Kano Emirate tussle and national security, by Mukhtar Ya’u Madobi


Over a month ago, the ancient city of Kano State became a staple in Nigerian media. This followed the dethronement of Emir Aminu Ado Bayero and the subsequent reinstatement of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II by Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf.

Recall that Muhammadu Sanusi was earlier deposed from the same throne in 2020 by the immediate past Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, after the amendment of the Kano State Emirate Council Law 2019, which paved the way for the balkanisation of the sole Kano Emirate into five which included Karaye, Bichi, Rano and Gaya Emirates respectively.

In a situation that can be described as ‘back to square one’, the Kano Emirate Council (Amendment No. 2) Law, 2024, scrapped four of the five emirates’ councils of the state last month and removed all the five emirs.

However, the situation is far from straightforward. A complex web of accusations and counteraccusations and a series of intense legal battles have unfolded between the two camps (Kano State Government and Emir Aminu Ado Bayero). The latter continues to challenge what he described as his ‘unjust’ removal from the venerated throne.

Despite the ongoing debate among pundits and analysts about the legality of the dethronement of Emir Aminu Ado Bayero and his replacement with the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, it’s crucial to recognize the potential threat this Kano Emirate tussle poses to the fragile peace in Kano State and the national security as a whole. This is a matter of utmost urgency and seriousness.

Because, up to now, while Emir Muhammadu Sanusi continued to take shelter at the main Palace in Kofar Kudu, Emir Aminu Ado Bayero has been occupying the mini Palace at Nasarawa under the protection of federal security agents. And both the duo are claiming legitimacy to the throne!

Recall that, until the recent move made by the Kano State Police Command, Emir Muhammadu Sanusi’s palace has been protected by hunters (also known as ‘Yan Tauri in Hausa dialect) who were mobilised from the State local councils to the city.

Meanwhile, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, while jumping in defence of his political mentee on this lingering Emirate fracas, accused the federal government of participating in instigating crises in Kano city while describing the situation as tantamount ‘to breeding another set of Boko Haram insurgents in Northern Nigeria.”

In his words, he added, “We will not fold our arms and watch enemies of the state destroy the peaceful co-existence of our dear state, we shall do everything possible to support the governor to succeed. I am happy he is not distracted and focused on achieving his goals.”

However, a lot of people, including this writer, believe that this kind of unguarded statement from an elder statesman of his calibre is uncalled for, especially at this critical moment when the ‘peace-loving’ state is facing a difficult moment of testing its widely acknowledged perseverance and commitment to harmony.

Looking at the number of large followers he commands in the state due to his political prowess, his words may influence the minds of some supporters capable of enticing them to take the law into their own hands, thereby causing public disorder.

It is gratifying that for more than a decade, Kano City has never experienced any security threats from the activities of Boko Haram insurgents, who are mostly operating in the Northeastern part of the country. Therefore, it is not proper for any responsible citizen to wish for that, whether willfully or unintentionally, due to his actions or sayings.

Therefore, the intelligence community and other security agencies, including police and the military, should take proactive measures in dealing with any action that can undermine the peace in the Kano metropolis and its environs.

Because fake news, hate speeches and unguarded utterances have been identified as among the major catalysts that facilitate breach of national security and undermine peace in any given society.

Still, on this matter, it can be recalled how the Kano State Deputy Governor, Comrade Abdulsalam Aminu Gwarzo, made a similar unsubstantiated accusation against the National Security Adviser (NSA ) Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, which he later retracted and tendered a public apology due to lack of evidence.

Again, it is also fresh in our minds how fake news in October 2020 amplified the #ENDSARS movement staged by the Nigerian youths, almost came close to burning the country to ashes but was brought down under control by swift interventions of security forces.

Thus, similar efforts need to be replicated here in Kano at this dire moment to avert a breach of law and order that can or may be sponsored by mischief-makers who wish to satisfy their selfishness without recourse to the interest of the masses.

The recent posting of Garba Salman Dogo, a native of Kwara State, as the new Commissioner of Police in charge of Kano, has sparked rumors suggesting that his appointment aims to facilitate Emir Aminu Ado Bayero’s return to the main palace, currently occupied by Emir Muhammadu Sanusi. However, it is essential to note that these claims are merely speculative and lack concrete evidence. The new Commissioner’s primary focus is expected to be on maintaining law and order in the ancient city, rather than involvement in palace intrigues.

The ongoing Emirate saga in Kano State has sparked concerns about potential federal government interference, with some individuals and groups, including the state government, alleging that federal agents are supporting one party in the conflict. It is essential to refrain from spreading unverified information that could jeopardise peace and security in the state, particularly given the current economic challenges.

Therefore, the security apparatus, comprising the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), the Department of State Service (DSS), the Military, and the Police, must exercise caution and treat this matter with the urgency it demands.

Because the security and peace of the people are non-negotiable and far better than the interests of a single individual or any group of people.

Mukhtar Ya’u Madobi, an NDA research student, is the author of “National Security Strategies: A Young Writer’s Perspective.” Email: ymukhtar944@gmail.com

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