Kano State House of Assembly may approve the request for the creation of four new emirates for Bichi, Gaya, Karaye and Rano today, Daily Trust reports.
At the plenary yesterday, the assembly received a report from its joint committees on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Judiciary in respect of a petition for upgrading some traditional rulers to first class emirs.
The Majority Leader of the house, Baffa Babba Danagundi (Kano Municipal), presented the report and moved a motion calling on the house to adopt it.
The report was unanimously endorsed by all the members present at the plenary when the Speaker of the House, Alhaji Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, tabled it. It subsequently passed first reading unopposed. The house adjourned till today.
A member of the house, who craved anonymity, told Daily Trust yesterday that the lawmakers would ensure that the motion scales through second and third reading today, and pass same into law and forward it to the state governor Abdullahi Ganduje for his assent.
The lawmaker added that the issue would not face any delay as the assembly was winding up and it needed urgent attention and passage into law.
"I can assure you, we are going to finish everything tomorrow (today) and after passing the bill into law, we will send same to the governor.
"We are lucky that the report of the joint committees of the House on Local Government and chieftaincy Affairs and Judiciary has taken care of more than 95 per cent of the work even before this development come up," he said.
Daily Trust recalled that the house had last year mandated its Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Judiciary to consolidate all laws relating to the Kano Emirate Council, but the committee did not submit its report.
How the issue resurfaced
The new move to break the Kano emirate council resurfaced through a petition to the house by Mallam Ibrahim Salisu Chamber on behalf of the African Institute for Legal Aid (WAILA), who is the actual petitioner.
But efforts to reach Chamber proved abortive, as all calls put through to the two mobile phone numbers on the petition rang severally without answer.
Sources in the Kano assembly said the petition emanated from the executive arm of government, which is at loggerhead with the Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammad Sanusi II over his alleged stance on the last gubernatorial election in the state.
The Kano State governor, speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abba Anwar, has since denied having a hand whatsoever in the matter.
The emir, according to the source, is accused of siding with Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supported by Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso in the last governorship election.
"The emir worked against the governor and is now paying the consequences of his action. Period," the source added.
The Kano Emirate Council could not be reached for comment yesterday, but Walin Kano, Mahe Bashir Wali, had earlier told Daily Trust on phone that when it is time for the council to speak, it will make its stand public.
Don Agundi also said the move by the legislators had nothing to do with politics, but satisfying the yearnings and aspirations of the people they represent.
"People wanted these emirates to be created and the house is considering it based on the powers conferred on it. I am from a royal family and I will not do anything that will tarnish the image of Kano emirate council," he said.
LG chairmen lead protesters to assembly
Meanwhile, hundreds of people from Bichi, Gaya, Karaye and Rano local governments have stormed the Kano State House of Assembly in support of the creation of new emirates in their areas.
The supporters were led to the house by their respective members in the house and local government chairmen. They were received and addressed by the speaker and some principal officers.
One of the supporters of the creation of new emirates, Alhaji Wali Ado Rano said the move is in order as, according to him, it would facilitate rapid development of the affected areas.
He cited Jigawa State as example, saying its five emirate councils of Gumel, Ringim, Hadejia, Kazaure and Dutse had contributed immensely to the development of their subjects.
He added that looking at history, the proposed emirates, especially Gaya, Karaye and Rano, could have been created without any hesitation because they were earlier manned by emirs.
"So, for us the people of Rano, it is welcome idea and we hope the assembly will create these emirates," Rano said.
Alhaji Lawal Sofe from Gaya local government said the area had been denied its right of having first class emir for a very long time, noting that "Gaya, Rano and Karaye have emirs even before the coming of Usman bin Fodio."
Issue elicits mixed reactions among residents
The residents of Kano seem divided over the matter. While some are in support of creating more emirates, others opposed it.
Alhaji Kabiru Auwal, who is against the move, said, "The creation of new emirates will factionalise the people of Kano rather than uniting them. Take Jigawa State, for instance. If the state government intends to build a structure at the state capital which is under the Dutse emirate, other emirates will also demand for similar projects and this is greatly affecting the development of the state."
Auwal said the Kano state governor and the emir should in the interest of peace and unity, settle their differences leave the state under one emirate as it is now.
Malam Ibrahim Sanusi Isa also opposed the idea saying it was politically motivated and would not augur well for the state.
"Although I also blamed the emir for involving in politics, whatever his offense, it does not warrant this kind of punishment. To be honest with you, I can't even begin to imagine Kano state having five first class emirs," he said.
However, Alhaji Bilyaminu Isa Kabir believes the creation of additional emirates would pave way for more development and job opportunities for many people.
He said, "This is history repeating itself. Similar incident happened in 1982, so it is nothing new if it happens now. I will be happy if we can have more first class emirs in Kano. It is in order because many people will get opportunities."
Another respondent, Lawal Muhammad Koki, said it is a welcome development because Kano is too big to have only one first class emir.