Mixed reactions as Sanusi Lamido makes history, returns as 16th Emir of Kano

Fifty months after his sack as the 14th Emir of Kano in Kano state, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II, the dethroned monarch is set to be installed as the 16th Emir of the largest northern commercial city following the abrogation of  the law creating the five emirates.

“Everyone should go about his or her normal activities in the state, we have done what we believe is in the best interest of the state and its people.

“I want to inform the good people of Kano that today, we reappointed Sanusi Lamido Aminu Sanusi popularly known as Muhammadu Sanusi the II as the 16th Emir of Kano while the five former emirs are expected to vacate the palaces within 48 hours,”

Kano state Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf announced this in a statement by his spokesperson, Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa, shortly after assenting the newly passed Kano State Emirate (Repeal) Bill into Law. 

Under the new Kano Emirate Repeal law 2024, Kano state is now under one emirate.


The Ganduje-led government had, December 5, 2019, took Bichi, Gaya, Karaye and Rano emirates off the then Kano Emirate, following the governor’s  assent to an amendment law on October 14, 2020, and signed another amendment on April 11, 2023.

Section 3(1) of the law established five distinct emirates. They include Kano, Bichi, Rano, Gaya and Karaye.

Kano and Karaye have eight local government areas of jurisdiction each, while Bichi and Gaya emirates share nine local government areas of jurisdiction each.

And for Rano Emirate, its jurisdiction covers 10 local government areas out of the 44 local councils in the state.

…History made

Apart from Sanusi making history as the first Emir to be sacked and returned in the history of the Emirate, the repealing of such laws which saw his return, also remains an epoch-making event.  

In 1980, same scenario played out in Kano when the Abubakar Rimi-led government carried out similar exercise by creating five emirates in the state, a move that was rebuffed by some members of the royal family and other traditional rulers, who saw it as an attempt to balkanize the Emirate’s fame and influence.

Like Ganduje, Rimi created Gaya, Karaye, Bichi, Rano, and Kano emirates.

Though the sitting Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, who later reigned for 51 years, was not sacked like Sanusi, he was however suspended in 1981, following which there were riots in Kano.

And like Yusuf, Sabo Bakin Zuwo came on aboard and reversed the decision by returning the emirate to its original form.

…Sanusi’s sack 

The Abdullahi Umar Ganduje-led government had, March 9, 2020, sacked the monarch following a statement by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Usman Alhaji, accusing him of being disrespectful to lawful instructions.

“The Emir of Kano is in 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 amount to total insubordination.

“It is on record and in so many instances Malam Muhammad Sunusi II has been found breaching part 3 section 13 (a e) of the  Kano State Emirate Law 2019 and which if left unchecked will destroy the good and established image of the  Kano Emirate.

“This removal is made after due consultation with the relevant stakeholders and in compliance with part 3 section 13 of the Kano State Emirate Law 2019 and other reasons stated above.

“The removal was reached in order to safeguard the sanctity, culture, tradition, religion and prestige of the Kano Emirate built over a thousand years,” the statement had said.


However, in a sharp twist of events Thursday, Governor Yusuf approved  Sanusi’s reinstatement with immediate effect, thus setting the stage for his installation as the first returnee emir of Kano any moment from now.  

Blueprint learnt on good authority that “Sanusi would be on his way to Kano Friday from Lagos. He is scheduled to receive his re-appointment letter from a special delegation to be dispatched to  Lagos tonight (Thursday).”

“And I can also tell you that as soon as he arrived Kano, of course, he would quickly move to Kano Government House to pay a ‘thank you visit.’ But, on whether or not he would be presented his staff of office tonight, I can’t really tell. That’s the much I can tell you for now.” on weather he would be presented with the staff of office tonight. It has not been confirmed by a competent authority,” the source further told one of Blueprint correspondents.  

Governor Yusuf  also  issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Aminu Ado Bayero, his younger brother, Nasir, and  the three  other former first class chiefs, to vacate their  palaces and hand over all emirates’ property to the office of the deputy governor which also coordinates the local government ministry.

The new law was passed Thursday by Kano state House of assembly, also abolished the five emirates established by the Ganduje administration.

The law provided the leeway  for Sanusi’s reinstatement  and removal of the 15th  Emir of Kano Aminu Ado Bayero, the Emir of Bichi Nasir Ado Bayero, Emir of Rano Kabiru Muhammad Inuwa, Emir of Karaye Ibrahim Abubakar II and Emir of Gaya Aliyu Ibrahim Abdulkadir.

Governor Yusuf signed the bill into law in the presence of the deputy governor, Comrade Aminu Abdulsalam, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Ismail Falgore, and other top government functionaries.

While signing into law, the governor expressed satisfaction that the new law will bring unity among people of Kano Emirate and foster sustainable socio-economic development.

He expressed confidence that  the return of  Sanusi II  will propel peace and prosperity, adding that the repeal of the council law was in realization of his campaign commitments to restore the lost glory of the state and its rich cultural heritage.

 Yusuf said the signing of the bill symbolized the restoration of the revered legacy of the Kano emirate, which has withstood the test of time of over  thousand of years.

Furthermore, the governor urged the populace  to continue supporting his administration in delivering a multitude of infrastructural advancements that will propel Kano to greater heights.

…How the Bill got passed

As a prelude, the State House of Assembly had passed the  new law after the bill, which scaled through its third reading, nullifies the creation of the Bichi, Rano, Gaya, and Karaye emirates alongside the historic Kano Emirate.

All offices created under the repealed law were dissolved, and district heads appointed or elevated under the previous legislation were to revert to their former positions.

Titled the Kano State Emirates Council (Amendment No. 2) Law, 2024, the bill was sponsored by Lawan Hussaini Chediyar Yan Gurasa, the Majority Leader and representative of the Dala Constituency.

… Northern elders, residents raise concerns

In its reaction, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) blamed the previous administration for creating new emirates, saying such action was a threat to the unity and cohesion of the traditional structure, and also undermines the centuries-old customs, values, and traditions that are the bedrock of Nigerian society.

NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy Abdul-Azeez Suleiman who said this in a statement, noted that the crisis in the Kano emirate had significantly raised public tensions and concerns.

Suleiman said: “It is important for all parties involved to approach this matter with the utmost care and professionalism, keeping in mind the potential consequences of their actions. Rash decisions and inflammatory statements can only serve to worsen the situation and jeopardise the peace and stability of the state.”

While calling for calm and restraints among stakeholders, it said  violence and unrest would only further divide the community and hinder peaceful resolution efforts.

The NEF, which also underscored the need for unity and mutual understanding, observed that the traditional institution in Nigeria had long been  faced  with challenges which  rendered it weak and ineffective.

“Creation of multiple emirates in Kano is a deliberate attempt to weaken the authority of traditional rulers, making them more susceptible to political control and manipulation. The arbitrary dethronement and replacement of high-ranking traditional rulers in Kano, according to the NEF, undermine their authority and legitimacy.

“This move threatens the unity and cohesion of the traditional structure and undermines the centuries-old customs, values, and traditions that are the bedrock of Nigerian society,” NEF said.

…Residents’ take 

The development has also generated mixed reactions with some residents faulting the government’s decision.  

Blueprint reports that the mood of the people was that of apprehension, especially those who believed the dissolution was a way of turning the hands of the clock backward. 

In his view, Malam Lawan Aminu of Naibawa Quarters, said, “the dissolution of the five Emirates would create a bad blood for the Kano State Government considering the fact that the people of the Emirates would feel offended. 

“The decision had set a bad precedence for subsequent government to take cue from what the present governor in the state had done . the impact of  the dissolution would not auger well for the government in future.” 

Similarly, another resident,  Alhaji Umar Dhsnda said, “ the issue of appointing a new Emir is now predicated on the premise of one’s connection to those wielding authority in the corridors of power. No Emir could ever wax stronger once he had an axe to grind  with s sitting governor 

“The issue of emirship is a traditional affair that should not be muddled with political sentiment from any quarter,  the norms and  values of the institution must remain sacrosanct.” 

  …Fubara hails reinstatement

Meanwhile, Rivers state Governor Siminalayi Fubara has congratulated the returnee monarch.

The governor Fubara said he received Sanusi’s reinstatement “with great excitement, particularly coming at a time Khalifa Sanusi II was in the Rivers State to add impetus to his administration’s initiative to reshape the economic trajectory of the State.”

He described his removal from the throne as “an unjust act to the millions of people who believed in his reign while on the revered throne,” and lauded the Kano State Government for listening to the yearnings of the people, and acting to correct the wrongs of the past.

Fubara said: “I wish the 14th Emir of Kano a successful and fruitful reign that will bring progress and prosperity to the people of the State.”

About Bashir Mohammed, Ibrahim Hamisu, Kano, AbdulRaheem Aodu, Kaduna and Dennis Essang, Port Harcourt  

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