanusi’s Reinstatement: Timeline Of Kano’s ‘Game Of Thrones’

Two royal families have been in a supremacy battle in the ancient city: the Bayero and the Sanusi families.

FILE: Sanusi Lamido Sanusi




The politics of the ancient and prestigious Emirate of Kano has thrown up some controversial twists and turns in the last ten years. While not as dramatic and shocking as the popular American fantasy drama series, ‘Game of Thrones’, its latest twist is the stuff of a movie script where either a centuries-old tradition or politics wins. Two royal families have been in a supremacy battle in the ancient city: the Bayero and the Sanusi families. Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II beat Aminu Ado Bayero to succeed the latter’s father, Emir Ado Bayero, in 2014. Three months shy of six years later, he would be deposed for his predecessor’s son, Aminu Ado Bayero, amid a fallout with the state governor at the time, Abdullahi Ganduje. Four years and a change of governor later, he is heading back to the throne.

Here is a timeline of the good, the bad and the ugly:

June 1, 2009: Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, then Chief Executive Officer of First Bank, is nominated as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria by President Umaru Yar’Adua. His appointment is confirmed by the Senate some 48 hours later.

February 2, 2014: President Goodluck Jonathan fires Sanusi for alleging a controversial non-remittance of a $20 billion statutory fund into the federal government’s accounts by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), a claim the then administration refuted.

June 8, 2014: Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso appoints Sanusi to succeed his granduncle, Ado Bayero, as the Emir of Kano.

June 9, 2014: Sanusi is crowned the 14th Emir of Kano.

May 29, 2015: Kwankwaso’s deputy, Abdullahi Ganduje is sworn in as Kano governor after the general elections in the state. Ganduje, of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), is re-elected in 2019.

December 2016: Sanusi speaks about the government’s misplaced priorities.

April 24, 2017: Sanusi speaks at the Mo Ibrahim governance weekend in Morocco about the northern governors’ poor attitude towards education. His comments are perceived as a direct attack on Ganduje.

May 2017: The Kano Emirate Council comes under investigation for financial irregularities.

June 6, 2019: The Ganduje administration queries Sanusi for allegedly misappropriating N3.4 billion, an allegation the former bank chief denied.


A photo combination of Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, Governor Abba Yusuf, and ex-Governor Abdullahi Ganduje

December 2019: Ganduje assents to a bill passed by the Kano House of Assembly splitting the Kano Emirate Council into five emirates, whittling down the influence of Sanusi.

March 9, 2020: The Ganduje administration dethrones Sanusi for ‘disrespecting lawful instructions’. Sanusi is banished to Loko Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.



March 9, 2020: Aminu Ado Bayero is appointed Emir of Kano.


Emir Ado Bayero is the 15th Emir of Kano.
Emir Aminu Ado Bayero


February 2023: Kwankwaso’s political godson Abba Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) wins the governorship election in Kano, defeating Ganduje’s man, Nasir Gawuna.

April 2023: Kwankwaso says Yusuf will review Sanusi’s dethronement.

May 22, 2024: A proposed amendment to the Kano Emirate Council Laws scales its first reading on the Kano State House of Assembly floor.

May 23, 2024: The state assembly passes the bill dissolving the emirates created by Ganduje.

May 23, 2024: Governor Yusuf signs the bill into law and reinstates Sanusi as Kano Emir under one big emirate.