Says He Tried to Create Parallel Govt, Destroy Traditional Institution.
Kano State governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has come out clean on the real reasons Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was deposed as the Emir of Kano last year. Ganduje said Sanusi, being a social critic, did not understand the responsibilities of a traditional ruler, “especially for a strong traditional institution like that of Kano” and wanted to destroy it. He accused the flambouyant Emir of trying to create a parallel government in the state. The governor also disclosed how the state governor pulled out a whopping N969 million from a bank where Sanusi was executive director for refusing to sack him following his persistent criticism of the actions of the state government when he served as deputy to the then Governor Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso.
Ganduje, who spoke in an interview on Channels Television programme, Politics Today, monitored by TELL, said in response to a question on the real story behind Sanusi’s dethronement, that “Well, the real story is that the Emir of Kano, the deposed Emir of Kano, did not understand the responsibilities of a traditional ruler, especially for a strong institution like that of Kano. You see, the Emir of Kano was a social critic; a celebrated social critic and there was nothing wrong with that because he’s an educated person; he has freedom of speech.
“Let me give you one good example. When I was a deputy governor, my former governor, Kwakwanso (Rabiu Musa) was the governor of Kano State. Sanusi was an executive director in a bank and he made a statement that instead of providing water in Kano State, we were building a house in Abuja – that is the house belonging to the Kano State government that has the governor’s lodge in Asokoro. And also he said when we were paving the roads with tiles in order that those who are walking along the roads can also walk smoothly, he said instead of us renovating schools, we were putting such pavements.
“So, you can see that he was a social critic; of course in governance, you have to solve many problems at the same time. You do not say you would do this, and you would stop all other things. That was a social critic. I could remember my governor said either the bank should sack him, or we would withdraw our accounts from that bank. The bank did not sack him, so we withdrew N969 million from that bank. I could remember the figures precisely. You see, that was the work of a social critic. But when he became the Emir of Kano, he refused to change to the stature of a traditional ruler. He’s an economist but he failed to understand that in economics, you have to inherit assets and liabilities. But he only inherited the assets of the traditional institution by giving orders, staying in a mansion, dressing gorgeously, being addressed as a king. But the liability of that institution, you have to watch your words. You have to watch your tongue but he didn’t do that; that was the problem. That was a great problem that he could not change his mode of life from social critic to an institution”.
The governor asserted that “As of now, that institution does not afford a social critic of his type; you’ll have problem with the society. He was destroying the institution. This tongue that you are seeing is a very dangerous organ in the body. In fact, even politicians – the greatest enemy of a politician is the tongue because you said something yesterday, and today, you contradict yourself; that is your tongue. That is why God, in His mercy, decided to provide so many layers for the tongue. You have the lips; you have the teeth in order to protect your tongue. And it is also why he left in a liquid so that it doesn’t become brittle. All these are arrangements in order to have a break for the tongue. But Sanusi was able to break all the walls.
According to Ganduje,, “Even the traditional rulers, they added another layer by covering it like this (gesticulating by using his hands to cover his mouth) Covering like this means don’t talk anyhow. If you don’t know, that is the meaning of this (gesticulating by using his fingers to hold his lips together); don’t talk anyhow. And that is where we had the problem with him. He was destroying the institution; that was one thing. The second thing was that you see, there is claim and counter-claim about the creation of traditional Emirates in Kano. Abubakar Rimi attempted to create emirates; and he created emirates. But unfortunately, Abubakar Rimi did not provide the legal backing to the emirates and therefore, another governor came and changed it.
“So, because of public demand from those areas, that is one. Two, because of history; three, because of deepening and widening the role of traditional institution in governance – that is very, very important – for these three basic reasons, we decided to create more emirates. And we didn’t create them just like that; we followed history, we followed the demand of the people. We created the emirates; he challenged it in the court of law. One, he said the law was wrong; we looked at the law. We said okay; we corrected the law. He went back to the court challenging it. Now, how can the leader of a traditional institution co-exist with a government you litigate against all the time?”
On the speculation that emirates were created to weaken the powers of the former emir, Ganduje said “I told you three reasons; not weakening his powers”. The governor insisted that “His powers are not more important than the development of the people; his powers are not more important than the aspirations of the people. His powers are not more important than the historical antecedents of the people; that is the situation. So, it was not the creation of the emirate in order to punish him; it was not like that. But he had no power to challenge it. Was he not created out of law? Was it not a legal instrument that made him the Emir of Kano? Then why is he challenging legal instruments to create other Emirs in the state?
“So, these are the problems; that he was heading to destroy the system on one side, and also he was trying to create a parallel government. He was trying to challenge the government on legitimate issues which is not acceptable to me”.
Defending the ongoing revalidation of its membership by his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, Ganduje, admitted that though an aberration, the APC Care-taker Committee was “a child of necessity” and pleaded for “helping hands” by members “now that we are preparing grounds for a national convention where we can elect our national leaders”. Speaking against the backdrop of criticsm of the exercise by some party leaders as unconstitutional, the governor explained that it was necessary for the purpose of the planned convention because “you need to have a complete data of who is a member of your party”.
Adducing further reasons the revalidation exercise was necessary, he said “Yes, in 2014, there was registration of party members but a lot of water has gone under the bridge. So many members have come into the party without registration as such; that is one. Two, some young ones who did not reach the age of registering in a political party in 2014, now they’ve reached an age where they can register into a political party; that is two. Three, those who were registered in 2014, it was an analogue registration; now, they need to revalidate. What is the problem in revalidating your registration?
“And now, we are trying to be electronic (digital) in terms of the party membership. Another thing is that this registration reactivates the activities within the party. If you see how people are working at the unit level in order to be registered; politics does not like a vacuum. If you are dormant, then your party is not active. So, even by mere making this registration, it’s making the party to be active. And also, it is moving the party from analogue to electronic (digital). So, you cannot say it’s a waste of money; it’s a waste of time. So, that is my view; I support it”.
Follow Us on Social Media