Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has narrated how the Kano State Government withdrew N969 million it had in a bank over the utterances of Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi, the former Emir of Kano.
Speaking on Politics Today, a Channels Television programme, Ganduje, who was the deputy governor when Rabiu Kwankwaso governed Kano, said at the time, the former Emir criticised the state government over the expenses at Kano Government Lodge in Abuja.
Although he did not disclose the identity of the bank, Sanusi worked at UBA and First Bank before he was appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
After leaving the bank, he became the Emir of Kano but Ganduje deposed him in March 2020.
In the Channels TV interview, Ganduje said he removed Sanusi because the former Emir “does not understand the responsibilities of a traditional ruler”.
The Governor said Sanusi forgot “to watch his tongue” and in the process, destroyed the revered institution.
“The deposed emir of Kano did not understand the responsibilities of a traditional ruler especially for a strong institution like that of Kano.”
“The emir of Kano was a social critic, a celebrated social critic and there was nothing wrong with that because he is an educated person, there is freedom of speech.
“When I was the deputy of Governor Kwankwaso, Sanusi was an executive director in a bank and he made a statement that instead of providing water in the state we were building a house in Abuja– the governor’s lodge in Asokoro.
“I remember my governor said either the bank sacks him or we should withdraw our accounts from the bank and the bank did not sack him, so we withdrew N969million from that bank,” he said.
Sanusi ‘didn’t know the difference between being a critic and an emir’
The governor said Sanusi found it difficult to distinguish between his role as a traditional ruler and a social critic.
“But when he became the emir of Kano, he refused to change from that stature to the stature of a traditional ruler. He is an economist but he failed to understand that in economics you have to inherit assets and liabilities. But he only inherited the assets of a traditional institution by giving orders, staying in a mansion, dressing gorgeously, being addressed as a king but the liability of that institution, you have to watch your words, you have to watch your tongue and he didn’t do that.
“That was the problem. That was the biggest problem; that he could not change his mode of life from social critic to an institution.
“As of now, that institution does not afford a social critic of his style. With the problem in the society, he was destroying the institution. That was why I had a problem with him; he was destroying the institution,” he said.
Sanusi has denied all the allegations
Sanusi has denied all the allegations levelled against him by the Ganduje administration.
Some critics of Ganduje accused him of removing Sanusi as emir because he spoke the truth to power.
Before his dethronement, Sanusi was outspoken on some policies of the government he considered controversial.