Details have emerged of alleged infractions by the Emir of Kano, Mallam Muhammadu Sanusi II, for which Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has taken some drastic actions. The actions of the governor are seen to be targeted at the monarch.
Last week, the Kano State governor signed into law, a bill creating four new emirates in the state. Also, the anti-corruption agency of the government reopened an investigation into the finances of the Kano Emirate Council, the body overseeing the state’s traditional institutions, headed by Emir Sanusi.
However, a Kano High Court had issued an order stopping Ganduje from appointing new emirs pending the determination of a suit challenging the action filed before it by two state legislators.
Coming after the 2019 general elections, Ganduje’s actions have been interpreted as the fallout of the emir’s display of open partisanship during the polls, which saw the governor winning only after a second round of voting.
Revealing the specifics, officials close to the state governor disclosed that in the run-up to the governorship election in the state, the traditional ruler met about five times with the leader of the Kwankwasiyya movement, Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso and Ganduje’s main challenger and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Engineer Abba Kabir Yusuf, popularly known as Abba Gida-Gida, to startegise on winning the election.
One of the sources said Sanusi also directed district heads in the state not only to vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in their respective domains but to ensure that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was defeated in the general elections.
“He also summoned his relatives and directed them to work for the PDP and ensure that the incumbent governor did not return for a second term. As if that was not enough, the emir used his connections to mobilise huge funds through friends and business partners and used same in campaigning against the APC during the election,” the official said.
The government source further alleged that after the February 23 governorship election and the subsequent declaration of Kano gubernatorial poll as inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Emir called several personalities, begging them not to allow the rerun election to hold in Kano.
Among the personalities he allegedly reached out to were people in the Presidency, the INEC, the APC leadership and a head of a security agency.
“He told some of them that there was every tendency of Kano witnessing another round of political riot if Abba Yusuf, the PDP candidate was not declared winner of the election,” the source said, adding, “But when it was evident that the rerun must hold, the Emir changed his strategy by moving into the security circle trying to convince personnel to work against the APC.”
He allegedly met with a senior police officer sent to supervise the rerun election and tried to influence him to support the PDP candidate, the source said.
Another state government official accused Sanusi of sticking to his guns in ensuring that Ganduje did not return for a second term, even after the governor had won the rerun election, by directing the district heads of the areas where the rerun poll was held to write damaging reports about it, with a view to discrediting it.
“Emir Sanusi directed all the district heads of the areas affected by the rerun election to come up with reports that would indicate that the poll was marred by violence. Some of the district heads complied with his directives, but others refused to do so. And even those that did it later confessed that they were directed by the Emir to do so.
“The Emir did so many things which did not only touch the governor directly but also the entire system of the APC. He also worked against the Presidency directly by inciting the public against the Buhari-led government,” the source said.
Government officials told Daily Trust on Sunday that these alleged activities by Sanusi got Governor Ganduje very angry.
The governor, after assenting to the new emirates bill, quickly went round and issued the new emirs with staff of office. This is even as the state’s Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission invited officials of Sanusi’s palace for questioning over the council’s account.
Another reason for the speed with which the new emirates bill was approved by the state assembly, Daily Trust on Sunday gathered, was the fact that the Speaker of the Kano State House of Assembly, Alhaji Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, holds the traditional title of Turakin Rano and the creation of Rano Emirate would automatically make him a kingmaker. Turaki is among the kingmakers by the recommendation of the Kano State Emirs (Appointment and Deposition) (Amendment) Law 2019.
Our correspondent further learnt that there are also many other interested parties from Karaye and Gaya emirates that equally played influential roles in the creation of the new emirates.
When contacted, the state’s Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, said he would not comment on anything relating to the creation of new emirates or the relationship between the governor and the emir, noting that “these emirates have already been created.”
Sanusi’s chief of staff, Alhaji Munir Sanusi, declined comment, saying, “I’m not in a position to speak to press on this issue because there are other senior council members.”