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Kano emirship tussle: Atiku knocks FG over role, warns against destabilising peace

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has condemned the federal government for its action in deploying security forces to Kano over battle of emirship between the…

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has condemned the federal government for its action in deploying security forces to Kano over battle of emirship between the 16th and 15th emirs – Muhammadu Sanusi II and Aminu Ado Bayero – respectively.

He said the federal government would be held responsible if there was any break down of law and order since the action of the federal government is in breach of the 1999 Constitution as amended

Atiku said the matter remained under the influence of the state since Governor Abba Yusuf enacted the repealed Kano State Emirate Council law, which consequently reinstated the deposed Sanusi as the current emir.

He said the action of the federal government contravened the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Atiku, who made this known in a statement by his media adviser, Paul Ibe on Saturday, warned the President Bola Tinubu-led administration not to make any attempt to destablise Kano, which has been known for peace over the years.

The statement reads, “The action of the federal government in deploying soldiers in Kano in the tussle over the throne of the ancient city is an upset to the peace and security of the state, and also in breach of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“In performing their constitutional duties of law making, the Kano State House of Assembly (KSHA) passed the amended Kano State Emirate Council (repeal) bill 2024 in consonance with the provision of section 4 of the1999 Constitution as amended, whereas the Governor of Kano State, Abba Kabir Yusuf subsequently signed the bill into law. The law, therefore, repealed the 2019 version, which balkanised the ancient Kano Emirate into five.

supporters of aminu ado bayero in kano yesterday
supporters of aminu ado bayero in kano yesterday

“The foregoing circumstances happened within the confines of the law and in compliance with the powers conferred on the governor as provided by section 5(2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended; and also in consultation with the kingmakers of Kano, reappointed Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (also known as Muhammadu Sanusi II) as the 16th Emir of Kano State and accordingly handed him a letter of appointment.

“It is surprising that in the early hours of today, exactly 5:30am, the former Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, backed by federal might, made their way into the Nasarawa Palace of the Kano Emirate, while the reappointed Emir, Muhammadu Sanusi II was at the Gidan Dabo, which is the main residence of the Emir of Kano.

“In this wise, the former emir could not have made his way into the Nasarawa Palace without the support of the federal government, having done so with the support of the army and other security personnel in his company. The deployment of soldiers in extra constitutional matters such as this undermines the integrity of the Nigerian military.

“We need to remind the Tinubu administration that Kano State is known for peace and harmony spanning thousands of years and any attempt to destablise the peace of the Land of Commerce shall be resisted. Recall that Muhammadu Sanusi II was dethroned on March 9, 2020 and Kano forged on without any fracas.

“We wish to state unequivocally that if for any reason, law and order breaks down in Kano State, particularly Kano Municipal. The federal government should be held responsible as the act of providing security cover to the former Emir, Aminu Ado Bayero to come back to Kano is an invitation to anarchy.”

Northern monarchs call for restraint

The Northern Traditional Ruling Council, under the chairmanship of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, in a statement yesterday, noted “with concern the situation in Kano as it affects our revered institution.”

“The council with all sense of responsibility calls for restraint on the part of the disputants in the interest of peace and stability more so as the matter has reportedly gone to court and is therefore sub-judice.

“The council prays the Almighty Allah for peace to reign in Kano in particular and Nigeria in general,” the statement reads.

Ulama, CISLAC seek Tinubu’s intervention 

The Ulama in Kano State have called on President Bola Tinubu to take all necessary steps to maintain peace in the state.

This was contained in a statement issued in Kano and signed by 13 Islamic scholars in the state.

According to the statement, Kano State is one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria despite its political complexity, adding that the recent happenings in the emirate, if not carefully handled, could escalate and degenerate into chaos.

The statement, signed by Shaykh Abdullahi Uwais Limanci, Shaykh Ibrahim Khalil, Shaykh Abdulwahab Abdallah Shaykh Nasir Adam and Shaykh Aminu Ibrahim Daurawa, among others, explained that at a point like this, there was a need, as a matter of urgency, for Mr President to wade into the issue for peace to reign.

“It is imperative for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to take all necessary steps to maintain peace in the state. While it is the purview of the State House of Assembly to enact laws for good governance, the state government needs the cooperation and support of the federal government,” it stated.

The statement further added that  the State Assembly amended the Kano State Emirates Law, which the governor assented, adding that the person who took the case to court over violation of his rights was entitled to it.

“Therefore, there is no need for violent enforcement of any order or violent resistant to it, and we vehemently oppose any measures that will bring escalation of conflict in the State. Mr President, as the leader of the nation, should not allow the contest for a royal stool to degenerate to violence. We are calling on Mr President to allow the people of Kano State to resolve these issues amicably without use of any force and loss of lives. Kano State is one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria.”

The Ulama called on both contending parties to use civil means in resolving their differences to allow peace to reign in the state.

In the same vein, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to resist any attempts by desperate politicians to disrupt the peace and harmony currently prevailing in Kano State.

The executive director of CISLAC, Mallam Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, made the call on Saturday in a statement, warning against any attempt to exploit the situation to declare a state of emergency in Kano State.

Rafsanjani expressed concern over the ongoing power tussle involving the two royals.

“The federal government must not allow itself to be used as a tool to further political interests that jeopardise the stability of the state and region.

“These developments threaten to plunge Kano State into chaos and anarchy, undermining the peace and stability of the broader northern Nigeria region.

“Such actions are viewed as reckless and unnecessary provocations that could dismantle over 1,000 years of Kano’s political heritage,” Rafsanjani said.

He also expressed concern that the court ruling, which security operatives are relying on, facilitated the controversial return of Emir Aminu Bayero.

He noted that the said ruling was issued by a judge who is currently out of the country and not in office.

He said, “This situation raises significant concerns about the legitimacy and appropriateness of the court order. The reliance on what CISLAC describes as a ‘kangaroo court order’ to justify the police and other security operatives invasion of Kano State is deeply troubling and exacerbates tensions.”

He insisted that the state government holds the constitutional power to appoint and confirm traditional leaders, including the emir.

The CISLAC boss called for an immediate, peaceful resolution of the conflict and urges all parties to respect the rule of law and the rights of the Kano State Government.

Northern youths write Tinubu, UN, others caution against anarchy

The Northern Youth Assembly (Majalisar Matasan Arewa) has written to President Tinubu, drawing his attention to potential anarchy in Kano State due to alleged plans by some government officials to impose the removed Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, on the people of Kano.

The letter, also sent to international organisations and foreign missions, emphasised that the Kano State House of Assembly has the constitutional authority to make laws and repeal them, and that any attempt to subvert this authority will lead to chaos.

In the letter signed by Dr Ali Idris, its president and Dr Garba Abdulhafiz, its Secretary General, dated 25th May, 2024; the youth group alleged that some officials in the federal government are plotting to use federal security forces and a court order to impose the removed Emir on the people of Kano.

They warn that this would be an unconstitutional overreach, undermining democratic practices and the authority of sub-national governments.

The group urged federal government officials to respect the rule of law and democratic governance, and to avoid actions that could lead to chaos and anarchy in Kano State, which could have far-reaching consequences for the entire northern region.

Nigerian Army lacks power to enforce court order – NBA

Meanwhile, the Kano State Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association has said that it is not within the powers of the Nigerian Army to enforce court order.

The NBA in a statement by its Branch chairman, Sagir Suleiman Gezawa, expressed concern over the involvement of the Nigerian in the purported enforcement of a court order over the ongoing emirship tussle in Kano.

He said, “It must be noted that court has its own mechanism of enforcing its order, it’s not within the powers of the Nigerian Army to deploy troops to enforce court order. This is a sad reminder of the military dictatorship and must be condemned.”

He said, “Engaging security apparatus without the officers of the Deputy Sherrif’s Department of the relevant court that made the order may appear to be self help which must also be condemned.”

He said as a body of lawyers, they are aware that it is within the constitutional duty of a State Assembly to legislate and once passed, it remains the prerogative of a governor to assent to such Law.

“Once assented to by the governor, it has become a Law and its implementation is to be done by state apparatus and of course enforced by a competent court of law.

“It’s further within the purview of courts to interpret such Law to be in tandem with other existing laws or the Constitution.

“In doing so, we urge our members to act responsibly in approaching courts with competent jurisdiction.

“A court order, once given is sacrosanct and must be obeyed. That is the motto of this association, “promoting the rule of law.”

“Anyone found wanting or in disobedience of a court order (which is declaratory in nature) must first be proved to have been notified of the existence of the said court order by issuance of Form 48 and subsequently Form 49 notifying such person of the consequences of his or her actions.

“This is in line with the Sheriff and Civil Processes Act and Laws of the various States for enforcing court judgments.”

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