The Emir of Kano, His Royal Highness, Muhammadu Sanusi II believes ignorance is fueling the tension between Christians and Muslims in the country.
Speaking at the opening of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace, Emir Sanusi II who was representing the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III at the event, called on the nation’s political leaders to protect the interest of the poor and less privileged in the society.
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State says he has received a letter from a coalition of 35 civil society groups urging him to start the process of dethroning the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II.
In a statement signed on Thursday by Ganduje’s spokesperson, Abba Anwar, the groups under the umbrella of the Kano Concerned Civil Society Groups say their request is in the interest of protecting the sanctity of the rule of law and the mandate given to the governor by Kano electorate.
The letter was titled “Kano State Emirate Council Law, 2019: Demand Letter,” and signed by Ibrahim Ali, Chairman of the Coalition. It added that the groups wrote to the governor over their concerns on the face-off between the Kano State government and the Emir.
“The coalition of 35 Civil Society Groups under the group – Umbrella Of Kano Concerned Civil Society Groups – are curiously studying the unfolding events in the running of Kano State affairs, especially in recent time, as it relates to the lingering face-off between the Government of Kano State on one hand and the Emir of Kano on the other hand.
“Reminding specifically that, matters that arose from the aftermath of Kano State High Court decision nullifying the Kano State Emirate Council Law, that was enacted by the State House of Assembly, which eventually paved way for the enactment of another Law, creating additional four First Class Emirates, which also empowers the Governor to take disciplinary measures against any erring Emir.
“Soon afterward, the same Law which repeals all the existing Emirate Councils Laws, and consolidates it in the Kano State Emirate Council Law 2019, was again been challenged first by the purportedly five kingmakers from one of the 5 Emirates established by the said law,” the letter read in part.
The group suggested that with the recent decision of Kano State High Court, the governor should proceed and ensure the take-off of the Council of Emirs in the State.
They added that if the Emir of Kano fails to submit to the authority of the government of Kano State, Ganduje should to act strictly in accordance with the provision of Kano Emirate Council Law 2019 in order to move the state forward.
In the statement, Anwar explained that the governor appointed Sanusi and others to lead the affairs of the Council in line with the provisions of the Constitution.
“By the powers conferred on the Governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, OFR, by Sections 4 (2) (g) and Section 5((1) (2) of the Kano State Emirate Councils Law 2019, he makes the following appointments; that His Highness, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, Emir of Kano Emirate, as Chairman Kano State Council of Chiefs.
“Among other members of the State Council of Chiefs are all other four first-class Emirs of Bichi, Rano, Karaye and Gaya, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, Alhaji Dr Tafida Abubakar (Autan Bawo), Alhaji Dr Ibrahim Abubakar II, and Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulkadir, who are also automatic members of the Council, as enshrined in the State Emirate Council Law,” the governor’s aide said.
He added that Section 4(2) gave other members as Secretary to the State Government, Commissioner for Local Governments, five Chairmen of Local Government Councils – one each from the Local Government Council where the Emir’s palace is situated.
“Others according to this Section comprise at least 10 kingmakers, two each from the five emirates mentioned under Section 3(1) of the Law, Chief Imam of each Emirate.
“Other members include a representative of the business community from each emirate to be appointed by the governor, as the names of Alhaji Dalhat Al-Hamsad and Alhaji Auwalu Abdullahi Rano are appointed by the governor, as two of them,” he disclosed.
According to Anwar, the law also stipulates as members of the Council of Chiefs, a representative of security agencies, the police, Department of State Services (DSS), and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
“Section 5(1), (2) of the Law provides that, the Chairmanship of the State Council of Chiefs shall be rotational among the five Emirs of the Emirates and the sequence of which is to be determined by the governor and the Chairman shall serve for a period of two years only.
“The appointment is with effect from Monday, the 9th Day of December 2019. It is also directed that the Chairman shall immediately summon the inaugural meeting of the Council in accordance with the provisions of the Law,” Ganduje’s aide added.
The governor, therefore, urged all the Council members to utilise the opportunity to serve the people in the state.
He also asked them to strengthen the emirates and the traditional system of administration in the Kano in advising the state government, more particularly on security matters.
“If we have an industrial policy that is aimed at protecting the productive sector of Nigeria against unfair competition, we cannot allow our neighbours to open their door to this unfair competition and through the backdoor undermine our industry, this is extremely important,” the Emir said.
He added that the decision was meant to stop neighbouring countries from violating the ECOWAS protocol, given that Nigeria was fast becoming a dumping ground.
The border closure, he concluded, will not only address the problem of smuggling petroleum products and rice but also prevent a situation where Nigeria is turned into a dumpsite for dangerous drugs.
The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, shed tears on Thursday as he decries the alarming rate of inequalities in the country.
According to him, the inequalities in society have caused so much hardship with the poor paying the ultimate sacrifice.
The traditional ruler made the submission as he gave an emotional address at a United Nations meeting to reach Sustainable Development Goals in Lagos.
He sobbed as narrated an unfortunate situation where a mother could not save her sick child, despite being close to getting help.
Sanusi told the gathering at the event that on that fateful day, the woman had walked to the palace from a children’s hospital located just about 200 metres.
According to him, he heard a very loud scream and asked someone to check what happened while the person who came back with tears in his eyes.
The emir said the baby died in the mother’s arms while she was waiting for her turn to ask for money to buy the drug to save her child.
“And how much was this? It was less than five dollars,” an emotional Sanusi said.
He added, “This is what happens every day in this country. Children die because their parents cannot afford five dollars, that a mother will watch her child die because she does not have five dollars.”
Sanusi said Nigeria’s policies are yet to be focused on harnessing the huge potential of its population.
He also attributed the spate of kidnapping, armed robbery, insurgency, farmers-herders crisis to the population growth.
He said, “people talk that our population is an asset but we are yet to get there. nigeria’s population is currently a liability because most of the root cause of problems such as kidnapping, armed robbery, Boko Haram, drug addiction are all tied to the population that we have and the question is how do you turn that into a productive one.”
Other dignitaries at the session include the Founder of the Kukah Centre, Bishop Mathew Kukah; Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, among others.
Instead, he explained that they were created to make the traditional institution in the state more effective and went further to declare his respect for the Emir of Kano.
Despite this position, Ganduje insisted that the traditional ruler was answerable to his Local Government Chairman, as enshrined in the Constitution.
Two days after the bill became a law, a State High Court in Kano ordered Governor Ganduje and five others to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of a motion on notice filed by Mr Rabiu Gwarzo.
Justice Nasiru Saminu in a ruling delivered on May 10 ordered the respondents to halt the process in the creation of the new Emirates.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday had dinner with traditional rulers, including the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar; the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi and the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi.
Other traditional rulers who joined the president during the breaking of the Ramadan fast were Olubadan of Ibadan, Saliu Adetunji, Eze Imo, Eze Samuel Ohiri; Emir of Hadejia, Alhaji Adamu Abubakar Maje among others.
Government officials, including the chief of staff to the president, Abba Kyari; SGF, Boss Mustapha, were among those at the event.
This is the first time that Sanusi would be seen publicly with the president since Kano State governor Abdullahi Ganduje broke the Kano emirate into five.
The Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, has said that he remains emotionally indebted to his Kano State counterpart, Ibrahim Ganduje and the Emir, Muhammadu Sanusi.
He said this during a press briefing on Saturday amid growing concerns that he was taking sides with the governor, following his (Ganduje’s) decision to create four new emirates in Kano.
“We are dwelling on trivialities and issues that are of the past”, Shettima said.
He explained that the Northern Governors have been working behind the scenes to resolve the issues between both the governor and the Emir and that contrary to claims that he was taking sides with Ganduje, he was emotionally indebted to the two prominent leaders.
“I have ties in Kano. The governor of Kano has adopted 200 sons of Borno (orphans) and the Kano State Government is shouldering the burden of their education, welfare, up to university level so, I am emotionally indebted to him,” he said.
“I am equally emotionally indebted to Emir Muhammadu Sanusi because under his stewardship he brought the BDC to Borno. It was under his stewardship that he brought a lot of investments to my state and most importantly, he was our gateway to Aliko Dangote when he went and solved a huge humanitarian crisis in Borno, he was the one who mobilised the business community to render a helping hand.
“The governor is an elder statesman that I hold in the highest esteem and the emir is one of the intellectual torchbearers of Northern Nigeria”.
Earlier at a meeting on Wednesday, Shettima had taken a swipe at those faulting the decentralization of the Kano Emirate, noting that there were other more important issues to worry about.
But giving further clarifications on the matter on Saturday, he said he was quoted out of context by a section of the media.
He then went on to explain that there was an unwritten pact among the governors not to criticize each other in the public no matter what the issue may be. According to him, rather than dwell on cultural and religious issues, people should champion things that could bring about rapid socio-economic development in the northern region and the country at large.
“Amongst us governors, there is an unwritten pact – we do not criticise one another in the public. If we have issues, we sort it out from behind.
“It is for us to build bridges, not to destroy bridges. We are working from behind the scenes to see that we normalise the relationship,” he said.
This was after approval of the amendment of the Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs law by the lawmakers.
In a motion presented to the House by the Majority Leader Baffa Babba, the House unanimously agreed that creation of more Emirates will assist in job creation, dispute, and community conflict resolutions among others.
The Emir of Kano, Mohammed Sanusi II, has said any herdsman who kills another individual should be made to face the law.
The Emir, represented by former Kano State Governor Ibrahim Shekarau, said this in Ekiti State on Tuesday at a meeting of representatives of the state government, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), heads of security agencies and other stakeholders.
“I commiserate with the people and government of Ekiti state over the recent herdsmen attack that led to the loss of lives. I wish to state that any herdsman who takes another person’s life should be made to face the legal consequence,” he said.
The Emir praised the Ekiti State government for how it has handled the farmers-herdsmen crisis in the state and called on herdsmen to be law abiding. In 2016, amid increasing reports of attacks by herdsmen, Governor Ayo Fayose had signed a bill aimed at curtailing the activities of herdsmen into law.
Under the law, ‘Prohibition of Cattle and Other Ruminants Grazing in Ekiti, 2016’, cattle grazing is prohibited in some areas and the grazing time is limited to the period between 7 am to 6 pm, among other things.
Both the Emir and the MACBAN Presisent, Muhammadu Kiruwa, who has been critical of the anti-grazing law in Benue, praised the state’s anti-grazing law and the participatory approach adopted by Governor Fayose in handling the situation.
They commended the governor for taking the lead in engaging stakeholders and aggrieved parties in public discussions aimed at calming nerves and engendering peace.
Governor Fayose told the meeting that a combination of dialogue, fine-tuning the state anti-grazing law, deemphasising reprisals, wielding the big stick, and granting amnesty where necessary was necessary to get desirable results.
“For those who are ready to surrender their weapons, we will consider granting them amnesty, we are also amending the anti-grazing law to ensure undue aggression by host communities is also put under check,” he said.
The Governor, the emir’s representative and the MACBAN leader later signed a peace pact after deliberation behind closed doors.
President Muhammadu Buhari who is currently on a two-day working visit to Kano State has paid a visit to the Emir of Kano, Mallam Muhammad Sanusi II.
President Buhari who arrived Kano on Wednesday morning during his visit to the Emir reaffirmed his promises of fighting corruption, reviving the economy and ensuring the security of life and properties of Nigerians.