MUHAMMAD KABIR reports on the lingering supremacy battle between Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje and the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi over the creation of new emirate councils in the ancient city despite efforts by the General Abdulsalami Abubakar-led reconciliation committee and other interventions by eminent Nigerians to resolve the crisis
The political battle between Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi seems to have taken a more worrisome dimension as the General Abdulsalami Abubakar-led Reconciliation Committee failed in its task.
Perhaps, the committee failed because the governor refused to yield pressure mounted on him to revert to the status quo on the Kano Emirates Council even as the Emir is said to be facing yet another alleged fraud charges involving his some of his aides, who allegedly sold plots of lands belonging to the Emirate without following due process.
Though Emir Sanusi could now heave a sigh of relief that he would no longer be dethroned from his exalted seat, his quest to ensure the repeal of the law on the creation of four additional emirate councils which is the bone of contention met a brick wall.
A source close to the committee told our correspondent that the Abdulsalami committee met with Governor Ganduje at the Aminu Kano House, Asokoro, Abuja, in a bid to persuade him to retrace his steps on the new emirate councils.
This was after Emir Sanusi reportedly stormed the Katsina State government lodge in Abuja to meet with Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, who is the chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) alongside Katsina State governor Aminu Masari and others to lobby them on the issue.
The source further disclosed that the meeting between the Abdulsalami committee and Ganduje, which was slated for last week Tuesday at the Aminu Kano House, Abuja, for 2.pm, couldn’t hold as scheduled as both parties had other engagement in Abuja until the governor accompanied by Senator Barau Jibrin; onetime kingmaker in the Kano Emirate, Aminu Babba Dan Agundi and the National Treasurer of All Progressives Congress (APC) Panda and others.
On the side of General Abubakar were General Mohammed Wushishi and Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, among others, who eventually met with the committee at about 8.30 pm.
“We waited for over two hours before Ganduje returned, the Emir kept calling my boss pleading for his understanding of the need for them to wait for the governor,” the source revealed.
He added that during the meeting, members of the committee pleaded with the governor on the need for him and Sanusi to reconcile for the peace and progress of the state.
Part of the request put forward to the governor by the committee was to dissolve the four newly created emirate councils and not to dethrone Emir Sanusi, among others.
However, Ganduje told the committee that he will embark on a consultation on their request, promising to get back when the meeting reconvenes this week.
As scheduled, the meeting reconvened at 12.30 pm the next day, where Ganduje was said to have told the committee point blank that he will not rescind his decision on the creation of the four additional emirates.
Nevertheless, Ganduje assured Emir Sanusi that he bears no grudges against the Emir notwithstanding the fact that the new emirates have come to stay.
The parley ended at about 3:30 pm had in attendance, Emir Sanusi and all his district heads although the district heads were not part of the meeting.
Ganduje stood his ground and told them in clear terms that nothing will change on the new emirates. He assured them that he won’t victimize the Emir, cautioning that the Emir too should steer clear of indulgence in partisan politics.
It was further gathered that shortly after the meeting, Emir Sanusi requested for a one-on-one meeting with Ganduje that lasted for 15 minutes.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government-backed committee led by General Abubakar was formed to intervene in the Kano crisis, with a view to bringing about, full reconciliation and effective resolution of the matter.
A statement signed by Adamu Fika on December 22, 2019, had disclosed that “against the background of the crisis in Kano, a matter that has since degenerated into serious tension within the state, with likely consequences on peace and security with the possibility of spilling into neighbouring states, a group of elders, under the chairmanship of General Abdulsalami Abubakar to intervene.”
Continuing, the statement added that “two state governors are also members of the committee. They are Governor Kayode Fayemi (who is also the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum) and Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State.”
The statement further revealed that other members of the committee include: Alhaji Adamu Fika, Wazirin Fika, General Muhammadu Inuwa Wushishi, Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim, Dr. Dalhatu Sarki Tafida, Dr. Umaru Mutallab, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and Sheikh Sharif Ibrahim Saleh.
The committee had wanted to meet with Ganduje but the meeting couldn’t hold because the governor was traveling for lesser hajj then.
When contacted, the Senior Special Adviser (Media) to the governor, Salihu Tanko Yakasai, however denied knowledge of the meeting. “I’m not aware if any meeting like that took place to be honest with you,” he said.
Effort to reach Mallam Munir Sanusi Bayero, who is an aide to Emir Sanusi on phone on the issue failed to yield the desired result.
However, despite the seeming failure to reach a conclusive resolution of the dispute between Ganduje and Emir Sanusi, a former governor of Kano State, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, said he is making frantic moves to reconcile the duo.
Shekarau told our correspondent through his media aide, Sule Yau Sule, that he has gone far in trying to bring to an end to dispute. “As a member of the state’s traditional institution as Sardauna of Kano and governor of the state for eight years, I know how best to resolve the imbroglio between the two most important institutions.”
The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, who also made intervention in the matter during a recent courtesy visit on Governor Ganduje, urged him to reconsider his government’s decision on the creation of additional emirates in Kano State.
“I am very worried and concerned over the issue, I urge you to please reconsider your decision your excellency. When I had a meeting with his Eminence over the issue, he said that reconciliatory moves were being made to settle the issue.
“Your Excellency, I appeal to you on behalf of myself and my brothers, please even if you are offended, please tamper justice with mercy. I advise you to please approach the issue with lots of caution and maturity,” Oba Ewuare, who was accompanied by the Emir Sanusi during the visit, said.
The Benin monarch advised that “whatever must have instigated the recent splitting of the Kano Emirate should be treated with utmost care, maturity and the wisdom that our forefathers applied in handling matters of such nature.”
He expressed satisfaction over the cordial relationship he saw between the governor and the Emir as against what is being circulated around.
His words: “When we sat there waiting for this hall to be arranged, the very close rapport that I saw between Your Excellency and His Royal Highness is evident that they don’t show any sign of conflict ever existed in Kano. I said to myself, so I have just been reading a lot of things as the media will put it for the benefit of selling their papers” he stated.
Ganduje, who did not respond to the plea, however expressed his intention to work hand-in-hand with the traditional institution in moving the state forward.
“I listened to your rich speech with keen interest and attention and I am happy that you among others commented on the role of traditional rulers in nation building. Inclusiveness of traditional rulers in governance is being given high priority in Kano, particularly when you are talking of those parameters that are indispensable for human development; that is education and health services” the governor stated.
Earlier in his address, Emir Sanusi, who was visiting the Kano government house in a very long time, used the opportunity to congratulate Governor Ganduje on his victory at the Supreme Court. He appreciated the call by the Kano governor for the need to build a united Kano and promised to contribute his quota.
His words: “Since this is the first visit I’m making to the government house since the Supreme Court victory of the governor, let me use this opportunity, on behalf myself and the Emirate Council to congratulate you and your government, congratulations.
“I have listened carefully to your acceptance speech and your call to the people of Kano to unify and I will add my voice to that call for unity.