Tofa, Na’Abba, Others Oppose New Kano Emirates Law

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Abdullahi Umar Ganduje

•Accuse Ganduje of pursuing vendetta to destroy Dan Fodio’s legacy

Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano

Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, came under more pressure at the weekend to recant on the creation of four new emirates in Kano by repealing the law giving legal backing to the balkanisation of the Kano Emirate.

A non-partisan group of citizens from all professions and backgrounds, from the state, under the aegis of Advocates for United Kano, in a statement obtained by THISDAY at the weekend, urged the governor to either repeal the law, immediately, or subject the processes to popular will.

The coalition, comprising dignitaries such as the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) candidate in the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election, Alhaji Bashir Othman Tofa; former House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Umaru Ghali Na’Abba; Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim and Malam Abba Dabo, accused the governor of trying to destroy the legacy of founder of Sokoto Caliphate, Usman Dan Fodio, in pursuit of a vendetta against Emir Sanusi.
Besides Tofa, Na’Abba, Ibrahim and Dabo, other signatories to the statement are Aishatu Dankani, Dr. Dalhatu Sani Yola, Lawal Audi, Amina BB Faruk, Alhaji Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, Malam Ibrahim Ado-Kurawa, Dr. Bala Muhammad and Prof. Faruk Sarkin Fada.

Their plea came barely a week after the governor gave assent to a bill he sent to the state House of Assembly on December 2, 2019, seeking the creation of four new emirates following the annulment of the earlier law creating the emirates by the Kano State High Court.
The governor had signed the bill into law, the same day the state lawmakers unanimously passed it into law within four days .
The new law excised from the Kano Emirate, headed by Muhammadu Sanusi, four new ones to be headed by first-class emirs. The new emirates are in Gaya, Rano, Karaye and Bichi; thus bringing to five the total number of emirates in the state.

Earlier, Justice Usman Na’Allah had nullified the Kano Emirs Appointment and Depositions Amendment Laws 2019, which had given legal backing to the four new emirates and ordered that their emirs should stop parading themselves in that capacities.

The creation of the emirates and the appointment of first-class emirs for them had caused tension in the state, as many people accused the governor of trying to whittle down the influence of Emir Sanusi, who is allegedly not on good terms with Ganduje.

However, the group in its statement, expressed deep concern about the governor’s alleged attempts at the destruction of the Kano Emirate, which it described as “a product of the efforts of our forefathers, which has survived for centuries championing purposeful administration and scholarship in Kano State and beyond.”

It said the governor’s actions in dividing the Kano Emirate bordered on personal margins, bent on destroying the legacy of their forefathers.
“Well-meaning citizens cutting across various spheres of endeavour (religious, political, academic, legal, judicial etc) have expressed views that despite the ill-conceived action of the Governor, Kano Emirate “has remained the most influential emirate in the Sokoto Caliphate under the control of the Emir of Kano, traversing the entire territory that is now known as Kano State.”

“The governor has severally been cautioned to apply reason and rectitude in contemplating dissecting the Kano Emirate to meet certain political ends. But political impunity and vendetta have beclouded his good senses of reasoning and judgement. Clearly, he is resolute in the mission of destroying the legacy of Sheik Usman Dan Fodio, which Kano Emirate duly represents.

“The governor, for political reasons, has deliberately overlooked the numerous words of wisdom written to him formally and/or expressed through various media and went heedlessly ahead to sign into law the obnoxious bill creating four additional emirates within the historical jurisdiction of the Kano Emirate. He also trampled the sound counselling adduced by lawyers and courts of appropriate jurisdictions and continued with the unilateral action leading to the creation of the new emirates.

“As elders, sincerely concerned with the unity, wellbeing and progress of the people of Kano State, we consider this singular act by the governor (along with many similar inactions upon which the citizens have expressed their dissatisfaction) appalling, misguided and dictatorial.”
The coalition also expressed concern about the alleged impunity with which the governor has been running the affairs of the state contrary to the wish and aspirations of the people.

“In recognition of the pivotal role of the Kano Emirate in the entrenchment of unity among citizens, its guidance on matters of progress of the state and enhancement of the wellbeing of the people coupled with the dire need to sustain peaceful coexistence among the citizens, we hereby call on the governor to, in the interest of unity, peace and progress of Kano State, immediately cause the repeal of the obnoxious law creating the new emirates. Our resolve in this regard was informed by careful consideration of the fact that the personal ambitions of the governor should not be allowed to jeopardise the overall common good and harmonious relationship existing among the Kano populace.

“If however, in the wisdom of the governor, that the new emirates are necessary in order to fast track development, then the law must be subjected entirely to the processes of popular will. This is a matter of strategic public significance should be subjected to established democratic ideals. The voice of people of Kano State must be heard and respected, too,” the group added.

Tofa, Na’Abba and others appealed to the people to continue to remain law abiding and peaceful in their conducts and called on other Nigerians to continue praying towards a quick and peaceful resolution of the controversy.
However, efforts by THISDAY to get the Kano State Government to react to the appeal to repeal the new emirate law were unsuccessful as at press time.
Commissioner of Information, Alhaji Muhammad Garba, did not pick his call nor has he responded to the text message sent to him as at press time.