NIGERIA GAME OF THRONES: The Intriguing Episodes in Kano Emirate

26 May, 2024

In what looks like the reenactment of the Hollywood's blockbuster Game of Thrones sitcom, but in present day Nigeria, precisely on Thursday, May 23, 2024, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (SLS) was reinstated as Emir of Kano, four years after he was dethroned in a coup. Now, here's the drama in full as culled from the social media Trending Explained handle on X (formerly Twitter) but edited by PENGlobal as we go back to the genesis that featured various political actors intertwined in a twist of fate.

In 2014, then President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) suspended Muhammad Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (SLS), who was then governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) after investigations revealed that, just like the embattled central bank's ex-governor Godwin Emefiele, SLS was guilty of financial recklessness, fraud and mismanagement.

Tragically, Ado Bayero the then Emir of Kano, who had ruled since 1963, died that same year and same month that SLS was sacked. SLS was seen as the best fit to replace the late Emir. And with the influence of his friend and ally, Mohammed Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, who was the Governor of Kano state at the time, SLS was named the new Emir of Kano.

Now, due to SLS's fall out with GEJ., Sanusi then played the north against Jonathan's second term re-election. Some people believe this was the beginning of the end for PDP in Nigeria.

Thereafter, SLS ruled in peace until 2020 when he was dethroned by Kwankwaso's deputy, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje aka Gandollar, who had issues with his former Boss, Kwankwaso. Ganduje was deputy governor to Kwankwaso for eight years but had finally become the governor of Kano.

Now, northern elders were split. While some were in support of Kwankwaso, others were in favour of Ganduje. So in 2018, Ganduje and his loyalists all decamped to the APC. As expected, SLS sided with his long-time ally, Kwankwaso, and it further provoked Ganduje.

With the established beef, SLS, being a vocal critic, didn't hide his message as he repeatedly, publicly criticized and condemned Ganduje's poor policies and corrupt practices. Even at the Kaduna State Economic Summit when Ganduje was trying to secure $1.8bn Chinese loan to build a light rail, SLS openly condemned it, saying it will not favour the people of Kano and that Ganduje is pursuing the agenda for personal reasons. Of course, Ganduje took this personally.

So, on March 8, 2020, Ganduje arranged for an urgent meeting with VIPs in the Emirates and plotted for SLS's removal as Emir. In exchange for their loyalty to him (Ganduje), he will make all of them Emirs! Here we Go! And so, on March 9, 2020, SLS was dethroned as the undisputed Emir of Kano.

In the letter of his removal, Ganduje claimed SLS was removed because he "TOTALLY disrespected authorities and deliberately refused to attend official government meetings which amounts to insubordination". He added that if SLS was not removed, his character will tarnish the established image of Kano Emirate i.e. culture, tradition, religion and prestige.

Ganduje went ahead to further ensure that SLS is completely shut out. So, he kept his agreement with the stakeholders and divided the Empire into five: Kano, Rano, Gaya, Karaye and Bichi. Then, he appointed Emirs for each  emirate, and the vacant Kano seat was filled by Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero. Despite court orders barring him from these actions, Ganduje still proceeded with finesse.

Ganduje never explained how SLS was disrespectful. In fact, later when he was asked why he dethroned SLS, Ganduje said SLS was appointed Emir of Kano not because he was the best man for the throne, but because the northern elders were mad at Jonathan for disgracing their son, so they made him Emir to elevate and maintain his status. However, Kwankwaso and many other sources till date insists that Ganduje removed Muhammad Sanusi Lamido as Emir of Kano because the Emir didn't let his corrupt practices flourish.

Fast forward to 2023. Ganduje has finished his eight years' tenure, it's time for him to replace himself with a successor. Abba Kabir Yusuf emerged from Kwankwaso's camp, New Nigeria People's Party (NNPP) and won the Gubernatorial elections in 2023. Now, officially, Ganduje's grip on Kano is literally over because Power is Transient, right?

Abba won Ganduje in court. Ganduje, who is now the APC national chairman, tried to use his influence to flip the results but the people of Kano were solidly behind Abba and Kwankwaso. As expected, with Kwankwaso's ally back in government, the ideal thing to do was to reverse most of the 'unfavorable and ill' policies Ganduje had implemented in the last eight years including reinstating SLS and disbanding the five emirates, leaving SLS as the undisputed Emir of Kano. You would think the drama ends here. But wait...

Following the rumors that SLS will be reinstated on Thursday, DSS mounted the palace in anticipation of any 'incasity'. Meanwhile, Alhaji Bayero who replaced SLS was not even in the State when all these was happening; he was in Ogun state for a visit. Alhaji Bayero reportedly tried to take a flight back to Kano upon hearing the news of his removal, but he was barred so that he won't come and agitate people to cause 'wahala'.

After the reinstatement was approved by the governing council, Governor Abba ordered the five sacked monarchs to evacuate themselves from their palace within 48 hours. He withdrew all their security, their accessories, cars etc. Sources say they even tried to pick some personal belongings from the palace, but security marched the unemployed men out. 

One of the kingmakers wrote a petition on Thursday, and it was approved and a court order was given that same day, ordering Governor Abba to halt the reinstatement of SLS. Nigerians called it a 'Black Market Order' because the judge that approved it is on vacation in the United States of America (USA) and it's almost impossible to file a petition and get court order the same day — Ex Parte filed on the 23rd, assigned on the 23rd, heard/moved on the 23rd, granted on the 23rd, applied for CTC on the 23rd, CTC gotten on the 23rd. All of these are impossible, especially when the Judge is in USA. Unless, of course, it is black market court what?.. Order..!

So, it was ignored and the ceremony took place as it should!

In a breaking news, the Kano State Government has just ordered the arrest of Alhaji Bayero as he is perceived to be cooking a revolt as a faction loyal to the deposed Emir is gearing to revolt. To ensure that order doesn't collapse in the state, Governor Abba, who has vowed to investigate the judge who granted the malicious order to stop the reinstatement of SLS, wants him arrested. 

SLS is the undisputed Emir of Kano. Is Power Transient, Or Power is Power? Hmm... Or Time is Power?... Only time will tell.

SOURCE: X (formerly Twitter) by Trending Explained @TrendingEx

#penglobalentertainment #Kano #Emir

More Reads