Just As His Grandfather, Muhammadu Sanusi 1, Was Dethroned As A Result Of Power Struggle (hidden Under The Cloak Of A Probe) Between Him And Ahmadu Bello. The Current Emir Of Kano Is Also Under Political Persecution.
It was a dramatic denouement to a conflict that started months earlier. The setting was Government House in Kaduna in 1963 and the two characters that day were Sir Kashim Ibrahim, Governor of Northern Region and Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi 1, grandfather of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (now Muhammadu Sanusi 11), the current occupant of that throne.
The two men exchanged greetings by shaking hands stiffly. Sir Kashim, with a probably shaky voice, delivered a bomb. Government had accepted to implement the recommendation of the probe panel, set up by Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto and the Premier of Northern Region, that Sanusi should be removed from office.
“Do you have any response to this?” Sir Kashim asked, without making eye contacts. Sanusi, with the gait of a stoic, answered with philosophical equanimity: “Nothing”.
Sir Kashim, thereafter, fished out a prepared resignation letter for Sanusi to sign. He did without shaking.
The Governor asked his guest further where he wanted to go into exile. Sanusi senior chose Azare, a city in Bauchi State. Like King Jaja of Opobo, Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi of Benin or Olowo of Owo, Oba Olateru Olagbegi who were banished outside their domains by the powers that be (the first two by the British colonialists and the last, by Governor Adeyinka Adebayo of Western Region), that was the beginning of Patriarch Sanusi’s journey into exile in Azare where he spent 20 years and died.
What happened in 1963 as a result of power tussle between him and Ahmadu Bello is repeating itself in 2017 between the northern political establishment and the current Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi 11. He too is to be probed, a situation of political deja vu. The Kano State House of Assembly has set up an eight-man committee, headed by the Chief Whip of the House, Alhaji Labaran Abdul, to probe Sanusi II. Just like such was directed at his grandfather, questions were being raised on alleged misconduct and alleged misappropriation of funds belonging to the Kano Emirate Council. The Speaker of the state assembly, Kabiru Alhassan Rurum accused Sanusi of spreading rumour on the trip of the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to China recently to hold discussions on a light rail project in the state, arguing that it “was capable of tarnishing the governor’s image, the state government and that of the assembly.”
The speaker added: “The emir during his speech in Kaduna, alleged that the Kano State governor and his entourage, including me as the Chairman of the House Committee on Works, wasted one month in China seeking for a loan to construct the light rail project. The emir’s statement was not true, we spent only four days in China, and our visit was to find out the capacity of the company to handle the rail project. His allegation has brought a lot of insults to my person, the state government and the House of Assembly by the general public in and outside the state.”
The speaker took a dig at Sanusi for acting against tradition by sending his daughter who failed to wear the “full traditional regalia”to represent him at a function organised by the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group in Abuja, saying, “There are many responsible Emirate Council members who could have represented him at the programme. This is the first time we are seeing such in the history of the traditional home.”
The speaker still had more bullets to fire at Sanusi’s fragile frame, saying the traditional ruler had begun to introduce religious views that are, as ThisDay put it, contrary to the teachings of Islam, saying such things were capable of undermining the religion. Worse still, he charged that Sanusi was “getting involved in political issues, the misappropriation of the Emirate Council’s funds and making statements against President Muhammadu Buhari.”