- The Nigerian constitution did not assign any role to me in such a matter
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja said he would not interfere in the stand-off between the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje and the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, because the constitution did not assign any role to him in such matter.
The President, who made the remarks while receiving a group of newly elected lawmakers on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by Ganduje in the State House, said the roles of the federal and state governments were clearly spelt out in the constitution, insisting that he would not interfere in any matter where he has no constitutional right to do so.
A statement by presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, said Buhari observed however, that notwithstanding the distinct roles of the federal and state governments as spelt out by the constitution, he would ensure that issues bordering on security of Nigerians as enshrined in the constitution were not compromised.
He said: “I know my role as the President of Nigeria. By the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Governor of Kano State has his own roles. Once a matter is in the hands of the House of Assembly (like in Kano), the President has no constitutional right to interfere.
“I am here by the constitution, I swore by it, and I am going to stand by it. But let me tell you the bottom line of my understanding of the constitutional role is that peace and security of all Nigerians must be guaranteed, where the people are threatened, then I will use my constitutional powers.”
Answering questions from journalists on the feud after the meeting, Ganduje described the rift as a constitutional matter, adding that himself and the emir are working in their own spheres of control, and the crisis would be resolved peacefully and in line with constitutional provisions in the end.
Ganduje said that a committee set up by the Northern Elders’ Committee on the feud was handling the matter.
“Yes, there is the Northern Elders’ Committee on the misunderstanding between the Emir of Kano and Kano State government. We met with that committee and dialogue is still on. That is all I can say.
“It is a constitutional issue and the governor and the emir are working within our jurisdictions and the problem will be solved amicably and constitutionally,” he said.
Buhari advised the elected officials to live up to the promises they made to their constituents and consequently justify the confidence reposed in them.
“I hope you are mindful of your promises to your constituencies. You went round and you promised your constituencies. I hope the promises you made are within the resources of your state. If you made promises outside your resources, it will be your problem because you are going to stand again in four years’ time. This is very important and it is important for our party,” he said.
According to the statement, Ganduje thanked the president for federal government’s projects being executed in the state, listing such projects to include Kano – Abuja road reconstruction; modern Kaduna – Kano railway; Kano – Niger Republic rail line; gas pipeline from Ajaokuta to Kaduna and from Kaduna to Kano; dualisation of Kano – Katsina highway as well as the construction and equipping of the new terminal wing of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport.
Ganduje informed the president about the efforts of his government to make life better for Kano citizens especially in terms of security and education.
“We have done a lot in the area of security, even installing CCTV cameras in black spots and all major routes into Kano state. We also have a multi-purpose vehicle for monitoring, which has helped in arresting kidnappers and Boko Haram terrorists. We have also established an army training area,” he was quoted as saying.
The governor was also said to have informed Buhari about efforts made by the state government to curtail herdsmen/farmers’ clashes by establishing settlements as well as the steps taken to reduce the number of out-of-school children.
“We used to have one million out-of-school children but now we are down to about 400,000 on account of the new education policy, which now makes schooling free and compulsory from basic to secondary school, complemented with free feeding, free uniforms and free instructional materials,” Ganduje added.