His Royal Excellency, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has been dethroned as the emir of Kano by the Kano state government led by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
For many Nigerians, the development was not surprising; the Kano state governor has been in an endless battle with the dethroned monarch for months.
The genesis of the battle which has defied all reconciliation attempts could be traced to the 2019 general elections. However, let us first understand the "real" reason Governor Ganduje attached to Sanusi's removal, according to a press release put out by the Secretary to the state government (SSG), Alhaji Usman Alhaji.
Why Emir Sanusi was removed - Usman Alhaji, Kano SSG
According to the statement by the SSG, Emir Sanusi was dethroned for disrespecting lawful instructions "from the office of the state governor and other lawful authorities."
One of such alleged disrespectful acts by Sanusi was his alleged consistent refusal to attend official meetings and programmes organised by the state government.
The state government accused Sanusi of insubordination for allegedly refusing to attend the so-called official meetings without any "lawful justification".
In addition, the Ganduje-led government said Emir Sanusi has repeatedly breached part 3 section 13 (a-e) of the Kano state emirate law 2019.
2. Alleged violation of culture and tradition of Kano state
The state government said if it does not check the actions of the dethroned Emir, "the good and established image of the Kano Emirate" will be destroyed.
While the statement does not indicate the provisions of part 3 section 13 (a-e) of the Kano state emirate law 2019, there is a strong suggestion that it has to do with the alleged violation of culture and tradition of the state.
This is because the state government said in the latter part of the statement that Sanusi's removal was "to safeguard sanctity, culture, tradition, religion and prestige of the Kano Emirate built over a thousand years.”
Also, on Wednesday, March 4, the Kano state House of Assembly led by Speaker Abdul’aziz Garba Gafasa had announced its decision to probe Sanusi over alleged violation of culture and tradition of the state.
According to the state legislature, the decision to probe Sanusi was taken after two petitions were brought before them against the person of the monarch.
The petitioners accused the traditional monarch of making public utterances which contradict the state's conservative norms and culture, adding that the grouses were backed by video CD evidence.
While the probe committee was asked to submit the report of its findings in seven days time, it is not immediately clear whether its findings formed part of the reasons Governor Ganduje finally dethroned Emir Sanusi.
However, Legit.ng reports how the alleged plan to submit a report recommending the removal of Emir Sanusi is said to have resulted in a fight in the Kano state House of Assembly on Monday, February 9.
The alleged real reasons Governor Ganduje is after Emir Sanusi emerge
As earlier noted, the crisis between Governor Ganduje and Emir Sanusi dated back to 2019. In the early part of last year, the Kano state governor signed into law a bill creating four new emirates in the state.
Political pundits claimed the move was to reduce the influence of Emir Sanusi.
Also, the state's anti-corruption agency of the government reopened an investigation into the finances of the Kano Emirate Council, the body overseeing the state’s traditional institutions, headed by Emir Sanusi.
On May 19, 2019, Daily Trust reported that anonymous sources familiar with the matter said Ganduje's actions were linked with the emir’s alleged display of open partisanship during the 2019 elections.
The newspaper reported that officials close to the Kano governor disclosed that in the run-up to the governorship election in the state, Emir Sanusi met about five times with the leader of the Kwankwasiyya movement, Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso and Ganduje’s main challenger and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Engineer Abba Kabir Yusuf.
The meetings were alleged to be centred on how to strategise on winning the gubernatorial election, which Governor Ganduje eventually won.
One of the sources reportedly claimed Emir Sanusi also directed district heads in the state not only to vote for the PDP in their respective domains but to ensure that the ruling APC was defeated in the general elections.
The officials said that these alleged activities by Sanusi got Governor Ganduje very angry and led to his alleged plot to remove him.
The failed reconciliation efforts
Before the eventual dethronement, there have been many failed attempts to resolve the crisis. The latest was a reconciliation committee set up in December 2019.
The committee headed by Nigeria's former military head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.) was set up to intervene and put an end to the lingering crisis between Kano state governor and the emir. But like other previous efforts, it also failed.
Emir Sanusi; The outspoken dethroned Kano monarch
Emir Sanusi ascended the throne on June 8, 2014, following the death of al-Haji Ado Bayero, who reigned from 1963 till his death in 2014. Since the beginning of his reign, the Kano monarch has consistently criticised the perceived ills (poverty, poor leadership, lack of education, etc) in the north, which usually unsettled the northern elites.
Just recently, the dethroned emir warned the north would destroy itself if it does not change its current status and address the challenges of poverty, millions of out-of-school children, malnutrition, drug problem, and Boko Haram insurgency.
He said that no recent leader of the north can afford to be happy in the face of the multitude of challenges confronting the region.
He stated this in Kaduna on Monday, February 17, at an event marking the 60th birthday of Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai.
The way forward: Appointment of new emir
Governor Ganduje has called on the people of Kano state to remain calm, adding that a new emir of Kano Emirate will soon be appointed.
However, at the time of filing this report, the dethroned Emir of Kano is yet to react to his dethronement.
Emir Sanusi dethroned: The social media reactions
Nigerians have been reacting to the report of the dethronement on social media.
Senator Shehu Sani, a former Kaduna lawmaker, said: "The removal of Emir Sanusi represents the incompatibility of the crown and conscience, the consequences of dissent against established norms and the heavy price of holding principles in our north. It also revealed the intolerance and toxicity of the liquor of power.
"The Northern Elders Peace keeping force led by General Abdulsalam sent to enforce a ceasefire and restore peace in the Civil war between the Forces of the Emir and that of the Governor failed in their mission; And they quietly withdrew unannounced, leaving behind an escalation."
Kadaria Ahmed, a popular Nigerian journalist said: "We know it is well with HRH Muhammadu Sanusi 11 and it will always be well with him. In all things we say Alhamdullilah."
"History repeats itself, in 1963, Emir Sir Muhammadu Sanusi I was dethroned as a result of the power struggle between him and Ahmadu Bello.
57 years later, his son Emir Sanusi Mohammed Sanusi II is dethroned by Governor Ganduje," Iho Terence Terna.
NAIJ.com (naija.ng) - Legit.ng We have upgraded to serve you better.
Emir Sanusi blasts Nigerian leadership | - on Legit TV