It was an indication of how delicate and emotional issues surrounding the Kano Emirship is for many that Governor Abdullahi Ganduje quietly presented the staff of office to the four First Class Emirs he newly appointed after signing into law a bill breaking the Kano emirate into five.
No pomp, no pageantry and the festivities usually associated with the presentation of staff to first class emirs. Just a quiet ceremony inside the Government House, and a press statement later on Monday that the governor presented the instrument of office to Aminu Ado-Bayero, the eldest son of the late Emir of Kano, as the Emir of Bichi.
The three others who received the Staff of Office were the Emir of Karaye, Ibrahim Abubakar II; the Emir of Rano, Tafida Abubakar-Ila; and the Emir of Gaya, Ibrahim Abdulkadir.
The Kano State House of Assembly had last Wednesday passed into law the bill for the creation of additional emirates in Rano, Karaye, Gaya, and Bichi. Governor Ganduje signed the bill into law on the same day.
The new law effectively reduces the domain of the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi from 44 local government areas to only eight and puts a closure to the over 80 years history of traditional dominance and influence enjoyed by Kano throne.
It was an unexpected turn of events after months of no love lust between Emir Sanusi and Governor Ganduje. There have been speculations about a possible clash between the two after it became public knowledge that the emir could not hide his support for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019 general elections. But no one expected the hammer to fall this way.
The PDP had rushed to court to stop the balkanization of the Kano emirate and the presentation of staff of office to the new emirs. Although it got a court injunction restraining the governor from inaugurating the new emirs, the governor claimed he was not served any court injunction before he performed the ceremony.
The PDP legislators argued that the House of Assembly did not convene properly before hurriedly passing the bill for the establishment of the four new Emirates.
Led by the Minority Leader of the Kano Assembly, Rabiu Gwarzo, the legislators approached the court on Friday morning, seeking, among other things a restraining order on the governor from “appointing or recognizing any purported Emir under Kano State Emirs (Appointment and Deposition) (Amendment) Law 2019” pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
The lawmakers told journalists that the creation of the new Emirates will bring disunity and enmity among Kano people.
“The move will ruin our heritage that has survived for over two thousand years, as the grand emirate will lose prestige in the process. And finally, none of the emerging ones will fill the gap in this 21st Century.”
They said the government should have focused on pressing issues like education, water supply, health, dying Kano businesses and the over 3.5 million unemployed youths.
The case would be heard today, May 15.