Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
Huge relief yesterday came the way of the embattled Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II following the intervention of the Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Dr. Kayode Fayemi and a foremost business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, both of whom were finally able to convince Governor Abdullahi Ganduje to stand down the move to depose the emir.
The news of their successful intervention came after weeks of rising tension that had reached fever pitch on the back of plans by the state governor to depose Sanusi from his exalted throne.
Although the reconciliatory meeting was largely successful to the extent that the governor was prevailed upon to shelve his planned removal of the emir, there was no consensus however on the division of the emirate especially, since the matter is already in court and therefore subjudice.
Similarly, the Emirate Council, last night, replied the query from the state government, which accused the Emir of financial misappropriation and exonerate Sanusi from any such malfeasance.
THISDAY gathered last night that unknown to many, Fayemi being one of the closest persons to Governor Ganduje, the reason he was the only one around among the APC governors to support him during his rerun poll, had been under intense pressure to wade into the crisis.
Many of Ganduje’s northern colleagues had reached out to the Kano governor to step back from deposing the emir but he (Ganduje) turned them down. Fayemi became their last resort and they eventually reached out to him to intervene and save the emir from looming demystification.
Sources close to the Ekiti governor said Fayemi too had been making underground moves particularly, meeting with some of the stakeholders before the lot frontally fell on him to broker truce between the two.
According to sources, Fayemi had called to see Ganduje and had told him why he was coming but added that he would like to have Aliko Dangote join them since he was a prominent Kano indigene.
Thus, when contacted, Dangote too consented to be part of the meeting, and jetted to Kano to see Ganduje who yielded to their pressure to forgive the emir whatever transgressions he may have committed, thus ending weeks of bitter feud between Sanusi and the governor over the emir’s alleged unbridled interference in the politics of the state to the extent that it almost cost Ganduje his re-election.
One of the sources privy to the meeting said they told Sanusi to his face that he could not continue to meddle in politics without incurring the wrath of the government, knowing his place as a traditional ruler of note and knowing also, how much hurt his political intervention could cause.
According to the source, the Kano governor had overwhelming evidence on Sanusi’s alleged involvement in his election, including tape and notes from many of the meetings, where he directly campaigned against Governor Ganduje.
The source said they also told Sanusi that it was important he tread with circumspection since becoming the Emir of Kano had been his life-long ambition, such that, even when he was asked to run for the presidency, he declined and opted to be an emir, therefore, the responsibility to protect the stool rested solely on him.
It was on that note that the truce meeting ended and both gladiators, shook hands and congratulated each other, the source said, reiterating that the duo of Fayemi and Dangote could not however do anything about the division of the emirate, more so that the matter was already in court.
This development was also confirmed by the state government in a statement signed by the chief press secretary to the Governor, Mr. Abba Anwar, which stated that, “The two leaders met, they congratulated each other for the successful completion of the Month of Ramadhan Fast and the Sallah festive period.
“Both leaders spoke jointly to all Muslims and urged them to continue with the good teachings and spirit of the fasting period of the Month of Ramadhan”.
Sanusi seized the opportunity to formally congratulate Ganduje for his second term victory and wished the governor a successful tenure in office till 2023.
“For healthier relationship between the two institutions of government and the Kano Emirate, dialogue continues,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, the Kano Emirate has cleared Sanusi of an alleged misappropriation of N3.4bn, saying the Emir is not the accounting officer of the council.
Sanusi, in his reply contained in a letter by Abba Yusuf, Acting Secretary of Kano Emirate Council, dated June 7, and obtained by THISDAY stated: “I am directed to refer to your letter NO. SSG/OFF/03/V.I/ dated June 6th, 2019 to which was attached a copy of the report of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission, containing some allegations of financial misappropriation of the sum of N3.4 Billion by the Kano Emirate Council.
“You may wish to note that at the time His Highness was appointed Sarkin Kano, the exact amount in the account of Kano Emirate Council was N1,893,378,927,38 (One billion eight hundred and ninety three million, three hundred and seventy eight thousand, nine hundred and twenty seven naira, thirty eight kobo only).
“It is also important to note that His Highness, Sarkin Kano is not the accounting officer of the Kano Emirate Council, but the secretary of the council. We thank you for giving us the opportunity to respond to the various allegations contained in the report and accordingly give our responses as per the attached.”