By Uche Mbah
The balkanization of the ancient Kano Emirate has elicited several reactions from prominent Nigerians who see it as a frontal attack on a monumental heritage by an incumbent Governor whose sense of outrage against the incumbent Emir, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has been translated into an act that goes beyond the current occupant of the throne. And Umar Ghanduje is so fixated on the present infractions that he could not see the big picture.
No, it is not about Sanusi, who is just a temporary occupant of the throne.
Recall that the Kano state House of Assembly, under the directive of the governor, passed a bill fragmenting the Kano Emirate into five, leaving Sanusi with only eight District heads to supervise. With this, the state has now five emirates-Gaya, Rano, Karaye, Bichi and Kano-all designated as first class emirates. This means that whoever will be turbaned as the emir of any of the Emirates ranks equally with the traditional Emir of Kano.
The journey started with the petition written by one Ibrahim Salisu and was read by the speaker, Alhassan Ruum. Within twenty four hours, the letter was treated and the bill passed. Within the next twenty four hours Ganduje signed the bill into Law. “The traditional institution will now get closer to the people”, Ganduje said while signing the bill into Law. “We are about to make history today in the holy month of Ramadan”.
He could not be more correct. The Emir of Kano, which comes into reckoning after the Sultan of Sokoto and, arguably, the Shehu of Borno-the later being an unconquered Emirate by the Sultanate in those days-has been in existence as it is now since 1805. It has largely been kept intact throughout the turbulent years of colonialism and forms the core of the Northern dominance of the amalgamated Nigeria, a symbol of the monolithic nature of the North. Now this is being demystified under the leadership of a diehard Northern-or more specifically Fulani-irredentist.
Ironically, Ganduje, whose desperation to cling to power has made him subservient to southwest political gladiators, has created a manacle for himself in his life after power. To consolidate his hold on the South west-a politically suave race if there was one-he first cemented his bond through intermarriage. The children of both Governor Ajimobi of Oyo state and Ganduje of Kano state were married off in a much celebrated wedding that saw Ahmed Tinubu as the father of the day.Both clandestinely capitalized on his desperation for power to manipulate his activities. It will also be recalled that Ajimobi created 21 new Obas in Oyo state to whittle down the powers of Olubadan of ibadan. He has subtly lent the template to Ganduje, which he has just executed. Tinubu also gave him the “winning” template he used in Osun rerun elections, through which he returned to power, which was on the verge of slipping out of his hands. So while the Northern elites are planning to cripple Tinubu’s alleged political powers, the cultural capital of the North is gradually becoming an outpost of Tinubu’s South west. All because the short sighted political moves of the current All progressives Congress, APC, desperation for power without recourse to regional hegemony.No wonder the Buhari administration is fast losing appeal among the progressive elites of the North.