Kano State Commissioner for Information, Comrade Mohammed Garba, has offered explanations as to why the Governor of the State, Abdullahi Ganduje, fell apart with the Emir of Kano, HRM Muhammadu Sanusi II.
Garba also explained the vision that informed the creation of additional emirate councils in the state in an interview with The Sun.
The Commissioner said that the revered monarch got involved in partisan politics contrary to the tradition of the throne.
“What happened actually as a result of the creation of the new emirates. You should remember that it was not the governor that initiated the petition. It was a group of lawyers who felt that there was the need for them to have additional emirate in their own area.
“And they wrote to the Kano State House of Assembly and the State House of Assembly, from the information available to us, read the petition or whatever submission that was submitted to them and they felt that all the issues raised by the concerned citizens and lawyers are serious issues that should be looked into.
“The State Assembly decided to do their own constitutional responsibility by looking at it, initiating a bill, did one or two corrections, went through the normal process of the Assembly. At the end of third reading, they presented it to the executive.
“If you remember the pronouncement of the Speaker when they were presenting this bill to the state governor, he said that they strongly believed in the bill, that should the governor fail to assent to the bill, they would come back to the House and use a two third majority to pass the bill, which means that the Assembly is completely convinced.
“And they came to the State House and made a presentation to us and the governor looked at it critically and we felt that in the interest of the people of Kano, especially those who are living in some of these local government areas and the rural areas, we felt that it is something that would further develop these areas bearing in mind that some of the local governments in our neigbouring states like Jigawa – look at Ringim emirate for example.
“I remember when Kano was with Jigawa State, Dutse was a hamlet. I know Duste then because I schooled in Sumaila.
“There was no light , there was nothing in Dutse. But when Duste became an emirate and eventually a state, look at the level of development!
“Look at the creation of Ringim which was the last of the emirates that were created. Go to Ringim today and see the level of development.
“So when the late Abubakar Rimi attempted to have these emirates in 1981 /82, if these emirates were recognised, especially the three emirates of Gaya, Karaye and the other one, if they were recognized by that time, believe you me, by now in terms of development of these areas, you will be very surprised.
“Another area we looked at was the challenges of the present day. And we looked at our own area and the level of insecurity that Nigeria is facing today.
“We have read from the newspapers , we have heard from the security agencies that most of the bandits, quite a number of them, have relocated to Kano.
“And we know that the traditional rulers have a crucial role to play in terms of checking the movements, the access of people and what have you.
“And we felt that in order to have an effective monitoring system of people, there is need for us to ensure that we have traditional institutions that are much more closer to the people than what is obtained with the centralized traditional system.
“The governor looked at it and the issue of how they can advise him in terms of infrastructural development, road networks, in terms of water resources , in terms of education – we are lacking in education.
“The number of out- of- school children is quite alarming in Kano. And we felt that these traditional rulers have a serious role to play.
“Honestly, we looked at all the advantages of having the emirates recognized and we felt that there is no need to waste time. So the governor decided to assent to it.
“But unfortunately while the process was ongoing, some people felt that there was no need to decentralize, some people felt that there was a personal problem or even a political problem between the Emir of Kano and the governor of Kano.
“The Emir as a person, we believe that he has the right of choice.
“But by virtue of his current position, he has to be cautious in whatever he is doing because he is now a father to everybody. He is a religious leader and he is a community leader now.
“Where there is a problem, even if it is between the governor and some prominent people in the state, it is the Emir that is expected to invite them and intervene.
“That is what is meant to be the father of all. But when the Emir is partisan, practically partisan, I think that that is the problem.
“But we don’t even see it from that way and that is not even the reason.. We are more concerned about the development of the state.
“Honestly, even his partisanship has no meaning because even with his partisanship, we were able to win the elections.
“And after winning the election, the governor was very unhappy because there was no reason why he should be partisan against him.
“This is because their relationship has been very cordial. He has not offered a single advice which the governor refused to implement.
“The governor felt that if there was any problem, if there was any crisis, if there was anywhere the Emir wanted changes, in terms of advice, he has a lot of access.
“The governor has a lot of respect for him. Whenever the Emir comes to the Government House, the governor would escort him to his car. When he comes to programs late-ideally, the Emir should be there before the governor.
“But in most cases the governor would be there before the Emir . And whenever he comes the governor would stand up and greet the Emir.
“So as far as we are concerned, whatever is due to the Emir as a father and as a traditional ruler has been given to him.
“Even after the election, despite the fact that we know that this man has fought us seriously, the governor accommodated him.
“He went to the palace twice. At a time when we were told that he was indisposed the governor went there at a personal level.
“He went there also for a special prayer for peace and then, he went for the weeding of 1500 couples. The governor was able to forget his partisan role.
“As far as we are concerned we did not do it (create emirates) in order to destroy any history or any legacy or whatever the forefathers of these Emirs built.
“We want it to be more effective, we want to make sure that the traditional institutions are more involved in terms of the administration of the state.”