Jerry Wright-Ukwu

Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has opened up on the controversies surrounding his removal by the past government as well as his reinstatement by the current administration in the state.

The former Central Bank of Nigeria governor stated that the former governor of Kano, Abdullahi Ganduje, assaulted the state’s history and culture.

His words: ”When you take the larger picture, this is a kingdom that has existed for over 1000 years. If you go to the king’s list in Kano, the king’s list from Baguada starts in 999 AD. We have a list of kings. From Baguada up to me in my first term, I was the 57th. If you add my cousin and myself, I’m 57th and 59th.

”In that period, we’ve had the expansion of Arewa kingdom. The only time a part of Kano was taken out was when Jigawa State was created because Jigawa State put together Kazaure Emirate, Hadejia Emirate, Gumel Emirate, but those three combined were not big enough to make a viable state.  And Hadejia and Gumel people wanted a state. So, part of Kano was carved out. These are the two emirates of Dutse and Ringim.

”We were all hurt. As a family, it was like cutting off a part of you. At least Ringim is still with members of our family. That’s fine. It was necessary.
But what was left still remains what has been there for a thousand years.

”Now, just like the British partitioned Africa, you divided what had existed over a period of time. People need to understand what this government did because people don’t understand what that law was and the kinds of damage it did to our history’s fabric.

”You know, the way the Europeans came and just drew lines on a piece of paper. People say Nigeria is a geographical expression. People are talking about that. You just take people, and this is, they just came and drew a line; these nine local governments go there.

”These nine go there, just like that. You don’t create emirs for people. Somebody who, for one thousand years, has never been under you, somebody now decrees that this is your king. How?

”Take Bichi for instance. Bichi, as a town, was run by a village head for centuries. It only became a district under the British. The first district head of Bichi was Abdullahi Bayero in the 1930s; my great-grandfather.

”Before him, it was a village head. There is something called Sarkin Bichi who is a village head. He’s the king of the town of Bichi.  Now that Sarkin Bichi, historically, reported to a district head in Dawakin Tofa, Madakin Kano. Now you make a law and say you have created an emir in Bichi, and Dawakin Tofa should report to Bichi. Do you understand it?

”You had families that waged the Jihad. The Yolawa; the family of Madakin, the Jobawa; family of the Makama. These are kingmakers.  You now take two of the four kingmaker families, Madakin and Makama, and say they should go and report, not to Kano, but to an emirate that you created in Bichi. Something that was run by a village head who was a district head.

”How? You make a law and say, these are the kingmakers in Kano. We have had four traditional kingmakers in all our history. Because you like a particular individual, you just decided as a governor, that we now have five kingmakers. Out of nowhere, you created a kingmaker position for an individual.

”You’re dealing with Kano. You’re not dealing with me. It’s not about me as a person. It’s about our history, our culture. How does he become a kingmaker? The other kingmakers, the other four, how did their families become kingmakers? When they went and waged the Jihad, when they came and risked their lives, when they reached this agreement, those four chose the emir.

”We are not superior to them. We’re all part of the Jihad. And they agreed that for peace, we don’t want to have three, four, five ruling houses; we’ll allow you to produce the emir but we will decide who becomes the emir. These are the four.”

Politics Nigeria


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