… Protests Against Sanusi’s Appointment Gains Momentum
BEVERLY HILLS, CA, June 10, (THEWILL) – The intrigues, politics and undercurrents that eventually culminated in the appointment, Sunday, of former Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (SLS) as the 14th Emir of Kano started even before the death of former Emir Ado Bayero last week.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who has been having a running battle with Lamido Sanusi, had embarked on a private visit to Kano in the third week of February to confer with Bayero on the ‘stone in his shoes’ (referring to Sanusi). After a brief consultation, the president was allegedly given the go-ahead by the Emir to truncate the CBN career of Sanusi.
The advise, it was gathered, was given with one issue in mind- that SLS had never hidden his ambition to seek the coveted throne should the chance occur. Indeed, his ambition was not only verbally pronounced, but was revealed to Bayero by palace marabouts, who pointedly told the late Emir that there is nothing SLS seeks to achieve that is beyond his reach.
At first Bayero was said to have accepted this verdict; and went a step further to bring the former banker close to him and made him a title holder (Dan Majen Kano) in the Emirate. But the Emir was to later change his mind, perhaps because he thought Sanusi’s sack from CBN would truncate his ambition to succeed him as the next Emir.
Impeccable sources said long before he became seriously ill, Bayero had unofficially chosen his eldest son, Sanusi Bayero, to succeed him.
Palace sources informed THEWILL that the late Emir had diplomatically appealed to the brothers of his eldest son to rally around him when the throne becomes vacant and they all agreed.
Last Minute Blunder
But a week before he died, the Emir was said to have made some appointments in the Emirate. Crucial among these was the appointment of the Waziri (vizier). His choice was Sheikh Nasiru Muhammad Nasir, his childhood friend. However, before the turbaning ceremony, the state government got wind of it and sought to persuade him to shelve it. But he would not hear of it. Right in the presence of the emissary of the government, the deputy governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the vizier was installed.
Barely a day after, protests began to trail this decision, which, ab initio, was not ratified by many of the Emirate’s District Heads. The new vizier, seen as pompous and arrogant because of his closeness to the Emir, did not make matters easy for himself. He rode on horseback to his official residence, still occupied by his predecessor’s family and ordered them to quit within 24 hours.
His next point of call was the homes of two of the most influential title holders (councillors in the Emirate Council) – Wamban Kano, Abbas Sanusi, SLS’s uncle and Galadiman Kano, Tijjani Hashim. His verbal hemorrhage at the residence of the two men was so scathing that it drew tears from the eyes of Hashim, a power broker with influential friends like former military Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida, and banking mogul, Otunba Subomi Balogun. Both men took their complaints to the state governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, who, acting on their petitions, later quashed the vizier’s appointment. And a week later, Bayero died.
Who Did It?
And as soon as Bayero’s death was announced, there were insinuations in many quarters, notably from those who had an axe to grind with Governor of the state Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, that the governor hastened Bayero’s demise by rescinding his decision on the appointment of the ousted Vizier. It was amid this rumour that the much loved and adored Bayero was laid to rest by a mammoth crowd that has never known any other traditional authority in about half a century.
As soon as Bayero was buried, old rivalries re-surfaced. Although Bayero had no hand in the deposition of Lamido Sanusi’s grandfather, Emir Muhammadu Sanusi, his design was to have a continuity of his dynasty. But this was not to be without a challenge from the old guards. These were SLS, his uncle, the Wambai, and another relative, a dark horse in palace affairs, Amb. Abbas Sanusi Abbas.
The threesome squared up against the quadruple- three Bayero Princes and a junior brother of the late Emir, Sani Bayero. The Bayero quartet was led by Sanusi Ado Bayero, who also held the title of Ciroma.
Ciroma, who has enjoyed a robust career in different fields – from civil service through aviation to law practice, was a godfather to the current Minister of Justice, Muhammad Bello Adoke. The chief law officer was an attorney in the latter’s chamber for some years in Kano. He did not severe their relationship when he got to the centre. He was said to have presented to him an armoured SUV recently.
Apart from Adoke, elder statesman and leader of the Ijaw nation, Chief Edwin Clarke, has been reaching out to Ciroma in his bid to get an ally for the president in Kano before 2015.
A lot of financial support was said to have reached the Ciroma through Clarke. So, when Emir Bayero died, the Presidency quickly mobilised support for Ciroma.
From the time the four kingmakers- Mukhtar Maje Adnan (Sarkin Bai), Sarki Aliyu, former principal private secretary of late Gen. Sani Abacha (Makama), Nabahani Ibrahim (Madaki) and Bello Abubakar (Sarkin Dawaki Mai Tuta) started their deliberations at Soron Giwa, Ciroma too kick-started his campaign. He doled out lots of money just as his brothers and uncle quietly withdrew in his favour by the time the kingmakers reconvened inside the ante-chamber of Government House, Kano.
When it was obvious that the leadership of the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) was ganging up against Ciroma, the Federal Government grounded the chartered jet of Governor Rotimi Amaechi of River State at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano. Amaechi, under the guise of condoling Kwankwaso had landed in Kano, where he and other APC chieftains perfected the emergence of SLS.
Since SLS was suspended by Jonathan in February, the opposition APC has been in the lead vanguard of criticism of the Presidency’s action. Kwankwaso, being one of the frontline governors of the APC did not mince words in debunking the Federal Government’s action in removing SLS. Before the ex-governor was sacked, Kwankwaso’s administration benefitted immensely from his questionable generosity.
SLS had donated millions of naira to the government in the wake of multiple attacks on Kano by Boko Haram terror organisation. So, Kwankwaso, prompted by a high-powered delegation of the APC leadership led by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, worked closely to ensure that SLS succeeded Bayero.
On his own, long before Bayero died, Kwankwaso had maintained that with the emergence of a new governor (himself), there would be a new Emir in Kano. This statement, which in Hausa reads: sabon gwamna, sabon sarki, signalled the deepening of an animosity between him and Bayero, which dates back to 2003 when it was alleged that the late Emir voted for the now rested All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) governorship candidate, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau.
Shekarau’s romance with Bayero blossomed to the point where the ex-governor, who dumped the merger of APC he helped build for PDP, became an in-law of the late king and was even made a title holder (Sardaunan Kano) in the Emirate.
Tinubu, Amaechi, former czar of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Senator Danjuma Goje, former governor of Gombe State and his Kwara State counterpart, Senator Bukola Saraki, were all guests of Kwankwaso inside Government House, Kano, at a time the kingmakers, also holed up inside the same precinct, were trying to decide who will be the next king.
Amaechi left for Abuja by road Sunday night hours after SLS’s choice was announced. A source close to one of the APC bigwigs confirmed to THEWILL that the group contrived to ensure that SLS emerged as the new Emir.
“I was there when they all converged. Amaechi was the last to arrive. Their meeting was more of solidarity with the view of Kwankwaso, whose sympathy and support was for SLS,” the source told THEWILL.
SLS being the major challenger, with a lot of savvy and stupendous wealth, worked from the background. He knew that Bayero had given the go-ahead for his suspension as CBN governor. He knew that Kwankwaso wasn’t happy about what happened. And fortuitously, Kwankwaso and APC are engaged in a political battle with the Presidency. Secured in this knowledge, he too was said to have doled out millions of naira to influence the kingmakers.
Afterwards, he waited. His ally, the governor too played the waiting game.
Declaration, Plot To Upturn Appointment and Aftermath
In the ante-chamber, where they had been ensconced since Saturday afternoon, word had gone out that Sanusi Ado Bayero had been chosen unanimously as the new Emir. Even Sanusi Lamido Sanusi tweeted the decision early Sunday morning and congratulated Bayero. But the state Governor would not accept that verdict. He pressured the kingmakers and sent words to them. The state government also issued a public denial that Bayero had been chosen.
When the kingmakers emerged on Sunday evening they were joined by the Secretary to the State Government, Rabiu Suleiman Bichi, who announced Lamido Sanusi as new Emir.
What followed was predictable. Ciroma’s supporters took to the streets burning tyres and compelling motorists to fix green leaves to their windshields. They took the city by storm for hours and marched towards Government House. But security operatives were quickly mobilised.
Protests have continued to spread across the streets of Kano not minding that Lamido Sanusi has been given a letter of appointment as Emir by the Government of Kano State.
As at Tuesday, Lamido Sanusi is still holed up in government House as officers of the Nigerian police, which is controlled by the Federal Government, have laid siege on the Emir’s Palace and it’s looking more like Sanusi will not be allowed access to the palace except something dramatic happens.
THEWILL gathered exclusively that the Presidency, the Galadima, Alhaji Tijjani Hashim, a very well connected personality, who is yet to pay homage to the new emir, alongside his acolytes are hell bent on creating crisis in Kano to the extent that a state of emergency would be in place and Governor Kwankwaso will be removed and replaced with a military administrator.
The military administrator during his tenure will oust Lamido Sanusi as Emir and announce Sanusi Ado Bayero Emir of Kano.