By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, Friday in Abuja said going by the status of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, as a traditional ruler, he is not qualified to hold talks with the governor but can only discuss with the local government chairman.
Ganduje who made this remark in the conference centre of the Presidential Villa, while answering questions from State House correspondents on why he balkanised the 800-year old Kano Emirate into five smaller units, said he had nothing against Sanusi.
According to Ganduje, the action is not an expression of vendetta against the former Central Bank of Nigeria governor, explaining that the 1999 Constitution (as amended) has clearly defined his limit as a traditional ruler who could only report to the chairman of his local government.
He also claimed that the balkanisation of the age-long Kano Emirate into smaller units had been a subject of celebration by the people, claiming that the emergence of the new emirates would make traditional system effective in the development of Kano State.
“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. So this is celebrated by the people of Kano and we will make sure that the new Emirate council are effective in terms of developing Kano State,” he said.
The embattled governor also dismissed the opinion making the rounds in the polity that he had set out to destroy the Kano Emirate, an institution said to have been in existence for 800 years, saying such opinion holders are only entitled to their own opinions.
He emphasised that the move was spurred by the need for active participation of the traditional system in different sectors of the state including education, security and agriculture and consequently make traditional rulers in the state more vibrant.
Ganduje argued that if Kano Emirate had existed for 800 years, the current development also marked the beginning of another 800 years with a new system, pointing out that by breaking the Emirate into four, he was only upholding history.
He said: “Well, they are entitled to their own opinion but we are taking Kano to the next level and we need active participation of the traditional system, especially in the areas of education, security, agriculture.
“We need the effectiveness of the traditional rulers. By decentralising it, we are following history. Years back, even before the 800 years you are referring to, the situation was not like 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.”