Nigeria: Kano Govt Weakens Emir Sanusi's Powers, Splits Emirate

Emir Sanusi

The process for the creation of four new emirates from the present Kano Emirate Council which started on Monday was completed yesterday by the Kano State House of Assembly and Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

After the deliberating and passing the bill on the creation of four additional first class emirate councils in the state by the House of Assembly, the lawmakers sent it the same day to the governor, who also assented to it.

The new emirate councils are Bichi, Gaya, Karaye and Rano.

At their plenary yesterday, the lawmakers approved the amendment of the Kano State Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Law to give way for the creation of the emirates to be headed by first class traditional rulers.

Although the lawmakers said that the exercise was carried out to bring development to the grassroots, some stakeholders believe that it was designed to whittle the powers of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II.

Under the unfolding arrangement, Sanusi will henceforth have jurisdiction over 10 of the 44 local government areas of the state, which falls into the Kano Emirate Council. The remaining 34 will be under supervision of the four emirs to be appointed soon by the governor.

It is against this background that some stakeholders in the state see Sanusi as the target and victim of the new order.

With the new arrangement, Emir Sanusi's jurisdiction is now limited to Kano Municipal, Tarauni, Dala, Nassarawa, Fagge, Gwale, Kumbotso, Ungogo, Dawakin Kudu, and Minjibir local government areas.

The emir of Rano will be in charge of Rano, Bunkure, Kibiya, Takai, Sumaila, Kura, Doguwa, Tudun Wada, Kiru, and Bebeji councils.

The LGs under Gaya Emirate Council are Gaya, Ajingi, Albasu, Wudil, Garko, Warawa, Gezawa, and Gabasawa.

Under Karaye Emirate Council are Karaye, Rogo, Gwarzo, Kabo, RiminGado, Madobi, and Garun Malam local government areas.

Bichi Emirate Council comprises Bichi, Bagwai, Shanono, Tsanyawa, Kunchi, Makoda, Danbatta, Dawakin Tofa, and Tofa local government areas.

In a motion presented to the House by the majority leader, Hon. Baffa Babba, the lawmakers unanimously endorsed the creation of the four emirates, arguing that it would lead to job creation, prompt resolution of disputes and communal conflicts, among others.

The lawmakers added that the passage of the bill would lead to the decentralisation of the Kano Emirate Council and also remove certain powers from the Emir of Kano.

There are speculations that Sanusi is paying for allegedly opposing the re-election of Ganduje in the March 9, 2019 governorship election, which he eventually won through a rerun election.

The Kano Emirate was a religious state in Northern Nigeria founded in 1805 during the Fulani Jihad, when the old Hausa Sultanate of Kano became subject to the Sokoto Caliphate. During and after the colonial period, the powers of the emirate were steadily reduced.

Muhammadu Sanusi II the 14th emir of Kano was crowned on June 8, 2014 after the death of his uncle, Alhaji Ado Bayero, who died on June 6 of the same year.

LEADERSHIP recalls that some All Progressives Congress (APC) supporters destroyed all the portraits of Sanusi at the Government House shortly after Ganduje won the supplementary election.

The jubilant crowd demonstrated their anger over the eminent monarch alleged indifference to Ganduje's re-election.

Speaking earlier at a media briefing ahead of the 136th State Executive Council (SEC) meeting, the governor said that he would sign the bill into law immediately the House sends it to him.

Ganduje said: "We heard about a bill sent to the state House of Assembly, requesting them to make a law for the creation of four more emirs in Kano.

"We believe the petitioners did it in good faith. And they want the development of the state. I hope the legislative arm would work on it and forward it to me for assent of which I am ready to sign into law without any waste of time.

"That is the popular wish of our people. This will also go a long way in hastening growth and development for the state," he said.

According to him, the idea had been on for many years, adding that "with the creation of more emirates, all sectors of the society would witness real progress.

He said: "It will also lead to the spread of health, education and other equally important facilities across various segments of the society. That is why I said there will be no waste of time in signing the bill into law.

"That is the popular wish of our people in Kano State. This will also go a long way in hastening growth and development of the state," the governor added.

During the official presentation of the bill to the governor yesterday, the speaker of the House, Hon. Speaker Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, called on the newly appointed emirs to live up to the expectations of their people.

He said that Gaya, Karaye and Rano are the newly established emirate councils which have been in existence for over 1,000 years.

Rurum said: "We are now very grateful that the hitherto existing emirate councils are now fully back. This will indeed be another plus for the Ganduje administration and our legislators for meeting the yearnings and aspirations of our people."

The Speaker hinted that when the bill was presented to the House many people went into jubilation, adding that the lawmakers received encomiums from all over the state.

Section 4 (1) of the law stipulates that the membership of the Kano State Emirate Council shall consists of the Emir of Kano, Emir of Rano, Emir of Gaya, Emir of Karaye, and Emir of Bichi.

Other members, according to the Act, are the secretary to the state government (SSG), the commissioner for Local Government, the chairmen of all the local government areas in the state, at least two kingmakers from each of the five emirates, and not more than five other members to be appointed by the governor.

Section 4(2) states that the chairman of the council shall be the Emir of Kano while the deputy chairman shall be the Emir of Rano.

The law added in section 4 (3) that "nothing in this section shall preclude an emir from any of the emirates from the contest of the Emir of Kano so long as he is an heir to the throne."

Other Bills that were signed alongside the Emirate Councils Bill into law by Ganduje were the Kano State Public Health Bill of 2019, Kano State Water and Sanitation Sector Reform Bill of 2019, Kano State Pension Rights for Speaker and Deputy Speaker Bill of 2019, and the Kano State College of Health, Science and Technology, among others.

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