Kano’s Russian Roulette



Politicians are playing a dangerous game in Kano, putting a lit match stick near cans of gasoline adorning the coarse corridors of the ancient city’s monarchy.

The Abba Yusuf-led state government has since repealed the controversial law that balkanised the Kano Emirate Council in 2019 when Dr. Abdulahi Ganduje held sway as governor, setting the state on edge.

Ganduje’s law created four new emirate councils in Bichi, Gaya, Karaye, and Rano out of Kano, making it a total of five councils independent of one another. This was done to whittle the influence and hegemony of the then emir, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who preferred to be addressed as Muhammad Sanusi II.

The former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, was an evident victim of crossfire between Ganduje and Rabiu Kwankwaso, an ex-Kano State governor and Ganduje’s former boss-turned bitter political enemy.

Yusuf and his New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, made a campaign vow to the people that he would return Sanusi to the throne if voted into office. Eventually, he won the election, which could be interpreted as an endorsement of this plan by the people of Kano.

True to his promise, Yusuf hurriedly assented to a law passed by the state Assembly, repealing Ganduje’s ‘obnoxious’ law, leading to not only the sacking of the five emirs it created but also the reinstatement of Sanusi to the throne of his forefathers, the 16th Emir of Kano.

However, ruling on a suit, challenging the actions of the Kano State government, Justice Liman of the Federal High Court in Kano granted a contentious ex-parte order, barring Yusuf from implementing the new law that abrogated the four new emirates and reinstating Sanusi.

Sadly, the matter is skidding towards a dangerous cliff with the Federal Government’s alleged meddling in an indisputable state matter.

This may be setting the stage for a showdown because while Sanusi has already occupied the Rumfa Palace and is playing court to those that come to pay him homage, and leading last Friday’s prayers, the ousted Emir, Aminu Bayero now holed up in Nasarawa palace.

Kano, which has a history of violence, has enjoyed relative peace in recent years. It would be sad if politicians set the state on fire over their selfish and egoistic pursuits far removed from the people’s interest.

Ganduje started the slide into anarchy by balkanising the Kano emirate against judicial order and popular opinion. Whatever Yusuf has done should be seen in the light of trying to correct an obvious error and injustice done to the people.

That was why the announcement of the new law was greeted with indifference by the people until the Federal Government’s alleged involvement stirred some motions and noisy utterances here and there.

It is unthinkable that the Federal Government would go fishing in the small poisoned pool of Kano State instead of tackling urgent state matters confronting it.

Nigerian politicians morph into tin gods oblivious that someday they would leave the stage and their evil deeds would catch up with them. That is the reality with Ganduje today. He paid deaf ears to the courts and continued with his 2019 law. Today, Karma has come to visit.

Sadly, some misguided individuals among the deprived, suffering masses still fight the suborned dirty wars of their common oppressors and may even lose their lives in the process.

It is heartwarming that Nuhu Ribadu, the National Security Adviser, has denied the allegation that he was backing Bayero, he must ensure that nobody drops his name to claim the backing of the federal might to upstage what is purely a matter domiciled in the kingmakers and the state governor.

Some prominent individuals and groups have warned the Federal Government against any action that could exacerbate the problem and snowball into a bloodbath, considering the volatility of Kano.

Atiku Abubakar, former vice president and President Bola Tinubu’s rival in the last presidential election, had warned that the president should be held responsible for any breach of the peace in Kano. The state’s Ulamas and the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, among several others, had spoken in the same vein, even as some motley voices are making incendiary demands against Sanusi.

Some protesters had also stormed Aso Rock Presidential Villa and the National Assembly to demand reinstatement of Sanusi. ‘The jungle will mature’ when the supporters of Sanusi and Ado Bayero begin to slug it out on the streets simply because politicians play okoso with the destinies of the populace.

The Federal Government should concentrate on providing good governance to Nigerians. The first anniversary of this government was marked as a non-event on May 29. Nigerians only recounted tales of excruciating hardship inflicted on them. Any serious government should be more worried about this instead of seeking to open another frontier of trouble despite the crushing bloody crusade of bandits and Boko Haram elements in the country.

The Federal Government would be overstepping its bounds by interfering in emirship tussles. It should not allow itself to be distracted, especially at this time. Part of what Nigerians expect of Tinubu after his anniversary is that those somnambulant elements in his government or party that have exceeded or neglected their briefs and sleepwalked into extraneous missions are flushed out, including anyone misleading the government whether in Kano or elsewhere.

The ongoing drama in the Kano Emirate Council is confusing. Whether it is Russian Roulette or a game of musical chairs, the elimination, restoration, and counter punches are too dangerous to ignore.

The president should not allow political opportunists to smear his image and government at this critical moment. He should let Caesar have what belongs to him. Knowing Asiwaju, he would neither be used nor deceived by selfish and rogue political merchants around his Presidency. He may have done his bit to accommodate those who helped him onto the gilded seat in Aso Rock; his government has now begun and shock awaits the swashbuckling, peripheral behemoths, and they know it.


Aso Rock sings

Believe it or not, Nigeria has a new National Anthem. The National Assembly passed a bill reverting Nigeria’s National Anthem to the old one and it has since come into force, as President Bola Tinubu hastily signed it into law.

However, my concern stems from three premises: When we sing, ‘though tribe and tongue may differ in brotherhood we stand”, where is the brotherhood? What brotherhood has kept Nnamdi Kanu in jail for years under obscure circumstances while the leader of the murderous Miyetti Allah, Bello Bodejo, who was also charged with treason like Kanu, was set free because the Federal Government withdrew its case against the man? However, for Kanu, it is treasonable to be Igbo and his case must be decided by the courts. Strangely, even when the court set him free, they invented other means to keep him back in their gulag.  I am a fan of neither Kanu nor the crazy hedonist in Finland; I don’t share their idea of Biafra but justice and equity say what is good for the goose should be good for the gander if we want to stand on brotherhood. Biafra shall be inevitable as long as the Igbo are continuously marked for this kind of treatment.

Again, which nation is bound in freedom, Nigeria? The last time I checked, Nigeria is still the same disparate entity pulling feverishly in opposite directions since the coerced, fraudulent amalgamation without the representatives of the people. Is that why there are agitations for Biafra, Yoruba Nation, and Ijaw Nation? This country has not been able to cohere because of tribal bigots, holding forte for their various tribes whether in public service or government where people of a particular feudal ethnic group dominates and oppresses.

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