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Emirate tussle: Protest rocks Kano as govt considers curfew to curtail violence

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• Bayero’s supporters kick as Sanusi receives dignitaries, meets with district heads
• I’ve accepted my fate, dethroned emir of Gaya says
• Northern Traditional Ruling Council expresses concern, urge Tinubu to intervene
• HURIWA decries deployment of soldiers in royal dispute
• Security reinforced around Bayero as local hunters, vigilante groups provide cover for Sanusi

The game of thrones in the Kano Emirate continued yesterday as the ancient commercial city remains sharply divided between the dethroned 15th Emir, Aminu Ado Bayero, and his nephew, the once banished but reinstated Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II.

While protests rocked Kano yesterday as supporters of Bayero, who held court at the weekend in Nasarawa staged a demonstration, it was all cool and calm at the royal palace as the protest did not disturb the re-instated Emir, Sanusi, from receiving dignitaries who stormed his palace to pay homage.

The fears and uncertainties over the development of two Emirs laying claim to the throne are, however, raising concerns about the possible breakdown of law and order ahead of the May 29 one year in office commemorative activities of the Kano State government. It was gathered that if the protest continues today, the state government may impose a curfew on major towns in the state.

Meanwhile, Alhaji Aliyu Ibrahim Abdulkadir, former Emir of Gaya, said he had accepted his removal as an act of God.

The former Emir is among the five first-class kings who were affected by the repeal of the law which balkanised the Kano Emirate and elevated them.

Yesterday’s demonstration erupted shortly after hundreds of Bayero loyalists held a special prayer session at the Nasarawa palace along the state road where the 15th emir is presently occupying. During the prayer session led by Umar Mai Salati, Bayero’s supporters sought divine intervention against the dissolution of the five first-class emirs and the return of peace to Kano.

Rising from the prayer session, the angry supporters set a bonfire on the major road leading to the Government House. They carried placards with various inscriptions against the Kano State Emirate Council Law that repealed the existing emirates established by former governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

This is as the dethroned Emir continues to enjoy security cover. There was reinforcement of security operatives including the military, DSS and police at the Nasarawa palace where Bayero is presently residing.

Emirate tussle protest rocks kano as govt considers curfew to curtail violence - nigeria newspapers online
Aminu bayero

Bayero, who had paid a surprise visit to the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State last Wednesday, returned to Kano in the early hours of Saturday after his removal was announced on Thursday.

But at the Gidan Rumfa palace, the official residence of the Emir of Kano, it was observed that local hunters and state-owned vigilante groups, who kept vigil at the palace since Saturday mounted surveillance against any attack. There was also the presence of a handful of policemen and men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corp (NSCDS) at the palace.

The palace was, however, agog as Emir Sanusi met with dignitaries and district heads yesterday. He was serenaded with adulation and jubilation when he ventured outdoors from the main palace.

Sanusi, in his royal regalia, rode on a royal horse and gesticulated at the crowd who responded with: “You’re the only Emir we know.” He also met with some district heads, council members, vigilantes, women groups and well-wishers, who were at the palace to pay homage.

Besides, the deputy governor, Aminu Abdulsalam, led top government functionaries, including commissioners, members of the state and federal legislature under the ruling New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) and the 44 interim local government administrators to pay homage to Emir Sanusi.

Nevertheless, worried by the raging anxiety in the ancient city over the rumble, the Northern Traditional Ruling Council, under the chairmanship of the Sultan of Sokoto, on Sunday, called for restraint on the part of the disputants in the interest of peace and stability.

In a statement by Justice Lawal Hassan Gummi, Emir of Gummi and Chairman, Coordinating Committee Northern Traditional Rulers Council, the body said: “We note with concern the situation in Kano as it affects our revered institution.

“The council with all sense of responsibility calls for restraint on the part of the disputants in the interest of peace and stability, more so, as the matter has reportedly gone to court and is therefore, sub-judice. The council prays Almighty Allah for peace to reign in Kano in particular and Nigeria in general, “the statement read.

Also, a social-cultural group, Arewa Social Contract Initiatives, yesterday warned the deposed Emir, Bayero, to leave Kano urgently in the spirit of peace and stability, just as Sanusi calmly left the state when he was also dethroned by the former governor, Ganduje.

The Arewa group lamented that the continued hibernating within the city alongside the state-recognised Emir was capable of igniting needless civil unrest. The leader of the group, Sani Muhamud Darma, issued the warning at the end of an emergency meeting of members drawn across the 19 Northern states held in Kano.

In a communiqué signed by Darma, the group insisted the sudden return of Bayero to Kano a few days after his removal had negated the tradition of the Emirate Council, to which he belongs.

He added that Bayero should borrow a leaf from his siblings and even his very close brother, the Emir of Bichi, Nasiru Ado Bayero, for quietly vacating Kano without making any comment that would jeopardise the peace.

The Arewa Social Contract Initiatives reminded Bayero supporters that when Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf was campaigning, he had promised the Kano people that if elected he would change the narratives of Kano Emirates from what he believed is a distortion to where it was before the creation of the additional Emirs.

The Senior Special Assistant to the APC National Chairman on Public Enlightenment, Oliver Okpala, has criticised the Kano State governor, Yusuf, saying his desperation to destroy every legacy of his predecessor in the state will fail.

Speaking with journalists in Abuja, Okpala said: “Every government in power has its own leadership style. If this is the style Governor Yusuf wants to adopt for Kano, it is left for the people of Kano to judge if what he did is just and is in their interest.

“Government is a continuum. When Ganduje was in power, he did his best and the people of Kano can testify to that. He left some legacies that cannot be equalled. What Ganduje has done in Kano cannot be destroyed overnight by political malice from any quarter. This is because what he left in Kano are monumental legacies.

“So, for somebody to wake up overnight and try to destroy or dismantle all the legacies left behind by predecessor is, to say the least, a kind of disservice to the people of Kano. But if he says that is the leadership line his government wants to toe, it is left for him. The people will at a later stage judge between him and Ganduje, which one meant well for them.”

Meanwhile, the leader of Dahiru Usman Bauchi Foundation has advised the Kano State government and everybody affected in the royal dispute to respect the rule of law in the interest of peace, and stability of the state and Nigeria. The chairman of the foundation, Sheikh Ibrahim Sheikh Dahiru, stated this while speaking to newsmen in Bauchi, saying that the advice became necessary to avoid a chaotic situation in Kano.

He said: “In the interest of peace we want justice to prevail, since the court intervenes to maintain law and order, we expect each party to respect the rule of law in the interest of peace.

He advised the emirs to take a vow in the interest of peace and brotherhood to save the blood of many innocent souls and allow peace and stability to reign.

He urged the National Assembly to amend the constitution and make laws that would protect traditional rulers from the politicians who used power to dethrone them or appoint them at their pleasure.

However, Dan Jarma of Adamawa State, Dr. Mustafa Tahir, has called on President Bola Tinubu, to as a matter of urgency wade into the ongoing upheaval within the Kano emirate. Tahir expressed sadness concern about the present situation in the state.

To prevent it from escalating further, the need for the President to insert the right peg in the right hole, he believed would assist in dousing the tension.

Supporting the recent signing of the Kano Emirate Council 2024, he emphasised that the State House of Assembly is constitutionally empowered to make laws.
While questioning why any entity, including the court, would challenge the legal authority, he argued that the state government needs federal government’s support for effective governance.

Also, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has warned against all kinds of misuse of the operatives of the armed forces of Nigeria just as the group described as unconstitutional and unprofessional, the deployment of soldiers to Kano city to side with a faction in the traditional rulership tussle tearing the ancient city apart.

HURIWA recalled that the abolition of the newly established four Kano emirate councils has provoked unprecedented developments in the annals of traditional institutions in Northern Nigeria.

HURIWA, however, has condemned the reported deployment of armed military troops to interfere in the Emirate dispute in Kano State just as the Rights group said it is not the place of the Army to enforce the order of the Court of law because the Army is neither the court bailiffs nor are the operatives of the primary law enforcement agency, which is the Nigeria Police Force.

It observed that there is nowhere in the specific provisions of the constitution on the legal functions of the armed forces whereby the Army is permitted to act as court bailiffs or enforcers of orders of court including the order purportedly issued by the Federal High Court in Kano stopping the reinstatement of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi following the deposition by the Kano State House of Assembly of the former Emir.

HURIWA therefore, cautioned politicians and particularly President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who is the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to stop playing with fire by illegally deploying the army to allegedly enforce court order in Kano’s emirate tussle.

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