Desmond Mgboh, Kano
Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, has been named leader of the committee set up by the Nigerian Elders Forum (NEF) to reconcile Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and the Emir of Kano, Sarki Muhammadu Sanusi II.
A statement by the secretary of the committee, Dr. Adamu Fika, also listed Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum; Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina; General Muhammadu Wushishi; Abdullahi Ibrahim; Dr. Dalhatu Sarki Tafida; Dr. Umaru Mutallab; Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and Sheikh Sharif Ibrahim Saleh as members of the commitee.
The statement said the committee had the backing of the Federal Government and that contact had been made with Governor Ganduje and Emir Sanusi on the inauguration of the peace committee.
“They have confirmed to hold back from taking any further actions until the committee has fully undertaken and finalised this exercise of reconciliation and resolution. Similarly, they have respectively undertaken to call on their supporters and sympathizers, including social media operators to refrain from making statements, declarations, songs, articles, blogs and actions inimical to the spirit and process of good governance, order and reconciliation,” Fika said. There has been no love lost between the governor and the Emir in recent years.
But the face-off festered some weeks ago, after a Kano High Court presided by Justice Usman Nabba invalidated the four new emirate councils created by Governor Ganduje on May 8.
In annulling the emirates, the judge said the Kano House of Assembly failed to comply with its own law, which stipulated that a person who was not a member of the House of Assembly could not present a petition to the Assembly. The judge held that the deliberations and resolutions of the House in respect of the law were based on a petition from an outsider, and therefore, ought not to have been signed into law by the governor.
Rather than appeal the judgment, the government initiated a fresh bill, resulting in the signing of a new Kano State Emirate Council Law. Highlights of the new Emirate Council Law (2019) included the creation of a Central Council of Chiefs, consisting of five emirs, with Sanusi appointed as first chairman.
Other provisions of the law are that the position of the chairman is to rotate among the five Emirs, who would be appointed by the governor to serve for a period of two years.
Before then, the Emir of Kano was the only first-class emir in the state.