“I don’t care if I’m removed again, but Kano emirate must remain one” – Emir Sanusi

Emir Sanusi

The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sunusi II, has said that he doesn’t care whether he was removed again provided that the Kano Emirate remains one as it were before.

Kano emirs palace

The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who spoke in a  published interview,, blamed the crisis rocking the Emirate on the immediate-past administration in Kano State.

“For me, even now that I am here, only God knows how long I will be here. I can die tomorrow. Another governor can come tomorrow and say that he has removed me, it doesn’t matter. But I am happy if he does not touch the emirate.

“I am happy that I will not leave a history that it was during my time that these 1,000 years of history was destroyed. So, I am grateful to this Government, grateful to this Assembly that they have corrected that; that we have the emirate restored to what it was and Insha’Allah that when I die or when I leave, the person who inherits will inherit what we had. It’s about the system, not about me or about any individual”, he explained.

Recall that a Federal High, sitting in Kano State, on Thursday invalidated all actions taken by the Kano State government to repeal the Kano Emirates Council Law 2024. The Kano House of Assembly had originally repealed the law, leading Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf to implement it by removing Aminu Ado Bayero as the Emir of Kano.

Also, the Governor reversed the establishment of four emirates—Bichi, Rano, Karaye, and Gaya—that were created by his predecessor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

The law was used to reinstall Muhammadu Sanusi II, who had been dethroned by Ganduje in 2020, as the 16th Emir of Kano.

However, Aminu Babba Danagundi, a kingmaker in the former Kano emirate known as Sarkin Dawaki Babba, challenged the legality of the law.

In a ruling delivered on Thursday, Justice Abdullahi Muhammad Liman, overturned the actions of the Kano government and directed all parties to maintain the status quo ante.

On Wednesday reported that human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, faulted the decisions of the Federal High Court and National Industrial Court on the emirship tussle in Kano State, describing both decisions as “highly erroneous.”

Falana had insisted that the decisions could not be justified under Sections 251 and 254 (C) of the constitution.

Speaking on the crisis in an interview, which must have been conducted before the court judgement, Sanusi explained that the action of the present administration in the state was geared towards addressing the problem the previous administration of (Abdullahi Umar Ganduje) created in the Kano Emirate.

He explained that there was no problem with the Kano Emirate when the administration of Ganduje ventured into the division of the Emirate into eight, adding that people of Kano were one united and happy people.

According to him, the Kano Emirate was not created by the Nigerian Constitution. “The Emirate existed before Nigeria. The Kano Emirate existed before the Sokoto Jihad. Even Uthman Ɗanfodio did not create the Kano Emirate. The emirate was there. All that happened was that some of his disciples waged a Jihad and conquered Kano. But Kano was in existence. You will never find a law in the Nigerian Constitution or any law that created the Kano.”.

Giving a historical background, the former CBN Governor said that crisis was something “created, manufactured by the previous government. The people of Kano never asked to be divided. In parts of this country, you have had emirates and kingdoms created, and you can understand that. If you go to Kaduna State, at one time, you had everything under Zaria. But you had huge Christian minorities, different ethnic groups, and chiefdoms were created for them.

“It makes sense, if they felt that they did not want to be under the emirate system or under what they saw as a self-denial system. But Kano is a largely homogeneous society. If you see the Christians in Kano, they are part of us. They don’t say they want to leave us. They’re not asking for a different system. Nobody. If you go to Tudun Wada, we have Christians. You go to Rano, we have Christians. We had an issue in Rogo. You may remember that there was an issue. People went and burnt the church. I went there, took out my own personal money and rebuilt the church.

“So, we are one people. Nobody asked for new emirates. So, what we are dealing with is a situation where somebody divided us. And actually, when you create these things, some people get some privileges. They didn’t ask for it, but they’ve enjoyed it for four years.

“Now when they lose it, it’s a problem. But the problem is not what has happened today. It is what happened four years ago. If it had not been done, we would not be in this situation today. We are one family, we are one people.

Emir Sanusi2

“But the truth is, when you take the larger picture, this is a kingdom that has existed for over 1,000 years. If you go to the king’s list in Kano, the king’s list from Baguada starts in 999 AD. We have a list of kings. From Baguada up to me in my first-term, I was the 57th. If you add my cousin and myself, I’m 57th and 59th.

“In that period, we’ve had the expansion of Arewa kingdom. The only time a part of Kano was taken out was when Jigawa State was created, because Jigawa State put together Kazaure Emirate, Hadejia Emirate, Gumel Emirate, but those three combined were not big enough to make a viable State. And Hadejia and Gumel people wanted a State. So, part of Kano was carved out. These are the two emirates of Dutse and Ringim. We were all hurt. As a family, it was like cutting off a part of you. At least Ringim is still with members of our family. That’s fine. It was necessary.

“But what was left still remains what has been there for a thousand years. Now, just like the British partitioned Africa, you divided what had existed over a period of time. People need to understand what this Government did; because people don’t understand what that law was and the kinds of damage it did to our history’s fabric.

“You know, the way the Europeans came and just drew lines on a piece of paper. People say Nigeria is a geographical expression. People are talking about that. You just take people, and they just came and drew a line and say: ‘these nine local governments go there. These nine go there, just like that’. You don’t create emirs for people. Somebody who, for one thousand years, has never been under you, somebody now decrees that this is your king. How?

“Take Bichi for instance. Bichi, as a town, was run by a village-head for centuries. It only became a district under the British. The first district-head of Bichi was Abdullahi Bayero in the 1930s; my great-grandfather. Before him, it was a village-head. There is a title called: Sarkin Bichi, for who is the village head. He’s the king of the town of Bichi. Now, that Sarkin Bichi, historically, reported to a district-head in Dawakin Tofa, Madakin Kano. Now, you make a law and say you have created an emir in Bichi, and Dawakin Tofa should report to Bichi. Do you understand it?

“You had families that waged the Jihad. The Yolawa; the family of Madakin, the Jobawa; family of the Makama. These are kingmakers. You now take two of the four kingmaker families, Madakin and Makama, and say they should go and report, not to Kano, but to an emirate that you created in Bichi. Something that was run by a village-head who was a district-head. How? You make a law and say, these are the kingmakers in Kano. We have had four traditional kingmakers in all our history. Because you like a particular individual, you just decided as a governor, that we now have five kingmakers. Out of nowhere, you created a kingmaker position for an individual.

“You’re dealing with Kano. You’re not dealing with me. It’s not about me as a person. It’s about our history, our culture. How does he become a kingmaker? The other kingmakers, the other four, how did their families become kingmakers? When they went and waged the Jihad, when they came and risked their lives, when they reached this agreement, those four chose the emir. We are not superior to them. We’re all part of the Jihad. And they agreed that for peace, we don’t want to have three, four, five ruling houses; we’ll allow you to produce the emir but we will decide who becomes the emir. These are the four.

“This is the right they claimed for themselves for their contribution to the Jihad. How does somebody now take Mr. A and say I’m creating a fifth kingmaker in Mr. A’s family? What right do you have to join those four? How? What did you do that gives you the right to be a kingmaker? What? There’s just so much wrong”.

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