We Were Patient With Him – Kano Gov
In spite of interventions by President Muhammadu Buhari for an amicable settlement of the dispute between Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Muhammadu Sanusi II, the governor made up his mind to remove Sanusi since 2017, a reliable source at State House said yesterday in Abuja.
Reacting to allegations of collusion with the presidency to remove the former emir, the source said the presidency made futile efforts at many stages of the conflict to avoid an escalation. He said the President Buhari had battled to calm frayed nerves to such a level that he made it clear that if the situation warranted it, he would not hesitate to declare emergency rule in Kano.
The deposed emir is believed to have first courted the anger of the governor after criticising a multi-billion naira light rail project of the state government in April 2017, describing it as a misplacement of priority.
The source who requested anonymity said when Ganduje made up his mind to remove Sanusi in 2017, he informed President Buhari of the decision but the president said it was inappropriate. “This was followed by a letter to the governor dated November 17, 2017 in which the president’s advice was clearly stated.
The president directed his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, to follow up for a peaceful resolution of the crisis of confidence between the two,” the source said.
He added that this led to the setting up a committee made up of five state governors led by Dr. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State who did their best to restore calm but occasional flare-ups continued and were aggravated by the tense situations under which the governor re-emerged for his second term in 2019. He said Governor Fayemi, Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State and the Inspector General of Police paid visits to Kano to prevail on Ganduje not to remove the emir in those tense moments in the interest of peace and security, but that Ganduje was piqued by the emir’s failure to keep off partisan politics, especially as it related to the governor’s re-election. “In reaction to the various suggestions by senior citizens including Generals Babangida, Wushishi and Abdulsalami Abubakar, among others, the Chief of Staff sought for permission and gave the green light for the commencement of work by the Abdulsalami Abubakar committee.
“The committee members sat down with the president at the Villa to discuss their mission. At this meeting, the president outlined the efforts he put into the resolution of the conflict in Kano and said he had had enough. He gave assurances of support and put at their disposal, the use of the presidential aircraft, then wished them the best of luck.
But he did make it clear that if the situation warranted it, we would not hesitate to clamp an emergency rule on the state,” he added. According to him, Governor Ganduje gave conditions for peace, including the withdrawal of court cases by Sanusi against the state government, and Sanusi allegedly accepted to withdraw some of the cases, but stood his ground on the others, including his refusal to withdraw a court case instituted by Bashir Tofa and his group who the state government alleged to be Sanusi’s proxy.
“It was clear all this while that the inflexibility to meet some of the conditions for peace by both have added complications that made peace almost impossible,” he said, adding that the Abubakar committee report didn’t give any “glimmer of hope” for ending the crisis, and despite all these efforts among others, it would be baseless to accuse President Buhari of ordering Ganduje to depose Sanusi, considering his various peace initiatives.
According to the source, the president holds Sanusi in the highest esteem and has nothing personal against him and, therefore, couldn’t have told Ganduje to depose him. The source described as nonsensical, allegations that Buhari was complicit in the emir’s alleged forceful removal and exile to Nasarawa.
Reacting, the Kano State Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, said Buhari had no hand in the emir’s removal, noting that the crisis started in 2017, but the governor exhausted all avenues for reconciliation which failed. “The governor was so patient with the deposed emir. No governor in this country can tolerate the deposed emir the way Ganduje did. An emir that will not support programmers and policies of government will never be in peace with his governor.
The deposed emir is representing people, so if he has any personal grudges, he should put that aside when it comes to the issue of supporting programmes and policies that will benefit his subjects.” Sanusi in a video that circulated yesterday insisted that due process was not followed in his removal. He said if he had gone to court, he would have recovered his throne, adding that he would not do that because he has decided to move on