The issue about Kano Emirate has continued to generate reactions as BASIR MOHAMMED examines some of them.
At the time a Kano High Court presided over by Justice Usman Naaba passed the landmark judgment that led to the nullification of the four additional emirates created by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in April 2019, feathers were ruffled in places where such emirates were sited, thereby leading to spate of protests as a mark of dissatisfaction.
His verdict did not go down well with apologists of the new emirates, who viewed the verdict as a heavy slap on their faces, knowing that the considerable euphoria they have exhibited in the wake of the new emirates have completely died-down.
The four new emirs were basking in their newly-acquired limousines with respective staff of office, presiding over colourful traditional events and adorned in flashy regalia as a symbol of royal authority.
One is undoubtedly kept guessing what might have been the reason behind the taciturn posture adopted by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, on why he kept a distance from attending high profile events convened at the behest of the state government in recent times.
It was however the contention of those watching the unfolding drama that Emir Sanusi appeared to have his predicament lessened to some extent with the court verdict inspiring his confidence that the defunct single dynasty would likely return which would provide him the leeway to exert his considerable influence as the one controlling the vast retinue of district heads cutting across all the 44 local government areas.
Taking a cue from what is legally seen as a flawed process of effecting the new additional emirates, Governor Ganduje tactfully presented a fresh bill to the state assembly, seeking the nod of the law makers.
However, with the passage of the bill into law, the issue of appealing the High Court verdict, according to political pundits, does not arise in the light of the fact that Ganduje had wisely taken the right decision.
According to those keeping a tab on the invincibility of the monarch and the domineering influence of Ganduje, the presentation of the new bill has opened a new vista for the emir who many believe may likely survive any possible plot to dethrone him.
With the fresh war of attrition between the emir and the governor taking a new dimension, opinion have differed on how the growing animosity could be doused.
Ganduje is one who, by his antecedents, is not known for revenge even in the face of wanton provocation as he often reacts with subtle ferocity.
The current furore has indeed elicited considerable interest and ignited discordant tunes from diehard supporters of the new emirates and those opposing it on the ground that no meaningful progress can be attained with one single dynasty as had existed for over a century.
Alhaji Shehu Karaye is deeply touched by the verdict. He said with the emirates sent packing, the quest for developing his own area would be greatly impeded.
He along with those with the same opinion were completely saddened by the nullification, saying it killed their fighting spirit of contributing their quota to the development of the area with the first class monarch in the person of Alhaji Ibrahim Abubakar mounting the exalted throne.
He said, “As things stand at present, our hopes and expectation were completely dashed but with Governor Ganduje presenting a fresh bill to the House of Assembly, we are pretty confident that our lost expectation and hope would be eventually restored. I can’t imagine how some reactionary elements are seeking to throw big spanner in the works.
“Mark my words, these new emirates have come to stay since Governor Ganduje has the constitutional power to create them, in as much as he followed the due process. Creating new emirates is never a new thing.
“Ganduje was even more considerate in espousing some degree of leadership responsibility and restraint, when in the face of the court verdict, he summoned the courage to maintain his cool without spitting fire that would inflame unnecessary passion. We have witnessed how the late emir of Kano, Dr. Ahaji Ado Bayero slugged it out with the deposed Sarkin-Dawaki Maituta, Alhaji Aminu Babba Danagundi. The emir was at the time directed by an appeal court to return the deposed kingmaker to his seat, but nothing happened.
“Similar scenario had also played out in Kebbi state when an appeal court directed the state government under the leadership of Alhaji Adamu Aliero to return the deposed Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Mustapha Haruna Jokolo, to his seat, but the state government refused. Here you can see that Governor Ganduje was even magnanimous by sticking to due process in creating the four new additional emirates,” he added.
Expressing a similar opinion, a staunch apologist of the new emirates, Malam Lawan Goga of Gaya town, said Governor Ganduje has beyond any reasonable doubt demonstrated his flair to develop areas that are in dire need of sustainable development by taking the decision to appoint first-class emirs to add colour to the institution of monarchy in the state.
According to him, looking at the pedigree of Gaya town that had spanned over some centuries, making it a citadel of monarchical authority has never overstepped the bounds of reason, considering the fact that the town even predates the ancient city of Kano in origin and birth. I can’t imagine the hues and cries about it. We are in need of development and should be allowed to develop our area in every sphere,” he added.
He pointed out that it was high time those opposing the new emirates took into cognisance the fact that people would no longer be forced to remain utterly subservient to the exploitative ruling oligarchs for no just cause since the time is right to do away with the old order that had abysmally turned the hand of the clock backward.
He said, “We would not simply die because of the parochial interest of those who take solace in putting us in a bondage that would make us to remain hopeless. The time has changed and we need change for a better tomorrow. We have no iota of animosity or hatred against anyone. As ones domiciling in the rural enclaves, we need a better and prosperous life like people in cities where affluence abounds.
“Go and ask anyone you come across, he would definitely tell you that he or she is happy with what the governor is doing. As far as we are concerned, his name would be written in gold for surpassing his predecessors in that regard. With the presentation of the signing of the bill into law, we are all convinced that our hopes would be restored,” he remarked.
Contributing to the current debate, a resident of Bichi town, Alhaji Haladu Balla, said he was appalled to hear about the court verdict heralding the nullification of the four additional emirates, affirming that had the situation remaining the same, the craze for meaningful development in the area would remain a mirage.
He said Bichi had been known to be a formidable bastion of breeding prominent emirs who had started as district heads, ranging from the great grandfathers of the present Emir of Kano whose grandfather Muhammadu Sanusi I served as Ciroman Kano and district head. He added that with its great historical epoch, it deserved to be accorded the revered status of first class emir status.
“I always remember the wise words of the renowned popular Hausa musician, the late Salihu Jankidi, who praised Bichi for accepting the arrival of emirs who started from scratch as district heads and ended as kings. People are only crying wolf where there is none.
“Our area is also in dire need of giant strides to forge ahead. We have prominent sons and daughters who had meteorically risen to stardom both in the academia and the business sphere. Our people are highly educated and have the capacity to lead our great town to greater height. We have really reached the apogee of excellence and greatness.
“Those casting a slur on the decision of the governor are only being myopic in understanding the indices of creating the new emirates. We can’t afford to remain undeveloped and stagnant. We want real change, a change that would be of immense pride to us. In historical towns like ours, our contemporaries are far ahead of us,” he opined.
In Rano town where a similar protest was staged by those opposing the nullification of the newly created emirate councils, opinion concerning the whole saga has been expressed by those who took a swipe on what they described as a subtle ploy to kill progress, knowing that maintaining the status quo would turn the hand of the clock backward.
In the words of a prominent academician in the area who craved for anonymity, Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II was only playing to the gallery in order to muster public opinion that would favour him despite the fact that he too was very much conversant with the historical roots of the four emirates which even royal historians can attest to their origin and status in the annals of Kano monarchy.
He said Rano town had over centuries been an exceptional background as it formed part of the original seven Hausa states which the legendry Bayajidda fought and secured and allowed his sons and grandchildren to rule in line with the revered Hausa tradition which added pomp and pageantry to the institutions of monarchy.
However, with the views being expressed by various indigenes of the new additional emirates people have continued to keep their fingers crossed on how the unfolding drama would tilt the equation in favour of either Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who created them or supporters of the emir who believed that the prominence of Kano being a fountain of royal authority and influence had been reduced to naught.