It was with a sigh of relief that the supporters of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, received the news of the suspension of the planned move to probe the revered traditional ruler. ANDREW ESSIEN, writes on the concerns it raised across the national landscape.
The quintessential and regal traditional ruler of the Kano emirate council, Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II, has gone from being one of Nigeria’s most revered traditional rulers to its most controversial and outspoken in recent times. This is even before the whole hullabaloo of probe began surfacing.
When the move for probing the emirate council came to its feverish height, analysts wondered whether what happened in time past, will reoccur; thunder may yet strike at the same place twice.
The Kano anti-corruption agency had claimed to have an airtight case against the Kano Emirate, which is presided over by Emir Sanusi II. The Kano State Assembly also organised a committee to investigate the Emir and the stage was set for a major showdown.
Analysts posit that “trouble may have started in paradise” because of the Emir’s outspokenness on issues bordering on the state of the nation, particularly in the north. He had come under fire especially from many northern elites who felt that he had spoken too much about the issues affecting his region, this, in no small measure, had put him at cross roads with the elites.
At the heart of the matter, traditional rulers are entitled to certain percentages (5 percent some say) of all resources accruing to the local government councils under their jurisdiction. Meaning that there is a war chest of resources at the disposal of the Emir and since Kano has 44 local government areas, drawing allocation from their sources meant that the emir will be insulated from the fangs of the current economic climate prevailing in the country.
With this development, many people were of the opinion that if the north is poor, the Emir contributed and is still contributing to the poverty level and therefore, those who come to equity, must do so with clean hands.
However, it is also generally believed that from the monies accruing to the emirate council, various district heads that administer the emirate are supposed to be paid therefrom. With no traditional ruler in the country ever being called upon to give account of how these monies are spent, the planned probe of the Emir was seen by many as a witch hunt.
While many, including beneficiaries of the Emir’s generosity and his associates preferred to stay on the sidelines of the issue, Comrade Timi Frank, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who himself had a brush with “constituted authority” for his outspokenness, believed that the probe will have negative impact on the traditional institution across the country as it will set a bad precedence for others.
Comrade Frank, also urged Governor Ganduje to overlook some of the perceived excesses of Malam Sanusi who he described as a kind of “new generation Emir”, appealing to the respected Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, other traditional leaders in the country, Northern Governors Forum and other elders in the region to intervene and settle the matter amicably.
Frank said “I will call on our traditional fathers to quickly intervene now before this controversy between the state government and the Kano Emirate degenerate into unexpected occurrences.”
“While I want to make a passionate appeal to our dear Governor Ganduje and the state lawmakers not to exercise their full strength against whatever perceived wrong doings by Malam Sanusi led Emirate in Kano, I believe, like other opinion leaders have said, that there should be a way to amicably settle the differences.”
He reminded the state lawmakers and the governor not to forget so soon how Sanusi spoke out the truth during the past administration which later garnered substantial support for the enthronement of APC government in the country.
Comrade Frank also called on the federal government not to keep quiet but intervene to ensure peace and tranquility between Kano State government and Emir Sanusi led Emirate.
Few days after Frank’s appeal, reprieve came the way of the Emir when the lawmakers suspended the investigations indefinitely on the request of the governor, whose intervention, many believe, will go a long way in enhancing the relationship between the government and the traditional institution on one hand and enhance rapid development of the state. By his action, the governor may have inadvertently saved a lot of lives of his people that could have been affected directly or indirectly by deposition or suspension of Sanusi as Emir as a result of the outcome of the probe.
Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Alhaji Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, who announced the decision of the house, also disclosed that prominent Nigerians including Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo appealed to the house to suspend the investigation of the emir. According to him, two former Nigerian leaders, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar, as well as Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Alhaji Aminu Dantata and national leaders of the ruling APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu also intervened and put a word for the Emir.
The Speaker was quoted as saying that he wrote to the house, appealing to them to suspend the probe indefinitely. He said: “Governor Ganduje has explained everything to us and we are convinced that the emir deserves to be forgiven since he has accepted his mistakes and promised not to repeat them again. The governor told the house in the letter that based on the personal remorse by the emir and intervention of various personalities, he is pleading with us to stop the investigation.
It is based on this that we have succumbed to his request and completely stopped our investigation. We stopped the investigation not because we don’t have the mandate to do it, but because we also want peace and harmony to continue in our dear state, because we want the government, the emirate council and the house to continue to work peacefully”.
For the people of the Kano Emirate council and supporters of the Emir of Kano, Mallam Muhammadu Sanusi ll, it was a big relief that the State House of Assembly announced that it was suspending indefinitely, the planned probe of the first class traditional ruler.