Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State and the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (SLS), have fallen apart.

Ganduje and Sanusi have endured a frosty relationship for quite some time now.

In this explainer piece, Pulse takes a look at what exactly is going on in Kano at the moment and how Ganduje has whittled down the powers of the emirate because of his ‘beef’ with Sanusi.

In the beginning was politics

Emir Sanusi openly backed Abba Kabir-Yusuf of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the March 9 governorship election in Kano.

Ganduje of the All Progressives Congress (APC) lost the election after the first ballot.

Muhammadu Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano, is facing claims of misuse of royal finances (Pulse)
Muhammadu Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano, is facing claims of misuse of royal finances (Pulse)

Yusuf polled 1,014,353 votes ahead of Ganduje who secured 953,522 votes--annexing the first ballot with a margin of 26,655 votes.

The election was declared ‘inconclusive’ by the electoral commission after the first ballot.

However, after a supplementary election was conducted, Ganduje was declared winner with a margin of 8,982 votes.

Sources in the know in Kano tell Pulse that Sanusi never hid his disdain for incumbent Governor Ganduje before the election and throughout the duration of the campaign.

Pulse was also told that in one public appearance after another, Emir Sanusi wasted no time criticizing and denouncing some of the policies and actions of the governor. 

Ganduje always felt that one of the reasons why he almost lost the election has to be because Sanusi never supported his second term bid and turned a section of Kano against him.

In one viral instance, Sanusi's photograph was yanked off the wall in Ganduje's office by some of the governor's supporters after the electoral commission declared the APC candidate winner of the Kano vote.

The governor, Pulse was told, was always waiting to bag his second term in office to substantially whittle down Sanusi’s immense traditional powers.

Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje, tinkers with the Kano emirate (Punch)
Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje, tinkers with the Kano emirate (Punch)

Governor Ganduje considers Emir Sanusi a loudmouth who needs to be tamed.

Sources tell Pulse that it took the intervention of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and APC godfather Bola Tinubu to prevent Ganduje from deposing Sanusi as Emir in 2018.

What has Ganduje been up to lately?

On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, Governor Ganduje hastily signed a bill submitted to him by the Kano State House of Assembly.

The bill would essentially reduce the influence of Emir Sanusi and create new first class emirates and Emirs in the Northwestern State.

With the bill becoming Law, Kano state now has five emirates, namely: Kano, Rano, Gaya, Karaye and Bichi.

The five emirs have also been bestowed with equal powers.

Sanusi often criticizes the policies of the government of the day (Pulse)
Sanusi often criticizes the policies of the government of the day (Pulse)

The size of the emirate under Muhammadu Sanusi II, has been reduced to 10 local governments from the 44 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Kano.

Kano emirate headed by Sanusi will now control 10 local governments namely: Kano Municipal, Tarauni, Dala, Nasarawa, Fagge, Gwale, Kumbotso, Ungogo, Dawakin Kudu and Minjibir.

Kano and Rano emirates will control 10 local governments each, with Gaya, Karaye and Bichi controlling eight, seven and nine local government areas respectively.

Rano emirate will oversee Rano, Bunkure, Kibiya, Takai, Sumaila, Kura, Doguwa, Tudun Wada Kirua and Bebeji local governments.

Gaya emirate has control over Gaya, Ajingi, Albasu, Wudil, Garko, Warawa, Gezawa, Gabasawa LGAs.

Karaye emirate will oversee affairs of Karaye, Rogo, Gwarzo, Kabo Rimin Gado, Madobi and Garun Malam.

Bichi emirate will control Bichi, Bagwai, Shanono, Tsanyawa, Kunchi, Makoda, Danbatta, Dawakin Tofa and Tofa local governments.

The corruption allegation

The Ganduje government is also investigating Emir Sanusi for corruption.

The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating the emirate under Sanusi.

Should Sanusi be found guilty after the investigation, he would be deposed or removed as Emir.

Emir Sanusi attends a function (Punch)
Emir Sanusi attends a function (Punch)

The commission is alleging that the Kano Emirate council misappropriated the sum of N6billion on Sanusi’s watch “without the approval of the state government”. 

The probe was halted in 2017. It has now been revived.

What Gandujes new law says

Some parts of the new law balkanizing the Kano emirate reads as follows: “There is hereby established for the state a Council to be known as the Kano State Emirate Council (in this Law referred to as the “Council”) which shall comprise of the entire Kano State as its area of authority.

“The Council shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and may sue and be sued in its corporate name.

“Nothing in this section shall preclude an Emir from any of the emirates from the contest of the Emir of Kano so long as he is an heir to the throne.”

Ganduje says he signed the bill because it is what the people want.

President Muhammadu Buhari at Fatima Ganduje and Idris Ajimobi's wedding (Presidency)
President Muhammadu Buhari at Fatima Ganduje and Idris Ajimobi's wedding (Presidency)

“This is the popular wish of our people. The people of Kano state. This will also go a long way in hastening growth and development for the state.

“The efforts didn’t get through many years ago but now we are happy to see that the idea would come into fruition", Ganduje said.

Rifts between political leaders and traditional kings are commonplace in Nigeria. Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State famously had a go at the traditional institution in the Southwest state. Interestingly, Ganduje and Ajimobi are in-laws.

Traditional chiefs have been deposed by governments throughout Nigeria’s history.

Sanusi and the Kano emirate are yet to react to the latest changes from Kano government house. 

Muhammadu Sanusi II is the 14th Emir of Kano. He was crowned Emir on June 8, 2014 after the death of his grand uncle Ado Bayero.

Outspoken and articulate, Sanusi became Emir soon after he was suspended by then President Goodluck Jonathan as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on allegations bordering on mismanagement of finances.