The unfolding drama in Kano State is taking funnier dimensions: a State High Court issued an order asking for maintenance of status quo ante; Governor Abdulahi Umar Ganduje’s government has denied knowledge of the order and issued letters of new emirs; and has reminded Emir Muhammadu Sanusi (II) that the hierarchical order is for him to report to the local government in his domain and not to him.
Saturday, Ganduje presented letters of appointment to the four emirs of the newly created Emirates in the state.
They are: Emir of Karaye, Alhaji Dr Ibrahim Abubakar II; Emir of Rano Alhaji Tafida Abubakar Ila; Emir of Bichi, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero; and the Emir of Gaya, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulkadir.
Curiously, one of the late Emir of Kano’s sons, Aminu, is also one of new named paramount chiefs.
On Friday, a Kano High Court granted an order restraining the governor from giving life to the four new emirates.
But the government denied knowledge of any court order. One commissioner in the State admitted seeing the order on social media but discountenanced it because of its source.
Local radio stations were abuzz from Friday that appointment letters were to be issued to the new emirs on Saturday at Kofar Mata Indoor Sports Hall.
Commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba, said the government was not aware of any court order because neither the governor nor State Attorney-general was served.
‘’Honestly as I speak to you, we have not been served any court order, although I saw a court order on the social media late in the night…. So how do you expect government to act on a story on the social media?’’
As far as the government was concerned the order had been overtaken by events because the emirs got and acknowledged their letters on Friday.
“Letters of appointment have been issued the Emirs appointed since yesterday and they have returned the acknowledged copies, the event for today is just a felicitation.
The Governor’s spokesman also weighed in.
Abba Auwal said that the letter of appointments were served to the four new emirs before the pronouncement by the court.
His statement reads: “Letters of the Notification of Appointment were written from the office of the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, since Thursday 9th May, 2019 and were despatched to the concerned Emirs the following day Friday 10th May, 2019, in the very early hours of the day.
“In letters dated 9th May, 2019, with reference number SSG/REPA/5/A/86/T , to the newly appointed Emirs, each letter states that, “In accordance with the power conferred on the Governor by the Kano State Emirs (Appointment and Deposition) Amended Law 2019 (1440 AH) which provides the creation of more Emirates,
“I wish to convey the approval of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje OFR for your appointment as First Class Emir of (Bichi) (Karaye) (Rano) (Gaya) Emirate.”
“While the said court order pronouncement started after 5pm on Friday 10th May, 2019, all the Emirs returned back their acceptance from 10am to 12noon, same day. Hours before the court order pronouncement was made.
“The new Emir of Karaye, Alhaji Dr Ibrahim Abubakar II signed his acceptance by 12 noon, Emir of Rano Alhaji Tafida Abubakar Ila, signed his acceptance by 10:15 am, Emir of Bichi, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, signed his acceptance by 10am and the Emir of Gaya, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulkadir, signed his letter by 10:30am.
“Today’s event, Saturday 11th May, 2019, planning to take place at Sani Abacha Indoor Stadium, Kofar Mata, was just organised to have a symbolic presentation of Notification of Appointment Letters.
“But with the new development, the Emirs would only thank the Governor during the Stadium event, for appointing them and serving them with their appointment letters since Friday morning of 10th May, 2019, through the office of the Secretary to the State Government.
Speaking with reporters in Abuja on Friday, Ganduje had denied that he went after the 800 years old emirate out of vendetta adding that the emir reports to the Local Government Chairman and not him.
It is generally believed that Ganduje went after the emirate controlled by former Central Governor, Sanusi, because the emir took sides with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party in the last governorship election which the Governor narrowly and controversialmy won.
Sanusi’s position is however made more tenuous because of the welcome that greeted the appointment of the new emirs. Two of them are known to be pure Hausa indigenes.
But Ganduje told journalists in Abuja: “We are taking Kano to the next level and we need the active participation of the traditional system, especially in the areas of education, security, agriculture…
“By decentralising the emirate, we followed history. Years back, the situation was not that.
“So if something developed 800 years ago, things are also developing now and there will be another 800 years. So look at the history.
“So, it is not vendetta, I am not against him. In fact, he is supposed to be reporting to the local government chairman according to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“It is the local government chairman that is supposed to discuss issues with him, not the governor” he concluded.