• Sunday, June 23, 2024
businessday logo


Kano emirate game of thrones

Israel versus Iran: Drum of imminent global war

The Honourable Musa Auta on X, @Auta_Musa, posted one of the most intriguing statements I have read regarding the recent enthronement of Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the 16th Emir and the dethronement of Emir Aminu Ado Bayero. According to him, Kanoans did not object when the government eliminated fuel subsidies, raised tuition for universities, raised the price of electricity, or denied local governments their right to autonomy because they did not see a need for a protest.

They refuse to demonstrate during the height of national and northern insecurity. They even decline to voice their disapproval of the intolerable, unceasing inflation.

Remarkably, however, he claims that “our people are protesting over the Kano game of thrones, which is purely a family affair and a test of powers between former Kano governors,” referring to Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.

The protesters called for the removal of Sanusi and the immediate reinstatement of Bayero.

Like Auta, I thought that the new event could be summarised as a game of thrones. This phrase was borrowed from the title of the well-known fantasy book written by George R.R. Martin and the TV series produced by HBO, Game of Thrones. This is a story about several noble families’ epic struggle for the Iron Throne, which is the pinnacle of power on the fictional continent of Westeros. The story is a genuine reflection of historical events such as the Wars of the Roses, the Hundred Years’ War, and the Glencoe Massacre.

However, in these present circumstances, the princes are not the ones struggling for power but rather the politicians who use their personal vendetta to desecrate this coveted royal institution. They have created a growing sense of division between the ruling houses of Sanusi and Bayero, who are progeny of the same forefather.

Incidentally, a short statement by an anonymous WhatsApp user exemplifies the complex and humorous ties that bind the Nigerian royal family of Kano.

Given that Muhammadu Sanusi I, the grandfather of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and the late Ado Bayero were siblings, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is Aminu Ado Bayero’s nephew. Complicating matters further, Ado Bayero’s daughter is married to Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, which implies that Ado Bayero’s grandchildren are also related to some of Sanusi’s offspring. Additionally, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and Aminu Ado Bayero shared a home for several years.

The irony is emphasised by the possibility that, should Aminu’s son marry Sanusi’s daughter in the present day, Sanusi might pay for the entire wedding, illustrating the interconnectedness of family ties and their capacity to support one another despite differences. So obviously, the political leaders have turned the Kano royal family into a pawn in their political chess game of intrigue and power play.

A few years ago, Ganduje turned down all entreaties from eminent people across Nigeria and Kano who pleaded with him to spare Sanusi and not to balkanize the referred emirate. As a horse rider, he turns a deaf ear and tramples as if tomorrow belongs to him. Now that the chicken has come home to roost, I hope he will have the intestinal fortitude to see the personal havoc he has done to the Kano emirate. The fiefdoms he created vengefully have collapsed like a pack of poker cards. Such is life. Power is said to be like a revolving door; as someone comes in, another goes out.

Throughout his suffering, Emir Sanusi maintains his regal appearance and mannerisms while remaining gregarious and sophisticated. Despite his flaws as a public figure, many Nigerians thought Ganduje had unfairly removed him from office only because he had backed the current governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, in a plainly rigged 2019 election.

Now that he has reclaimed the throne, Emir Sanusi must exercise caution in his public persona. Given that the government provides Emir with his statutory pay, all politicians detest criticism, especially from those who have profited from or are now benefiting from the government. The NNDP and the APC, like any other government, are sensitive to criticism in any form. Therefore, his eminence is cautioned to always speak in parables and to keep a dignified silence.

The removal of Sanusi was consummated by the speedy Kangaroo legislation passed by the Kano State House of Assembly, ably supervised by Ganduje; ironically, the same House of Assembly reverted the law to legally reinstate him to his previous position under the present governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf. Seeking frivolous injunctions to invalidate what has been legally done by the Kano state government is preposterous.

Those who are dissatisfied with what has happened can litigate and confirm the legality of Bayero’s dismissal and Sanusi’s reinstatement to the throne. The legal process can clarify and provide a neutral perspective on this situation. Moreover, it is important to allow Bayero and Sanusi, the brothers, to mend their relationship through candid conversation and understanding. By encouraging them to talk to each other directly and openly, the family connection can be somewhat healed and possibly improved.

Rotimi S. Bello, a public commentator, peace and conflict expert, and HR practitioner, writes from Canada.